This week at the Carrot Ranch Charli Mills has challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that is a snapshot of spring.
At the moment approximately 90% of the world’s population are experiencing the season of spring. The rest of us, the 10% who live in the Southern Hemisphere are entering the cooler months. How those seasons are experienced varies from place to place. I have never experienced an autumn that would fit the description of ‘fall’; nor have I experienced a winter with snow. Those concepts are foreign to me. That is not to say that some living in the southern states of Australia haven’t experienced them. It all depends where one lives.
The Australian Government describes Australia as having two main seasonal patterns in six different climatic zones. The Indigenous Peoples of Australia describe the changes as holistic changes in nature and life. In Australia, attitudes to and understanding of the seasons are as diverse as the experiences. While the weather doesn’t always know it, spring is marked on the Australian calendar from September to November. It doesn’t matter to which part of the country you travel, there is always something to see and do in spring.
Part of the daily routine in an early childhood classroom is observing and discussing the daily and seasonal changes in the weather. Each day the children observe the weather and discuss how it may influence their clothing and activities and the impact that changes may have to their local environment and other things including animals.
Many classrooms have a calendar prominently displayed on which the children’s observations can be recorded and compared. Children are often invited to draw symbols and write words such as those shown here.
Discussions about how warm or how cool it is may also occur, though in some parts there is never really what could be called ‘cold’, just ‘cooler’.
Reading stories was always an integral part of my classroom practice and I needed little excuse to read another. When the seasons changed I was always looking for suitable books to read and the first I thought of at springtime was Wake Up Bear by Lynley Dodd, a New Zealander.
While we don’t have bears in Australia, just these cute koalas often incorrectly called bears;
or hibernating animals, except for this cute little mountain pygmy-possum;
Wake Up Bear is a delightful story to herald spring. In the story, bear has slept all through winter, but when spring arrives he is not quite ready to wake up. The animals each try to wake him up and finally they succeed.
While it was not Dodd’s intention with the story, it made me think about children learning in their own time, “waking up” when they are ready. Sometimes they need to be shown something just once. Sometimes they need a great deal of exposure and support to “get” it. Sometimes it’s better to leave them alone until the time is right. There have been previous discussions about this here my blog, including In their own time and Not Yet.
I thought Charli’s spring challenge was perhaps another opportunity for talking about individual differences and the need to respect a learner’s journey. I’ve gone back to my early childhood roots. I hope you enjoy it.
“Gone is the gloom!”
Mother duck waits
For her babies to hatch.
Here they come now
The first of the batch
So cute and cuddly
All covered in fluff
Eager and ready
To show off their stuff
“Patience!“ quacks mother
“There’s no need to rush.”
“One more is coming.
Stand back. Please don’t crush.”
With one final crack
Last one’s out of his shell
“I’m proud of you babies.
You’ve all done so well.”
Mother duck smiles
As they waddle in line
She knows that each duckling’s
Own time will be fine.
Thank you for reading.
Springtime in Tasmania 2014
Happy spring to most of you! For the others: enjoy the cooler respite from the relentless heat!
I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thought about any aspect of this post or flash fiction.