Items filtered by date: May 2021

Monday, 31 May 2021 18:40

3 Princesses and 30,000 Cicadas

     Two major events happened recently in Kindergarten.  First, Kindergartners performed an original play they wrote together.  Initially, inspired by the Older Group (OG) musical, they re-enacted Alice in Wonderland on the stage in art/science.  They had me write down the cast and scenes.  They did a run through.  The next time they were in art/science, they got dress up clothes out for costumes and acted out a play they called The Four Princesses.  Later, when some children wanted to practice Alice in Wonderland again, other Kindergartners wanted to do The Four Princesses.  Their solution was to combine the two plays into a new play they entitled Alice and the Three Princesses.  They had a long meeting about who the audience would be.  Some children wanted a small audience, so eventually they settled on inviting Younger Group (YG) to a dress rehearsal and inviting OG and Kindergarten families to a performance the following day.  The dress rehearsal went wonderfully.  On the day of the performance, though, one child, who had a major part, was out sick.  After much conversation, they determined that the show must go on and arrived at a solution--one of the princesses would step into the part of the super hero, and another princess would take over the missing princess' lines, as well as deliver her own.  In that way, Alice and the Two Princesses was performed.

     The second major event was the emergence of the cicadas of brood X (ten).  We had been reading about this 17 year cyclical event, but it was still other-worldly to see thousands of cicadas crawl from the ground, shed their nymph skin and emerge as winged cicadas.  Kindergartners held handfuls of nymph shells and sometimes handfuls of winged cicadas, as well.  They dubbed each other "cicada whisperers" and marveled at each new cicada hatchery we found.  In about a week the males started to call.  There are three types in brood X, and we've heard all three calls in various places and times.  The ones that sounds like a UFO landing have been an almost constant background noise and like a rainbow seem to always be just over the next hill.  We can hear them especially well in the bottom of the valley (drainage swale) between our forest classroom and the cycle circle side of the playground.  Early on the laser sounding ones would crescendo in the afternoons in our own forest classroom.  Later that transitioned into the ones that sound like a sizzle, think water in hot oil, becoming the dominant afternoon voices.  17 years ago my son was in Nursery here at the Antioch School, when the cicadas made their last appearance.  This year he graduated from college.  Likewise, this year's Kindergartners will be young adults when the children of these cicadas emerge.  Kindergartners have been enthralled with this unique phenomenon--the visible life cycle of the cicadas this spring and the way they function as insect time markers for our incremental human growth.  See you in 17 years brood X!

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