For our collaborative tree project,
students spend a couple days brain storming about the remaining steps in our project – the grass and the leaves as well as the frame. I simply started class asking them to come up with an idea for each of these things and to share it out so I knew what materials to put out and so that other students knew what they could use.
It was generally decided that the grass could be a mixture of yarn, tissue paper, construction paper – a mixture because grass varies throughout where we see it. And it was also decided that if we are spending time doing a project all about nature and how things grow, that it should be a no-brainer that we use actual piece from nature. I asked how and they said we should collect leaves from outside and use them for our leaves in the project. I wanted to slap myself in the head because this was “duh”. I loved this idea and I’m so glad they came up with it and not myself.
So we journeyed outside yesterday and collected leaves. Big, small, colorful, boring, wet, ripped, covered in caterpillar eggs, you name it. Some students went out as a group and became very selective about the leaves they would collect while others just grabbed a bunch to go through later. The frost on the leaves was beautiful and we wished so much that we could make it stay on there forever. It’s a good thing we went out and did this now because it’s suppose to snow next week! 😦
We came back inside and armed with paper towels began to go through our collection. Each group decided how many to keep and what they would look for. We simply tossed out the ones we weren’t going to use. The colors? BEAUTIFUL. I was so impressed with the how serious the 4th graders were taking this step. They wanted to make it worth the trip. We found a few friendly bugs and returned them to their home and will be ready to address leaves, along with grass, next week.