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Song of the Whooping Crane

Intergenerational Description of Joint Project

Choreographing and performing our poetry dance became very meaningful to the students and it was fun! Teaching and including the students in the learning, exploration, and creation phases of this project is in accordance with Ms. Carson’s philosophy of “endowing every child with a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life”.

During this special project Ms. Kuchinski was able to pass on her passion for birds and teach the children about birds in our ecosystems.  Ms. Kuchinski was very inspired and encouraged by the children’s ability to understand and empathize with the Whooping Crane’s plight.

Celebration of Rachel Carson’s Sense of Wonder

Our 2nd grade class theme became “The Young Naturalists”.  We studied birds all year and went on about 5 bird watching trips throughout the school year.  Our school is located about one mile from Paynes Prairie Preserve and is surrounded by woods. Binoculars came out at most recesses and the students identified more than 20 birds by sight and song. 

We followed the endangered Whooping Crane’s fall migration from Wisconsin to Florida and participated in The Journey North Program. We became very aware of the Whoopers plight and the birds’ loss of habit as a major contributor to their endangerment.

The video is located on YouTube. Link to EPA's External Link Disclaimer

 

Transcript:

Hello, my name is Sharon Kuchinski. I am a second grade teacher at Expressions Learning Arts Academy charter school in Florida. My second-grade class theme is young naturalists. We study birds all year and go on about five bird watching trips throughout the school year. Our school is located about a mile form Payne’s Prairie Preserve and is surrounded by woods. Binoculars come out at most recesses and my students are expected to identify twenty birds by sight and song. I am proud to say they always exceed that number.

We follow the endangered whooping cranes’ fall migration from Wisconsin to Florida and participate in the Journey North Program. We are very aware of the whooper’s plight and know that habitat loss is a major contributor to their endangerment. My second grade class and I will now perform a poetry dance entitled: “The Song of the Whooping Crane.”

It’s very meaningful to my students and they have had fun in the process. The way I teach my students is very much influenced by Mrs. Carson’s philosophy of endowing every child with a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life.

Song of the Whooping Crane is written by Eileen Spinelli. Illustrated by by Elsa Warnick. And choreographed by myself with help from the second graders.

Once the whooping cranes nested on prairies in number you would take all day counting. Now, they are one of the rarest birds in North America.

In the far north when October spills across the ice and the wind sweeps high, the wild whooping crane flies. They fly south over cities; over silvery plains; through scattered sleet and wintery rains. Upon this brave journey the firstly moonlight gleams. Come see, step out form dappled doorways. Leave your dreams. At last, the crane’s long, fateful journey is done. Below, the ponds and marshes welcome the sun. Some cranes spiral from the clouds. Some cranes skim. And one crane: Look! Reckless with flight, dives downward all wings.

By day they search for fish and snails. Some even have a playful flair for chasing dragonflies about or tossing wild berries in the air. They trumpet startling calls that ear for miles around.

By night, when stones reflect the scattered stars and darkness falls deep, the whooping cranes wade to shallow pools and go to sleep. Some watchful ones.   And now the sweetest scene of all: they dance. They bow; they leap; they flap their wings’ they prance in pairs or one by one of the flock entire. Bobbing. Bobbing heads up higher.

They bob their heads up higher. Higher! And then when blossom-scented April airs, the whooping cranes take off like feathered spears. Once more to northern nesting grounds they go.

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