JOY & PRACTICE & ADVENTURE
WEEK 4: TREES & ROOTS
Dearest Studio Friend,
We are thinking of you now and each and every day that we are away from Studio. Let’s find creative and imaginative ways to play and share with each other. Let’s find ways to plant a garden of happiness and creativity each day through projects and adventures. We will explore things that you can connect to from your very own window, from inside your home, and also outside in our city and in nature.
THIS WEEK’S THEME:
Trees & Roots
It stands tall, thick, robust, and yet still delicate. So healthy and full – like broccoli. Sun dawns upon its crest. We touch its trunk, and it touches back. It stands tall through the wind and rises against the backdrop of its family of hills and other trees. All trees are held by the Earth – and the trees grow steadily towards the sky.
A tree holds us higher, and our hearts grow giant, standing under this tower of nature. Gazing up we can see the intricate art and detail of the tree’s design in its growth and in the web of its world. Inspired by the roots, branches, and leaves of these trees our playful adventure begins.
REFLECTING AND PRACTICE:
Observe your environment:
· Visit a tree in your yard, in the park, or anywhere in your neighborhood. Perhaps there is a tree that is special to you and your child.
· Touch the tree. Hold your hands to it over and over again.
· Look up and around through its canopy and drapery.
· Collect nature pieces from below and surrounding the tree, such as leaves, seed pods, pebbles, bark, and twigs.
· Notice all elements of its bloom in this springtime.
· Create a joyous experience of moving around the tree, gazing up and down and identifying its parts.
· Can you see the roots of the tree? Can you see some of them above the earth and soil? How far do you imagine that the roots spread underneath you?
· You can also take photos of your tree to look at later, remember, and be inspired by in your creations.
ROOTS – Roots are the parts of the plant that grow downward into the soil, anchoring the plant and absorbing nutriment and moisture. The tree is firm in its roots and reaches up and bows to the sky.
STATURE – Stature is the height that a body, structure, or another physical object has.
The stature of the tree towered above the other structures of the forest.
STUDYING THE PARTS OF A TREE
Just like our human bodies, there are main parts of a tree that are responsible for how it grows, expands, lives, and thrives. The earth and nature are a main part of fueling a tree’s living system. When we look at a tree we can think of all of its parts as having a purpose. Through images and this video you can learn about the different parts of a tree and also learn to identify these parts on trees that you see outside in your environment.
Trees are great friends to the Earth and humans. They give us the oxygen we need to breathe and they clean the atmosphere surrounding us.
PBS Kids - All About Trees
Let’s learn the sign language for Roots & Tall. Tall is another way of saying something is great in stature.
Here is the sign for Roots:
Here is the sign for Tall:
Remember the signs for Roots and Tall and share it
a few times per day with your friends and family.
Draw what you see and imagine:
· At home, spread the nature pieces on an art foundation. Explore and rearrange the pieces playfully and repeatedly.
· Bring attention to your child’s arm and hand and the similarity of their structure to that of a tree.
· You can apply water, and/or color the pieces of the tree with crayons, markers, pastels, and/or paints.
· Imagine the tree’s roots underground in relationship to its shape and structure above the earth. Sketch these imaginings.
· How will leaves turn and in which currents will they fall from the tree?
· How might the tree bloom, and how might snow drape these branches?
· If the roots grew something on them under the earth, what would it be?
DAY TWO :
BECOME A TREEHOUSE ARCHITECT:
Trees are not just structures of nature on Earth, they are also homes to many creatures, and sometimes people too. Trees can hold people’s homes! Perhaps you’ve played in a treehouse, or maybe you’ve seen many treehouses of all different types and sizes. Explore the different worlds and environments of treehouses. Let these treehouses spark your own imagination and design.
Use your drawing to inspire building your own treehouse model.
You can build a treehouse structure from pillows, cardboard and other recyclables, boxes, Legos, blocks, and/or construction paper. Then decorate it!
You can be a treehouse architect!
Can you draw and design a treehouse?
· Where would your treehouse be?
· What would your treehouse be made of?
· In what kind of tree would it live?
· How many windows would it have?
· How would you get into it?
Let’s learn the sign language for Build & Treehouse
Here is the sign for Build:
Here is the sign for Treehouse:
Remember the signs for Building and Treehouse and share them a few times per day with your friends and family.
TREE ELEMENT DESIGN
Touch & Investigate
· Close your eyes and with your palms and fingertips survey the nature pieces you found near your tree once more.
· Open your eyes and place one of the pieces against your cheek.
· Discover textures, sounds, colors, and the scale of one piece of nature to another.
· From which part of the tree did your pieces fall?
Outline and Coloring
On your cardboard or poster board, use your arm and hand as the contour to sketch a shape similar to a tree, with a trunk and branches. Imagine and draw roots! Explore your nature findings, spreading them out and investigating their textures and colors. Brush them with water to irrigate; watch them soak and dry and transform. Arrange the nature pieces and adhere them to your foundation. Adorn your design with more color, paper accents, and continued creative arrangement.
ENVISION & DRAW
“Wolf tree” is the name for the largest, oldest, and most outstretched trees of a forest. Surrounding each wolf tree are smaller trees that sprouted and bloomed to life in the forest long after the wolf tree. Now, imagine a great world tree, older than all of the wolf trees and even more spread out. Imagine how this great world tree makes a kind of umbrella for all the other trees in the forest. Imagine its strength and stature. Then draw or paint a picture of a wolf tree or world tree as you imagine it.
