Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Reading and Hiking

Every summer I use the time to catch up on the reading that is popular among my third graders.  My kids were raging about the I Survived Series by Lauren Tarshis so I used some of my bonus points from Scholastic to purchase a couple of the books.  I got the I Survived Pearl Harbor and I Survived 9/11.  I thought both were good and brought the content and magnitude of those events down to something a third grader could understand.  I read the Pearl Harbor book first and thought it did a good job of explaining what happened during the beginning of WWII for the United States.  It explained some world events at the time that helped lead to the United States entering the war.  I then read the 9/11 book.  Prior to reading it I thought it might be a good book to read around the anniversary of 9/11 to help students understand what transpired on that day and why it is such a "big deal".  After reading it I am not so sure.  I have never said much about 9/11 to my students and have always thought it was more of their parents' job at their age.  They are still so little and I try to leave tragic events up to their parents to explain.  I guess I am just struggling a bit about whether or not 9/11 is history enough for me to talk about it with my students.  I feel they need to know about it, they were born into a world that was greatly impacted and changed by the events of that day.  I just have this heavy feeling in my heart when I think about how I would teach this historical event.  I guess my question to you is what do you do with your students when it comes to September 11, 2001.  Do you talk with them about it, do you say nothing, what are your plans when it comes to the anniversary each year?

On a much lighter note I had the privilege of hiking in my beautiful mountains today!  Yes, I just called them MY beautiful mountains.  I realize I share them with hundreds upon thousands of people each year but I still consider them mine :)  I have lived here since I was born and find the mountains to be one of the most peaceful places on earth.  My mom and I went on a short hike but saw some beautiful scenery.  It is still spring run-off time and so we saw many small waterfalls and some really great larger falls as well.  We were also able to hike through some snowfields where the snow was up to our knees! 

The wild flowers were just starting to bloom.  I am excited to go back to this same trail in a couple of weeks to see them in full bloom!  It is going to be absolutely beautiful!  We came upon a wonderful spot just at lunch time.  After hiking through all the snow and laughing the whole time because we kept sinking through up to our knees we came upon this gorgeous waterfall.  There is supposed to be a lake at the top of the waterfall but we could not get to it because of all the snow. 

Best of all this was a great way to beat the heat here in town today.  It was 98 Monday, 100 yesterday and in the high 90's today.  I hope you are enjoying your summer as much as I am!  


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