Today’s lesson: ridván, the king of festivals.
April 22, 2006: ~2 hours, 6 children, average age 6-7. The material we put together was great — but it didn’t last long enough. We started with prayers like usual, then talked briefly about Easter (since last weekend was Easter and many of the children in our class go to Sunday school) — most of the comments were about chocolate instead of Jesus, of course. We explained that Baha’is also have a very important holiday that started on Friday: the festival of Ridván. We explained briefly the meaning of Ridván, and how Bahá’u’lláh sacrificed forty years of His life in prison and exile to bring His message to the world. One of the children made the most amazing and unexpected comment — in trying to make the comparison between Jesus and Bahá’u’lláh, she said “So, they’re like brothers, right?” I live for moments like this.
We read a story about Ridván from God Passes By and then prepared pictures for painting (the rose above, as well as the map and the slide from book 4). The painting was a special treat for the kids, since we usually colour and draw with felt pens, crayons, and coloured pencils. The two main problems we had were a lack of coordination with the parents (i.e. some of the kids were picked up about 15 minutes after the time the class usually ends), and a lack of contingency planning (i.e. having more material ready to go to cover the ‘dead spots’ in between activities). I definitely could have been more on the ball during the week to remedy the first problem — for instance, calling the parents a couple of days in advance to remind them about the class. Also, it’s clear that we could have used more activities as backups in case we went over time. One note – usually we have lots of musical instruments for the kids to play while we sing, and today we didn’t have enough to go around. I think several of the kids lost enthusiasm and got distracted because of that.