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GREEN THINGS

Spring is awash in vibrant colors and fragrance. It’s a good time to enjoy some color appreciation activities with your group members. Take a poll of favorite colors among your group. Green is sure to be cited as a popular seasonal color. Explore how the color green appeals to all of the senses with some simple introductory activities. Look at paint chip samples in shades of green (e.g., sea foam, mint, lime, moss, jade, olive). Wear a green item of clothing, such as a tie, socks, or hat. Taste a green dessert, such as key lime pie or lime sherbet. Smell some fresh green mint.

Color can spark many memories. Here are some recall and reminiscing activities related to the color green.

    • Reminisce about trading stamps popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Ask: Did you shop in stores that gave you S&H Green Stamps with a purchase? What kind of items did you buy with your Green Stamps?
    • Enjoy looking at reproductions from 20th century American folk artist Grandma Moses, who painted scenes of rural life. Note the shades of green she uses in her spring and summer scenes.
    • Pass around a picture of the 4-H Club emblem, a green four-leaf clover. Ask participants to share recollections of the meaning of each ‘H’ in the emblem (head, hands, heart, health).
    • Discuss the meaning of the term “greenback,” often associated with money. Hold up a one-dollar bill. Ask if anyone ever owned a “Mom and Pop business.” Share stories about framing the first dollar you ever made.
    • Explore the meaning of the following idiom: “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”
    • Talk about ways to use the herb mint in cooking. Sample some mint tea, candy, or jelly. Ask participants about the use of spearmint or peppermint as an old folk medicine.
    • Pass around a pair of vintage OD (olive drab) military fatigues. Reminisce about green military uniforms from World War II.
    • Laugh at an episode of the 1960s TV sitcom Green Acres.
    • Reminisce about the first Super Bowl in 1967 with the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Any Packer fans among the group? Ask if anyone remembers seeing Packer fans paint their faces with green and gold.
    • List professionals or club members who wear green garb: e.g., physicians, park rangers, Girls Scouts, Kansas City Athletics, Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.
    • Show photographs of The Green Monster, the left-field wall at Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox. Ask: When and why was the wall painted green? Did you ever see a player hit a home run over the wall?
    • Share memories of TV’s Green Grocer, Joe Carcione. List tips for picking out fresh produce. Name fruits and vegetables that are green, or try a fruit taste test.
    • Reflect on the U.S. environmental movement, which became popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Ask participants if they became involved in “green issues.” What do they remember about the first Earth Day? Did they ever join the Sierra Club or Audubon Society?
    • Show photographs of vintage John Deere tractors and farm equipment (green and yellow color). Share family farm memories such as spring planting.

Ask participants to share memories of time spent “on the greens.” Ask: Why do you enjoy the game of golf? What do you remember about televised golf tournaments beginning in the 1960s? Reminisce about winners of the Masters Golf Tournament (e.g., Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer) who receive a green jacket for winning the tournament.

 

GREEN TRIVIA QUIZ

Ask group members to name a well-known neighbor of the following sitcom television families. Have fun with a “green” trivia quiz.

  1. Name the city that Dorothy was seeking in The Wizard of Oz. Emerald City
  2. What is a “greenhorn”? Someone who is new at doing something
  3. What gemstones are green? Emerald, peridots, jade
  4. What emotions are associated with green? Envy, jealousy
  5. What is the compound in leaves that makes them green? Chlorophyll
  6. What is the large island off northeast Canada, mainly within the Arctic Circle? Greenland
  7. Who is the author of the popular children’s book Green Eggs and Ham? Dr. Seuss
  8. Which giant in TV commercials for frozen foods says “Ho, ho, ho”? Jolly Green Giant
  9. Name a fuzzy green fruit grown commercially in New Zealand. Kiwi
  10. Which state is nicknamed the Green Mountain State? Vermont

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH

“Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.” ~ Grandma Moses

“GREEN THINGS” written by Sue Hansen. © 2007 ElderSong Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

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