Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Fun Peace

At the beginning of class as children drifted in, we played soft and mildly energetic music. Each child was invited to find a way to move quickly in one space or quietly through out the whole room. As soon as we had enough children, we moved into the first activity.

I. Welcome Craft - Peace Sticks
Over the course of the term, we will make Peace Sticks. Each child will be asked to remember a peaceful moment. This will be written down on a piece of paper. The paper will be wrapped around the stick. Then, they will choose a piece of coloured string. The string will be tied to the stick. The child will wrap their peaceful memory around the paper. Each week, we will use a different colour.

II. Circle
A. Love Grows - song
B. So Glad You’re Here - (song which greets each child by name.)
C. Wind The Bobbin Up - (song which settles)
D. Circle poem - modified waldorf verse, see below
E. Story - “Somewhere In the World,” by Shelley Moore Thomas

III. Movement Activity
a. Partner Call
Each child will be given a word that is related in some way, to their partners word. Some examples may be: Ice Cream, Peanut-Butter, Pop-corn. Now, separate the pairs, each player to opposite sides of the playing area. Each player will now close their eyes or play blindfolded (make sure before playing any blindfolded game, that you teach the players to move slowly and keep their hands up at shoulder level, and out from their body, to act as bumpers). The object of the game is to move across the playing area and find your partner. The players will begin announcing (shouting) the word of the person they are looking for. For example, if I am Pop, I would move around yelling the word "Corn". Of course my partner will be yelling "Pop". (Resource here.)

b. Together Tag
Clarify that we play safe tag. That means we only tag with one finger. One person chooses to be “it.” They try to tag one person. Once tagged, that person joins hands with the original “it.” Together, they must try to keep tagging the other players until everyone is “it.” The last one tagged gets to be “it” in the next round.

IV. Meditation - The Empty Meditation
“empty your toes, empty your feet, your ankles, etc.”

V. Story
a. In The Small, Small Night, by Jane Kurtz
b. discussion

VI. Craft
Wet water colour. (Painting will be saved for use in future projects.)
Each child wet their paper with a sponge and clean water. Then they used one brush to create 1 or 2 water colour painting using only red, yellow and blue.

VII. Closing
A. Pass The Pulse - Teacher starts the pulse by squeezing a hand. They "pass the pulse" around the circle by squeezing the next hand until it returns to the teacher.
B. “Hands” = Hlding hands and taking turns, each person states something they are thankful for today.

Notes: Today was an exhausting, yet, exhilarating day! Trillium, my co-teacher, and I need to smooth some of the transitions out. Some children race through a project whilst others take their time. So we discovered a need to better facilitate the "high energy" children.

It is very hard to work in an empty huge room with hard wood floors. The echo simply begs the children to experiment with sound. Because the room is used for anything from yoga to meditation classes, we can not create a "classroom environment." However, in keeping with the idea of this class, it does beg us to find ways to incorporate "simplicity" into the very bones of running this class. Good challenge!

Highlights: Writing down the peace experiences today was exceptional. Here are some thoughts on peaceful moments they experienced this week. Peace is:
"when the birds stopped chirping"
"when the sun sets.
"ice cream and t.v."
"no barking dogs."

Glorious!

Lyrics
Love Grows - we only used the chorus below. The rest of the song is included because I like it.

LOVE GROWS ONE BY ONE

TWO BY TWO AND FOUR BY FOUR

LOVE GROWS ‘ROUND LIKE A CIRCLE

AND COMES BACK KNOCKING

AT YOUR FRONT DOOR

Note by note we make a song

Voice by voice we sing it

Choir by choir we fill up the world

With the music that we bring it (CHORUS)

So let me take your hand, my friend

We’ll each take the hand of another

One by one we’ll reach for all

Our sisters and our brothers (CHORUS)

So Glad I'm Here - modified
For lyrics/ tune please check the Sweet Honey In the Rock album, "All For Freedom"

2 comments:

blackgirlinmaine said...

As a Black mother who is interested in homeschooling, stumbling across your blog had been a godsend. Your program sounds amazing and is giving me some ideas to do with my own 3 yo daughter.

Christina Springer said...

Thanks so much for the kind comments! I applaud you for contemplating homeschooling. It is the greatest adventure of a lifetime. And also exceptionally challenging. If I was in any small way of assistance to you, then my whole day is brighter. I'll be posting this class each week. So, stay tuned, gather up some friends and learn along with us! If you do, let me know how it goes!