Seeds of Hope

By October 5, 2020October 12th, 2020News
Fifth grade had a wonderful sustainability workshop recently in the raised bed outdoor classroom with Sustainability Educator, Mrs. Cindy Hallowell, and special guest, Mrs. Patricia Bailey.
The conversation began with seeds, and ended with talking about hope; in between was a discussion on how the two are linked.
Mrs. Hallowell began explaining the stress and anxiety that she felt at the start of the school year when looking at the wild and weedy raised beds that resulted from the transition to remote learning and harsh environmental conditions throughout the spring and summer months. When her friend and fellow sustainability educator, Mrs. Bailey, came to the school to meet with Mrs. Hallowell, what she saw was beauty, opportunity, and potential!She saw plants that had almost completed their life cycle and were ready to drop their seeds in anticipation of next spring’s growing cycle.
Students learned that in this stage of a plant’s life, what they see looks dry, colorless – like the end of life.  However, death and dormancy happen every year at this time!  Plants are setting seeds, and as they bow their heads toward the soil with respect, honor and gratitude, they are sowing new life. The earth will accept and nurture those seeds.  Plants have an instinctual intelligence, a knowing that life goes on —  and they are looking towards next year already!
The students’ activity was to pick “paintbrushes” from the plants in the beautiful mess of a garden: grasses, seed pods, flower heads, etc.  Each student chose 4 or 5  different brushes and then practiced stippling, broad brush strokes, snapping, etc. with black paint on white paper.  While painting, they were charged with thinking of one sentence that means “hope” to them, because those plant materials represent the hope for future life.
Here are their thoughts:

 

HOPE

Hope makes the World a better place
Hope means you have to believe in yourself
Hope is whoever you are, whatever you are – it belongs to everyone
Hope in Rhode Island. Rhode Islanders don’t just do, they have hope
It’s on our state flag, hope anchors you down, keeps you grounded
Hope means to be confident and have Respect in the world and be positive
Hope is the future
Hope means caring, and I hope my grandparents are doing well, and that my grandma’s ok. It also means equality
Hope is life. My painting is an astroid. When it collides it means you reach your goals; the astroid keeps going as you reach more goals
Hope is a better understanding of a new tomorrow
Hope is like the words we are learning: peace liberty & justice. It also is when you really want something good to happen.
If you hope hard enough your hopes will come true – my painting is kind of like a Jackson Pollock
Hope means to have courage to go on and try again
Hope is –  don’t give up