The White Feather

Eagles, specifically the bald eagle, is our unit of study.

The live video cam was on.  We watched a mother eagle in her nest taking care of two eggs.

A child said, “Jennie, you have a white feather in your hair.”

Children came over to check it out, hopeful it was a real white feather.

I think they were disappointed.


About Jennie

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 Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Imagination, Inspiration, preschool, Teaching young children, wonder and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to The White Feather

  1. Opher says:

    No – think it is a real white feather – the symbol of a true chief!

  2. Dan Antion says:

    I think it blew away right before they looked. Feathers can be very mysterious.

  3. beetleypete says:

    Just as well I wasn’t there. They would have thought the whole bird was on my head. 🙂
    (Well, scattered around it at least)
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. Darlene says:

    That is quite amusing. If you would like to show the students these pictures my daughter took of an eagles nest near her home, go ahead.

  5. Mike says:

    Kids say the darnedest things!

  6. Oooh, I LOVED Opher’s and Dan’s comments!

    The children are very wise and see what adults often cannot. 😍

  7. That’s adorable, Jennie. Maybe be sneaky and put a real white feather in your hair tomorrow, just to mess with them. 😉 Hugs on the wing.

  8. That’s so cute! I also have many white feathers in my hair. We earned them:)

  9. barbtaub says:

    According to Native Hope website, “In Native culture, the eagle is considered the strongest and bravest of all birds. For this reason, its feathers symbolize what is highest, bravest, strongest, and holiest.” []

    Sounds like a good description of a teacher to me!

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Barb. This is one of the things I told children. Because the eagle soars higher than any other bird, Native Americans would send their prayers and wishes into the smoke of their fire, so the smoke would reach the eagle to be carried to the heavens. I think it is wonderful. I’m going to your link to learn more. Thank you!

  10. LOL! Out of the mouths of babes!

  11. quiall says:

    Ah, but for a moment, you were lifted into the heights of eagles . . .

  12. Too bad it wasn’t a real feather.

  13. Maggie says:

    Children are keen observers.

  14. delphini510 says:

    The children might have seen the truth. Your Eagle feather standing for courage and wisdom.

  15. petespringerauthor says:

    Your student’s comment is what keeps us laughing, humble, and remembering why we love this job.

  16. a white Eagle feather is not very common Jennie! I have found only two. A eagle has over 7000 feathers in total but only 12 are white tail feathers!
    One person once told me that when you find one never let another person touch it and on the full moon place it under your pillow. (Sleep alone). You will be guided to what you seek.

    • Jennie says:

      I have an eagle feather, framed, that I showed children. Not white. We have learned so much this month about eagles. Because the eagle flys higher that any other bird, the Native Americans sent their prayers into the smoke of their fires, so that the smoke would carry it to the eagle to deliver the prayer. Lovely! We’re also watching a live video cam of a bald eagle and her two eggs. We made a 6 1/2 foot wingspan of feathers, so children could understand how big it is. I can’t wait to tell the children that an eagle has 7,000 feathers, yet only 12 white tail feathers! Wow! Thank you for your white feather story. Best to you, Wayne.

  17. Perhaps the children were referring to a metaphorical white feather?

  18. Love your sense of humor and the way you told this story!

  19. You’re openness to love is so
    beautifully filled with love!💕❤️

  20. Sarah says:

    the appearance and disappearance of the mysterious feather. 😉 Loved it!

  21. Annika Perry says:

    Adorable, Jennie … both your ‘white feather’ and the children’s comment! A real sign of wisdom, endowed upon you by the eagles!😀

  22. awwh-how sweet and I think the feather suits you-(good thing you weren’t studying chickens!) haha!

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