Urban Prairie Waldorf School
Miss Avellone's Class
Weekly Update - September 13, 2019

Dear Fifth Grade,

What a day! The highlights of today’s trip to the Garfield Park Conservatory included incredible plants, students proving that they truly are interested in botany (and know the difference between moss and lichen!), high level of independence with transportation, and some great play time in a few parks. Lowlights perhaps included sore feet, some scrapes, bees during lunch, and the last walk, which felt like 3 miles but was actually just over 1. Overall, it was a good start to our expeditions, and I look forward to those to come. A huge thank you to NaTasha, Julia S, and Ann-Marie!!!

This week we turned from the archetypal plant that contains seed, root, stem, leaf, flower, and fruit, and learned about plants (or plant-like beings) that hold one or two or none of those aspects. For example, algae is almost completely leaf, with no root or stem or blossom. Fungi (not a plant!), algae, lichen (not really a plant either), and moss have been our focus of study. We’ve also touched on the evolution of plants across millions and billions of years. The students are spending time developing their botanical drawing capacities. They also had the fun assignment of writing two first-person composition, one as algae and one as lichen, introducing and talking about themselves. We also did group composition, writing poems about moss. Here are the very scientific poetical products that came out of the four groups.

Emerald carpet on the forest floor,
I absorb water and more.
I grow on the north side of the tree.
On logs and rocks you can find me.

Emerald carpet on the forest floor,
Growing on trees, rocks, and more.
Fuzzy yet spongy and stuck to the log.
I am like Lichen, but we are not the same.


Emerald carpet on the forest floor,
Shimmering over rocks and trees.
I like to be green and hang around wet spots.
I can’t stand up on my own.

Emerald carpet on the forest floor,
Moss has leaf and stem wisdom but no more.
If you shrink quite small, you can see so much,
Like little trees that stand up in a bunch.
It’s like a sponge, absorbing the wet.
Water and moss should always have met.


  • Where the Mountain Meets the Moon: Chapters 10, 11, and 12 for next Thursday
  • Practice instruments 5-7 days a week
  • Let something mold!


  • Festival of Courage: Michaelmas time is upon us! To celebrate this time of hard work and courage we will come together as a community on Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28.
    Friday, 1:00 – 3:00 pm: Community Work Day
    Join your child’s class as they take on a task that will beautify and enrich the school. Sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e48aba92ba5fa7-festival2
    Saturday, 3:00 – 6:00 pm: Festival of Courage and All-School Michaelmas Pageant
    Students need to be at school by 2:45 to prepare for the pageant. The pageant will kick off the festival and will be followed by pot-lucking, t-shirt tie-dyeing, pie contesting, music making, and more. Sign up to take a volunteer shift and/or bake a pie by clicking here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e48aba92ba5fa7-festival2
    Make sure your students wears red, yellow, or white shirts on Saturday for the pageant.
  • Fifth Grade Class Night, Thursday, October 3, 7:00-9:00pm. We’ll start with some social time, overlapping with Early Childhood parents. Let’s be the welcome wagon! Our agenda right now includes an overview of Gr 5, governance changes to the school, and time for questions. Anything you’d like to discuss or hear about? Please send it to me within the next week.