She includes a link to Marsha Johnson's Yahoo group, and mentions one of the files in particular, and I quite agree! She writes "Marsha talks a great deal about the Man and Animal blocks in her file Hovering Between Heaven and Earth.doc in the Grade 4 files on her Waldorfhomeeducators Yahoo Group. A search of “Man and Animal” through the previous messages will also produce some gems."
I am using Roy Wilkinson's tidy (and inexpensive little) book The Human Being and the Animal World and I really like his introduction and explanation of how this block fits in with Anthroposophy. The discussion of Rudolf Steiner's ideas on evolution is particularly helpful. Here is a brief excerpt from Wilkinson's book:
- "This period in the Rudolf Steiner school, knowns as The Human Being and the Animal World, is one of the most difficult from the teachers' point of view. In the first place, they must subscribe to, or at least be in sympathy with, the ideas on evolution propounded by Dr. Steiner. (Otherwise, of course, they should not be in the school.) More than that, they must understand them and this understanding is not something that can be acquired the night before the lessons are given, nor is it something that can be superficially communicated....
"Teachers have to acquire much information but should bear in mind the essential aim which is, in this case, to show the relationship between the human being and the animal in such as way that it becomes apparent that the human being is a compendium of the animal kingdom, alternately expressed, that the animal kingdom is the human being spread out.
"Many teachers, having gathered masses of information, feel that they must cover the subject comprehensively. It is a praise-worthy thought but enthusiasm sometimes has to be restricted. As with so many subjects, it is necessary to reduce the material to essentials, bearing in mind that the more intensive study follows in later years. Teachers must find the essence of what they want to say and put it over clearly and lucidly without getting lost in minor details, remembering also that time is limited. They must also, of course, be clear in their own minds as to why they are teaching this particular subject to that particular group."
But she recommends Charles Kovac's text The Human Being and the Animal World
I will admit that I have never seen Kovacs' book but I know enough about his other resources to recommend this one without reservation.
Pinterest is also surprisingly valuable here -- for main lesson book pages, artwork, Nature table, handwork, and more -- and I am finally getting a Pinterest account... simply because of its help with Waldorf!
EXCELLENT RESOURCE: Man and Animal - entire block (95 page PDF)
WRITTEN FOR THE EAST AFRICAN WALDORF TEACHER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM BY CATHERINE VAN ALPHEN
If you have used other books or blogs or resources to help with this block, I'd love to hear about it. I'll make up a page on the website with all of the suggestions.