This afternoon I read a story to the group. The book, Leaf Man, by Lois Ehlert, is a staple of preschool classrooms at this time of year. As many times as I have read it to a group of young children, though, it had never felt more appropriate, as I have never read it in the forest before! Because the book uses leaves to tell a story, the connection to it was immediate. Children began to find leaves that resembled ones on the cover all around them, and quickly adapted the names of the trees to talk about them (something that I hadn't heard before). The differences between maple and oak leave seems so much more relevant, I guess, when you see them used in this way. They quickly realized we don't have any yellow "fan leaves"- (ginkgo leaves) but Immi noted that she had seen these trees at the Blue Slide Park. After the book was finished, Immi wanted to make a leaf man of her own, so we worked together to create one. She chose a place to build it where she knew there were acorns (for the eyes). She then brought a few friends to see it. Fox looked at it carefully and said that he needed more of a smile, so we used extra acorn caps to make his smile more prominent. Georgia came later and added a leaf to serve as his hair. Immi was open to all these suggestions, agreeing that they made the leaf man better.