Thursday, April 08, 2010

Forever Castle

Lorrie and her 5th grade class were at a local beach for a biology excursion.

The students spent the morning exploring tide pools to see what they could find. Lorrie had seen lots of algae, a few jellyfish and the occasional little fish. Her friend showed her a starfish in a lonely pool stranded about 100 metres from the rest of the pools. A few of the boys caught crabs and tried to scare the girls with them.

Mr Wegener, a nature expert who joined them for the day, walked to each tide pool explaining to the groups what was in the pool. It was amazing what you could find, if you knew what you were looking for. He showed them sea snail eggs packed so tightly they looked like a jellyfish, funny kelp called sea grapes that popped if you squeezed them really hard and a sea cucumber that had been hiding under a shelf in the biggest tide pool.

Having finished lunch about 20 minutes ago, it was sandcastle-building time. Most of the kids were working in groups. It was interesting watching the different strategies the groups were using. A couple groups built huge piles of sand with their buckets and shovels before forming a castle out of it. The rest of the groups, except for Lorrie and her friend Grace, were building their castles one handful of sand at a time.

Lorrie and Grace had plenty of opportunity to see what the other groups were doing as they carried their buckets back and forth between the wet sand and the huge rock where they were dumping the sand in a large pile. They had decided to build their sandcastle on the flat surface on the top of a rock near the car park. It was a lot of work carrying the sand back and forth, but finally they had enough to build their castle.

The two girls spent about thirty minutes shaping their castle and then gathered some kelp from around the beach to make a cool border around it. Just as they were finishing they heard their teacher calling them to join together in a group. Lorrie and Grace jumped down from their rock into the sand and ran to the group.

As they approached, the teacher said, “We are now going to look at each sandcastle and allow the groups to tell the story of their castle.” The kids enjoyed this create your story game. It was how they presented projects they had done at home or in groups.

The wandered from castle to castle hearing the story of each. Some of the stories were very creative, some very factual. Finally they turned toward the car park and walked toward Lorrie and Grace’s castle.

As they approached the final castle the teacher asked, “What is the story of this castle?”

Lorrie and Grace climbed up behind the castle. Lorrie said, “This is Castle-Rock and this is the Forever Castle!”

Grace pointed back toward the beach and said, “All of your castles will soon be gone as the tide comes in. The Forever Castle will last into eternity!”

The teacher smiled and turned to the group. “That reminds me of a Bible story,” the teacher said. She turned and pointed to the car park, “Everyone back on the bus, I’ll tell you the story on the way back to school.”

A wise man builds on Rock & a fool on sand
Matt 7:24-27, Luke 6:47-49

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