“When the rain comes, does it fall down?”

Dear Families:

Nora Painten, a teacher from a local preschool, the Red Hook Playgroup,  sent us an email, the contents of which we wanted to share with you.

One Wednesday in November, Red Hook Playgroup spent the morning working outside at the Urban Meadow.  During this time, a group of fifth graders from our school were also in the Meadow building a Maya house as a part of their Maya Study. The little ones observed our fifth graders at work, and asked them questions about what they were making.  The children watched our kids split bamboo by whacking it with thicker log-like pieces of wood. They learned that they were weaving fibers through the walls and then packing mud onto the outside. When the children asked about the “mud” they learned that the mixture was made from clay, sand and hay. The 5th graders also explained to the RHP students that where these houses were historically built, in present day Mexico, there isn’t winter the way we have winter here so the houses could be used year round. Many RHP children were so inspired by the Maya House in the Urban Meadow, that they wanted to try to make a structure of their own. Here are some kids’ observations while watching the BNS students:


“They’re picking up the bushes.”


“They have sticky mud so the bamboo doesn’t fall down.”


“We could use sticks and muddy paint!”


“We need muddy clay to stick it to so it doesn’t fall.”


“When the rain comes, does it fall down?”


“How will you make the top?”

All for now,



One more thing!  The fourth grade PBAs (Performance Based Assessments) are happening this week, and we need YOUR help!  Click here to sign up to be on a panel, we still need folks for Wednesday 6/6 PM, and Friday 6/8 AM & PM!


Read more about PBAs here.





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