Yesterday I wrote about being sorry about smooshing things dead, like that insect that bit me. I did not, I repeat, I did not smoosh what you see above. I promise. In one 15 minute walk around the campus I found all this dead stuff. The other day I was fascinated with birth. Today I'm fascinated with dead things. What's up with that? Dead things can sometimes teach us more than when they were alive. I know! Doesn't make sense, right? Or does it makes so much sense that...(I don't know how to end that.)
Seriously, dead things are amazing. First, they are readily accessible. You don't have to chase after them. They don't move any more! Second, they don't move any more. You can observe them from all angles for as long as you like. Third, any fear or apprehension one may have is removed. They can't bite, sting, buzz in your ear, flap in your face, etc.
I promise you: if I put these dead things on a table in the middle of the path down the campus nine and a half out of ten students are going to stop and look and touch. I'm going to do it. I am. I'm going to create a museum of dead and inanimate things I find on our campus. Will you have a nature museum in your classroom? I hope you will. Will you encourage students to bring things from home to add to the museum? I hope so. Will you encourage them to have owl eyes for such things as they traverse the nature trails on campus? Makes sense, doesn't it? What will they be able to learn from all of that? What questions will they have? What answers will they create? How will it impact the way they view and interact with alive things? Will their fear diminish? Will their apprehension dissipate? Sometimes we fear what we don't understand.
I'm thinking of putting up a sign on campus that says, "Nature stuff wanted: Dead or alive."