Tuesday, January 3, 2012
OIK Tuesday: opposites
In my class there are a few children who demonstrate marked naturalist intelligence, but none so strongly as Cale. When we go out for "Outdoor Education," inevitably he's the one who spies a praying mantis on the school wall or digs up a clump of wormy grass roots to bring inside. He knows a lot about animals, especially dinosaurs, and so as we tried to identify the creature illustrating a math worksheet, I looked to Cale for help. (The worksheet was handed to me by a colleague while we were all in the midst of The Gingerbread Man, so I just assumed that the plump, cheerful figure wearing an artist's beret and holding a paint bucket was a gingerbread man, but on closer inspection I found it to be a rather human-looking seal.)
At first I thought this creature was a gingerbread man with a raisin nose and a cute cap like the Gingerbread Baby, but then I noticed the hands. Do you all see what kind of hands it has?
To me those hands look more like flippers on a swimming animal. What could it be? It's hard to tell because its body is hiding behind the paint bucket....does anyone know a swimming animal with flippers like that?
[finally] I know! It's not a...it's a...it's...it's the opposite of a beaver!
slender and sleek
not round and fat
not thickly furred
tiny useless tail
no water-slapping paddle
no tree-felling chisels
nature-boy is right:
a seal is the opposite of a beaver
Heidi Mordhorst 2012