Today’s lesson: seeing
Nov. 10, 2007: 1.5 hours, 7 children, average age 7-8. Great class! There is a lot to be said for team efforts. The class started with beautiful prayers—which the children love and vie with each other to say (!)—and continued with songs in which everyone joined in. We had four Haitian children (all related), so one of the songs we sang was “O God, Guide Me” in Haitian Creole, which is fun to sing and has a catchy rhythm. All the kids like singing it. Then we continued on with the lesson, which I had read a few times the night before—I still found I needed the sheet in front of me, though, and I still started to waffle on at some points (caught myself before losing the kids’ attention, though). The children had so much to say about visiting the doctor that we had to moderate the conversation a lot. It was really a topic they got into. So much so, in fact, that while we were working on the activity later on, they were so focused that you could hear a pin drop. Part of that, of course, should fall onto the skill of the teacher who animated that part of the class.
The activity itself worked out quite well; since they seemed to have a natural interest in the topic, it was perfectly natural for them to express their own experiences visiting the doctor’s office. We put together a sheet similar to the one provided in the Alaskan Materials for the Furutan lessons, with a quote at the top, an empty space to draw, and a few lines at the bottom to tell the story. We noticed a few things during the activity: the children shared limited materials together (pencils, markers, etc), which is important for them to develop collaboration skills, and, thanks to having three teachers on hand, we were able to give at least a little time to help each of them bring out their ideas and nurture their own creativity. We focused on getting some of the younger children to practice their handwriting skills, and allowed them to finish by colouring their drawings.