The Wild Animal Sanctuary

On Thursday, May 9, we traveled about an hour from our school to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado. This was an unbelievable trip!

When we first arrived, we couldn’t believe our eyes. Driving up to the parking lot, we saw bears, tigers, and wolves in fences right next to the driveway! Our orientation began with one of the many volunteers sharing some history and facts about the sanctuary. After that, we were able to start our self-guided tour.

Did you know that the illegal wildlife trade is a multi-million dollar business? Wild animals are sold to circuses, unlicensed zoos, private pet owners, and even as displays to bring in customers. One example – some of the tigers at the Wild Animal Sanctuary were rescued from cages at a truck stop. The owners of the truck stop thought that people would visit just to see the tigers. The tigers lived in small cages!

In many zoos around the world, especially unlicensed zoos, wild animals are on display in cages that are too small for them. They don’t get enough food or even the proper type of nutrition. Some of them suffer joint damage because they never get to leave their tiny cages. Sometimes, the enclosures are not properly maintained, and the animals escape into the public! Have you ever heard of the Muskingum County Animal Farm in Zanesville, Ohio? 48 animals had to be killed by local authorities because of this type of wildlife ownership.

We were surprised to learn how many people buy wild animals as pets. In many cases, they buy the “pets” to show off to their friends or because they’re really cute when they’re little. These people do not know how to properly care for a wild animal. These animals can be very dangerous to the public when an owner doesn’t know how to take care of it.

The Wild Animal Sanctuary rescues these wild animals. They are brought to a place where they can live in a more natural environment, free to roam, and they never have to worry about eating again.

At the Wild Animal Sanctuary, visitors don’t get to walk along the grounds at eye-level of the animals. It makes the animals nervous, and some of them would even become anxious or aggressive. Even though there are two sets of fences, the animals’ well-being is too important. The people who built the sanctuary created an elevated walkway and observation decks that allow you to move over several viewing areas – all outside – to view the animals in their “habitats.” This ensures that the animals can move around freely in their areas, instead of being trapped into a display area for viewers. They call it “Mile Into The Wild Walkway.”

We decided we would walk all the way to the end of the walkway right away. This led us to the Bolivian Lion Pavilion. We spent a lot of time observing the lions and learning about how they were brought to the sanctuary. Lions live in prides, and family groups are kept together in the sanctuary. There are over 400 acres just for lions!

On our way back from the lion pavilion, we also saw tigers, many different types of bears, arctic and timber wolves, porcupines, bobcats, and even more lions– all in their own living areas. We had time to just stand and observe these animals as they began moving around for the day. Some of them were starting to eat. We especially enjoyed watching some of the tigers and bears eat! It looked like “meatsicles,” different pieces of meat and other food all frozen together.

As we continued observing from the walkway, different volunteers would come to tell us the stories of the different animals at the sanctuary. Every animal has a name! We learned that every “enclosure” is a different size, depending upon the need of the animals in it. We wondered how the animals stayed safe during rainstorms or snow. One of the volunteers pointed out to us that each enclosure has several “den” areas: cement tunnels that are an opening and lead back about 50 feet into the ground. The temperature inside stays around 60-64 degrees Fahrenheit all year. He said that the animals are pretty acclimated to the weather in Keenesburg, but they sometimes head inside when the weather becomes severe.

We really enjoyed learning about all the beautiful animals that have been rescued by the Wild Animal Sanctuary, and we wanted to help, too. Each student in our class wrote a blog post about our experience, and we are currently working on a Public Service Announcement to help raise awareness about the illegal animal trade! (We’ll update our blog here when we post it!)

We hope that you will choose to get involved, too! Ways to help

 

Here are a few photos Mrs. Baldwin took during our trip. Because the enclosures are so huge, it’s difficult to get a close-up photo with an iPhone.

Notice: there’s a lioness named Tabitha who is the leader of her pride. This is very unusual, as most prides are a male lion leader with several females and younger male lions around him. You can see Tabitha sitting with the males in one of our photos.

Carson Nature Center Adventure

We were very fortunate to spend three whole days at the South Platte River/Carson Nature Center April 23-25! Each one of us is writing our own reflection about our time there, so this post will be a list of each day’s activities.

Wednesday, April 23

We started our day meeting our guide, Beth, in the Carson Nature Center classroom. We began talking about the parts of the South Platte river and the types of things we would find in this riparian ecosystem. We learned about some different vocabulary words through some activities and then went outside for a hike where we could “put it all together.”

