November 14, 2012: The class went well, although we focused mainly on memorizing the prayer and quote rather than the story and other activities. Since several children were showing signs of wanting to let out pent-up energy as we approached the house, running, jumping and screaming, we spent a little time at the outset playing some circle games, such as our usual name game (say your name and associate it with an action) and Tap Hands. Then we continued with the Unity Prayer, asked them about their understanding of unity, and then continued on to learn the quote, identifying difficult words. We had started late and had already spent much of the beginning of class on games, so we skipped straight ahead to our art activity—blow painting, with another brief game as we stepped aside to prepare the paint. We prepared six cups with diluted acrylic paint—red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple—along with a bunch of straws and coloured paper. We showed the children how to pick up the diluted paint with the straw—just cover the top of it with your finger—and asked them to drop bits of paint onto their paper, and then blow it around with the straw. The result was quite impressive!
And fun to make!
The point of the exercise, of course, was to produce a backing for the prayer we had read—copies of which I had printed out before coming. Of course, some of the children put so much paint on their papers that they couldn’t stick the prayer on right afterwards, and had to wait a while before trying again. That just shows that we really need to practice these kinds of projects at home before bringing them to the class, so we have a good idea of how to do them properly. (I’m reminded of the time I tried to teach origami without having learned to do it myself beforehand.) All in all though, this was a fun class, but I’m worried that because we spent so much time on games this time, we might lack time to finish all the other activities next week. Watch this space, I guess?
October 30, 2012: Not bad at all! We held class one day early due to Hallowe’en—we figured there’s no way we could compete with the sheer attractive force of all that candy. All the same, things went really well. We started by gathering the children from outside the apartment as usual; we noticed there was a new girl we hadn’t met before, so we invited her to join us. She’s eleven years old, and fairly articulate. It seems as though she goes to Sunday school, because she easily grasped many of the concepts we shared in class and related them to Christian concepts. After prayers and a short talk about the lesson, we continued with a few games, including the “Freeze & Think” game. When that was done, we embarked upon the painting project we had planned last week: creating a large banner to post up in our host’s home, based on the lesson. It turned out the new girl was very good at drawing, so we asked her to draw a version of the “Fortress of God’s love”, like the one in the colouring page from Ruhi Book 3. Everyone then worked together, paint pots and brushes in hand, to decorate the banner.
during a recent class, we asked the children what they think of when they hear the word love. one of our older children said “nobody loves me”. I rebutted, asking him “what about your Mom?”, which he acknowledged. “What about your Dad?”, which he again acknowledged. “What about the rest of your family?”, and again, he acknowledged that they loved him. Later, when we asked the children to draw something related to love, he chose to draw his family. In his drawing (pictured above), he’s stepping on his father’s foot, and apologizing. his mom and dad say they love him all the same. Oh, and his sister (right) has an iPad. We also drew the word “love” in big letters in front of the neighbours’ house (pictured below), just to let them know what we talked about that day.
sidewalk chalk is easy to come by, and makes a nice, fun activity for kids who feel the need to move around a lot. as well, it has the added benefit of leaving a visible trace for neighbours and passers-by to see what we’re doing; we even got into a conversation with two older ladies who asked us what we were doing. Nice!
August 15, 2007: ~1 hour, 3 children, average age 8. Outreach class. We began with a new format for this class, to accommodate our group’s high energy level: colouring first to calm the kids down. So far, it seems to work like a charm – it may take a few minutes to convince some of them to colour instead of playing games, but once they’re convinced, they’ll be able to concentrate enough to say prayers together. We also created a new movement-based game for this lesson, called “rose tag”; it’s explained on the lesson page.