Follow by Email

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Noticing Nature

Katherine Hannigan interacted with fourth graders this morning. Masterfully, she wove her history into her writing process and illustrated how sometimes the things she writes have no connection to what she knows (like the characters of Ida B. or Delly Pattison). Other times, experiences and observations from real life blend into her stories seamlessly. Her own garden, for example, has apple trees, just as Ida B. possessed. She has seen the deer drink from the lake (while floating in her kayak) and heard the carp splash, just as Delly and Clarice did in True (...Sort of).

Without a keen sense of observation, attention to detail, and interest in natural things, so much of life is missed. Students were mesmerized by Katherine's discovery of a baby fly catcher, found on a walk and nursed to maturity. She described calling to it, "Bird!" The bird would respond with its song. Soon, the enchanted children were softly calling "Bird!" along with her as the story progressed. Their connection to it was as intense as if they had been with her in the woods.

Tonight my youngest son rushed in from watering plants, telling me there was something I would love to photograph for my blog. A tiny frog, looking almost like a rock, perched atop the spigot.


  1. what a joy to know you've raised an observant child!

  2. Love this photo, and love Katherine Hannigan's message. Our souls awaken when we use all of our senses!