  • Biotic – living and once living things of an ecosystem
  • Abiotic – non-living things of an ecosystem (water, sunlight)
  • Process – some force or cycle that affects biotic and abiotic parts of an ecosystem
  • Individual – one biotic part of an ecosystem (ex. one trout)
  • Population – multiple individuals of the same species (ex. a school of trout)
  • Community – differetn populations that depend upon each other in the community

We loved hiking with Beth and learning about the flood of 1965 that “accidentally” created the area of the nature center. In one area near the river, you can find a train car that was carried a few miles to this area. It’s mostly buried in a wooded area, but some parts are still sticking out so that you can see them.

Around the river, we found cut banks, point bars, secondary channels, and backwater areas in the river. There were so many areas where we were able to observe animals in their habitats. We saw ducks, an osprey, hawks, cormorants, lots of insects, and we could hear frogs chirping along the banks of the river. We learned from Beth that there are insects called “midges.” When they are still larva, they live in the water. As adults they are able to fly. They look and swarm just like mosquitoes, but midges don’t have mouths. They can’t bite humans or suck their blood. Adult midges only live for a couple of days.

After our hike, we returned to the nature center to gather around a water table. This was a simulation of rivers and sediment – we discovered how channels are formed, examined erosion and deposition when water levels change, and even simulated a flood to see how the water can be a very destructive force. We had a great morning with our new friend, Beth!

In the afternoon, we ate lunch, then went on a hike ourselves. We found a wonderful area to sit and write in our field journals about our day. In this small area, we had a choice of sitting in a wooded spot or a grassy spot near the river bank. Mrs. Baldwin asked us to include a “sensory” activity. We took a few minutes to engage our senses – what did we hear? what did we smell? what did we feel? what did we see? We wrote and sketched these things in our field journals, too.

That was a full day of learning! We headed back to school after that and geared up for the next two days.

Thursday, April 24

On Thursday, we were entirely self-guided. Our day started with a hike to a different part of the river than what we had seen the day before. We stopped at the memorial sculpture of the flood and took a photo. Then we hiked for about 20 minutes until we came to a part of the river that had numerous places for us to sit. At this time, Mrs. Baldwin asked to go on a “habitat hunt.” In this activity, we were to look for at least four different habitats. We had to find one bird, one mammal, one insect, and one animal of our choice. For each habitat, we had to describe what we found and then list food sources, water sources, the type of shelter each creature used for protecting its young, and any other details we thought we should include. In our field journals, we used a combination of writing and sketching to help us complete this activity.

After eating lunch, we hiked again and found a man-made eagle’s nest! It’s big enough for people to stand in! We searched for sticks and branches to add to the nest. Next, we ran over to an open meadow and played a game we call Producers, Predators, Prey, and Decomposers. Mrs. Baldwin gave us each a card that had some different names of producers, predators, prey, and decomposers. We ran around in the meadow until Mrs. Baldwin yelled, “Freeze!” When you freeze, you have to find the closest person to you and then look at each other’s card. If you have a coyote and the other person has a rabbit, the coyote wins. We had to decide which animals would win by thinking about food webs. Also, some cards had dead animals, while other cards contained decomposers. The decomposers would win that battle. This was a really fun game that helped us think more about primary predators, secondary predators, and other parts of food webs. We also got to run around a LOT!

By the time we hiked back toward the nature center, it was already time to go back to school! Our days went by very quickly!

Friday, April 25

Friday morning, we met our friend Beth back at the nature center classroom. We talked about the cycle of insects and small fish and amphibians. Beth helped us learn about how some insects create homes for their larvae and nymphs in rivers and still water. Then we hiked to a part of the river, and we got to wade in it! Because the water is still coming down from the melting snow in the mountains, the river water was really, really cold! Every single one of us waded, though, and Beth complimented us – no one screamed!

In the river, we found midge larvae, caddisfly larvae, caddisfly nymphs, and the homes they build out of tiny grains of sand. In the pond, we found a snail, dragonfly nymphs, worms, midge larvae, caddisfly larvae, sideswimmers, boatmen, waterstriders, and even a leech! We talked about everything we found with Beth, and we knew that we found more in the pond due to the fact that it was still water.

We ate lunch after we hiked back, and then we returned to the our writing spot from Wednesday. We continued sketching and writing about our experiences of all three days. To complete our day, we hiked back to the nature center building for a quick tour. We saw different examples of the wildlife at the nature center, and the man that was working there brought out a snake for us to see!

