On Friday we walked to a park to look for fall colors, and find them we did. “Orange!” “Yellow!” “Look! I see a red tree!”
There is one boy in my class who started the year late, speaks only Spanish, and apparently has never been in school before, for he tends to look around him in the classroom as though he has been dropped onto Mars. Every day when he comes in he stands in front of the cubbies and waits for me to show him which one is his. No matter how many times I show him his name, or point out that his is the second cubby (“uno, dos”) he never can find it. At morning meeting the other kids stand up to act out a song, and he stays sitting, grinning, totally confused. But on the walk, he had a breakthrough. He understood what our purpose was. He saw a tree full of yellow leaves and called out, “amarillo!” I said, “yes, amarillo is yellow. That is a yellow tree.”
Pretty soon he was pointing and shouting “Red! Yellow!” with great enthusiasm.
I gave the children bags with their names on them to collect leaves, and it was fun to watch. One girl scooped up tons of dead, broken brown leaves and stuffed her bag with them. Another selected four leaves. Yes, only four. She told me she wanted them to be “perfect.” Everyone was happy with their leaf collection, and then we ended the morning playing at a park in the sunshine.