After the short trip from Montessori Tides School to Jarboe Park in Neptune Beach to visit the Children’s Garden, the Lower Elementary students were eager to get started with the day’s Thanksgiving celebration with Miss Peggy and Miss Kelly.
Miss Peggy started the group with an orientation session, where she used rocks to create a sort of compass showing the relationships between the sky, the earth, north, south, east and west.
After the instruments were passed out around the circle, she began to read the Iroquois Thanksgiving Address, Greetings to the Natural World.
“Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things,” she read. “So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as people.”
Everyone joined in to say, “Now our minds are one.” Then, they picked up their instruments and played them. And so the Thanksgiving address continued, as they gave thanks to such things as water, fish and plants.
Of course, after testing out the instruments, the students were ready to feast — just like the Native Americans may have. Roasted pumpkin and pine needle tea were on the menu, as well as a discussion about our local Native Americans, the Timucuans.
Once the feast was over, Miss Kelly guided the group in making observations about the foods they had just eaten. She showed samples of different pumpkins and a branch of green pine needles. They observed the shapes making up each item, and drew the pumpkins and branch in their nature journals.
Miss Kelly then tasked the group with exploring the gardens and finishing the prompt: “I feel the spirit in….”
After spending time exploring and drawing in the gardens, the students came back together to share their drawings from their nature journals.
Before making the quick trip back to school, the students were ready for lunch and some recess time.