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A Day at Plimoth Plantation

Original Paintings and Text by Cecilia Conway


Dawn’s first light peaks from the clouds. Slowly, colors begin to bloom, exploding in the sky. Down below it’s as dark as night. Trees fight their way up for the light. A lone wolf howls. His feet dampen as he steps through a blanket of wet leaves. The water seems to have a mind of its own. It stays as blue as a sapphire. Slowly but surely, dawn comes to an end as the sun comes up with morning.


The sun comes up, peeking its orange face into the sky. The colors it spreads brighten the world. Trees sway in the early morning air, their leaves dance with the branches. The water is as orange as a lion and as fierce as a fire. The wetu is full of Wampanoag people, just finishing their breakfast. The sky is as pink as bubble gum. Slowly it deepens, giving way to true morning.


The sun is rising, light as a feather in the afternoon sky, shining butter-yellow over a wheat field. The baby-blue sky surveys the busy world below. One Pilgrim girl takes a rest from the back-breaking labor she does. Far off, strong winds twirl the tree’s leaves about.


The day is done. A golden sun is sinking behind the mountains. As it does, it magnifies everything around. The colors of the sky are sun-drenched and the water is dusk-blue. It gently rocks the swaying mishoons. Yellow wheat plants watch the scene with much interest. One lonely, orange maple tree watches its reflection. Far away, two evergreens stand waiting for the day in spring when earth blooms again for the village.


Twilight peeks its head out from the clouds. The blazing sun has just gone down. The sky is as colorful as a conch shell. Time passes on as the water ripples. It sweeps past the trees. It rolls on to shore. Maple trees, as orange as fire, are shining with gold leaves. Tired mishoons rest on the damp ground near a Wampanoag village.


Now is night. All is quiet. The snow is ghostly gray. Only the soft, swishing of the water can be heard traveling through hushed woods. The moon’s halo casts is radiance over the ground. A wetu watches the silent sky. It seems so calm, a dark, cloudless sky. The only light is the few sparks of fire and a thread of smoke.


This is one of the many books which came to life while the students of Mrs. Mattson’s 3rd grade class explored the rich relationship between visual imagery and the written word. This Time of Day book was created as a part of Picturing Writing: Fostering Literacy Through ArtŽ, an art-and-literature-based writing program developed by Beth Olshansky at the University of New Hampshire. The program is designed to support the acquisition of literacy skills in children with diverse learning styles. A research-based literacy program, Picturing Writing has proven

its

effectiveness

in

dramatically

improving

student

writing. After

a

visit

to

Plimoth

Plantation

in

Plymouth,

Massachusetts, our class combined the Time of Day unit with our study of the Wampanoag Indians and Pilgrims to create our own, unique visions of A Day in the Life of Plantation.

December, 2009


Cecilia-Plimoth Book