c is for cookies

Everyone loves cookies, especially children; it’s little wonder why so many people around the world have incorporated baking cookies as an activity in their children’s classes. Long-time readers of this blog will remember that we’ve celebrated Naw-Ruz with cookie-baking several times now. Others have made it a tradition to bake cookies for ‘Ayyam-i-Ha. Children are genuinely proud to bake and decorate their own cookies—the sense of accomplishment that comes from successfully following a recipe can help children gain confidence in their abilities. When we tried our hand at baking, the children enjoyed it immensely, and looked forward to sharing with their families. Some of the children had been so industrious in making the cookies, and had amassed such a stack of them, that they started sharing their cookies with anybody they could find.

Baking cookies is pretty easy, and a quick Google search will turn up some good recipes. Good preparation is key; try making your own batch at home before the children’s class to make sure you understand how to do it (if you don’t already). A nice thing to bring along is a set of nine-pointed star cookie cutters—readily available online from Indiana-based Special Ideas. For those whose baking skills are more advanced, you may want to try your hand at Baha’i Cookie Temples—cookie models of Baha’i Houses of Worship, akin to gingerbread houses. (I seriously doubt my own skill level is that high!)

Jessica Craig, a seventh-grade student in the state of Washington, USA, recently wrote the following in an essay for United Nations Universal Human Rights Day; it might be nice to mention as a way of tying in the cookie-baking with Baha’i principles!

“Every cookie is made up of basically the same thing […] flour, sugar, and baking soda. For humans it might be our brain, heart or lungs which are all the same, and completely necessary to be alive. In cookies you have the basic ingredients but the things that make each cookie different may be you add nuts, or dried fruit and chocolate chips! […] All human beings are the same, but all of us have different beliefs and ideas.”

Related post: naw-rúz – baha’i new year, spring

naw-ruz cookies 5

“gingerbread cookies, fresh out of the oven!” from dragfyre

naw-ruz cookies 7

“in the midst of decoration” from dragfyre

baha’i children’s class symposium

Today, baha’i children’s class ideas is live-blogging and tweeting the Baha’i Children’s Class Symposium, organized by the Baha’i Community of Ottawa, Canada. Although the Symposium is now over, you can participate in future live discussions by following us on twitter at @childrensclass!

5:02 PM, Dec 5th:
Baha’i Children’s Class Symposium closes with a presentation from the children. So wonderful! #bahai #education

5:00 PM, Dec 5th:
FYI, today is @UN’s International Volunteer Day—what better way 2 celebrate than 2 reflect on service as a children’s class teacher? #Bahai

4:58 PM, Dec 5th:
Many concerns aired about keeping an up-to-date list of children’s classes in the city: Assembly rep says this is an ongoing issue. #bahai

4:47 PM, Dec 5th:
Returning from groups, great reflection on Ridván 2010 message & further guidance, discussing local children’s classes. #bahai #education

4:15 PM, Dec 5th:
Discussing duality btwn “Baha’i schools” & “neighbourhood classes”: regularity vs. inclusivity. #Bahai #education

4:06 PM, Dec 5th:
Breaking up into groups now, for further reflection.

4:05 PM, Dec 5th:
“[We] cannot ignore children and junior youth, if the victories won in one generation are not to be lost with the passage of time.” #bahai

4:01 PM, Dec 5th:
Local Assembly rep. now addressing the >30-strong crowd, composed of parents, teachers, community members.

3:47 PM, Dec 5th:
Break ends with an extremely well-executed #Bahai joke. And now we’re onto a clip of anecdotes from the Arising to Serve video.

3:33 PM, Dec 5th:
Break time. Lots of encouraging stories abt engaging w/ parents, reaching out to new families.

3:26 PM, Dec 5th:
Parents know that the development of good character is important, so they sign up. Learning about the Faith itself happens over time.

3:24 PM, Dec 5th:
Another parent: “I have no concerns w/ my daughter attending, b/c she always comes home happy and talkative—I know it’s something good.”

3:22 PM, Dec 5th:
One parent: “Even tho I hv a prejudice against [Baha’is], I don’t want my daughter 2 grow up with the same prejudice, so I let her attend.”

3:20 PM, Dec 5th:
@DASLucas speaks abt his experience with expanding children’s classes: When ppl feel Baha’u’llah’s msg can make a difference, they’ll join.

3:13 PM, Dec 5th:
Floor open to feedback. Comments about the need 2 multiply children’s classes 2 gain experience on how 2 make them better. #bahai #education

3:07 PM, Dec 5th:
Discussion of current revisions of Ruhi Book 3, 3A, 3B. These books will make up a “branch” that provides an updated CC curriculum. #bahai

3:01 PM, Dec 5th:
Q&A: All of the classes we’re having in #Ottawa are held in ppl’s homes. Heavy neighbourhood focus.

3:01 PM, Dec 5th:
Wide variety of curriculum used, supplement each other: Ruhi Bks 3, 3A; Dr. Furutan’s books; Core Curriculum; Historical narratives. #bahai

2:58 PM, Dec 5th:
Age breakdown: 11 classes for 5-7 yr-olds, 7 for 7-9 yr-olds, 5 for 9+ yr-olds. Mostly younger kids, but often w/ major age gaps in classes.

2:57 PM, Dec 5th:
Local coordinator: #Ottawa’s #Bahai community is cur’ly organizing 23 children’s classes, w/ 123 children, 77 from Baha’i families.

2:54 PM, Dec 5th:
“#Justice demands universal participation.” —Universal House of Justice, Ridván 2010 #bahai #education #unity

2:50 PM, Dec 5th:
#Education is not just abt academic knowledge, but acquiring good character & becoming ready & able to serve humanity. #bahai

2:49 PM, Dec 5th:
Ms. Scoffield reads a disabled child’s poem abt bullying, asking “What is the remedy to bullying?” Answer: #Education. #bahai

2:42 PM, Dec 5th:
Opening: Aux. Board Member Rhona Scoffield speaks, explaining importance of the core activities (incl. children’s classes) #bahai #education

2:07 PM, Dec 5th:
The #Bahai Centre is steadily filling up, as we see highlights from the “Arising to Serve” video (http://www.bahai.org/arising/).

an engaged crowd at the children's class symposium