Archive for October 28th, 2012

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Students perch near the water for inspiration.

Our team of 6 elementary gifted teachers took the 6th graders from our parish (district) on a field trip to Rip Van Winkle Gardens on Jefferson Island. If you live around here, you know that Jefferson Island is not a true island. It is one of 5 land masses that rise up out of the South Louisiana marshes. Jefferson Island was once the home of Joseph Jefferson and holds a beautiful antebellum home with acres of tropical gardens.

Reflections on Lake Peigneur

The purpose of our field trip was to introduce our students to a natural place where water is integral to its survival. We will be working with these students once a month for the school year on a project of their choice about water. At Jefferson Island, we learned some history, discussed questions, and enjoyed the beauty around us.

I led the students in a writing exercise from Georgia Heard’s book Awakening the Heart. The pre-writing exercise asks students to use an image. (In this case, the images were all around us.) There are 6 rooms, or divisions on the paper. Each room serves a purpose, such as “describe the image,” “what sounds do you hear,” or “describe the light.” Each room leads the writer to a deeper understanding of the image and often leads to a creative poem. We sent the students off to different areas of choice with a teacher. Teachers wrote, too.

Sharing time

Out at Jefferson Island, among the oaks, bamboo, and palmettos, we became a community of writers and explorers. We set the tone for the project yet to come and generally had a grand time.

Bamboo Poem
by Dustyn

Tall, arching, stalks of bamboo,

Bright and beautiful skies of blue,

Huge structures where flowers bloom,

Trees towering over you,

It relaxes me to feel the bamboo, so smooth,

And I’ll bet you’ll feel the same way too.

Writing in the bamboo forest

Rip Van Winkle Gardens
by Rhyan

We are in a mysterious land,

An enchanted garden,

Where the butterflies roam,

and the dock hangs over the lake.

The lake is screaming “I am a wonderful lake and I shall not be destroyed.”

But now it is silent.

The only sounds are rustling leaves and chirping birds.

Wait, what was that?

Are those the loud blades of a propeller?

Does this man know he is destroying nature?

Eventually this wonderful land will be gone.

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