We finished lesson 4 of Grade 2 today – looking at more aspects of Obedience to God’s Laws. We took a closer look at the quote that goes with this lesson:
O Son of Being! My love is My stronghold; he that entereth therein is safe and secure, and he that turneth away shall surely stray and perish.
We also finished our song/melody to go with the unity prayer we started practicing last week – still a little bit of refining to do – but it sounds totally awesome! Will try and record it next week to share with you all!
For our drama portion, we used some of the warm up exercises from lesson 4 – ‘FREEZE’ is a simple exercise, where the students move about the room (without bumping into each other!) and try and move as much and loosely as possible. When the teacher calls out ‘FREEZE!’ everyone freezes in the position they’re in. The teacher then goes around shouldertapping each student, asking them what they are doing. The student tries to find an explanation why they’re standing in such a ‘funny’ position. The kids love it – we did at least 5 or more tries!
We had all sorts of interesting explanations - I’m dancing, I’m taking pictures, I’m telling someone off, I’m in a hurry, etc. We’ll definitely play this one again!
That was it for today – see you next week. It’s our last class of the school term again already…
Today we started the second set of Grade 2. Each of the 7 sets in Grade 2 have 3 lessons, that concentrate on one theme – the last set (lessons 1 to 3) was on Prayer, this second one now is on Obedience to God’s Laws. We will probably dedicate two classes to each lesson, as we don’t seem to be able to pack everything into one – so bear with us as we make our way through them
Each set has a new prayer that the children are encouraged to memorise. For the last one we used memorisation cards – this time we decided to come up with our own tune to memorise the prayer (see copy below). We’re half-way there already – hopefully I’ll be able to post an audio file, when we’re done next week!!!
We took a thorough look at the words in this prayer, to make sure all children understood the meaning. (Eg. unite = bring together; commandments= binding instructions; endeavour= undertaking, service, the act of following God’s law, etc).
Then we talked about how laws (in general) keep people happy, safe and content. The children were sharing some laws they knew and scenarios of what would happen if they wouldn’t be observed.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá tells us that life was created for happiness, not for sorrow, for pleasure, not for grief. It is through following God’s loving guidance and living according to His teachings that we find true happiness – a happiness that will last forever.
For our drama portion of the class, we enacted the lesson’s story of the ‘King and his minister (and the cabbage)’. In short it goes like this:
The king tells his minister that he heard that cabbage is bad for you, to which the minister replies, he’ll immediately tell the cook to not serve it anymore. A short while later, the king eats some cabbage and finds it most pleasing, telling his minister so. The minister immediately says he’ll inform the cook to cook it often now. The kings asks him what he’ll tell the cooks when they ask why he changed his mind about cabbage? Minister: “I will tell the cook that I am the servant of the king, not the servant of the cabbage. What is pleasing in Your sight is pleasing in mine.”
The children took turns in the roles of the king/queen, minister, cook (and pot), as well as the cabbage.
Well done everyone – can’t wait to finish composing our melody for the unity prayer next week – see you all then!
How well the children did with their memorisation cards! We practiced the prayer again on Sunday and most of them already had the prayer memorised! Wonderful!
Following on with our theme from the previous week, we continued to look at the ‘nature of prayer’. As we ran out of time the previous week, we now worked on the drama elements of lesson 1 – practicing to use our bodies to express/imitate certain movements or animals. From grasshoppers hopping, to lions roaring, from snakes slithering to panda bears munching – I think we had it all These exercises are a lead-in to more elaborate drama practice later, and are designed to help us control our bodies, practice movement to express certain words, ideas and concepts.
The children then finished off with a little craft activity, related to the prayer they are memorising – “I am a tender plant, cause me to be nurtured through the outpourings of the clouds of Thy Mercy” – decorating beautiful pre-cut flower shapes.
We also introduced our Memorisation Booklets, which the children get to take home every week to practice their quotes and prayers from the lessons in set 1-3 (grade 2). Each time they give it a go and try to say it off by heart in class, they receive a little sticker – yay!
Note: Next week is the beginning of the festival of Ayyam-i-Há according to the Bahá’í calendar. To celebrate this, we are planning some fun, games and a BYO-picnic at Mc Jorrow park – meet us there at 10am to share in the joy of celebration (if it rains, meet us at Ko Te Aroha instead).
Our new children’s classes are starting tomorrow – 10am to noon, every Sunday during school term, at Ko Te Aroha children’s centre (33 Johnstone St, Masterton). All welcome – so come along and find out more, and have some morning tea with us !
The classes will be held in 3 age groups: 3-5 year olds (teacher is Raewyn McKenna), 6-8 year olds (teacher is Lily-Ann Arahanga) and 9-11 year olds (teacher is Leyla Neilsen).
