Flower and Garden show paves way to English conversation

crow silhouetteIt should be obvious why I had to make my annual trek to the Northwest Flower and Garden show, based on the first photo, which I took outdoors while waiting for a bus. Gloomy skies, wind, forlorn trees and crows. Compare this setting to the one below, inside the Seattle Convention Center. The first exhibit visitors saw as they walked in was a quintet of Wizard of Oz topiary characters, including this cowardly lion.

cowardly lion based on The Wizard of Oz character

cowardly lion based on The Wizard of Oz

This year I was on a mission, beyond the obvious one of spending a day pretending that spring had arrived. Linda, my English conversation class co-leader, who also planned to attend the show, suggested we bring back photos and ask our adult “students” to think of questions about what they’re seeing and describe it.

This assignment meant bypassing the huge displays of trees and bushes, all with tags showing their botanical names. Instead of taking photos of “rhododendron” and “anthurium,” I chose objects with pronounceable names and distinguishable features:  sheep, chicken and frog.

We tried the activity today, and were amazed by our class’s knowledge of northwest plants, fairy tales (one exhibit featured Rapunzel’s braid), and enthusiasm for new vocabulary:  succulents, garden art, and toolshed.

syl and rob sheepann&chicken


About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness. Also, I'm on the third draft of my second novel since retirement.
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