It was such a great experience to learn about an ecosystem while we were actually in the middle of one. We learn a lot in our research online and through books, but this was a really special opportunity for us. Again, we’re grateful that we have options like this at our school!

Our Capital Cities

In Block 5 (How We Organize Ourselves), we started learning about societies and governments. You can read about the beginning of our process here: http://architectsofwonder.edublogs.org/2014/03/11/how-we-organize-ourselves/

During one of our discussions about different types of governments, one student asked if we could build cities to show what we know about a government. After thinking this through, we decided we would need to learn enough about a specific type of government in order to really know what a capital city would look like.

We broke into three small groups and each chose a type of government we wanted to learn about. Mrs. Baldwin’s only rule was that we could not choose a democratic republic, since we already have that experience here in the United States.

The government types we chose: Oligarchy, Monarchy, and Dictatorship.

Oligarchy group: 

We used Minecraft to build our capital city. We learned that a very small group has all the power in an oligarchy, and they do not provide good resources for the other people of their country. There is usually a very wealthy side of town (minority) and a very poor side of town (majority) in the capital city. South Africa was an oligarchy for many years.

Monarchy group:

We learned that a Monarchy usually has a king or a queen (or both). Sometimes, the royalty is good to the people of the kingdom, and sometimes not good. Even a good king or queen will cost the citizens of the kingdom a lot of money, because the royalty has an expensive castle or home that is paid for by the citizens. If the king/queen is really good, there will be good resources for the citizens.  If the king/queen is not good to the people, the kingdom will suffer. The people will be very poor, hungry, and have bad living conditions. We decided to do a modern style Monarchy where the capital city would have good resources for the people and an expensive castle for the monarchs. Sweden is an example with a sovereign monarch.

 

Dictatorship group:

We learned that a dictator takes all the power and uses a strong military to control the country’s people. Citizens have little or no freedom at all, and everything depends upon what the dictator wants to do. The dictator’s home in a capital city will be very expensive and have a lot of servants. Also, there will be many guards around the dictator’s home. In the parts of city where the citizens live, they will have a lot of military guards and areas where they are not allowed. All access to the city will be heavily guarded.  Examples are Nazi Germany and North Korea.

We loved learning about types of governments by building cities! This activity was our choice, and we learned so much by building. We had to think about details of every building, roads, resources for citizens, and so much more.

How We Organize Ourselves

This is a “peek” into how we sometimes start an inquiry cycle. 
Opening statement: Societal decision-making is created to maintain a balanced community.
 
First, we looked at some of the terms in that statement and then defined them in our own words:
“societal” – of a society
“maintain” – manage, keep, control
“balanced” – fair

From that point, we discussed related topics:  laws, government, voting, order, enforcement

We thought about issues that come up within these topics:  conflict between freedom, independence,  and power or control.

Thoughts/Connections before questioning:
Carter B. brought up Russia and Ukraine as a connection. We discussed as a class what they have learned so far about this issue/current event.
Initial Questions:

  • what are the different types of governments?
  • what services does government provide? (US? Other?)
  • how do we “keep the peace” in a community?
  • what are some similar laws across countries?
  • what is the “greater good?”
  • what are differences among federal, state, city (US)?
  • what are the origins of some laws?
  • what kind of laws still exist, but aren’t enforced? Why?
  • why do only certain people get to vote?
  • why is there a voting age?
  • do all countries have a Constitution?
 Next steps:
We’ll take these questions, dig a little deeper, branch out into more complex questions, and then start looking at how we can learn more. We will use our eduClipper app to clip resources to the Clipboard section.
Next, we will decide how we want to learn more. We will work in small groups to make decisions.

Return to Discovery Center- Mars Rover Simulation

Last week, we returned to the Space Foundation Discovery Center in Colorado Springs to take part in their Mars Rover simulation! Yes, we were very fortunate to be one of the first classrooms to participate in this activity. So exciting!

When we arrived, Team Baldwin and Team Weissman (another awesome class from Anastasis) met in the simulation lab and learned about the history of the different rovers sent to Mars. The Discovery Center team talked to us about each rover, its capabilities, and what they have learned about Mars so far. The most recent rover sent to Mars is called Curiosity. We love that name! The lab looks a lot like the terrain on Mars! We looked at what they had created and then thought about which items might actually be on Mars versus those that look man-made.

