Patterns & Impressions: Language Arts

Looking at the world through a first grader’s eye reminds us of how much we miss in our environment. Students in Patterns and Impressions, Language Arts, found patterns everywhere in nature on Thursday.

“We are at Como Zoo looking at a lot of animals, like gorillas, zebras, giraffes,” Emmy explained. “Zebras take dust baths,” she said, showing me a drawing of the striped pattern she drew when observing the zebras. “We’re making observations about them,” she said. “Seeing spots, stripes…”

“…and dots!” chimed in Harper.

Pattern observations continued in the Pollinator tent, where Harper was on the look out for Fibonacci patterns. “I see one, two, three, four, and five petals on the flower,” she said, pointing to a bright yellow-ish, orange bloom. “Yes, that’s a Fibonacci!”

The Fibonacci Sequence is the series of numbers 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5…. The next number in the sequence is found by adding up the two numbers that come before it. “One plus 1 is 2, so 2 is a Fibonacci,” Harper said. “2 plus 3 equals 5, and 5 is a Fibonacci.”

Oliver peered through the mesh surrounding a garden looking for patterns among the pollinators. “I’m looking at the bees,” he said. “Yellow-black, yellow-black on the bee.”

Ceci sketched in her notebook. She recorded examples of patterns she found at the Zoo. Her sketch of a star flower showed “five Fibonacci”. She found patterns in a turtle’s shell as well. “He kind of had squares on his back.”

One sketch featured a stingray with lines around the outside of his body. “The stingray has little cuts,” Ceci pointed out. “There’s a big one and a little one, a big one and a little one, all the way around.”

Just a little reminder for all of us to open our eyes to the wonder all around, just like a first grader.

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