As the School Year Ends – Global Grade 3

Hola Grade 3,

The end of a school year was always a mixture of sad and happy for me. It meant I was passing on the students in my class to the next teacher but it also meant I would have a new group with which to explore learning. Soon your time will be here to face change but I know you have learned so much this school year and are well prepared for the future.

I want to share something I found on the web. It looks at parent/child relationships but can also be applied to teaching. The words come from a song called, "Roots and Wings" sung by a group called Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers. I found quite a lot of meaning in these words.

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"Roots and Wings" the Lyrics

Give us children roots and wings
Never fear the change it brings
There is no reason to be sad
Be thankful for the time you’ve had

When I was a younger guy
One autumn night I told a lie
My dad just shook his head and sighed
Said ‘one day you’ll know what it’s like’

To give your children roots and wings, oh, oh
And not to fear the change it brings, oh, oh
To tell the truth and be a man
To always do the best you can

Mother, she done set me free
From all the locks that once held me
She whispered in my infant ears
That I was wise beyond my years
So even on my darkest nights
I’ve felt the ground and I’ve seen the heights
And one day may you do the same
Oh, child of mine that bears my name

I give to you my roots and wings, oh, oh
With these you can do anything, oh, oh
And you will never be alone
Carry or be carried home

Oh, oh
You’ll be carried home (x2)
You will always be here with me

The way you feel your roots and wings, oh
And never fear the change it brings, oh
So give those children roots and wings, oh, oh
And never fear the change it brings, oh, oh
There is no reason to be sad
Be thankful for the time you had
And give those children roots and wings, oh
Oh, and I give you mine
Roots and wings (x8)

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I found the performed song on You Tube...

After seeing the words, I searched for Roots and Wings Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers on iTunes, I purchased it and added it to my music collection.

As you think of the end of the school year, I know you have the roots as a change makers. Never fear the change life brings as you move on to Grade 4. I can only advise one thing...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.


Teacher, NSW, Australia

4 thoughts on “As the School Year Ends – Global Grade 3

  1. The Grade Three Bloggers

    Hi Ross!

    Thank you for another amazing and creative comment. When we read your thoughts this morning, it made our teacher cry … and that was even before we watched the VIDEO! She was sad AND happy … just like you said. The end of the year brings change. It is hard to say goodbye but it is exciting to see the growth and changes too. We told her that relationships last forever … and we will leave with her in our hearts.

    The song roots and wings reminds us of the life cycle of a flower. You start as a little seed and then you grow … and your leaves begin to sprout and then, suddenly … you BLOSSOM. The roots are the family ties, both daytime AND night-time, the relationships and the memories. The wings are how we grow … we become more independent … we make mistakes, we learn, we grow … but … the roots are ALWAYS there.

    When the lyrics said “… set you free…” it reminds some of us of the dandelion … when the seeds are ready to be set free … they blow away in the wind. It also reminds us of the book Charlotte’s Web. When Charlotte’s babies are ready to begin their OWN lives … they float away by catching the wind.

    We are ready to take our wings and fly on to Grade Four, Ross. We will remember our blog and the journey of building a library in Q’enqo Peru. Before we finish our year completely, though, we have to write one final blog post to the future Grade Threes. We want to “pass the torch” and share our hopes for THEIR journey NEXT year.

    Ross, thank you for being such a HUGE part of helping us to develop roots and wings this year. We are SO thankful for the learning you have shared with us.

    The Grade Three Bloggers ♥

  2. rossmannell

    Post author

    Hello Grade 3,

    It’s easy to see from your comment you all understood what was meant in “Roots and Wings”. Your comparison to the the life cycle of a flower is quite good. We, like all living things, have our own life cycle to live. When we are grounded with love, respect and the opportunity to learn and explore our capabilities, our roots are strong and help us blossom as we grow.

    Like you, I am a fan of E.B. White’s wonderful story. Apart from the book in my personal library, I have an animated version as well as the version starring Dakota Fanning in my DVD library. It is a wonderful film about friendship. I remember poor Wilbur’s reaction when he saw Charlotte’s babies being carried off by the wind and his joy when he found some had stayed.

    Rather than being blown randomly by the winds of chance as had happened with Charlotte’s babies, you have all been given direction and have realized you are all capable of being change makers, of making a difference in the lives of others.

    With so little time left for the school year, I know great things can lie ahead of you if you are willing to explore opportunities in your lives.


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