In our previous post (Learning to Nurture), we expressed that we are paying attention to the caring and nurturing ways we observe within this new learning community. We are wondering:
What does it mean for a child of 4 or 5, who is constantly immersed in being cared for, to have the responsibility of caring for something else? What does it look like to practice empathy and perspective-taking?
This is the lens that we have been looking through when we are playing and working together. These questions are always at the forefront, but then we wondered what it would look like if the children had more opportunity for nurturing as a class and a budding community.
Then we received a mysterious gift.
One day we returned from P.E. to find this object (a big, round purple with green polka dotted object, that is) sitting high on the lattice above our meeting area. Together we wondered about it: What was it? Where did it come from? Who put it there? What should we do with it?
The children were brimming with excitement and curiosity. Theories were passed around and what-ifs filled the air. Here are some of the children's thinking around this Mysterious Object than now lived in our classroom:
So, whatever it was and wherever it came from, one thing was for sure…we had to take care of it. A lot of the children thought it was an egg of some sort, so we decided to treat it as "egg" and used our schema around eggs to decide what to do next. We thought more about moving forward by beginning to share what we already know about eggs…
and what we already know about our "egg."
and decided that the what it needed now was a nest to keep it warm and comfortable. The children brainstormed some more to come up with materials that would create a good nest for our new friend, "Thunder Egg" (which was named by a democratic vote)! We went outside in the forest to collect materials for the nest, as well as searched the classroom and our homes for soft and snuggly things…
and together, we created a nest for our Thunder Egg. A nest to keep it warm, comfortable and
safe (hence all of the knots and traps).
Now, the egg is ready to do what eggs do.
And we are working hard to prepare for whatever may live inside. Whatever is in there will be our very own and will have many "mamas" to greet in when it arrives.
Please stay tuned to what happens next. It should happen any day now…