Science and the Body

What a week! Science kids led the way.

WiseBodies was filled this week with children, parents, and visitors. We were a flood of movement, quiet, depth, laughter, games, and plenty of learning.

Science and The Body children now are able to describe - and paint! - all parts of a lily's stamen. If asked, they'll let you know Lily flowers are in the same family as garlic, onions, tulips, and daffodils. They'll also let you know the plant family lilies belong to is the Liliaceae...and they can spell that for you!

Science kids are working on understanding that social interactions that have gone awry can be re-attempted, re-configured, and re-done.

They also are working on figuring out what it takes to allow their circle to grow and change. We're paying attention to the kind of heart-focus that's neeeded to offer what they love - their circle! - to newcomers.

Good work, Science children!

Science Kids and Turkeys

It's that time of year, almost 3 months into our school year, when kids have become such a rooted, connected, generous gang, that they can begin to take more responsibility for what and how we learn.

Here's an example: When we wrote our haiku this week, one child volunteered to be "the teacher", another to the "the scribe". I sat back.

While I sat back and observed, the children wrote, not one, but two haiku.

Here's one:

The turkey gets stuffed.

We are grateful for many things.

We also get stuffed.

The children report these are their favorite poems thus far.

In this week of thanks, we gave thanks. And, rather than painting, the children requested cozy time with reading-aloud.

While they cozied together in pillows and blankets, I read aloud The Gardener.

I can say, because we've spoken this aloud, that all of us are grateful for the time we share together.


Science and The Body children worked and played hard today, both inside and out.

The children chose to focus on Place for their haiku, coming up with lines that creatively changed words with 3 syllables to 1. Smart re-construction.

We ate, then went outside to play a game that required working together, and trusting one-another. The game involved blindfolds and a very long rope!

When we came in, we discovered two ticks had joined us. We got to look at them under our magnifying loupes. How many legs does a tick have?

The children painted another plate for their botanical books on the Lily. They learned that the botanical name for Lily is Liliaceae. They learned that onions and garlic, tulips and daffodils also are members of this botanical family.

We gathered with parents and siblings to talk about Trust, and to describe what we'd explored today.

We finished by sharing our haiku and blowing out our candle.

Great work, Science children and families!

Science Kids Plant, Paint, and Figure It Out

Science children arrived today, filled with joy.

The children acknowledged our growing closeness by starting class with comments like "It feels so warm in here." and "It feels really comfortable today." When asked why they thought it felt like this today, they had many ideas, including that we're getting to know each other better. Yes! We talked about how, 7 weeks ago, none of us knew everyone in our group, and how most of us knew only 1 or 2 others. We talked about how we are consciously and conscientiously building community. We talked about how this takes time and thoughtfulness.

It was the boys' turn to write our haiku. They quickly came up with a 5-7-5 haiku that was funny and well-constructed.

Today's weather drew us outdoors; we spent time in the garden, planting tulip bulbs. We talked about how flower bulbs store energy, how they are able to re-flower for several years, how they require time in the dark and cool in order to re-bloom.

The children continued their botanical plates by painting sepals and petals.

Parents and siblings arrived; we met in the pillow room for a beginning group conversation about stereotypes of "Girl" and "Boy".

The class shared our new haiku; we said it aloud several times, and ended class by singing Happy Birthday to 2 students and 1 parent!

It was a wonderful day, Science Families!

Science Kids Start Botanical Books!

Science girls and boys were so happy when they arrived to class today! They came right into the kitchen, helped set the table, pour each other herbal tea, check in about their week since we last were together.

We lit our candle, then wrote an extra-long, extra-wonderful haiku:

Red leaves falling and swirling, The light spreads so fast. Leaves are so bright and pretty. Little leaves falling quickly. The candle is warm. What a beautiful fall day! Candles burn brightly. Go visit WiseBodies class!

The children already have created a lovely book of 5 haiku!

We gathered to drink our special herbal tea. One boy commented that he finds the tea relaxing. Yes! We'll learn more about the plants in the tea, but calm relaxing is precisely what the herbs in the tea offer.

We ate apple crisp and compared family recipes. One student's family adds cardamom, another oat flakes.


The children were introduced to gorgeous Lily flowers. We looked at paintings and drawings botanical artists have made of flower parts. We agreed we would each make our own botanical books, filled with our own paintings and drawings of flower parts.

Today we focussed on petals and sepals, figuring out how to tell which was which.

Each child picked a petal or sepal to draw, decided how to lay out their page, and began their drawings, including the flower's name and part.

We finished with parents, telling them about our afternoon, reading aloud our haiku, and passing around our circle-pulse.

What a wonderful class, Science girls and boys; thank you!

Science Children!

Science children welcomed their 5th week of class with good spirits and liveliness.

We keep remembering, out loud, that we have just begun meeting one-another, and that we get to focus on that alone for as long as we need.

In some ways, this approach sums up the work we do here at WiseBodies!

