This tree on the playground is beside the climbing structure.
It is gorgeous.
Today we stopped climbing to look.
It was windy, so petals we’re flying everywhere.
And children paid attention.
They soaked up the wind and flying petals and beauty
in the way adults always hope children will do.
“Wherever you are – look up, down, and around your own environment.
Then share your discoveries with others and get them excited, too.”
-Steve the Crossing Guard-
I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about.
I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
This entry was posted in Imagination
, Mother Nature
, young children
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, Children discovering flowers and nature
, Flowering tree
, Spring flowering tree petals
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You and Steve have got it right, Jennie. We all need to ‘look up’ more often. 🙂
Too many people walk around looking at the ground, or staring into screens.
Best wishes, Pete.
You are exactly right. Best to you, Pete.
A wonderful simple lesson that will benefit us all. Thanks Jennie & Steve.
Thank you, Dan.
Thank you, Jennie. Yes, it’s such an easy thing to do, share the beauty that surrounds us with others, especially children. I think it’s important to learn how to appreciate these simple things, at an early age. When I look at our hydrangea plants in Summer, I’m just amazed how something can be so beautiful. Now, in Spring, watching the smallest birds gathering a ‘bundle’ of grass or twigs for a nest brings so much satisfaction. In the early morning light, the sky was clear and the moon was gorgeous, as she and I looked at each other. It was the most peaceful way to start the day. I bet your students would love the poem by Joyce Kilmer, ‘Trees’. Like your post, it was short but so very poignant. Have a wonderful day, Jennie.
Your story is a perfect example of looking at the beauty. Same hydrangea, yet different in each season. Children can understand and appreciate this, especially with the trees on the playground. I will find that poem! Thank you, Steve.
Thank you, Jennie. The author, Joyce Kilmer, was a man, a very brave man. While volunteering for a dangerous mission on a French battlefield during WWI, he was killed by a sniper’s bullet. The poem, ‘Trees’, was my mother’s favorite. I sent it to you.
Such a beautiful lesson- the best kind
Thank you, Beth.
Love the photo, love that you encouraged the children to pause and experience, love the quote from Steve the Crossing Guard.
Thank you, Norah! 😊
You are welcome, Jennie.
Thank you, Ritu! ❤️
Lovely. Visitors here are often dismayed when they realize we often have poor cell signal here. Then they relax and go for a walk and just enjoy their life a little bit.
Isn’t that wonderful! Thank you, Maggie.
I love the idea of looking up. When I travel to interesting places, and they all are, I always make sure I look up. It is amazing what you see. Painted ceilings, gargoyles, towers, people looking down, birds, clouds and so much more. I so agree with you and Steve.
You are so right about all you can see by looking up. Yes, think of the gargoyles and magnificent painted ceilings people have missed. I think I really started to look up when we moved into our current house, as our backyard has ‘the big sky’. Every evening we marveled at the simplest and most beautiful things. Thank you, Darlene!
I was raised in big sky country so I know what you mean. I was one of those kids who made stories up out of cloud formations. Xo
That’s wonderful, Darlene. Those clouds helped you become a writer, and to look up. 🙂
The little fawn has been discovering it’s world here. Jumping and running in delight of the discoveries. Your post sounds simular. Thanks for sharing.
I thing the little fawn and my tree story are one in the same. Thank you, John.
I thinbk you are right, Jennie.
Simply simple but great.
Thank you, Opher.
My students have been drawing a tree in each season. It’s been cool to see them pick when we should draw it:)
Love this – Spring is the most wonderful season
This is good practice for the days ahead when they won’t raise their head from their SmartPhones to look at the world around them. Maybe some of them will remember their Kindergarten days and take the time to notice.
You are so right, Anneli. If children can have these experiences early on, maybe they’ll pick up their heads from their Smartphone at times. And they might remember, too. 🙂
Every bit helps.
I did some Spring celebrations with my little boy over the weekend. We went to our local nature reserve for some pond dipping. He loved the tadpoles and newts and the woodland creatures treasure hunt.
That is wonderful! He will remember, too. 🙂
Having the children look at nature with petals and leaves flying in the wind…is so wonderful for children and adults to never forget how to experience nature’s beauty with joy. I love Steve the Crossing Guards response = perfect! Another awe inspiring post from you, Jennie. Awesome!
Thank you, Karen. I wish you could have been there to see the petals flying everywhere and children ‘in the moment’. Joy indeed! Steve’s quote was perfect! 🙂
A wonderful lesson in mindfulness ❤
Thank you, Alethea. They were ‘in the moment’, mindfulness at it’s best. 🙂
Teaching responsibility for nature can only be useful done in nature. Wonderful work, Jennie. Best wishes, Michael
Thank you, Michael!
Steve is so awesome and so are you Jennie! You both are so nurturing with childen. Have a wonderful week!
Thank you, AOC!
Almost everything you share about children applies to adults as well. That is pretty amazing.
I think you are right, Luanne. Thank you!
This is lovely. I like to go outside and look at the cloud shapes forming – a similar sort of thing. Happy Friday.
It is definitely similar. I love cloud watching, too. Thank you, Robbie.
Love Steve’s quote! The beauty and wonders of nature need to be shared! 😄
Thank you, Sarah!
Fabulous Jennie.. I love to be outside.. there is so much going on, especially at the moment with the birds in nesting mode… xxx
Spring has more discoveries and new birth/growth than other seasons. Oh, the birds are the best of all. Thank you, Sally!