Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Georgia O'Keefe-Style Flowers

I LOVED these big and bold paintings in the style of Georgia O'Keefe form a Friday Art session with our art specialist Ms. Head:


Monday, May 15, 2017

A day in the life...

During our study of Native Americans, we went to the Pioneer Farm Museum and OHOP Indian Village in Eatonville, WA to learn how local Native Americans lived. We got to do EVERYTHING...

We learned about what life was like in the longhouse during the winter.
We scraped hides to make soft fur blankets.
We used stones to carve petroglyphs into a rock by camp.
We learned to weave.
We spun tufts of fur into yarn by twisting it with our hands and rolling it against our legs.
We smashed cedar bark to soften it for weaving into things like diapers.

We tried on woven hats, skirts and jewelry made of beads, beans and shells.
We ground corn.

In the summer camp:

We used an ingenious tool to drill holes into wood.

We practiced using a bow and arrow.

We learned how to start fires with a stick and wood shavings.

We smelled the sweetgrass used for braiding into rope.

In the fall camp:

We learned about many of the tools Native Americans used and how they were made.

We learned about the different types of canoes and what they were used for (we even scraped out a cedar log to help turn it into a canoe).
We looked at some genuine arrowheads and then used a small piece of slate to make one of our own by rubbing the edges onto a large rock to sharpen them.

We practiced throwing spears to improve our fishing and hunting skills.

We practiced our drumming. (Some of us even formed a band called "Native Awesome." Look for them on tour in a couple of years! :-))

We went on a guided hike through the forest to learn all about the native plants in the area and how they were used by the Native Americans.

There were TONS of beautiful, three-petaled Trillium flowers, an edible and medicinal plant. We also learned that the spores of sword ferns can be rubbed on Stinging Nettle burns.
The natives used the Trillium root to treat diarrhea.
We learned about many different trees and plants, but especially enjoyed learning more about our old friend from the arboretum, the Western Red Cedar...
...known to the Native Americans in this area as the "Tree of Life" because of it's many uses. What a day of hands-on fun!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Fabulous Fibonacci

No study of plants is complete without a sojourn into the magical mathematical mystery that "rules" nature -- the Fibonacci sequence.

As usual, we started with a question:
In the sequence 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 - what number would come next? Can you identify the pattern?

We watched Vi Hart "doodle" the sequence: https://www.khanacademy.org/math/math-for-fun-and-glory/vi-hart/spirals-fibonacci/v/doodling-in-math-spirals-fibonacci-and-being-a-plant-1-of-3

Then jumped in ourselves.
We drew the spiral on graph paper:

Looked for spirals on cones to see if they were Fibonacci numbers:

And some of us did the math to continue the sequence:

Beautiful Fibonacci!