Haere mai – nau mai o Te Whakakotahitanga o te Rāwhiti!
Starting out as usual with our songs and prayers – the children select their favourite prayers to read at the start of each class.
Today’s lesson for the older children was the last one of set 2, in Grade 2. By striving our utmost every day to follow God’s commandments and to put into action His teachings, we can show our faithfulness. Teachings and counsels such as daily prayer to sustain our souls; not speaking ill of others (backbiting); treating animals with kindness; learning a profession or trade… there are MANY things God wants us to do.
To not get overwhelmed, we can follow ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s counsel: kam kam, ruz beh ruz (little by little, day by day!) – it’s the effort that counts! 🙂 That way we don’t need to get discouraged by our own shortcomings, but can focus on the good things we do an do them better/more every day.
We practiced the quote for today’s lesson together first and then some of the children had a go at saying it off by heart already. Well done! If you’d like a copy of the booklet we use with all the quotes in it – you can download it here (pdf file).
Our story was another one about Hájí Muhammad – this time he’s the master marksman, out hunting birds. He happens to come upon a group of Bahá’ís who are on an outing with Bahá’u’lláh. Bahá’u’lláh asks him not to go and shoot innocent birds. But Hájí Muhammad forgets to follow this counsel and tries to shoot many a bird, small, big fast or slow – but he misses each time. Astonished he slowly realises, that Bahá’u’lláh had given him a direct command, not to kill innocent birds, which he had ignored.
The children then did some painting – to illustrate some of the commandments of God – kindness to animals, or learning a trade/profession…
We finished off our class with some drama exercises, improvisations and a game of bus-driver. Where all children stand in a row, hands on each others shoulder – the children in front close their eyes, the person in the back is the bus driver. He directs the bus, by gently signalling/tapping the left or right shoulder of the child in front, and the signal gets passed on, so the whole bus knows where to go. It’s a lot of fun!
Today’s lesson theme was: PATIENCE. One of the most valuable virtues an individual can possess. Without patience we can achieve little in this life. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá once said about the developing of spiritual qualities, that it was to be done ‘little by little, day by day’. Continuous effort and lots of patience 🙂 To help us remember this, we memorised the quote by Bahá’u’lláh:
He, verily, shall increase the reward of them that endure with patience.
We focused a good portion of today’s lesson on memorising. To help us better memorise the various quotes and prayers in each lesson, I’ve put together a ‘memorisation booklet’ (based on an idea by Atusa Nemat). Each time the children give the memorisation a try, they get a sticker – once they can say the whole quote/prayer by heart, they get to colour in the ‘memorised’ smiley face…
You can download the booklet here, as a simple 20 pager, or get the imposed version here (this one you can simply print double sided and then staple, for a proper little booklet). The children will take these booklets home with them so they can keep practicing, and we’ll review previous quotes next time and start learning the new ones in each lesson.
The story for today, was about Shaykh Hasan, who is sent to Karbilá by the Báb, where He promises him, that he will see with his own eyes ‘the beauteous countenance of the promised Husayn’ (Bahá’u’lláh). For the full story see Children’s Classes Grade 2, p32.
For drama – we used a few more exercises that help us to learn, to control our bodies, and develop the skills to participate in creative drama. See p33 of Children’s Classes Grade 2 for the exercise instructions – they are great fun!
The improvisation scene (for the children to act out) was set as follows:
- Patience and Impatience each have a small plot of land. One year, they both decide to plant and harvest corn on their land. They gather up the seeds and equipment. How does Patience plant and harvest his crop? How does Impatience do it?