This short video captures the spirit and sequence of a River of Words investigation with 1stand 2nd graders, Ryan Road School, Florence, MA. Watch children walking, exploring and sitting quietly in the woods collecting words and images. Follow them back into the classroom where they paint watercolors, write poems and share their creations. The video concludes with the collaboratively written and illustrated book, “Whose Forest Is It?” Many thanks to Mount Holyoke student Gerlisa Garre who filmed this video and accompanied the children on their environmental investigations. Whose Forest Is It? Class Book Andrea Egitto adapted the pilot lesson “Whose Garden Is It?” for First Graders at Ryan Road School who took several field trips to the nearby Sawmill Hills Conservation Area. Check out the book they created.
What does it mean to be a friend of the river? Children in Turners Falls, MA share their insights about the river and why it's important to keep it clean. The children in this video paraded from their school to the banks of the Connecticut River to thank the river for its gifts and to donate money they raised in a read-a-thon to the annual Source to Sea clean-up. Montague and Gill Elementary Schools collaborated with River of Words along the Connecticut River in a year-long art and poetry project connecting and celebrating their river towns: the parade was conceived by a 3rd grader as a culminating event. To find out more see: Bridging Communities: How Does the River Connect Us? and The Fish in the Polka Dot Dress.
School-wide projects integrate science, art and environmental advocacy by celebrating the annual Source to Sea clean-up. Watch the video to see children creating school-wide Source to Sea projects, including a hip-hop performance, a Reading for Rivers fundraiser and a parade through Turner's Falls. Find out more about the Source to Sea cleanup and how your school or community can get involved. Click Here. The Fish in the Polka Dot Dress, a picture book available for purchase or download (PDF 16MB), features student artwork of trash in the river designed to bring attention to the annual cleanup. "Doing artwork to show people how they can help makes me feel really good because I don’t want the Connecticut River to be trashed anymore." "The River"by 5th Grade studentGill Elementary School Check out an illustrated cinquain poem highlighting the impact of trash on river ecology. Read in the Greenfield Recorder: "Turning the tide: Salmon story teaches lesson on river ecology."