Autumn Is Upon Us


And we’ve got the cool weather to prove it!  We’ve wrapped up our curriculum unit about cars and trucks and have moved on to a study of our most recent seasonal change.  When most of the Tugboats left school last Friday, the temperature was hovering somewhere around 70 degrees.  We returned on Tuesday to 50-degree weather and our heater needing to be turned on!  To start our week, we took a walk through our beloved Bremen St. Park and noticed the changes to the trees.  Where there were lush, green leaves just a few weeks ago, there are now crunchy, rustley leaves in a variety of colors.  We’ve talked about how the green part of the leaves makes food for the trees. When the air gets cooler, the trees take a little snooze through winter and live off of the food they already have.  Since they don’t need their leaves to make food during fall and winter, the trees “turn off” the green parts, causing them to change colors and fall off!  In preparation for this week’s projects, the kiddos collected a variety of fallen leaves.

Using the red, yellow, orange, and brown leaves they found, the Tugboats made leaf rubbings!  Each student placed a leaf underneath his or her piece of paper, then used the long side of a crayon to rub color across the page.  This highlighted the texture and shape of the leaves, allowing the students to study and notice how the veins looked different on each type of leaf.  We helped them dip their fingertips into green paint, then gently stamped them onto their crayon leaves to make little caterpillars!  Once our hands were clean, we sorted the rest of our leaves by color, shape, and size.  Later in the week, we observed those veiny structures and tried to imitate them ourselves.  Each student was given a large cut out in the shape of a leaf, and each leaf had been previously folded in half for them.  They used crayons to color the long line down the center of their leaves, then tried to emulate the wiggly lines on our collected leaves.  Next, we added paint to one side of the leaves, folded them in half, and unfolded them to discover a symmetrical masterpiece!

We took a break from our fall study on Thursday to welcome our newest guest educator, Megan!  Megan is the mother of one of our newest Tugboats and is a certified yoga instructor.  She’ll be joining us each Thursday morning between now and Thanksgiving to help us stretch our bodies, focus on our breathing, and practice controlling our energy.  In this week’s class, we imagined we were butterflies, elephants, and lions.  We took a journey in our minds to the beach, where we rode bicycles and stretched out on the warm sand.  We also learned new lyrics to “The Eensy Weensy Spider,” which tapped perfectly into our class’s gift for replacing the words in classic songs with new ones!  Stay tuned for more adventures with Thursday Yoga!