Thoughts: I love this time of year. Everything is changing. There is a certain unpredictability that doesn’t happen much in the summers here in east-central Texas, where you can be reasonably sure you’re getting a long string of days with strong sunshine, temps in the high 90’s or 100’s, along with humidity. Luckily, though, we seem to get a fairly steady breeze here during that hot season. But fall is different: changing skies, fluctuating temperatures, and changes in the garden and the surrounding landscape. It’s harvest time. It’s preparation time: get everything ready for winter. This year I built a simple greenhouse against a south-facing wall on our house. I’m going to see if I can nurse a couple tomato plants through the winter.
Another reason for my excitement this time of year is the approaching holiday season. For our family, that means Thanksgiving and Christmas, bringing together family, the smells of delicious food wafting through the house, colored lights, special music, visits with and greetings from friends, colored lights and the smell of a fresh cut tree, holiday-themed movie favorites. It’s the end of another year, and a good time for reflection. For me, it doesn’t get much better. In my thoughts I turn to all of the reasons I have to be deeply, truly thankful. Every day is like opening a present: you never know what’s going to happen. Sometimes I think that we humans do take many things for granted. I know, because I do, too. It seems to be easy to lose sight of the important things. We fall into the trap of noticing all of the things that seem wrong to us. Yes, I know there is plenty that needs to be corrected, however–
Whether we do it in the classroom or at the family dining table, now is a good time to engage children in discussions about how fortunate we are. It wouldn’t be such a bad idea to share one thing every day that we’re truly thankful for. Make it routine to express thanks.
Project: Make a drawing (or even a clay project) that represents either a single thing, or a group of things that you are thankful for. Think about all of the ways plants affect our lives. I’m taking a couple giant steps back on this project. This is a chance to do some art your way. This project is not necessarily limited to being thankful for plants, but I do think some plant ideas should be included.
Age Group: Any child from K on up. Not a bad thing for grownups to try this one!
Materials: Use your favorite materials, or materials that you have easy access to.
Steps: Do your best work. Have fun!
Discuss your work with your teacher and classmates, or with your family.
Cleanup: Don’t forget this! Leave your workplace the way you found it.
NOTE: I’m going to do my “Thanks Project” today. I’ve been thinking a lot about what an incredible gift our planet earth is, along with the natural world that goes with it. I’m going to save my project for my next blog, because I don’t want to influence you too much.
As always, your comments are most welcome! I wish you all a wonderful holiday season.
Please send in pictures of your art work so I can post them here!!