This project is inspired by a book called The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris, published in the UK by Hamish Hamilton in 2017. The poems and paintings in the book focus on nature words that were removed from the Oxford Children’s Dictionary due to their supposed lack of use. The aim of the book is to create some magic with “spells” and gilded images that celebrate the beautiful, strange nature that surrounds us, and ensure that the language and nature survives. The book is, as artist Jackie Morris says, “a beautiful protest”.
The purpose of this project is to connect to the natural world found in our own backyards, parks, and trails, by exploring, observing, drawing, photographing, reading and writing about its specific natural elements. Students can select items and words to focus on that inspire and interest them the most and through the process discover ways to express a deeper understanding of their topic. Final projects could be in the form of individual poems and images like in The Lost Words, or in a book form, nature journal, field guide, or zine that is a collection of nature words.
The project is for all ages, and younger children could collaborate with adults on the project.
Check ouhttps://railyardpark.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/The-Lost-Words-Project_Final.pdft the PDF version here.