Can kids be protectors?
"Kids can be protectors. They can start out small, and when they get older, they can do bigger and bigger stuff. We can pick up trash from our yards, and when we are older we can clean trash out of lakes and rivers."
Pollution, water conservation, energy consumption—these are all complicated issues. But protection is something small children can relate to, so when our Earth Day discussions started focusing on protecting the Earth, I was not surprised.
“We’re helping the world so it doesn’t die.” --Freida
How do we do that?
--with our hands!
--turn off water when you brush your teeth.
--don't chase animals.
--don't kill the grass.
--pick up garbage.
--turn the water off when you're not using it.
--put bird nests back if they blow down.
--put paper scraps in the recycle box.
--turn off the lights when we go outside.
--don't break leaves and branches on trees.
--give trees water.
--if a giant picks up a tree, then plant a new one.
In their world of monsters, superheroes, villains, and heroines, children quickly strap on their capes and become protectors of the world. My belief is that these young Earth protectors will indeed grow up to do bigger and bigger things They’ve got the world in their hands.
The long winter brought us little snow, bleak landscape, and many indoor days, so it’s been awhile since we’ve thought about nature. But with the new growth and green-ness emerging everywhere we look, we have once again been viewing the wonder of nature. Again, there is a logic in the children’s thoughts mixed with magical thinking. It makes sense that leaves would have prickles to protect them from animals who might want to eat them, and of course, the wizards put them there. But best of all, the tiny leaves like children and that’s why they are fuzzy.
--The leaves have prickles to protect them if animals want to eat them.
--In the fall and winter the wizards put poky things on the branches and when the animals come and touch them, they dart away. In the spring, the poky things fall off and the wizards put new ones on. Then they grow.
-- The pokys are poking me. They are for poking people and making them go away. The ridges are so the branches can get up higher.
-- It has spots like cheetahs! The fairies make the seeds then the flowers grow.
-- There’s some bumps, that means sometimes they wiggle when the wind comes.
-- The poky ridges scratch the deer to keep them defended and also wasps and bees.
-- The ridges on the stems protect the plant from leaf eaters.
-- The little fuzzy leaves like children and they want to feel good for children to touch them and children love fuzzy things. But the poky branches don’t like people.
-- That’s just how the world grew it.
Is made of one hundred.
The child has
a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking.
As we were going along with our animal study this week, something else was happening in afternoon music. Lauren has been song-writing with the afternooners, completely unrelated to our study--until this week. Harper had a song she wanted to write about cheetahs. When asked what she knows about cheetahs, she told about how they hunt. You see, we had just learned from a book prior in the day that when cheetahs hunt, they first creep slowly and quietly, then run, then leap/pounce upon their prey. Lauren, however, was unaware of any of this. When Lauren asked Harper what words she wanted in her song, she said, “I want to move to it.” Lauren worked with Harper to get it just right. “She dreamed up the concept, picked the chord, and determined the necessity of different strums for different moments.” Returning to the classroom, Lauren excitedly told me about a song Harper wrote and how it was a different process than the others she’d worked with so far--preschool teachers often talk excitedly about such things! She had her own reasons for her interest as a music teacher/songwriter. As she was telling me about the song, I saw our somewhat abstract philosophy being played out in a very concrete way. There are a hundred languages and a hundred ways to express learning—speaking, writing, drawing, painting, dancing, singing , moving, and creating songs/music.
5 day teacher