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Leaf Painting and Storytelling


Today was another delightful day—cool, misty, and wet. We played a new game: Wolves vs. Moose! It involves stealth, agility, and embodying different animal forms. We talked about how Wolves operate as a team, and how Moose protect themselves. We also began practicing our storytelling skills. Using our Tikta'liktak story, we worked on sharing the important events and highlights when retelling a story. We will be fine-tuning those skills in preparation for a theatrical performance of Tikta'liktak! 

We read some more of the story, opting to save the last 10 pages for our last day. It's amazing how much they remember from the story and how captivated they are—it's neat to completely imagine to ourselves what it would be like to be in the story, in the foreign and majestic faraway Arctic north. This Inuit legend feels so alive as we read it, with so many brilliant survival tips and natural discoveries. Knowing they are a people who keep an oral history tradition, we can imagine this story passed on over generations—an exciting tale but also one laden with knowledge of land and Arctic survival. 

As part of the recreation of this story, we headed uphill to make some Striped Maple harpoons, similar to what Tikta'liktak used. We talked about taking trees (or anything) from the land, and how even though some kids felt sad about that, there are ways to do it which actually help the forest be healthy. We took turns marking the length of our harpoons and cutting them with a hand saw. Along the way, we collected leaves, finding replicas of specific leaves that Emma showed us and identifying the species. The kids were quite good at it, getting up-close looks at the different shapes, colors, and textures of the various leaves. 

We each got a clipboard and paper, and picked out some leaves for leaf painting! The Woolly Bears were quite focused on their craft, many of them creating different ways to press the leaf, smother it, etc. Those who finished early helped get a fire going and in no time we were back around the fire, having our lunch and discussing the fun of the day so far. We read some more Tikta'liktak while we ate. After lunch we reveled in free time, picking out rocks for our harpoons, and playing on Grandfather Rock. 

—Dan and Emma