Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Arthur, NE, for Feathers and Verses

Welcome to Arthur, Nebraska
On Thursday afternoon, April 17, I drove to Ogallala and spent the night, getting ready for the next morning when I drove to Arthur, forty miles to the north, to spend time at the elementary schools there.

I spent from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm working with the K-6 graders as part of my Nebraska Humanities Council's Speakers Bureau program Feathers and Verses--click here to learn a lot more about the program and my other sessions over the past few months.

This time around, I worked with an enthusiastic group of people.

The youngsters' enthusiasm reflects obviously on their teacher's professionalism and care for the eleven students I had the pleasure to meet in the seventy or so minutes in which we worked together.
group of youngsters in first and second grade--pictured to the left. They learned a lot about common birds and then spent time coloring pictures of their favorite birds.

And an identical atmosphere greeted me when I arrived down the street at the other school, a small converted three-room chapel that houses excellent teaching and two rooms, one for third and fourth graders and the other for grades five and six. I think that I worked with 26 students for just under three hours.
The high quality of instruction and the energy of the students I encounter on these trips inspire me.

And the students always make me smile when they put their imaginations to creative work.

In addition to watching bird images, listening to bird songs, and sharing bird songs, the students wrote some wonderfully creative material, using various poetic devices, from simile to hyperbole.

They wrote about what their hair looks like in the morning, a favorite and often crazy
bird each adopted for a poem, and then wrote a brief narrative about a couple birds on a "balderdash" trip that included anacondas and a few things puce.

You can view a slide show of the trip and the fun. I look forward in a couple years to visiting this remarkable area again.

School for 3rd-6th Grades in Arthur, NE

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