< Let's Pick up Season Words >

"Why don't we go out to the graveyard and make some haiku?" I took my stuents out for a walk in May.

"Do you know this flower?" I asked. "Ah..?" or "Wonder what.." or even
"Never thought a flower could be around here",my students replied.

Did they really overlook an acacia blooming white in the trees and petals blown in the wind just outside of the school gate?

"When the grass grows in heavy density, we have a season word "Kusa shigeru" (the grass grows thick) to describe it, "I explain.
"Look, cicadas are singing so early in the season !" some students call out.

"They are Matsu-zemi(pine-tree cicada) or called Shun-zen(spring-time cicada) as they start to sing earlier than Abura-zeni(oily cicada) that come out in the heat of summer. As a season word, however, Matsu-Semi represents 'the summer," I comment.

"Warblers are singing!" other students cry.
"Those that stay around as late as now are called Natsu-uguisu(summer warbler) or Rou-ou(old warbler)," I respond.

Just a casual exposure to the open field ushered them to a number of season words. I saw excitement in their eyes and readiness to respond to the call of nature. Then and there the students began to appreciate nature.