Some of us were really surprised when it came time to “drive” the mini Mars rovers. We had assumed that we would use controllers like we have at home for Wii or Xbox. Instead, each station had its own laptop. The Discovery Center team divided us all into groups of 3 and then gave each student a role: Commander, Pilot, and Data Engineer. The Commanders decided which “moves” to execute. The Pilots used the program on the laptop to execute the moves, and then the Data Engineer recorded all the energy levels based on multiple factors for each move to make sure that we didn’t run out of battery before getting to our destination. Each student in the group took turns in all three roles. Lots of math, trial and error, and problem-solving!

We had a great time learning about the rovers! One of the things we learned was that when one of our mini rovers got stuck, the team could walk into the simulation and help us out. If that happens to Curiosity, no one can just take a quick trip to Mars to fix it. If Curiosity gets stuck, it’s a billion dollar mistake. Now we know why the commanders, pilots, and data engineers for NASA have to move very slowly and really think about each move that Curiosity takes.

Patterns of Learning

When we started our Inquiry Block 4, we began exploring patterns. We saw patterns in weather, climate, and temperatures; patterns in art, music, math, nature… we found patterns everywhere!

One day, we just started listing every pattern we could think of. Mrs. Baldwin asked us to choose a specific topic and explore the patterns. We traveled to the library to find some resources. We searched the web for more resources. We asked questions, found some answers, and then asked even more questions. Some of us were able to connect with experts* to ask questions about our topics.

Over a period of six weeks, we learned a lot. Some of what we learned was very specific to our pattern topics. We also realized we were learning other things, too:

ThingsWeLearned

 

Because we all chose patterns that interested us, our topics were very diverse:

  • Coding/Programming
  • Dubstep
  • Baking ingredients
  • Moon phases/Tides
  • Jet streams
  • Plant cycles/Nutrients
  • Therapy and Science Dogs
  • Plant growth in soil vs hydroponics
  • Electric fields

We held a Pattern Expo where we shared what we learned with our school community (students, teachers, parents). For each visitor to our “stations,” we explained what we had learned, how we learned, and demonstrated our findings. Some of us had experiments and products to share; some had videos and/or photos.

Each of us had a choice in how to share what we learned, so we could use the strengths and talents we have. Our only requirements were to share why we chose our particular patterns, share/cite our resources, and share main highlights of our research along with our demonstration.

One of the things we noticed about sharing at the expo is that we really had to be certain about what we knew to be able to explain it to others!

We hope you’ll visit our individual student blogs to read our reflections in learning about our patterns. You can find links in our sidebar!

We would like to thank our experts for helping us learn more, too!

  • Adam Bellow, CEO/Founder of eduClipper
  • C.T. Thongklin, Chief Meteorologist, RFD-TV
  • Chef Mark Kalix, Sur La Table
  • Pat Blocker, CPDT-KA, Peaceful Paws
  • Luca Formicola, Composer/Musician/Producer
  • Nate Polsfut, Pre-Service Teacher – thanks for listening to each of us share ideas about our projects early in the process!

Here are some photos from our Pattern Expo (click on the thumbnail to see the full photo):

 

 

Olympic Studies

We LOVE learning about the Olympics! It’s so exciting to watch all the events, but we wanted to know more.

Questions we asked:

  • What are all the different events in the Winter Olympics in Sochi?
  • How have the events (numbers and categories) changed over time?
  • What is the history of the modern Olympics?
  • When did the Winter and Summer Olympics split from being held in the same year to every other year? Why did the IOC do that?
  • Which countries are participating in these 2014 Winter Olympics? How is that different from the participating countries of the Summer Olympics?
  • What are the different symbols of the Olympics? What are their origins?
  • Where is Sochi in Russia? What is the climate like there?
  • Which country is “doing” the best in Sochi right now?
  • How do we see a bigger picture of how each country is doing? Is it just through the medal count, or do we have to dig deeper?

 

We divided into groups and did some searching. We created a mural of the different events in Sochi. We watched videos from different Winter Olympics from the past (we loved the 1932 video!). We researched the size of different types of skis used in Olympic events and made some of our own, based upon the height of a 6 foot/182cm tall skier.

