Welcome to Dixie’s Tea House

The students walked in the classroom Wednesday morning, January 19th and there was an invitation at every seat to come to Ms. Dixie’s Tea Party Social. Immediately a frenzy of excitement rippled through Opal 2. Kids came running up to me asking what this was all about, where was the tea party and could they go.  IMG_1622


We have been reading a novel called Bug Muldoon aloud together. In this story there is a place called Dixie’s where the bugs go one evening to hang out and relax after a long day. The students recognized the Dixie’s right away from the story and spent all morning as we hiked through the arboretum buzzing about whether ‘Bug’ would show up at Dixie’s and what was going to happen.


This is an entry into a ‘game’. A way to play our way into important concepts and interesting ideas. We could continue to progress our work through talking, reading and writing about these ideas in somewhat more conventional ways, but choosing to imagine a context in which the ideas we want students to study will be real and meaningful offers us a way to become an actual living part of the work. 

We knew we wanted to head into some research around certain bugs. The students had been asked the question – If you could shrink down and follow one bug (in the arboretum) to find out what is amazing and magical about it, which bug would you choose? The goal of the research is not just to know more details – it is based out of a hope that each student will become close and connected to one very small creature we generally don’t spend much time thinking about. Studying one bug in depth will create an understanding of interdependence which we can then look at together in a broader and more abstract way.


The Lady Bug waitress let the guests (Opal 2 students) know that Ms. Dixie’s was open and they began to yell with excitement. Once inside, they entered Ms. Dixie’s as themselves and soon found a place card and name tag with their new name…

Ms. Dixie let them know that she had decided to have a Tea Party Social so that all the bugs that shared the Magic Bug Forest could get to know all their neighbors who had most likely not met before, but shared space with. The bugs were seated with their bug ‘families’ and were asked to converse as bugs as they were served tea and cookies. 


Through this experience the students had a great time, saw their teachers jump into their work with them, put on the persona of a bug, found out their groups for research of a bug ‘family’ and maybe most importantly, they genuinely encountered things they wondered about their bugs and had the desire to find it out. 

When asked why Ms. Dixie had the Tea Party Social, one student replied, “To bring our whole class together.” 


One Comment

  1. Stella enjoyed the tea party so much and has been talking about it ever since. The experience really helped bring the story to life. Thank you for creating magic during the school day–if only more children had this opportunity.

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