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The Wheel Turns

Last Friday I went to my daughter's first grade class and began the first part of a pointillism painting project to depict the four seasons. We first read Mother Earth and Her Children: A Quilted Fairy Tale by Sibylle von Olfers, and then they brainstormed.

The kids worked in four groups to decide how each would crate one picture to hand in to me for the next stage of the project. The results were fascinating.

All the kids started sketching out their individual ideas. The first group voted and selected one picture. The second group rejected all the drawing and created a new picture from scratch. The third group cut two pictures in half and joined them in the middle. The final group picked specific elements from the kids drawing and combined them in a new picture. We'll finish the next phase some time early next week, before the Spring Break.

I love watching the dynamics at this young age. So much of who they are is starting to reveal itself: those with strong wills, those who are shy or cheeky or playful. I enjoy being involved in their classroom so that I can get a sense for the kids in my daughter's class. It will be interesting to watch them over the next eight years, evolving into little people.

I have such vivid memories from grammar school, even from first grade. Something about the daily routine, the same cast of characters, makes it among the most vivid of my memories.

If I close my eyes, I can quite easily slip into the skin of that 7-year old girl at St. Pascal School who just got her first pair of glasses. I remember the boys I thought were cute, the girls I thought were snotty, the teachers I loved and those I was afraid of.

When I look around my daughter's classroom, I see familiar archetypes in the students and teachers, and I wonder where she'll fit in, what her experience will be. At this point all I can do is watch and hopefully be a "cool mom" that does fun projects at school. I wonder at what stage I'll become something else? I wonder if she'll ever want me to stop being involved? I wonder how it will go with the other two kids.

I wonder.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 22nd, 2010 06:54 pm (UTC)
Is this the book that I know as "The Root Children"? I loved this book.

Those archetypes continue to emerge as children grow up. I teach seventh grade, and I work daily with and against the roles that children assign themselves or are assigned by their peers.

I wish I could be Mother Nature and call all of my children to do what their do best.

Mar. 23rd, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC)
I don't think they are the same, but they are related. This one was based on the quilt in the illustration (which was based on The Root Children if I'm not mistaken).

Seventh Grade...junior high is such a challenging time. I think I am more nervous about my kids entering that age group than any other.
Mar. 24th, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
what a lovely post! What a great project. And all that worrying you'll be doing for the rest of their lives? Magic DOES happen and they turn out to be really remarkable adults!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )