Thursday, September 8, 2016

Cloud Pictures

Over the Labor Day weekend, the media broadcasted repeated announcements about tropical storm Hermine and the probability of it hitting Long Island. Fire Island was evacuated as a precaution and the Long Island south shore beaches closed on Sunday and Labor Day. Long Islanders witnessed night skies lit with variegated hues, folding into creative patterns that hovered over land. Each scene was like an artist's rendering of cloud pictures, reminding me of Van Gogh's statement that "night is more alive than the day." (www.

While I was on the east coast spotting the glory of the summer's night skies, my daughter was on the west coast capturing brilliant sunsets. A story unfolded in nighttime cloud pictures.

Have you ever wondered how nature creates brilliant sunsets across the world? Artists have been studying the skies for decades, capturing its distinct beauty of movement and majesty. One of the most recognized night sky paintings in the art world and in classrooms is Vincent Van Gogh's, Starry Night

When taking sunset photos of brilliant cloud formations this summer, I wondered how clouds form. As teachers and students engage in first week activities, they may recount the brilliance of the summer night skies. Wonderopolis' Wonder of the Day 1413, How Do Clouds Form?, may be a starting point for an inquiry-based, cross-curriculum study. Art, literature, and science paired together can provide a multi-faceted approach to understanding the whys of cloud pictures. This can lead to a fascinating project where students represent their synthesis of the content studied through multi-mediums.

Please visit the Wonder Ground here where you can see lessons stemming from Wonderopolis' Wonders of the Day. Send me your thoughts or writing extensions that can lead students to noticing, wondering, and creating from the Wonders of the Day. Perhaps, a cloud picture will evolve from a similar inquiry as mine. 

Margaret Simon, creator of DigiLit Sunday, posed last week that members of the writing community write about the topic of motivation. I believe that our noticings and wonderings allow us to stimulate our thinking patterns and lead us to create. 

If we can turn our passions for wondering about life and learning over to our students, we can lead them onto interesting inquiry paths of choice. Engaging students in the act of noticing and wondering is a practice worth exploring on a daily basis. You can access #DigiLitSunday responses on Twitter and here.

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