Mysterious Treasures Found at Montrose Park
When the children invited their families to Montrose Park, their intention was to:
Charlton- Go on an Acorn Hunt for Squirrel Trees.
Ford- In the forest!
We didn't find many acorns, but we did stumble onto other exciting treasures: large yellowish orbs covering the ground.
Reflecting at Morning Meeting
We began morning meeting the day after our field trip by sharing photographs from the day. We asked children to think back to the day of the trip.
Emma: What do at Montrose Park?
Ford: We were hiking.
Charlton: And drawing.
Isabelle: I draw water.
Ellie: I draw a rock climbing wall.
Seon: I draw water. And some boulders. There’s a rock and some trees.
Next, Emma displayed a photo of Charlton holding an Osage Orange. When he saw the photograph, he explained to his friends- A monkey ball. In real life they are called monkey balls.
Whit described the object- They’re roundy.
Ford looked closer for more detail and pointed out small black specks on the surface of the orb-They look like sprinkles.
Zari predicted- If you try to open it it will crack open. I see lines.
Karen- What could we use to open it?
Zari- A knife.
Karen: What do you think you might find when we cut it open?
Ford- No! Monkeys! Just go cut them open!
Karen: What else could we do with them?
Isabelle- Draw them!
Investigation in the Studio: Observations and Hypotheses
A pile of Osage Oranges were arranged as a provocation in the studio alongside drawing materials. Before drawing, we took time to examine the strange objects closely. Ellie picked up an Osage Orange first.
Ellie: OOO-OOOH! Wow!
Cal: Notice that it’s kinda strange. Kinda looks like. We should cut it open.
Karen: What do you think it might be like inside if we cut it open?
Cal: It might be kinda goopy.
Ellie: It’ll be sticky and black and grimy.
Karen: Do you think we should cut it open with our friends during morning meeting tomorrow?
This set the stage for a dissection of an Osage Orange at Morning Meeting the next day, but first we wanted to investigate the exterior of these strange objects using our senses.
Seon also used her sense of touch to observe and describe the mystery object, while Ford explored it with his sense of smell.
Observational Drawing of Osage Oranges
We had begun observational drawing before our trip to Montrose Park. During our trip, the children enjoyed drawing what they saw in nature. It only seem natural that we would continue observational drawing with our yellowy orbs as our subjects.
Seon looked at her Osage Orange and drew a circle.
Seon: I see some holes.
Then Seon began drawing circles on her larger circle.
Seon: Hmmmm, what else do I see?
Ellie: I’m adding those to make a rollie. This (Osage Orange) is my big rollie thing.
This is an apricot. A big thing for apples.
As Ford added two dots on his initial outline of the Osage Orange, he explained: Eyes!
Dissecting An Osage Orange
The next day, we revisited our conversation about cutting open an osage orange. We talked about the tools that we would need to cut open the orange and Karen reminded the children of the hypotheses that they had shared previously. After the dissection, the children were excited to make more observations and to their their hypotheses.
Ford used a magnifying glass to look closely at a seed that he found inside a slice of the Osage Orange.
Ava also used the magnifying glass, but to look at the larger slices instead.
After examining the seed closely, Ford returned to the slice of Osage Orange and studied it before drawing. He described the slice as: A big seed coco-melon.