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.

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