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Out Beyond

Out Beyond
Bailey Jamile

“Out beyond ideas of
wrongdoing and rightdoing
there is a field.
I’ll meet you there. 
When the soul lies down
in that grass, 
the world is too full
to talk about.”

I came across this poem yesterday as I was browsing books in the library. The poet, Rumi, speaks of how our connections thrive when we are able to let go of all expectations, the need to be right, and the fear of being wrong. Rumi’s poem can be seen as an allegory to our inquiry approach to learning. This poem suggests that there is a place that transcends our normal world and our normal way of thinking. This space is one where students can meet to explore, research, converse, and gain information without the worry of right or wrong. Knowledge is not about having the right answers all the time, but rather, exploring the many avenues and perspectives that make up our ever-changing world.

Our inquiry has been particularly fast-paced after returning from Spring Break a few weeks ago. Before the break, we worked with Kumu Page to create our very own loʻi patch. Our Kalo are now nestled perfectly next to our wauke plants. These plants have provided an abundance of learning in regards to our ongoing inquiry about natural resources in Hawaii. As we discussed more about our kalo plant, a student inquired, “Why do people in Hawaii eat poi? So many other places don’t have poi.” The responses to this question ranged from “It makes you strong,” to “It tastes good!” What better time than now to introduce the legend of Hāloa?


The students learned how Wākea and Hoʻohōkūkalani fell in love and had a child. Sadly, the baby was stillborn and they decided to bury his body in the earth. They noticed a plant with heart-shaped leaves growing from that very spot. This was the first kalo plant, which had sprouted from the grave of their baby. The gods treasured this plant and named it Hāloanakalaukapalili, the long stem whose leaves tremble in the wind. Eventually, Wākea and Hoʻohōkūkalani birthed another son, a healthy baby boy. They named this child Hāloa, in honor of his older brother, the first kalo plant. Hāloa grew strong by eating the taro. Kalo became a symbol of family and the connection between the earth, gods, and people. How special to have our very own kalo plants right outside our classroom, always reminding us of the importance of our classroom family.

Our inquiry discussions almost always revolved around the ahupuaʻa, the division of land, and how Hawaiians made use of the natural resources around them (i.e., water). Engaging experts is all a part of the inquiry process and we were excited to meet with two Native Hawaiian Plant Technicians from the Mālama Loko Ea Foundation (MLEF). The MLEF mission is to perpetuate Native Hawaiian culture through education, land stewardship, and community building, while sustainably restoring our natural resources. Kumu Emily taught us all about the different types of fish ponds in Hawaii - Loko Kuapā (rock-wall fishpond), Loko Iʻa Kalo (taro patch + fishpond), Loko Wai (freshwater fishpond), and Loko Puʻuone (sand-dune fishpond). She also talked about the animals (raised, predatory, and introduced species) who make up the Loko Ea. Feel free to ask your children about the kāku, or the Great Barracuda!

To end the week we were able to get our hands dirty, literally! The MLEF shared their Kuʻu Aloha ʻĀina planting kits with every M 3/4 student. This activity allowed everyone to learn hands-on the importance of mālama ʻāina through planting native and vegetable plants. Each student will go home with three potted plants- ʻAʻaliʻi, ʻAhu ʻAwa, and Snap Peas. We will be watering and tending to the plants during the school day and your children will bring them home with a plant-care sheet after conferences. They are very excited to show you all they’ve done!



Looking forward to talking with you all at our conferences on April 25 and April 26!

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