Sunday, January 8, 2012


Brian’s Relationship to Fire -M.L., age 13

Brian is stranded in Canada, and after several nights of sheer cold and blood bloodsucking mosquitoes he has a dream. In this dream, his father and best friend Terry try to tell Brian the key is fire. Brian's first attempt to make fire by rubbing two sticks together hadn't worked out very well. But when Brian discovered the rock wall of his shelter was covered in flint, after accidentally hitting the wall with his hatchet, he had a way to make fire. Brian starts by making a small nest of tender for the spark to sit in, and after a few tries he gets a small flame. After feeding it, he sat down and thought, “I have a friend now. A hungry friend, but a good one. I have a friend named fire.” To Brian, fire was his only friend, who would help him cook, keep him warm, and most importantly, keep him safe. After almost letting the fire go out over night, Brian sees the fire is starving, just like him. When he goes to find wood and leaves the fireside, the mosquitoes tear at his skin. When he returns to the fireside, the mosquitoes are gone thanks to his friend “Fire.” Brian decides to make a feast for his friend, and he sets off to find wood. After building a pile of wood, he feeds the fire. He feeds his friend. To Brian, the fire was more than just a plain old fire; it was his friend, his cook, his protector. Brian took care of the fire, and the fire took care of Brian.

Fire for Brian -Y.L.M., age 11
Brian first thought about fire in a dream. He dreamt about his father telling him something, probably about fire, but Brian couldn’t hear him. Brian then dreams that his friend Terry is showing him a fire. Brian first tries to make fire by rubbing sticks together, but this does not work. Brian is attacked by a porcupine, and throws the hatchet at it but misses the animal. The hatchet hits a black rock, probably flint, that sparked.

Brian then builds what he called a fire “nest,” which is basically a small fire starter. It takes a long time for Brian to get enough sparks into the “nest” to start a fire. Once he starts the fire, he begins to talk to it, calling it his only friend. Fire is essential to Brian in the wilderness because it provides warmth, protection, and hope.

If Brian lost fire he would be in danger because fire was what he used for cooking, to keep predators away, and for heat and light in the night. For instance, when Brian lost fire after the tornado, he did not have cooked food or protection from wild animals and mosquitoes. Brian sees fire like a mother, as it gives him warmth and protection. If Brian had fire, he didn’t have to worry about predators as much as natural disasters.

After the tornado strikes, Brian finds the plane’s tail sticking out of the water. He will later venture into the plane and find many items, including a fire starter. Once he got the fire starter, it was easy to create fires, but also he felt he was cheating in some way. He really has no use for the lighter since right after he gets it a pilot finds him. Brian seemed to feel sad when he was able to use the lighter, as if just having it made him lose skills.

As Brian grows and learns in the story, he also learns more about fire and how to use it properly. For instance, when Brian catches a “fool bird” he finds a Y shaped stick for cooking the bird. Brian also used fire to keep predators and mosquitoes away. As time goes on Brian finds more efficient ways to use fire.

Hatchet Fire -C.P., age 12

Brain first mentions making a fire to cook a rabbit, but he has no rabbit and not much knowledge on how to actually make a fire. So, Brain slowly remembers TV shows and remembers having to make a nest for the flame. Brian makes a nest for the flame and gets a fire started. Brian was very obsessed with the fire. He called it his hungry, little friend. He never let the fire go out. I thought that he was almost insane. In my opinion, Brian was not going to stay sane if he didn't get a fire going.

Brian was getting very frustrated when he didn't make the fire the first two times. When Brian finally calmed down, he was able to remember the show better and build a better nest. After two or three times it still didn’t work, so he also used a twenty dollar bill that his mother had given him for food. After Brian finally had fire, he went out of his shelter and gathered wood for the fire. The fire was finally made, and Brain felt proud about what he had accomplished.

Brian also had a dream where he saw his father and friend. They seemed to try to tell him something, but he couldn't hear anything. Brian had finally made sense of the dream, and he started working on a fire. As Brian had finished the fire and his shelter, he was attacked by a moose. He was injured, so he limped back to his shelter.

When Brian heard a sound he didn't know, he lit his fire, and it seemed to help with him being scared. After that, a tornado hit his shelter. He immediately remade his shelter, and he remade his fire after he woke up. He ate a feast of food he salvaged out of the sunken plane. After that, he was rescued by a pilot, and he finally went back to a somewhat normal life.

Exhibit Discussion Blog

Share Curricula Blog

Connecting Children to Nature through Literature Exhibit Home


    Friday, September 23, 2011

    Brother Eagle, Sister Sky Journal Entries


    Brother Eagle, Sister Sky: Journal Entries
    Ms. Laura read the book Brother Eagle, Sister Sky aloud to the students of Morgan Academy. Students then composed journal entries guided by the question, "How is the earth like a mother?"

