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Nurturing an Understanding of Relationships – part 1

Nurturing an Understanding of Relationships – part 1

    Previously when we had asked the children their ideas in response to the question, "What is a Friend?", several children shared their ideas about things in nature, such as, trees and colorland, being their friends.  We decided to explore this idea with them further by zooming in on a particular item from nature, flowers.   In this way, we continue to invite the children to go more deeply with their ideas and understandings of friendship.   In doing so, we hope to gain insight into how empathy is nurtured when children encounter the delicate beauty of a flower as they socially construct their ideas through dialogue and play.

We set up the tables, each spot had a flower in a vase.  We offered many different types and colors of flowers, hoping that there was enough diversity for each child to find a flower that spoke to them.

We began at our Morning Meeting with a question for the children to play with.  We asked them, "How do you imagine that you would make friends with a flower?"  In this post we will share their initial thoughts about this, with a few images of some of the children getting to know their flower.  In the next couple of posts we will share more of the story of what children discovered through this initial experience, as well as, why we think this is such important work to be doing with the children.

"How do you imagine that you would make friends with a flower?"

SS: By smiling at it

Caroline: How do you know it is smiling?  Does it look like our smiles?

LB: I know it's happy when it "POPS" up (LB throws his arms up in the air)

Caroline:  When you are exploring your flower, you could look to see if you find a smile.

KK: A flower knows when a person comes to smell it.  It makes friends by sharing its' smell.

Kimie: What if it doesn't have a smell?  Are there other ways it let's us know we are friends?

IH: It shares its' colors and its' petals.

AG: Its' stem.

ZB: It shares the earth with the animals while we are sleeping at night.  It shares the earth with us when it is daytime.

IH: They get a different color at nighttime.  They close up at nighttime and open back up during the daytime.

LB: How come flowers close up?

IH: I noticed that.

SP: You can give them hugs.

LB: What if you hug them too tight and they break?

SP: I don't do that.  I hug them softly.

AG: Not rough because that might hurt the flower.

LB: You can play with it.  You can imagine that you are dancing with it.

EB: I would pretend it was a human and be so gentle and not tear its' petals off.

KK: I could play hide and seek with it.

IH: You could draw it.

ZB: You could maybe play a game, "Bring it to the flower shop."

AG: Or you could play tag with it.

SP: I have a movie.  There are these orange flowers that are closed up so they don't get hurt.