Kids of all ages love evergreens. With sunlight scarce and ground water frozen, most plants simply cannot produce their own food. Plants that cannot survive in these conditions usually drop their leaves in the winter. Tough evergreens however, gradually shed and replace leaves all year round—they are never completely leafless. Because of this, evergreens take center stage in our stark landscape of winter.
Long before the holidays were celebrated, evergreens were treasured - even worshipped - by ancient peoples. Pagan druids and Celts of France and Britain viewed forest evergreens as special symbols of hope, in the dark, cold winter. From them, we have inherited the holly and mistletoe as symbols of eternal life and the branch of evergreens over the door to keep evil spirits at bay.
Fourth graders in HSNY’s Apple Seed Program at CS 154 (on West 127th St) took a close look at branches of Eastern White Pine, Fraser Fir, Juniper and Holly. Comparing leaf adaptations and structure, they found needles in bundles of 5, scale-like leaves and waxy, thorny leaves. As a unique challenge, our students created these amazing works of art without using any hues of the color green.
Article by Pamela Ito
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