The children and I spent more time with our loupes, this time taking a peek into the seeded center of apples. The children noticed all kinds of wonders: 5 points! (Except the cool recognition that one apple had 4 points. We're looking at the possibility that differnce = cool.) Crystalline structure to the flesh! Many 5-pointed structures buried deep within the apple's flesh!

We discussed the fact that the entire apple grew from an apple flower.

We talked about creatures that might have pollinated our apples: honeybees? moths?

We wondered what pollen is.

I suggested that we might have grown from flowers! The children laughed. I asked them to ponder it, even though it might be silly. If we had grown from flowers, from what flowers might we have grown?

Our time in the Pillow Room included lots of games that help us get to know one-another better, and a special game that helps us work well together.

Parents joined us, and we got to play get-to-know-you-better games, all together.

We had a very joyful day. Nice job, Science Children!

Science and the Mighty Seed

Science children spent Monday afternoon learning how to use a jeweler's loupe to focus in on aster flowers, calendula seeds, moonflower parts, and the petals of zinna flowers.

Our kitchen lab was filled with the "oooh's" and "aaaaah's" that come with scientific discovery. Hidden worlds were opened.

The children also practiced bringing focus from individual self to the collective self. We're figuring out how to be present in our group's circle when we don't have a table between us.

Parents arrived; the circle grew bigger. We were able to recognize the increase in discomfort as the circle enlarged to include even more people we don't yet know very well.

We're practising paying attention to our experiences as they change.

Painting, in the Forest

Children arrived, early enough to have a moment in the front garden, enjoying the swing and the front porch.


We gathered indoors, to light our candle and create our very first haiku. The moon, splendid the night before in her fullness and eclipsing, was in our hearts: our poem was filled with Moon.

We followed the Moon with our first journey to the Forest, each girl and each boy with something to carry. We held baskets of apples, painting supplies, a tablecloth, a very large bowl of popcorn, and good spirits.

Settling onto the forest floor, we set up our temporary home. After many apples and much popcorn, we thought through and answered two questions. We talked about learning to take space with our voice, expressing our thoughts and feelings.

Each child learned to use a loupe, looking at calendula flowers and seeds, leaves, our hands, the forest floor.

Loupes focussed on calendula seeds, we painted them in watercolor.

Packing up, we returned to our classroom where we met family members busily painting the calendula seeds on watercolor paper we had left for them.

In our very large closing circle, the children shared their Moon haiku with family members. We repeated the poem twice, all together, ending our fine afternoon.

Science and The Body, Second Class!

Science and The Body children beautifully welcomed a new student.

We began class by lighting our special beeswax candle, then ate on a "floor" table the children beautifully set up.

We unscrambled the scrambled letters of each child, practising asking for help when needed.

The children looked closely at Calendula flowers, emerging Calendula seeds, and fully formed Calendula seed heads. We figured out where, within the flower head, seeds are formed.

With watercolors, we painted our individual interpretation of Calendula. We agreed that it's cool to borrow ideas and materials from each other.

Parents and relatives arrived.

We gathered in the pillow room, and thought about how we might like to end class. One student thought it would suit the spirit of our class if we ended each Monday with a poem.

One student's uncle recited the first lines from Shakespeare's Sonnet 18:

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate. Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date. Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimmed; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed; But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st, Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade, When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st. So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

It was so lovely, we held hands and had him repeat this three more times.

The child who had begun class by lighting our candle blew the candle out.

First Day of Class.

WiseBodies classes began today!

Science and The Body children, their parents, and I had a fine afternoon together.

By the end of class, we knew each other's names inside and out, in order and out-of-order, right-side-up and upside-down. We discovered many things we have in common, and some things we don't. We learned how cool it is to say "no", and how much support one receives in this class for using this word. We all decided we want to come back next week.

It was a very, very good first day of class. Nice work, Science families!

If you haven't visited our website, do: Or make an appointment to come to class; you'll enjoy it.

June is our month of saying good-bye

Something magical happened in Science and The Body class, in June.

During the previous few weeks of May, the children and I moved through uncertainty about how we'd manage to say good-bye to our beloved year together, to doing just that.

In the process we faced and named anxiety, sorrow, and uncertainty.

We also named pride for what we'd created together, love for one-another, and excitement about the new classes we'll join come September.

The first week of June, Science and The Body children and I spent our very last day of class writing poetry together on our refrigerator door. We took one poem with us out into the woods, into the rain.

We climbed to our special spot in the woods, and practiced saying our poem together. When we had it memorized, we stood in a circle, held hands, and called it out to our forest, to our rain, and to ourselves.

We felt ready to let go, to welcome what's coming next.

Practicing How to Say Good-bye

We're all feeling the press of ending coming toward us.

None of us wants this class to end.

We've been ideal.

We've had an entire year of spending Monday afternoons together.

We've become really, really close.

It's not easy for close groups to come to an end.

So we're practicing how to say good-bye.

For this moment, and for future moments.

For these relationships, and for future relationships.

There's absolutely nothing easy about it.

There is plenty of tenderness, and sweetness, and sorrow.

There's dodging, and we're looking it in the face.

There's humor, and we're dissecting it.

There's sleepiness, and we're allowing it and waking it up.

