Thursday, September 26, 2019

September - Michael and the Dragon

On the Waldorf calendar, September 29 is Michaelmas. Here are a few notes from our week of Dragon Fun!

We continued with Songs, Verses & Movement for classroom routines, and made a few changes to our Circle Time series of verses and finger plays.

Circle Time

Monday, September 23

It is always so challenging to find a Michaelmas story that is suitable for early childhood, but I really love the one in Tell Me a Story. And the children loved hearing this Autumn story each day this week. I found that when I got to the part about a "cloak of light," I instinctively reached for a white silk and tied it around my shoulders. We all want to bravely fight that dragon!

I had made a Michaelmas Candle many years ago when my girls were small, so we greatly enjoyed lighting it and watching it during snack time. It was almost as if the dragon was breathing out the fire. This was just a handmade red rolled beeswax candle which I embellished with decorating beeswax. Today I got out my rolled beeswax candlemaking supplies and helped each child roll a small candle to take home.

Tuesday, September 24

Today we sprinkle dyed wool felt for our dragon finger puppets! This is so easy to do and gives absolutely beautiful results! All you need is a piece of white pure wool felt, bowls, spoons, colors of unsweetened Kool-Aid powder, water, and a rimmed baking sheet. Lay the felt on the baking sheet, saturate with water, sprinkle colors (don't use Grape because the powder is black), and watch the colors flow and blend. They continue moving for a long time.

The colors on this dyed felt are perfect for tropical fish finger puppets, dragons, etc. I even used it as the "icing" on our play kitchen felt cookies!

Going on a Bell Hunt was a big hit. Two children walked holding their bells as quietly as possible so that they would not make a sound and the third child hid in the fort pretending to be the dragon in his lair. When the other children got close, the dragon would rush out roaring and the other children would run around the yard wildly ringing their bells as loudly as possible.

Thursday, September 26

Today was Stone Soup day AND a bread baking day! We started right away with the cooking. I tackled the Stone Soup in the kitchen, calling students in one at a time to help, and in the living room older children paired up with younger children to assist them with shaping their Dragon Bread.

Below are my notes from last year, which I used again this year. I was glad that I had written so many details in that blog post!

I used frozen bread dough which I thawed in the fridge overnight.

I got it out at 8:45 am to warm up and at 9 am we immediately began to shape it and decorate it to be our dragon buns (some nice pictures of this are on page 147 of All Year Round). We had to get to work so early in order for the bread to have enough time to have its second rise so that we could bake it and eat it before the children left. Going straight to the shaping and decorating was quite relaxing and fun and children were quietly busy with their currants and sliced almonds making dragon-esque eyes and scales.

It worked well to make the dragons first, then let them rise during morning play time and circle time. When we went into the kitchen for snack we could see that they had doubled in size. I put them in the oven to bake and then took them out and let them cool while the children were at recess. They got to eat their bread when they came back in from outside play, and share what was left of their dragons with their families when they went home.

    Simplest Dragon Bread Baking - Notes

    I got Rhodes White Bread in the three loaf pack. We thawed two loaves, enough for four children to make dragon bread. I followed package instructions in all regards except the shaping of the dragons.

    7 pm - 9 am
    Thaw dough in fridge overnight (each loaf thaws in a loaf pan)

    9 am - 9:30 am
    Give each child 1/2 loaf of bread dough on a piece of parchment paper. Write each child's name on the paper. Shape dough into dragons and decorate with dried currants and sliced almonds.

    9:30 am - 11 am
    Place parchment paper pieces in a warm place uncovered to let rise

    11 am - 11:20 am
    Lift dragons off parchment paper and place on baking sheet. Use a piece of paper to draw a diagram of where each child's dragon is. Bake bread at 350 degress F for 20 minutes

    11:20 am - 11:40 am
    Allow to cool for 20 minutes

    11:40 am - 12 noon
    Eat! Don't forget to share your dragon bread with friends and family

We also spent some time today talking about sewing patterns and I showed the children the dragon finger puppet pattern I drew (based on this picture) and then cut out of tracing paper. I showed them how a pattern is pinned onto fabric and then cut out with sharp scissors. Since our sprinkle dyed felt has so many various colors in it, they each got to choose exactly where they'd like the dragon pattern to be placed. They also chose a piece of colored wool felt from Magic Cabin to be the backside color of their dragon. I have learned from experience that it's really difficult to make a finger puppet that has the Kool Aid wool felt on both sides, since it becomes much stiffer when it is dyed. The color combinations the children chose are lovely.

Ms. Anna worked in the art room helping older children with their cutting and sewing (they really wanted to do this project too) and next week I will work together with the younger ones to carefully sew their dragon finger puppets.

"Jump the River" was also a big hit! And here was our list of veggies in the Stone Soup this week. Thank you to everyone who contributed:

    sweet potato
    sweet yellow and red peppers
    non-spicy jalapeno peppers
    red onion

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