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Beautify your tongues, O people, with truthfulness…

Truthfulness and honesty were the virtues we looked at today. Remembering that spiritual qualities, like telling the truth is what makes us (‘our tongues’) beautiful and that honesty is a the most beautiful ‘ornament’ to our souls.

“Beautify your tongues, O people, with truthfulness, and adorn your souls with the ornament of honesty.” –Bahá’u’lláh

We read the story about Mullá Bahram, a man who lived in Iran many years ago and had earned an officials absolute trust, because of his honesty (you can find it in the Ruhi Curriculum, Children’s classes Grade 1 – lesson 12).

Most of our class today was taken up by painting our children’s class banner – a large colourful ‘Te Whakakotahitanga o te Rāwhiti’ (the unity of the East) – see the pictures below. This is for our stall at the festival in the park (off Cameron Cres), this coming Saturday, 3 December. We’ll have lots of photos on display and some craft activities for children to take part in – hope to see you all there.

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Please note – because we are at the festival on Saturday next week, there won’t be a children’s class the day after. But please join us for the last class of the term on Sunday 11 December – and bring your families and whanau along – there’ll be morning tea, music and songs to share and of course the end-of-year certificates!

Be truthful and sincere…

Today was our last class of this school term. The holidays are starting next week and we’ll have a little break, starting again on Sunday 30 October. To mark the special first day of the new term, we’re inviting all the families to come along and share a morning tea, 10am at Ko Te Aroha.

Lily taught us how to make flax flowers which we then added to our invitations for the families. She taught us about the Maori tikanga around flax, from offering a karakia before cutting it, and selecting the outer leaves of the plant, as the innermost and its two flanking ones, are considered the children and parents, and need to be preserved for the plant to keep growing strong. We then learnt how to trim and soften it, before starting to create some beautiful flowers.

Today’s lesson was about sincerity and being truthful – reflecting on the outside, what’s inside our hearts. Being truthful and sincere. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá tells us that: “We should at all times manifest our truthfulness and sincerity…” Sincerity inspires us to be truthful and faithful in our dealings with others. It is through our sincerity that other can see the purity of our hearts and place their trust in us.

Well – we all sincerely look forward to seeing you again in the new term, and welcome you to join of for the start of term morning tea on Sunday 30 October, 10 am – at Ko Te Aroha! Ka kite!

Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues…

Before we started our lessons today, the older children (6 to 11 year olds) worked on an ‘ideal class room’ project first. An exercise we borrowed from the Junior Youth Programme. The children were asked to think about the question “How would people act or interact in an ideal classroom?” and discuss it in smaller groups. Afterwards they all presented their ideas in the group assembly and we wrote them down on the white board.  Together we then decided which ones would be our 5 main ones – that we would set ourselves as our class rules – this is what the children came up with – awesome work!:

  1. Sharing / be generous
  2. Be respectful / no swearing
  3. Be patient / take turns
  4. Listen / obey your teachers
  5. Don’t fight or backstab
We then split into our age groups for the lesson on ‘truthfulness’. The memorisation was short and the children picked it up real quick: “Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues.”
As a practical application of the quote, we tried to build a human pyramid, to experience, how important it is to have a strong foundation (those people on the bottom had to be very strong to carry all the others on top 🙂 …)
Another example of how important it is to tell the truth, was in today’s story – about the Boy who cried wolf: After all his practical jokes he played on the villagers, no-one believed him, when he called for help when a wolf really did come and attack his sheep.
After colouring in, we then closed our classes today with songs and prayers.
Remember that we’re making poi next Sunday (Aunty Ngaro is teaching us), so we can start using them in our songs – if you can, please bring some wool and plastic bags – thank you!

Lesson 6 : Truthfulness

A big huge thank you to Liz Arrambide for posting the great idea of a puppet show for this lesson on ‘truthfulness’ on the website! We had so much fun with it. 🙂

It is based on the lesson’s quote “Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues”. One of the 2 characters is building a sculpture, out of ‘virtue-blocks’, because she is tired of people not telling the truth. A friend walks past and after finding out what she is doing, questions whether truthfulness is the best virtue to be the foundation of the house-like sculpture. He tries out a few others, but non of them seem to give the same stability to the sculpture.

They both end up building the sculpture together and the friend is convinced, while we need all those other virtues too – truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues.

My wonderful assistant helped me prepare the puppet show to perform for the children – and then we all made puppets, out of simple cardboard rolls.

We even had some impromptu puppetshows at the end of class… 🙂

Lesson 25 : Honesty

Thanks to Nabilinho’s version of ‘O God, guide me…’ we started the devotions for today’s very sunny lesson with some good rhythm and music. The children picked it up real quick, enjoying the moving and finger snapping with it too!

We then looked at today’s theme of ‘honesty’ – discussed what it means, how we can practice it, and that it’s possibly even more, than just being truthful. The quote we learned contains the phrase “…adorn your souls with the ornament of honesty.” 

