oneness of religion (take 2)

Today’s lesson: oneness of religion.

January 27, 2007: 2 hours, 7 children, average 7 years old. Well this was an interesting class. We wanted to try out the play contained in Baha’i Education for Children. I don’t know about you, but I’m no drama teacher. I suppose it would have been useful to read through Book 3A (aka the old Book 5, “Baha’i Children’s Classes, Grade 2”) before attempting this activity. Where Book 3 relies mainly on games for physical activity, Book 3A includes a lot more drama, acting and role-playing. If I was more of a manual-reading person (rather than the jumping-in type I am) we would have saved a lot of bother this time around. The play is meant to be learned and memorized over a longer period of time (to its credit, there are warnings to this effect at the top of the script); still, we figured we’d start reading and see how things would go. Most of the kids found the text difficult to read, let alone to memorize. For some—especially the younger ones who were only just learning to read—nothing sank in at all. Oops. So after a short period of confusion, we quickly changed tactics and began simplifying the script; a teacher would call out the main points of each child’s speech and have them repeat them out loud. Once the emphasis was off reading, things went a lot smoother.

The result? Well, we haven’t given up on the play yet. We’ll continue working with a simplified script (one of the teachers will be revising it so that it can be more easily understood by the children), and continue rehearsing until we get it. It’s funny—I don’t know who’s doing more learning, the children or the teachers. I certainly feel like I’m getting a crash course in children’s education every time I come to the class.

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