Thursday, May 2, 2019

Sweet Porridge Circle, Week 1

It was our first week working with this lovely therapeutic movement Circle inspired by the classic Grimm's fairy tale. We began with Shea Darian's retelling of this story, which is found on page 57 of Seven Times the Sun: Guiding Your Child through the Rhythms of the Day.

We continued with our Songs, Verses & Movement for classroom routines.

Circle Time


  • read "The Magic Porridge Pot" retold by Shea Darian
    from Seven Times the Sun, page 57
  • make cream of wheat

We began the week by doing the circle time above, composed of long-time favorite verses along with a few fun new finger plays.

When I told the Sweet Porridge story I used props: a wooden stable, carved wooden figures of the little girl and her mother, a small wooden bowl to be the porridge pot, and golden silks. There was a small golden silk -- which fit inside the wooden bowl -- for the right quantity of millet porridge, and a large golden silk -- which spilled out of the window of the wooden building and flowed along the ground -- for the pot which would not stop cooking. This was a favorite fairy tale of mine when I was little and I still remember where I was sitting the first time I heard it at our elementary school library!

We followed the story with our first taste of porridge, a simple dish of hot cream of wheat.


Today I retold the Sweet Porridge story with the same props as before but at the end the children helped arrange a small town of wooden buildings along the golden silk / porridge river. And then we had a very special treat. We went to the public library to see the actors from Stone Soup Shakespeare! They, along with audience participation, performed the story of Stone Soup and an extremely brief version of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

In the morning before we left for the field trip all of the children helped to grind the millet grain in our coffee mill; when we got back from the library we enjoyed a delicious warm millet porridge with almond milk, maple syrup, cardamom, and strawberries. MMMMMMM.


I set up a bedsheet over the chalk rail of the chalkboard and placed a lamp (without a lampshade) behind it. Time to explore shadow puppetry! I demonstrated how to tell the now-familar story and move the wooden figures so that clear shadows would be thrown against the sheet for the audience, and each child had the chance to be the storyteller for our group.

After our Circle Time movements, fruit salad, and today's porridge tasting (grits with butter and shredded cheddar), some children donned their puddle-stomping gear and went outside into the rainiest of rainy days and some children stayed inside to help me set up the obstacle course for our Movement Journey. This obstacle course includes a seesaw balance board, a silk to jump over, a series of stools for "mountains" to climb, a broom to slither under, a long winding tape line to walk, and a pile of yoga mats for forward rolls. I love the sweet little song composed by Nancy Blanning!

    Cook, little pot, cook, cook
    Bubble, bubble, burble, blop
    Cook, little pot, cook, cook
    Cook until I tell you "Stop"

Here was our list of group contributions for Fruit Salad this week:


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