 

Did You Know…

  • Many people think the colors of the five Olympic rings represent the “continents,”  but the colors are actually based upon the colors of the flags from all the participating countries in the modern Olympics.
  • Jumping skis are usually 145-146% of the skier’s height.
  • Some countries in warmer climates do not participate in the Winter Olympics. (We thought that made perfect sense, but love that Jamaica has a bobsleigh team!)
  • Sochi is right on the coast line of the Black Sea, and the average temps for this time of year are rather warm (50s F, 10sC).
  • If the event needs a lot of snow and colder temps, it’s held about an hour away in the mountains.
  • The Winter and Summer Olympics were held in the same year until 1992.

… and we’re still not done learning!

We continue to track the medal count, but some of us decided that we should look at event results to 10th place to get a bigger picture of how successful each country might be.

We have so much to share about what we’re learning, but we’ll have to save it for another post AFTER the Olympics are over.

A few photos of what we’ve been doing:

A Temperature Survey

On Monday morning, January 6, we started talking about how we see patterns everywhere: weather, space, behavior, art, nature. Because we knew that most of the US was experiencing really cold weather, we started talking about different patterns in weather. We created a survey about temperatures. The questions were:

  • Where do you live?
  • What time is it?
  • What is the temperature right now?
  • What is your Twitter name (if you have one)?

Mrs. Baldwin shared the survey with her Twitter network and on Facebook. We waited until the next morning to look at the responses.

When we checked the survey on the morning of January 7, we found 171 responses! We were so excited!

This is what we found from the data:

  • 118 responses were below freezing.
  • 53 responses were above freezing.
  • We had responses from 34 different states and 6 different countries.
  • Time of day – 48 morning responses, 85 afternoon responses, 38 nighttime responses
  • The highest reported temperature was 82 degrees Fahrenheit; the lowest was -32 degrees Fahrenheit. (We didn’t include wind chill temps.)
  • The state with the highest number of responses was Missouri. The country with the highest number of responses (not including the U.S.) was Canada.

(all of this is represented in our graphs- see photos below)

 

This was a difficult learning experience. Mrs. Baldwin did not tell us exactly what she wanted us to do! When we first started looking at the data, we noticed that there were a lot of varying temperatures from a lot of different places across the U.S., and even a few from outside the U.S.! We decided that we should break into groups to look at different parts of the data: geographic locations, “freezing or below” and “above freezing,” and time of day that the temperatures were recorded. Mrs. Baldwin STILL didn’t tell us what we should do, except “look for patterns. What do you notice?”

In our groups, we were supposed to look at the information and decide what we should do with it. Some of us thought to make tally charts for our specific set of information. Some of us struggled, not really sure about what we should do. Some of us were really frustrated.

After a little while, Mrs. Baldwin asked those who were struggling and frustrated some questions that helped us decide how to look at the data. There were 171 responses, and that seemed overwhelming! After a few questions and some suggestions, we were able to figure out what to do.

We all made tally charts to group and categorize the information, and then we made graphs to show our information in a different way.

Things we didn’t realize we’d need to learn to analyze all the data:

  1. Some temperatures were recorded in Fahrenheit and some Celsius. We had to convert some of the responses in order to compare them accurately. Since we measure in Fahrenheit, it seemed like we should convert all to Fahrenheit so we would be able to compare the temperatures to what we know.
  2. When we were looking the times that responses were recorded, we noticed that the “timestamp” was from the Mountain Time Zone, but the response time was different. If respondents were from a different time zone and/or country, we had to learn what that time zone was.
  3. If we didn’t know where a location response was, we needed to look it up to decide if it was in a different state or country.

On Friday, January 10, each group shared the graph they made and explained their part of the data. When we heard from all the groups, we wrote some “learning statements” as a class:

  • The most responses were from the U.S. This is due to the facts that Mrs. Baldwin shared the survey with her learning network (on Twitter and Facebook), and most of her followers are from the U.S. Also, the survey was sent mid-morning from the Mountain Time Zone. Most of the people who were “awake” at that time were in North America.
  • The second highest response group was from Canada. This is due to the facts that the second largest group of followers in Mrs. Baldwin’s network are Canadian, and Canada is also in North America (same time zones as U.S.).
  • 118 of the 171 responses were below freezing. We know that the majority of those who responded live in the northern hemisphere and are currently experiencing winter. Also, our survey date (January 6/7) included one of the coldest days for the midwest and northeast states in the U.S.
  • Of the 53 responses that were above freezing, some were from the southern hemisphere or southern or Pacific states in the U.S.
  • More responses were submitted during the morning and afternoon times than night times. Again, this is due to the time the survey was posted and time zones.
  • Most of the freezing or below temps were recorded during the morning, early afternoon, or later night times. We know that it’s usually colder in the morning than late afternoon for most locations.