And that is what we made – little ornaments (decorations) to remind us to be honest. Decorating (adorning) our homes with them, as little reminders to do the same with our souls… 🙂
They are made out of salt-dough. My mum used make salt dough figures and decorations all the time, when we were little and this is a picture of the book I had the recipes from – Julie Landis Original Salzteigfiguren.

The recipe for the saltdough is very easy: 2 parts flour, 2 parts salt, 1 part water – mix together and keep well sealed until you use it, so it doesn’t dry out. The ornaments then need to be baked at 150 deg C for about 30 minutes, or until they are hard and lightly brown around the edges – done – now they can be painted!

While our ornaments were in the oven, we reviewed all the quotes that we have learned so far. With a ‘fill-in-the-blanks’ quiz, that was quite fun!

This was our last full class for the term – next Sunday we’ll have a bit of a ‘year-end’ do, depending on the weather – I will email everyone with the details – yay 🙂 hope to see you all then. If not, we’ll be back in the new school term next year – beginning of February 2011!

Lesson 21 : Truthfulness

Kia ora – what a beautiful day it turned out to be! We had a fabulous lesson today – learning all about truthfulness. Being truthful is not always easy, we found out, but then telling lies never feels right either! Sometimes just exaggerating a story we tell about something we did, is moving away from being truthful. There’s no harm in it, if we say that it’s just a (made-up) story, but not if we pretend it was true. Investigating the truth for ourselves is another important aspect of practicing to be truthful – don’t just believe everything other people tell you…

Bahá’u’lláh said: “Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues.” The children learned this quote very quickly with some vigorous drumming, to get the rhythm right – well done!!!

The story of The Berenstain Bears and the truth – was the perfect illustration of today’s theme. It’s a great story, liked by younger and older audiences alike. And as one of our students in today’s class pointed out, there is a really lovely quote in the front of the book:

In the book, Brother and Sister Bear made up a fantastical story of a bird, that supposedly had flown into the treehouse and knocked down Mother Bear’s favourite lamp… the bird took on all sorts of different shapes, colours and features, with every retelling of the untrue story. In the end they learn that there is nothing finer than telling the truth – because trust, if broken, cannot be mended, whereas a lamp can always be glued back together :)!

Our birds were colourful and brightly fantastical as well – but we made them out of paper, and didn’t use them as a scapegoat…

And because it was such a sunny day – we took our birds outside to fly about and rest in a tree…

Thanks to all the wonderful children, for being such lovely students today – and see you next week. Or if you can all make it:

Join us for the Holy Day Celebration on Friday 12 November – for the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh! We’ll celebrate at the Featherston Community centre, starting 5.30pm with devotions, music, and stories and then have a shared pot-luck dinner. Look forward to seeing you all there!

For references to today’s lesson – check out the lesson page (lesson 6 on truthfulness, and lesson 12 on kindness for the bird templates)

Lesson 10 : Honesty

Our last lesson for this term was about HONESTY. We started out as usual with learning a new quote (see quote of the week on the right). As it spoke about adorning ourselves with honesty, we cut out the quotes and ‘adorned’ them – decorating, beautifying with stickers, coloured paper, glitter and colouring in – to our hearts content 🙂

 (Today’s images were taken on my phone, hence they’re a bit blurry…)

We played a shape game, where the teacher says a sequence of shapes (ie. circle, square, triangle, etc), and the students have to try and memorise it, and then repeat it. To make it a bit simpler for our varied ages in class, we used flash cards. (The children also wanted to test the teacher – yikes, not as easy actually! 😉 )

For our story we read The Berenstain Bears and the Truth. A great little story, where Brother and Sister Bear learn a good lesson about telling the truth….

To finish off our last lesson before the school holidays, the children had to solve some puzzles – all 10 quotes they memorised over the last 10 lessons in this term were cut up into strips, and they had to put them back together again. they got a little notebook to glue them all into, and keep them safe – and maybe look at them again over the holidays, so we don’t forget them all already 🙂

A pdf of the complete quotes can be downloaded here.

We didn’t quite have time to do our colouring in today, but have a look at the lesson pdf here – it’s got a colouring in page in there for those of you who want to finish it at home.

See you all after the school holidays, we’re back on the 25th of July.

Lesson 6 : Truthfulness

…Wolf! Wolf! The shepherd boy called….

We used the ‘Boy who cried Wolf’ story to learn about truthfulness today. It’s part of the Ruhi Curriculum and we had great drama interpretations of it. Well done everyone!

Our craft was a fun one too – making string phones! Conveying messages ‘truthfully’ listening to what the person on the other end said. Some very fancy string phones were produced:

…and well tested too…

It worked really well, as long as we remembered to keep the strings nice and tight 🙂

We finished by colouring in the sheet with the prayer we learnt/practiced singing today.

Another successful class today – we stayed warm in the artroom – thank goodness for little heaters – and hopefully no-one got too wet on the way home again!

Have a look at today’s lesson here 6_Truthfulness

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