Ingredients for Compost Cake:
Sloane (Age 4) – “Banana peels, food…”
Bodhi (Age 4) – “Newspaper, coffee grounds…”
“I put my hand in there and it feels warm. Because it’s a cycle, it goes around and around (motioning big circles with her arms) alive, dead, alive, dead, alive, dead and it gets bigger and bigger and bigger and then it becomes a tree!”
Alicia, Miriam, Colby, and Scout are using all five senses to explore green, growing things in our KMS garden.
Pallavi (13 mo.) and William (14 mo.) exploring rocks in the KMS Garden
In the garden, Peaches (Infants and Toddlers) have been learning about natural materials using all of their senses. One way they have been interacting with natural materials is to explore the rocks that Elementary students collected to decorate the garden area (see previous post). This activity reflects one of our KMS values, Environmental Awareness. Our children feel and find out more about the world around them, about themselves, and make connections between both.
Ephemeral Designs: Compositions in the Garden
Inspired by Andy Goldsworthy
As a KMS value, environmental awareness means building an understanding and compassion for the world around us. Working in a natural setting, like the garden, nurtures the child’s empathy and builds a deep understanding of their role as caring members of the world.
Since the start of the year, the Elementary children have been immersed in cultivating to the KMS garden. A proposal was made that we should decorate the grey tiles that cover the ground in the garden. When discussing how we could decorate the tiles, I shared a book about the work of artist Andy Goldsworthy. We talked about how his designs in nature are temporary, or ephemeral. The students were struck by his compositions with leaves and rocks, as well as his idea of “rain shadows”(laying in the rain to see the imprint you leave behind). Children began to work in the garden, building designs with rocks and leaves, creating “rain shadows” of their handprints with water, and painting stones with watercolors.
Every new day we enter the garden, children notice how their work has changed, either through natural elements or human impact. In this way, they are embracing the idea of change, and the beauty in transience. This is an ongoing process; as we continue to explore and decorate the garden tiles, we will be leaving our mark, visible or not.
Kim and Maria have been collaborating together in the garden to encourage students to explore the garden not only in English but also by using new vocabulary words in Spanish. During one morning while we did a study of the herbs the children created a song based on their experience.
“You have to feed plants to make them grow. If you don’t, they won’t survive” –Maggie, Age 5
Here at KMS we treat every day like it’s Earth Day by caring for our environment, eating healthy organic foods, and taking care of our beautiful garden. Last weekend we had a very fun and productive Garden Day where families from Peaches to Upper Elementary came together and worked in our outdoor areas to clobber clutter, fight weeds, build new planter boxes, and resurface Dirt Mountain. Uma, a second year Kindergartener, had the vision of creating some kind of garden art to go in our newly landscaped front garden. Her idea began with the idea of building a cob house, this changed to many other ideas, and it finally materialized into a mosaic tortoise sculpture!
First Grader Lola helps layer cement on our mosaic tortoise sculpture, with help from a KMS Parent.