Friday, April 3, 2015

Ode to Mud

Summer in New Hampshire is delightful. We do have a few days of intense heat, but overall, we can get away with a summer sans air conditioning, a fan no, but air conditioning, yes. Autumn is what we are famous for. Crisp, clear days of vibrant color. Winter begins around Thanksgiving and lasts until at least the end of March, often. In fact the last weekend of March 2015 saw snow and 20 degree temperatures. Then comes the most dreaded of all seasons MUD, I mean spring.

While the rest of the country is basking in the beauty of the Earth's rebirth, we in NH are slogging through feet of ooey, gooey mud. We live on a picturesque dirt road, but the melting snows and a frost line that descends to five feet creates a driving nightmare.  I have had to don my Wellies and carry a 3 year old and 1 year old up the mountain because my car was up to its fenders in muck, all the while trying not to fall and lose my babies to the demon mud. Walking through the brown goop is a form of aerobic exercise as it sucks you in with sheer delight. Forget getting the car washed; it's like, well, throwing money in the mud! Yes, I believe the mud is hell bent on making my life muddy! Mud season, as it is called here was one of the hardest things for me to accept when we moved. With longer days I am ready for spring, for crocuses, for daffodils, for warmth.

What's a New Jersey transplant to do? Roll up my pants and slog through! I've decided to embrace all things mud and work a week of speech activities that are mud related. Why not? MUD HAPPENS!

In the spirit of nature (and mud) and following Amy's lead, with my third through fifth grade students we are going to embark on haiku writing. A simple formula consisting of three lines all about our demon beloved mud.

My fifth through eighth grade students will be expanding their language horizons with some muddy figurative language. Here is what I came up with:
  • It's as clear as mud.
  • Don't be a stick in the mud!
  • He's as happy as a pig in mud.
  • Sea of mud
  • It's as slick as mud
  • mud slinger
  • Sling mud at someone.
  • His name is mud
  • Hey, mud sticks!
  • Here's to mud in your eye!
  • Mud duck: I wasn't familiar with this one, but it means an unattractive person :(
  • Drag someone's name through the mud
  • Mud happens: an original!

What would mud season be without mud crafts and songs. An old favorite is "I Love Mud," but I found this very funny video I think my younger students will enjoy.

Mud crafts? How about some chocolate scented play-doh? This recipe can be found on I Can Teach My Child. Click the picture below for the instructions.

I also thought a fun and easy craft could be done by cutting out mud splats from brown paper and gluing them on a larger piece of paper. This can be the inspiration for a creative writing activity, sequencing activity or vocabulary activity.  And finally some "dirty words." Click on the link below for a simple articulation activity that can be given as homework.

I'm hoping my attempts at embracing mud season will help me get through it. For those of you who haven't experienced mud season first hand I hope this glimpse into NH mud is enough to encourage visits during our other three magnificent seasons. If you do venture here during the infamous mud, don't say I didn't warn you :)


  1. Love this theme!!! Sounds like such fun!

    1. I'll be happy to send you some mud :)