Thursday, November 15, 2018

November - Little Eagle Feather Lantern Circle

On the Waldorf calendar, November 11 is Martinmas. Here are a few notes from our week of Lantern Fun!

This week's story came from Movement Journeys and Circle Adventures: Movement Enrichment with a Therapeutic Approach for Early Childhood volume 1 by Nancy Blanning and Laurie Clark.

I made just a few slight changes:

1. After the first paragraph of the story I added the song "Little Cricket" from Nancy Foster's Let Us Form a Ring: An Acorn Hill Anthology (this song is also on the Let Us Form a Ring CD set, as track 11 on disc 1).

2. For the Native American song and dance, I used a drum and a verse from the Little Dawn Boy Circle compiled by JoAnne Dennee:

    Over the Rainbow Trail we go!
    Hither we wander, thither we wander,
    Over the beautiful trail we go!

3. At the end of the circle, when the children lie down to sleep, I played them "Tucked in for the Night," track 1 from Native American Flute Lullabies.

We continued with our Songs, Verses & Movement for classroom routines. I did, however, bring a lot of new movement verses into our Circle Time, to celebrate the change from wet weather to cold and snowy weather! It seems that my reading Winter, Awake! last week really did the trick, since we woke up Tuesday morning to a dusting of snow on the ground... and then a big snowstorm hit this region on Wednesday and Thursday. Hello, King Winter!

Circle Time

Monday, November 12

All I can say is, Mmmmm.... muffins! We were glad to have Natalie home from school to help us cook today!

Tuesday, November 13

Festivals Together: A Guide to Multicultural Celebration has instructions for adapting a pinch pot project to be a beautiful little clay lantern. We used Stonex self-hardening clay. It was a wonderful sensory experience to work slowly and carefully with the cool sticky clay and then wash our hands in a basin of warm soapy water and rub them dry on a clean nubby towel.

Thursday, November 15

Of course we started today by playing outside for 1 1/2 hours in the snow!

Then the children came inside to warm up with some delicious Stone Soup. Here was our list of group contributions to the Stone Soup this week:

sweet potato
white potato
fresh parsley

In our "Little Eagle Feather" movement journey this week, the children have been acting out movements for the animals he meets throughout the story: Gentle Deer, Mother Beetle, Snowy White Owl, Brother Hedgehog, Sister Squirrel, Friend Cricket.

Today I told the story as a puppetry, using wooden animals which we had on hand. I also used some simple household objects to represent animals. Nell Smyth talks on page 127 of The Breathing Circle about telling a story several times and swapping out the puppets for more and more abstract forms (such as a green sock instead of a snake), to help the children develop flexibility in their thinking. She explains that this helps them build "a flexible relation to symbolic play." Here is what I used:

    Gentle Deer

    flattened glass marble
    Mother Beetle

    large white two-hole button
    Snowy White Owl

    sweetgum ball
    Brother Hedgehog

    Sister Squirrel

    grape rachis & pedicel
    Friend Cricket

Our handwork project for today was to make small rolled beeswax candles to fit inside our little clay lanterns. The children loved making their own candles, and were very excited to take their lanterns home for their Nature display or Thanksgiving table centerpiece!

Next week we are having our Autumn Break and there will be NO SCHOOL.

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