naw-ruz (take 1)

Today’s lesson: naw-rúz.

March 18, 2006: 2 hours, 6 children, average age 6-7. Given the extra preparation due to preparing this lesson in advance, the class went extraordinarily well and was much more organized. There was no sense of last-minute panic and we (the teachers) were far more relaxed and confident – even though we were both tired from fasting for the past 17 days. I think we are both showing signs of wear though – it was harder than usual to put up with difficult behaviour from the children. They were merciful and good though, and spared us any major tantrums.

The activity was quite well-liked. After last week’s class, we decided to work on a few things: preparing the materials in advance, making an example prior to the class so the children know what the craft will look like, and explaining the purpose of the craft. We got together a half-hour before the children arrived and put together a couple of pretty Naw-rúz tags out of construction paper, string and ribbons, using scissors and heart- and butterfly-shaped hole punchers from the dollar store. The children found the craft easy to do and seemed to enjoy it. At least, it went a lot better than last week’s craft (preparation is the key). Making the tags took up a good half-hour, and some of kids chose to make and decorate more than one.

We started with prayers, and we read and sung “Blessed is the spot”. We had a bit of talking to lead up to the activity regarding Naw-rúz, spring, the month of Fasting, and the Bahá’í calendar. We mentioned that Bahá’ís often give each other gifts at Naw-rúz, much like Ayyám-i-Há. They related to the idea of gift-giving and were quite quick to come up with ways to make a gift special (and, of course, one of those ways was to add a nice tag with the recipient’s name on it – hence the craft!) We ended the day with drawing springtime scenes in their scrapbooks – as well as pasting the text of “Blessed is the spot” into the books.

notes to self

Easter: April 16

Ridvan (1st day): April 21

Stories of Bahá’u’lláh and early Bahá’ís – Bahá’u’lláh entered the Ridván garden

Earth Day: April 22

Environment theme – cleaning up after ourselves… recycling, respect for the earth… “ecological footprint”… connection to aboriginal wisdom, words from Bahá’í Writings on nature?

Ridvan (9th day): April 29

Stories of Bahá’u’lláh and early Bahá’ís – Family joined Bahá’u’lláh in the Ridván garden

Ridvan (12th day): May 2

Stories of Bahá’u’lláh and early Bahá’ís – Bahá’u’lláh left the Ridván garden

Mother’s Day: May 14

Love – put together some kind of card or other sort of present for Mom

Declaration of the Báb: May 23

Story of the Báb’s Declaration

Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh: May 29

Reverence – Making candles?

Father’s Day: June 18

Love, honour, respect towards parents – what does it mean to “honour thy father and mother”

cleanliness (take 1)

Today’s lesson: cleanliness.

March 11, 2006: 2 hours, 5 children, average age 6-7. during the fast. worked out all right. The children could relate to the topic. We managed to convey the idea that Bahá’u’lláh asks us to wash our face, hands and feet each day. This will be a useful reminder for the children in future classes. Many of them seem to have learned basic hygiene at school and/or at home. The craft was a good idea but was difficult to execute without a proper plan. note to self: refine this craft! the children liked sticking the flowers onto a mirror and seeing their faces reflected inside. when they saw an example they giggled and were quite impressed. didn’t mention the connection with the Fast, but there’s still another week for that.

  • explain the purpose of the craft – what is this going to be for?
  • have an example of the craft already done, so that the kids know what they’re working towards.
  • write out the steps beforehand, so you know how to explain it to the kids.