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Lesson 10 – part 2: the importance of living in unity

After lots of singing – thank you Stefan, John and Lily! – we started as usual with our karakia (prayers) and morning tea (thank you Scott!). A quick recap of the last lesson helped everyone remember what we did: the big prayer mural, the ‘fighting fingers’ and the quote we memorised: “So powerful is the light of unity that in can illuminate the whole earth.”

Today we then shared the other elements of lesson 10 – a story about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and how he brings two people back together, after they hadn’t spoken to each other because of a disagreement. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá resolves the matter by telling them funny stories when they both happen to be at his house, and He gave them each a present to remember them as token of their friendship. The two gentlemen laughed at the stories and were able to look past their differences, celebrating in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s joyous presence.

We then discussed what other things we can do to make people feel like their united and living happily. To come up with some actual ‘acts of service’ that we can render to our families, we used the ‘Service Token Booklets’ from the Australian Peace Pack. See pic to the side>> 

To finish off today’s lesson, we did the various warm up exercises in the drama section. Standing out imaginary squares, stretching and bending, pretending to wash dishes, feed chickens, dig a well, etc etc. And then played a really fun game – we called it ‘Pass the face’.

Everyone sits in a large circle, one person makes a funny face and each person in turn, passes it along the circle. We had some great laughs! 🙂

To remind us of the prayer we are in the process of memorising, everyone got to take a copy of the beautiful cover from a Brilliant Star Magazine home – illustrating the theme ‘We are all the Waves of One Sea’.

Hope you’re all having fun with your service token booklets – we look forward to hearing your stories next time!

Lesson 10 – and welcome back :)

We had our first childrens’ class today, after the school holidays. Welcome back everyone! After some beautiful prayers read by all children and some pretty impressive poi-action, waiata, and morning tea, the older class launched into Set 4 of Grade 2.

This set of lessons (3) is all about living in Harmony. And the first one, about the importance of unity. As with the previous 3 sets, we started learning a new prayer. To help us do so, we created a ‘mural’ containing all the imagery of the beautiful language used.

Our students today worked hard to plan their mural of the prayer…

This is the complete prayer:

O Lord God!

Make us as waves of the sea, as flowers of the garden, united, agreed through the bounties of Thy love. O Lord! Dilate the breasts through the signs of Thy oneness, and make all mankind as stars shining from the same height of glory, as perfect fruits growing upon Thy tree of life.

Verily, Thou art the Almighty, the Self-Subsistent, the Giver, the Forgiving, the Pardoner, the Omniscient, the One Creator.

We then looked at one part of the drama activity for this lesson – the story of a hand, where the fingers fight and then decided they don’t really need the thumb. The thumb agrees to just go and have a rest and leave other fingers to fend for themselves – when they try to pick up a pen and write, or close some buttons, or even catch a ball, they run into troubles. Realising, they can’t quite do it without the thumb. They make peace and start working together again – even though they’re all different – short, long, bending this way and that – they are very strong when working in unity and harmony.

…fingers fighting…

…and fingers working in harmony 🙂

We finished our lesson for today by making little ‘hand-puppets’, out of popsicle sticks and foam-hand-shapes, to remind us of the story, that even though we’re all different and have different roles, looks etc – we’re only reaching our real strength when we work together.

Next week we’ll continue with our lesson and work through the story and drama elements we didn’t get to today. See you all then!

Whiti te Rā

Just a quick picture from our stall at the Whiti te Rā festival at the park yesterday. Lots of music, people and happy faces. We did crafts and facepainting at the shared stall for Ko te Aroha and our childrens class (Te Whakakotahitanga o te Rāwhiti). The banner the children made last week, looked awesome! 🙂

See you all next Sunday (11 Dec) for our year-end class and certificate hand-out. Bring your family and whanau to share some morning tea as well and enjoy the songs and fellowship.

Lesson 1 : unity in diversity

What a beautiful first class, thanks everyone! We started out with lesson 1 (from the Ruhi Curriculum) which is all about UNITY. After some fun introductions – where the children said their name and an animal, that starts with the same first letter, as well as making that animal’s noise – we shared a prayer for children, by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

Today’s story was called ‘The Secret in the the Garden‘, by Winifred Barnum, in which an old lady tries to teach the villagers to live in harmony, just like the beautiful flowers in her garden. At first only a very clever little girl really understands her and then helps the others in the village to learn about the beauty of unity in diversity.

We didn’t quite have time to memorise the quote for today – but created some sparkly candle holders to remind us of it. They are made of little glass jars, that we glued over with torn, colourful paper-bits and then we simply stuck a tealight inside them.

So powerful is the light of unity that it can illumine the whole earth.

Well done all – they look gorgeous! 😉 I can’t wait for tonight, when we can light them and enjoy the colourful light that will glow from them! See you next week, where we will learn about the importance of having a pure, kindly and radiant heart…

Have a look at a pdf of the complete lesson here, or check out the ‘lesson page‘ for more 🙂

Last class for 2010 – our year end hike

…wohoo – we made it all the way up to One Tree Hill – what a hike! Our year-end hike was quite the challenge (I think more for the unfit parents, than the children) – but we were rewarded with the most wonderful views! The climb was definitely worth it, the view amazing and the banana chocolate chip muffins a welcome treat :)…

It’s been a great year – thank you all for participating and learning so much! See you in the new year, when school is back, beginning of February!

Lesson 16 : Unity

Happy Fathersday..! We had a small class today, no doubt, children were at home celebrating their dads 🙂

We looked at the virtue of unity in today’s class. The quote, which we learned in lesson 1 already, was quickly memorised or remembered. And we moved straight to some songs – ‘unity’ by Stefan Brown, and ‘Ye are drops’ from Ruhi Book 3.

We made some unity candle holders – a triangle made up of linked people, which the children decorated beauitfully, set on a base, with a candle in the middle – they look really cool – well done!

After the crafts we played  a game called ‘giants’. Where two children are tied together by their leg, and have to work together to walk. Making it more difficult with obstacles they have to manage, or funny walks – frog leaps, duck waddles, etc. – we had some very talented giants, doing great team work!

We finished our lesson today with a story about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the charcoal – p 15. Ruhi Book 3. Check out the Lessons Page  for more info. As we are now repeating the 15 previous lessons, I won’t post them in every report again. Only the bits we did different or that are new the lesson done previously.

If you are using any of these lessons, leave a comment let me know how they work for you – it be great to hear what others do in their classes and ways to continually improve them 🙂

Til’ next week! 😉

Lesson 1 : Unity

The theme of the first lesson today was… UNITY! I will try and make sure I post details about the lesson after each class, for those who missed it to see what we did, and for others to use as resource material in their own classes. If you have suggestions for improvements, comments or your own experience you’d like to share, leave us a comment!

1_Unity (pdf of lesson, including colouring in page)

We even had muffins for the first class today, enrollment forms and all was set 🙂

The unity candle holders and ‘unity in diversity’ people chains we made today:

Busy craft bees:

The book we used for the story

It was a great first class – the community centre is such a gorgeous place to have them and we look forward to many more! ’til next week 🙂

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