The Watchman

The Watchman

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Water Fair

Another day, another field trip. I was lucky enough to attend the Water Fair with Lela on Thursday. This is an event organized by the Washington County Water Conservancy District to teach 4th graders about guess what......WATER!!!

It was a really well put together event held at Dixie State College, with each class assigned a schedule of classes/presentations. No two schedules were the same, so different classes from the same school would attend different presentations.

The one event that everyone participated in was the Water Jeopardy. The classes were given the study materials prior to the Water Fair and then came to the Fair to compete against another school. Lela was excited for me to go on this field trip so that I could see how she "rocked" at this game. I have to say that she did rock and her class won. Her teacher, Ms. McNeel, told me that it is a tradition that the teams from La Verkin Elementary win each year.

After Water Jeaopardy, the class attended a presentation by the Audubon Society on the migratory patterns of birds. They had a beautiful film showing the northern migration of many different species of birds. I had been worried that the class would be bored, but they oooohed and aaaahed at all the right moments.

The third class our group attended was put on by the Southwest Health Department. It was about the importance of washing your hands. I know this can be a very boring and over emphasized subject, but the presenter made it lots of fun with games and videos that had the class laughing again.

Our fourth class was on the water cycle and how we use it. This woman should have a career in stand-up comedy. After a very engaging presentation on how water moves through the water cycle, including words such as transpiration and percolation, she had another great game. Each student would select a station, take a bead that corresponded with that station, then roll a die to see where they would go next or if they would stay where they were. Each station had something to do with the water cycle presentation. Lela picked the ocean first and found that it was pretty hard to leave the ocean once you were there. She was able to be a cloud twice and at the end made it to a glacier. When they returned to class, they were asked to write a story about their journey through the water cycle. As soon as she brings it home, I will share it. I understand it is very creative.

Our final class was with the St. George Fire Department. Their focus was on different types of fire and the way they put them out. This one was a little harder for Lela to listen to. At first she wanted to sit on my lap, but by the end was able to sit on the ground with the rest of the class and raise her had when asked, although she didn't ask any questions or make comments as in previous presentation.

After the Fair was over, we travelled to Worthen Park where the classes ate lunch and then played Red Rover and frisbee before returning to school. I had to chuckle at the expression on the faces of the parks crew who were quietly eating their lunches when five or six busses full of 4th graders interupted their serenity.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cotton Days

Yesterday was a beautiful day in Dixie. It was a day I spent with the second graders of La Verkin Elementary learning about the heritage of this area we now call home.

For a little background, when the Mormon Pioneers came to Utah one of their goals was to be self-sufficient. To that end, President Brigham Young sent a group of Saints south on what was referred to as the Cotton Mission. These brave men and women settled what is now the City of Washington.

I cannot imagine what it must have been like for them. Most of them were from the Southern States of the United States. If any of you have been there, you know how green and lush the vegetation is and how plentiful water is. What a contrast to the red rocks and desert landscape that was to become there home.

Each year the City of Washington sponsors Cotton Days. Part of the activities is a day for the second grade students in Washington County to attend as part of their Utah Heritage studies. Since I am now foot loose and fancy free (unemployed), I decided to take the opportunity to go on this field trip with Emily. Here are our photos of all the fun.

Emily on the bus with her friends

lots of 2nd graders

Learning about the first schoolhouse and the first
school teacher at the Washington Heritage Museum

A display of different carriages, wagons, coaches
and even a handcart

The children learned about flint and Mrs. Hummel
shot the rifle

These are just a few of the tractors on display.
There were some of the horse drawn variety as well.

Learning to make sorghum/molasses

An old-fashioned magic show to the sounds of a calliope

Learning to spin thread from both cotton and wool,then learning how to weave it into cloth.

Making candles

Lunch in front of the museum. Nothing like PB & J to end a field trip.

Emily gave the day a thumbs up.