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Voices of Mānoa Valley

Voices of Mānoa Valley
Jennifer Manuel

After inspiration from a book we read together, it was time for our keiki to head back to our favorite place to kilo in Mānoa Valley. This experience was slightly different from our last several inquiry walks down to the breathtaking valley of Mānoa. With kilo the children are able to pause, breathe, and observe their surroundings in silence. And, we had another goal in mind, which was to listen to the voices of nature that spoke to us.

What voices of nature do you hear?

In the book, “Voices in the Park,” the children were able to synthesize that the variety of characters all experienced the park differently. Although the characters shared the space of the park, each interaction and conversation was quite unique to that individual. Their feelings were different. The characters gravitated towards different elements at the park. Their perspectives were their own to recognize and honor as ‘especially theirs.’

I asked the children to listen to the voices of Mānoa Valley. What spoke to them during kilo? And, what would that element of nature say to them? My intention was to create an inquiry lesson that could lend itself to a different perspective of connecting to our sacred space. The keiki’s first opportunity to listen to the voices was a time of reflection and journaling as scientists to brainstorm thoughts and ideas.

A connection with the leaves.

A connection with Wailele Spring and the water.

Our second opportunity was to capture an element of perspective from that special voice of nature through photography. Zooming in, zooming out, a worm’s eye view, and a bird’s eye view allowed for a variety of perspectives to be considered by our scientists.

As you take a look at some of the photography of our first and second graders, I am in awe of what voices they heard through their camera lens and experiences with kilo. Although technology could enhance or offer editing tools, maybe all you really need is an open heart, mind, and keen sense of appreciation for the natural world through a child’s point of view.

What do you see? What voices of nature speak to you?

Alien Eyeball –L.C.
Grass to Sky –J.H.S.
Big Gigantic Spiky Rock in Mānoa –L.O.
The Spider Flower –K.G.
The Tree of Truth –A.W.
The Beautiful Bush –S.S.
Clouds –Z.H.

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