There's lots and lots of truth, and we're celebrating it.


Science and The Body kids and families are getting ready to finish for this year.

We're all kinda sad about closing a class that has been a magical mix of wonderful.

Today we worked on the herbal dream pillows that will be included in our Herbal Medicine Kits. The children helped each other with all aspects of hand-sewing.

The result was a bunch of very individual, very beautiful linen pouches, filled with herbs to encourage sweet dreams and restful sleep.

We also melted beeswax, olive oil, and a blend of healing herbs that get to rest for an entire week before we pour the salve into salve containers also destined for our medicine kits.

A fun conversation, including parents, had us dreaming forward into next year.

What a perfectly lovely afternoon.

A fun reminder: Open House for Science and The Body will be held here on Monday, May 11th from 6 - 7:30pm! You'll be able to meet teachers, new families, and families who already have participated in Science and The Body!

Converstaynesting. And shoes.

These 10 - 12 year old Science and The Body are writing their own dictionary.

They've realized our common language does not fully support the extent of their understanding of human relationships.

And so words are created.

Our herbal medicine boxes grow.

Plus, with so many wonderful kids and families in and out of our red door, sometimes one of my boots heads out the door by mistake, and I'm left with another's.

Herbal Medicine

Science and The Body kids continued work on their Herbal Medicine Boxes.

Last week, when I was away, experienced and fun teacher Jaime Cooper took the lead with the class, helping the girls and boys complete construction of their medicine kits, adding their first bag of medicinal herbs. Bags of nettle leaf were labeled with the plant name in two languages: English and Botanical (sometimes called Latin!).

This week Science and The Body kids learned about two more medicinal herbs: Oats and Peppermint. The children filled out index cards for Nettle Leaf, Milky Oat Tops, and Peppermint leaf. They included each plant's name in English and Botanical language, and a sentence or two about what each plant offers.

Also, we cut large squares of cheescloth, filled them with rolled oats and pinches of dried lavender flower and peppermint leaf. The children tied up the bags and placed them in labeled ziplock bags for use when needed for a healing bath.

We pondered why it is that we can have a very jolly time together, and at the same time do detailed, strong work. More pondering on this question still to come.

How We Get Along

Science and The Body class had many fine opportunities yesterday to practice deep listening, and the art of verbal and non-verbal communication. We continued practising recognizing personal boundaries. We also spent time discussing compromise within a group, including why and how this benefits each individual as well as the group as a whole.

Yestday was a beatutifully warm and sunny day!

The children made the decision, based on collective thinking and discussion, to spend the afternoon outdoors.


We each took a cupcake out with us, eating along the path through the snow to the back beeyard, where we visited the beehive, and witnessing bees happily spreading their wings for the first time since the end of autumn.
We learned how to recognize bee poop!, which dotted the deep snow, the garden furniture, and the stone walls.

We walked and ran our way down the road to the forest. The children suggested games for us to try in the snowy woods, which included lots of sneakers sinking into deep, soft snow.

It was such a pleasure to be in our outdoor classroom, after months in our indoor classroom. Some children hurled their bodies into sunlit snow banks.

We returned home to see a porch full of parents awaiting our arrival. We stood outside on the warm porch, holding hands for our finishing circle. The children described their bee findings and our games in the woods.

Plant Bodies Meet Human Bodies

Science and The Bodies students are in their second week of our new unit. We're learning about the wonders that occur when our bodies connect with the plant world.

We began making herbal medicine kits from recycled cardboard and duct tape.

We're looking into how plants maintain their structural boundaries, and practicing ways we can maintain our own.

Today we finished with parents and students singing Happy Birthday to two in our circle, eating chocolate cupcakes dipped in whipped cream. A yummy finish to a yummy afternoon.


Science and The Body 10 - 12 year old girls and boys have begun a new unit.

We talked about plant medicine, drank peppermint tea, looked at the botanical name for peppermint.

We are figuring out plenty about what's okay to talk about. Is there anything that isn't?

The children made beautiful lanterns, lit candles, brought warmth and light to our process.

We practiced bringing awareness to the private, personal space we each hold.

After three weeks apart, it was wonderful to again be together.



In Science and The Body, 10 – 12 year old students designed tree ornaments that reflect some of the work we’ve recently done together….!

Students figured out techniques that help calm our nervous systems when we are worried. These include breathing, focussing our attention, changing our physical position.

When parents arrived, we had a thoughtful conversation about experiences in our lives that have caused continued anxiety/scarring, and about experiences that have created memories that happily stay with us. We talked about how we can learn to make choices that increase positive experiences.

Students checked books out from our small library.

Families left for home, new ornaments in hand.

Rubber Whales

Science and The Body students had a joyful time today, eating cornbread and drinking ginger tea with honey, all the while learning more and more about human anatomy and physiology. They got to laugh, discuss anxiety, practice reducing anxiety, and work on their fine memorization. Moms and Dads joined us, as usual, for the last part of class. Kids excitedly shared what we’d been up to, helping teach their parents stuff parents might not previously have known!