 

We also thought about all the different “areas” of learning we used for this activity: geography, math, science, social studies, critical thinking, communicating.

Overall, while we initially felt this was a really difficult activity, we learned a LOT, and we were surprised at how well we were able to communicate such a large amount of information!

 

Want to see a map of all the response locations? Look here! 

 

Our Photo Gallery from this activity:

Reflecting On Our Learning Process

This morning, our journal activity was a focus on our learning process.

1) How do I know when I have learned something new (without an adult to confirm for me)?

2) How do I react when I don’t understand?

One of the things we do well in our inquiry-based school is to think often about how we learn. Our struggle in that is we often fall back into old habits of how we react when things become difficult or we are not sure where to begin a project or activity.

This morning after our journal writing, we had a class discussion about these topics. Our responses:

How do I know when I’ve learned something new?

  • I say, “Oh! I get it!”
  • My face looks confused and then shows me understanding, like an “a-ha!”
  • I just feel it. It’s a good feeling.
  • I start working faster because I want to see that I know it.
  • I just DO it.

How do I react when I don’t understand?

  • Sometimes, I just give up.
  • I distract myself by talking with others.
  • I say, “I need help” without first trying myself.
  • I get overwhelmed and I don’t do anything.
  • I think, “this is too hard.”
  • I start to complain.

We discussed together that it’s important to recognize the signs we have when we learn and understand. We want to be sure we acknowledge those times, so we feel successful. It’s also important to recognize when we are frustrated.

Together, we problem-solved how to react differently when we don’t understand:

  • Don’t give up – persevere!
  • Try to focus on what I already know and then apply it to what I don’t understand.
  • Look at parts of the problem instead of the whole problem. Focus on starting with a small piece, one at a time.
  • Have faith in myself.
  • Ask Mrs. Baldwin for help ONLY after I’ve tried to help myself first.
  • It’s ok if I make mistakes when I’m first learning something new. If I already knew how to do it, I wouldn’t be learning.

This was a great class discussion! We thought a lot about how the learning process, and we remember that our brains might start out “confused.” That’s okay! Our brains don’t like to stay confused, and any discomfort we feel helps us to try to move past that and do our best to understand.

We really liked the ideas of starting with the small pieces and seeing how much we can accomplish. One example is when we struggle with a writing activity. Sometimes, we’re not sure where to start! Some suggestions were to begin writing down ideas, even if they aren’t complete sentences. Once we have a list of ideas, we can start forming sentences, putting the sentences into order and paragraphs that make sense. Voila! Before we know it, we have some good writing started!

How do you think about your learning? What are some suggestions you might add to our list?

 

Expressing Ourselves at The Poetry Cafe

In this block, we have been learning about the many ways that we choose to express ourselves. Our class has looked at music, art, writing, speaking, performing… so many options! We have created self-portraits and have begun to write our own songs.

In the last few weeks, however, we have been learning about poets and how they express themselves in writing poetry. Poetry can be funny, beautiful, sad, light-hearted, or dark, and it can break the rules of writing. We especially loved the freedom we found in writing our own poetry.

One of the things we noticed about writing poetry is that we really had to think differently about word choice. For example, if we wrote about a “large bear,” the image wasn’t as vivid as writing about an “enormous black bear” or a “massive grizzly.” One of our favorite tools we used was our dictionary app that has a great list of synonyms. We also learned about a tool called a “thesaurus.” This lists synonyms for the words we look up!

As an additional means of adding expression, our class partnered with Mrs. Weissman’s class to hold a Poetry Café. We set up the café with round tables and chairs and served tea and cookies to our guests. The Poetry Café provided us an opportunity to recite our poetry for an audience. We wrote haiku, limericks, and free verse and also created some art work to accompany our poetry.

Some of us were really excited to go up on stage and share our poetry and art work, but most of us were really nervous! Mrs. Baldwin and Mrs. Weissman had talked to us before about speaking slowly and projecting our voices, but that’s pretty difficult when you’re voice starts to get a little shaky. It was a good experience, and we all did such a great job.

Mrs. Baldwin’s note: I am extremely proud of all our students in both classes! Not only did they face their fears of speaking in front of an audience, their poetry was filled with incredible imagery, description, and some very clever humor! 

Please read our individual posts about our Poetry Cafe (see student links in the sidebar). Thank you!