The close of a quarter is an excellent time to reflect back at some of the themes we've covered this quarter. In language arts, we're just about finished with our class novel, The Sign of the Beaver, which dove into an unlikely friendship between a young Native American boy and the son of white settlers in rural Maine. Although the two main characters come from vastly different cultures, with different takes on education, knowledge, nature, integrity, and humans' relationship to a place, they manage to find common ground and develop a bond that neither initially expected. The book is a flawed, but valuable resource for students to get a deeper understanding of the effects of colonization, and one that kids of all backgrounds can relate to - as the theme of friendship despite differences is incredibly relevant today. In social studies, the class researched a specific North American indigenous group and looked at how the environment in which the people lived in affected all facets of their life-- from the foods they ate and clothes they wore, to the celebrations they threw and gods that were worshipped. In science, we've been studying how organisms depend greatly on their environment to survive, and had an incredible experience working with Na Wai Ekolu to help remove invasive species from Manoa stream in order to allow the native biodiversity to flourish.
Tying all these individual threads together results in a clear, distinct pattern that indicates humans across time have always greatly depended on the valuable resources from our environment for survival, and that in order for life itself to be possible many organisms must coexist and work together. As students prepare to become our future leaders, designers, innovators, and activists, both teachers and parents must continue to foster our kids' concept of appreciation and kuleana for the community, Hawai'i, and our planet. Together, we can enable our children to build their own brighter future.
'Til next time :)
- Mrs. Secreto