In Green Thumbs, we continued our focus on networks in the garden, specifically companion planting where plants work together as a community. Using a Food Forest card game deck, students began playing various games, matching cards together based on the various inputs and outputs of each plant or aspect of the garden.
Over the course of the year, we will add customized cards based on our location. This is a great way for students to build an understanding of the relationships amongst plants, pollinators, pests and beneficial insects and will inform their planning when we design our garden spaces.
This week, we also began a systematic exploration of the English spelling system. English spelling is often categorized as being random or filled with confusing rules and exceptions. When English spelling is understood as indicating the history, structure, and meaning of the word, the spelling begins to make far more sense.
We looked at the word “sign” and asked where the “g” came from since we clearly don’t hear it. Using a historical lens, we found its Latin root signare. We then began making connections between sign, signal, design, and signature based on their meaning and structure.
Part of our work with The Odyssey this week focused on the encounter with Circe where Odysseus’s men found themselves turned into pigs after a lavish feast. Thanks to a gift from Hermes, Odysseus was able to remain unaffected by her treachery, free his men and gain an ally in Circe.
When considering the ways in which myths can be considered true, it’s interesting to note the way stories or fantasy can be woven with fact. The video below shows what some believe to be botanical explanations for both Circe’s power to turn the men into pigs and the source of Odysseus’s protection.