· If the tree could talk, what would it say?
· Although the tree stands in its roots, in what other place could we imagine this tree, and how would it appear differently there?
· If we grew some part of nature beside this tree to provide company for the tree, what would it be?
MOVEMENT AND BREATHING:
· Stand with your feet planted firmly on the floor or ground, as if you had roots. Perhaps you are a wolf tree or a world tree.
· Stretch your arms tall, and bend and sway back and forth in a slow, steady, rocking motion, like your tree.
· Use your voice to imagine and become the sound of the wind, branches, and the trunk itself.
· Stand on one foot only, and then both, and hop from one place of your tree trunk to the next.
· Each time you stop, become a tree sculpture, bowing and reaching up towards the sky.
· Through movement, then stillness, become many different tree sculptures.
Here are our breaths:
We breathe as the wind moving the leaves of the trees.
We breathe as a leaf floating down from the top of the tree to the ground.
We breathe as each piece found from below the tree.
We breathe as we remember that we touched the tree and the tree touched us.
We breathe by becoming still and calm, with our legs crossed before us.
We breathe by becoming still and calm, our legs our crossed before us.
Closing our eyes, we remember and imagine the tree.
Using our hands and arms to move with our breath, we twirl them, as we inhale from our nose or mouth.
Exhaling, also twirling our arms, we decide to make whatever sound we want, from singing to laughing, to howling, to humming, as we continue to focus on the tree.
MUSIC WITH ANGUS
Angus loves to share with us how music moves and tells different stories through its many dynamics.
The word dynamics in music means “the way that the music moves and changes in its tempo, volume, and feeling so that we can feel and imagine more through it.”
As we imagine trees, their stature, huge growth, and long life span, Angus shares with us music that blooms, climbs, builds, and stands tall.
Angus also explores the music dynamic of allegretto.
We'll also listen to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata and Symphony No. 40.
Ludvig Van Beethoven was a classical musical composer and pianist who lived a few hundred years ago.
Beethoven composed many piano pieces and symphonies, and his work was known for its great power, passion, and musical feeling. Because Beethoven lost his sense of hearing during his life as a musician, he often had to imagine the music within his head in order to compose it. Beethoven found a great inspiration in nature as he composed his music and must have walked through some trees of great stature as a part of imagining his music!
We can bring calm to our days and nights through listening to words and thoughts that remind of the peace within us - and the expanse of our imagination.
Here in the Treetop Meditation Khahtee
leads us in a meditation imagining standing tall and broad with nature.
Watch Treetops In Nature
STUDIO SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT:
Have you ever heard of General Sherman?
It is fun to also think of giants in nature!
The largest tree in the world is General Sherman, in Sequoia National Park, California. General Sherman is not only the largest tree in the world, it is also the oldest living organism on the planet – that means it is the oldest life form.
This great tree is 2,100 years old and weighs 2.7 million pounds. It is 275 feet tall and has a circumference at its base, or bottom, of approximately 36 feet! That means it is 36 feet all the way around where it meets the ground.
One of the reasons that the giant sequoia is so strong and sturdy is that, unlike many other life forms that stop growing once they mature, this tree keeps growing and growing as it ages. And General Sherman is still growing, producing an extra 60 feet of wood each year.
From all over the world visitors come to this national park to visit General Sherman, which is also surrounded by other giant sequoias, though none quite as magnificent as this main attraction.
The route to meet General Sherman is a windy hike with various routes and views of the park’s expanse along the way. It is an adventurous climb that holds so much excitement for those waiting to view and touch General Sherman’s vast structure. One can run and bend with the trails, looking forward to an arrival at the enormous base of General Sherman after their trek.
General Sherman will continue to be healthy and growing on Earth for at least another 900 years! This great tree is just one part of the many changes in nature of new life and older life that will continue on our planet over that time.
GO VISIT GENERAL SHERMAN HERE AND REDWOOD NATIONAL FOREST
We’d love to know how you are creating and playing related to trees and roots. If you’d like to share your ideas, projects, and creative work with Studio and your class, you can send your teachers a photo of something that you did, made, or displayed. Each week we will put together a mosaic to share with your class and our Studio community with all shared pieces included.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Collaborate with your family to make a plan!
Here is the sign for Collaborate!
Practice making a daily plan for your entire week.
What will you do on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and the weekend days, Saturday and Sunday?
When each day will you do these things? Who will join you? Plan for lots of fun and learning!
Make sure you make your plan visible with a chart or calendar or
just a big piece of paper on the wall.
When you make a plan for your time and activity, that is a way to create a structure for your days.
As you begin to make plans for your days, how will you collaborate with your family as you make your plan? When will you read, listen to music, make art, and explore learning through books, images, and nature exploration? What will you all decide to imagine together? Also, as you make a plan, what specific way can you help your family within your home?
What is one goal you can hold with your family for a week?
Can you help water the plants, help to prepare for a meal, or play with an older or younger sibling or work on a project with them?
Can you work together to make drawings or art for people in your family and mail it to them?
Perhaps you want to take a long walk, organize your toys, or put up some of your own artwork in more places in your house.
Whatever you plan, get excited to collaborate with your family to accomplish your goal.
Whatever you plan with your family, make it a time of joy!