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Fifth Grade News Category

Fifth Grade Celebrates Deepavali, and Embarks on World Travels

divali

The fifth grade has been busy exploring a wide range of cultures. We learned about Ancient India and Persia in October, and celebrated Deepavali in mid-November with a big, merry crowd of family and friends. In preparation, the class made oil lamps with Susan Junge, and created rangoli, or colored sand paintings, in their geometry class. For the festival, they dressed in silk costumes from India. The class enacted a ceremony for Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune, sang a kirtan to Siva, and performed an Indian village stick dance. Then we ate, drank, chatted, and romped with our families in honor of the lunar New Year. It was very meaningful and poignant to celebrate a ceremony that we first experienced with our dear teacher and colleague, Mrs. Kalmath.

The next day was our first assembly, and the class got to show some of their bookwork, sing a new song, and demonstrate their juggling and plate-spinning skills.

ship

During our geography block, we got into an imaginary clipper ship and sailed from the waters of Greenland down to Cape Cod, then on to Chesapeake Bay, down past the Okefenokee Swamp, around the Everglades, through the West Indies, and on to the bayou in the Gulf of Mexico. We went around Mexico and Central America, then back up the Pacific coast, around Alaska, and into the islands of Northern Canada. I don’t think any of us knew there were so many places where alligators live, nor that there are people on our beautiful planet who don’t ever eat vegetables! We listened to music from different cultures of North America: Quebecois fiddle, Cuban son, Louisiana zydeco, Jamaican reggae… an extraordinary variety of styles. We ended the block up among the Inuit; in the spring, we’ll come home by…balloon!

—Class teacher Lesley Finlayson

 

 

Fifth Grade Travels “Across the Beautiful Sea” to Seguin Island

Ashwood Seguin Trip - 6 webIn September, shortly after school began, Ashwood Waldorf School’s Fifth Grade set off for our first group boat-and-camp overnight. The weather threatened storms and wildness, but our captains, John Chandler and Richard Lee, and their intrepid first mates, Tania Chandler and Cherry Short-Lee, were confident we would be just fine, so we set off from Small Point, and had a beautiful trip, through rising fog and rolling seas, past the mouth of the Kennebec River, past seals and seabirds, past dolphins, to the rocky shore of Seguin Island.

The swells were too high for the boats to land, so Kate Chandler rowed all of us and all of our supplies into shore, and we carried tents, food and ourselves up the steps and under the old tramway to our camping spot. We had a quick dinner after setting up the tents, and then the rains came, and the winds, and a tent blew over, and we felt as if we were having a true adventure.

We went up in the dark night to the lighthouse, to walk around on a catwalk under the light, which was beautiful and slightly unnerving, and then had popcorn and lemonade while the lighthouse keepers told us scary stories.

We slept very snugly, once we settled down, the sky finally full of stars and wind, the sea murmuring, and seabirds calling from time to time in the darkness. In the morning we had breakfast and went for a walk on the island, then toured the lighthouse museum. Then we did a few hours of community service, clearing stones off the beach to make a path for visitors and collecting trash, while the keepers took the Christopher Moore-made donation box to put up on their visitor sign. It looked great!

The sea was still too rough for the boats to land when it was time to leave, so Kate rowed everything, and everybody, back out from the island, and then we sailed and motored under a clear blue sky to Small Point. Everyone said the highlights were the scary stories, and the voyages across the beautiful sea. We live in such an extraordinarily beautiful place; it was marvelous to be out in the glory of Maine.

Thank you to John, Tania, Cherry and Richard, Kate, Lora, Jim and Christopher! Thank you to the Friends of Seguin Island, who keep the island running and accessible! What a great way to open the Fifth Grade year!

Lesley Finlayson, Fifth Grade Teacher