    The earth is like a mother because it feeds us, it shelters us, and it is unspeakably beautiful. - J.P., age 8

    The earth is like a mother because it is so beautiful. I like the breeze and flowers. I like the beautiful rivers. I like the flowers that Mom gives me. - K.M., age 5

    The earth is like a mother because the earth takes good care of everything like the grass, trees, flowers, and all of the animals. 
    - J.T., age 5

    The earth is like mother because it has water and food. The earth is green and blue. I love the earth. The earth is good. - R.T., age 7

    The earth is like a mother because it has water and food that is good for us. It has a lot of food and water for us. - N.Y., age 8

    The earth is like a mother because the earth grows trees, and trees produce oxygen, and we need oxygen. The earth is like a mother because it produces grass, sunlight, and water. Sunlight and water produce grass, grass makes feed for animals, and animals keep us alive. So, Mother Earth gives us food, water, and shelter. THANK YOU, MOTHER EARTH! The earth makes happiness. The earth makes all the four elements - earth, wind, fire, and water. Mother Earth is what keeps us alive. THANK YOU, MOTHER EARTH!
    - A.L.M., age 9

    The earth is like a mother to all of us. The wind gives us our first
    breath that makes us come alive. The dirt gives us food to grow strong. The rivers, lakes, and streams bring us water. We must take care of the earth like it has taken care of us. We breathe in the air and blow out the love that keeps the earth alive. Our hearts belong to the earth. We all love the earth, and she loves us. - A.C.M., age 9

    The earth is like a mother because she is totally like one. The earth gives us food and water, like a mother.  - S.P., age 6

    The earth is like a mother because she gives us food and water. She gives us a beautiful sky. She loves us, and we love her. We love whatever she gives us. She gives us the bald eagle.
    - E.J., age 8

    The earth is like it is our mother because it is our mother, and our mother takes care of us. She feeds us. - H.W., age 7

    The earth is like a mother because she gives us all she can. She gives us resources, animals, plants, happiness, science, life, minerals, and wilderness. She lets us live on her planet, her home.
    - Y.M., age 11

    Earth is our mother. She gives us food, water, shelter, oxygen, life, friends, heat, feeling, eyes, animals, trees, flowers, family, love, cake, happiness, stones, beauty, teachers, and medicine.
    - H.B., age 8

    The earth is like a mother because she makes the food we eat, she grows the trees we use, and she makes the flowers we smell. She gives us animals to play with and gives us air. She gives us warmth and water, and she gives us clothes. - M.R., age 9

    The earth is like a mother because it gives you things like fruit and vegetables, and she keeps us alive with oxygen. She helps you take your first breath. - M.J., age 9

    The earth is like a mother. It gives us what we need to live - no more, no less. It give us the food we eat, the air we breathe, the land we walk on. Without her we would not be here. The sky, the land, the water - all one thing. - M.L., age 13

    The earth is like a mother because the earth has everything we need. It has food, water, honey, school, and money. The earth loves us so much, and that's why we should love the earth, too.
    - K.L., age 8

    The earth is like a mother of everything like lions, monkeys, llamas, horses, bears, people, and all the animals. - D.M., age 8

    The earth is like a mother because we will always be comforted by being on the ground. The earth is beating and beaming with life and love like a mother's love. The earth is slow and steady and caring like a mother's mind. The earth is safe and steady like a mother's eyes. - C.P., age 12

    The earth is like a mother who wants us to love the earth. The picture at the end was so pretty. There were eagles in the book, Brother Eagle, Sister Sky. I drew an eagle. - C.K., age 5

    The way I think of the earth as my mother is that she gives us a place to live, and she provides fruits and vegetables for us to eat. The earth gives us oxygen to breathe. She gives us trees for paper, logs for firewood, fish to eat, and deer for meat. She gives us a family. She provides families for us. She gives us clouds to watch and rivers to swim in. Therefore, we must honor, protect, and worship the earth. - R.H., age 10

    The earth is a mother because it gives us food, water, shelter, comfort, happiness, love, friends, oxygen, feelings, family, flowers, trees, animals, life, and PIE! - S.M.L., age 9

    The earth is like a mother because it takes good care of me, and I will take good care of the earth. It is a special place. - A.H., age 7

    The earth is like a mother. It gives water, food, wood for houses, trees, life, family, animals, love, air, plants, nature, and light. I LOVE THE EARTH! - S.Z.M.L., age 8

    The earth is like a mother to the horses. I really liked the horses in the book Brother Eagle, Sister Sky. - M.L., age 5 

    The earth is like a mother because it takes care of all the deer and the fish, so that I can hunt them. Then I am taken care of.
    - C.O., age 7

    Exhibit Discussion Blog

    Share Curricula Blog

    Connecting Children to Nature through Literature Exhibit Home

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Welcome Morgan Academy!

    Morgan Academy is an independent school located in Shepherdstown, WV, and is joining the Connecting Children to Nature Through American Literature: 1890 - Today team for the next couple of months commenting on the exhibit's book selections and ones moderators have picked since June 2011.

    The students at Morgan Acadamey will be posting comments after they have participated in a full bodied discussion in thier classroom.  Not only will they be commenting on their reading selections, but they will also be doing writing and creative art, environmental , and conservation activites related to the content in each reading.

    The following books have been selected by the students and teachers at Morgan Academy to discuss.


    Old Mother West Wind











    Blueberries for Sal









    A Tree is Nice










    Hatchet











    The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate










    Writing and Creative Art

    Photo, Video, and Pod Cast Gallery

    Exhibit Discussion Blog

    Share Curricula Blog

    Connecting Children to Nature through Literature Exhibit Home

    Morgan Academy Blog Home