We’ll be using the new sets of lessons from the Ruhi institute (Grade 1, 2 and 3 – prepublication, June 2011) – and I hope to post something new on this blog every now and then. Grade 1 lessons have been extended, so will try and share the ‘new bits’ with you as we go through them.
Hope to see you all soon,
Being thankful for whatever comes our way, is not always the easiest thing to do. Sure if it’s all fun and games, but what if it’s difficulties? Tests that teach us patience…? In today’s class we learnt, that being thankful brings peace to our souls. And Thanksgiving to God increases our capacity to receive His mercy and attracts greater and greater shares of His bounty.
To remind us of all the things we can be thankful for, we created some paper cornucopias and filled them with popsicle sticks, that contain our ‘thanks’…. our family, friends, a warm home, food, smiles, hugs – the children’s ideas of thankfulness seemed to have no limits (Thanks to Chrissie for an awesome idea!)
Before the crafts, we reviewed the unity prayer, that we have been practicing over the last couple of lessons. The memorising is coming along nicely… we used a ‘fill-in-the-blanks’ today, to focus on some more of the words. It’s all in today’s lesson pdf – you can download it here.
The drama component had a fun exercise in it, to learn to follow instructions and trust each other’s ‘guidance’. It’s called bus, and the driver is at the back of the line, hands on the shoulders of the person in front. He’s the only one with his eyes open, the others follow his guidance – tap left or right shoulder, to move left or right; push forward gently, or pull back to make the bus move, or stop. It was quite challenging, even though our bus was quite short – we’d need more practice, especially with a much longer bus
And today’s story was one, that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá often told – About King Mahmud and his devoted servant Ayáz, and the melon, received thankfully, even though it was bitter (p.41 in Ruhi Book 3a).
Today was the last class for this term. Have a wonderful break! As of next term our new classes will be held in Masterton, where we offer 3 separate (age-group specific) classes, starting Sunday 7 August: 10am – 12noon. Not quite sure yet, how this blog will work/look then – but I’ll try my best and keep you all posted!
We had a fantastic class today, with our visiting teacher Nora – who did a children’s yoga session with us! It was great – thank you Nora, and a big congratulations to the children, for being such wonderful ‘yogis’ As our class was about patience today, Nora showed us how to be a seed, that then slowly, but surely pokes out its roots to find nutrients in the soil and then starts growing, finding its way to the sunlight. It was fabulous!
After all that exercise and fun time with Nora, we started our craft for today. We talked about patience, and how it is not always easy to remember to BE patient. Sometimes we just want things to happen right away and right now… to remind us to be patient, and to practice it a little more each day, we made little mirrors. Every time we look at ourselves in them, we can remind ourselves to be patient and be happy with where we’re at now.
To finish off our lesson for today, we enacted the story from Ruhi Book 3a – about the two farmers ‘Patience’ and ‘Impatience’. Both of them have a field that they want to plant with corn. Once does it patiently and looks after the young seedlings, makes sure they have water and sun, and waits for them to grow to full size before harvesting the yummie corn. The other farmer ‘Impatience’ can’t wait for the seeds to grow into corn, and keeps digging them up, looking at them to see if they’ve grown. He is very disappointed at the end, when harvest time comes and nothing edible has grown…
There was some great acting talent spotted today – well done everyone for participating so well and patiently waiting your turn!
If you’ve missed today’s class – have a look at the lesson here > Patience. It’s also got the colouring page in it and the quote, which we didn’t quite get to today. But no worries, we will be repeating all lessons again during the year – I’m sure by the end of it, the children will have learnt them all
See you next week and stay healthy!
Today we learnt about Justice. Using material from both Ruhi Children’s Class books (3 and 3a – see lesson pdf for download) – we started out with some drama exercises, which were lots of fun.
We then moved on to act out a story, about some villagers who have to harvest their fruit, because of an oncoming storm that might destroy the whole crop. At the same time there is a leak in the school house roof, that needs fixing, before all school materials get soaked. The villagers divide into two groups – some help with the harvest and some help with fixing the roof. When evening comes around and all are tired from the hard work – the big question arises – do the roof-fixer-upers get to have some fruit as well, even though they didn’t pick it…? The children were very quick in coming up with various just and fair solutions! Well done!!
See a pdf of the lesson 3_Justice here.
Our craft then centred around keeping the balance and the virtues we need to achieve justice – we made a mobile!
It took a bit longer to get all the colouring, glueing, cutting and attaching done, so we didn’t quite manage the planned game of fruitsalad as well – maybe next time….
See you all next Sunday when we’ll learn about … ‘love’!