Thursday, September 2, 2010

grade 2, block II fables, week I

one of the main aspects of waldorf pedagogy that has always intrigued me is how each year's work follows the inner growth of a child at that very age.

in grade two, the chosen stories are those of saints & fables, mirroring the choice that we each have of following our own golden path or giving in to our mischievous tendencies. our now 7 (or 8) year old children are now discovering the existence of this 'choice', where they previously did what mother & father asked because it was mother/father who asked. they are more awake to the sense of 'self' and are exploring their own boundaries.

the saint stories give us each something to aspire to, to be the best that we can shine bright like father sun. but for now, we begin our grade 2 journey with a fables block. we are all human, and thus we each have our own weaknesses...

monday, august 30th
(heart) walk/hike with circle time
(head) main lesson
*read 15 minutes aloud with mama, the primer
*copy alphabet from board both lower & upper case letters, upper one color, lower another
*tell animal intros for fable, lion & hare

"the lion"
aaahhh...the lion. he is know as the king of the beasts, and no wonder!
he is huge, yet graceful---his roar...majestic. he makes his way across the african savanna, his golden coat brilliant in the sun's light.

the lionesses hunt, but they allow him to eat first. why?? well, he is their protector on these vast open plains. should an enemy or another lion enter his territory, the fiercest of battles would ensue. his strength & courage are unmatched. his powerful muscles make him easily their champion!

"the hare"
brother hare is a shy little thing. you might catch a glimpse of him though at dawn or dusk, if you are lucky....and very quiet!

you'll see him munching on the sweet grass, or perhaps sampling a bit of lettuce or spinach in mother's garden. but if you look closely, you'll notice that both his eyes & ears stand always at attention.

this is because there are so many other animals who would love to make a meal of him, so he must always be on guard. even the--SNAP!--of a twig in the next field will send him scurrying off in to the woods. but you need not worry, hares can run at speeds near 45mph & that is much faster than many of their pursuers.

*tell fable, "the lion & the old hare"
*project, model a scene from story with plastina

the old hare led the lion into the forest to a deep, deep well...

he said, 'come you majesty & look upon your rival'...
the lion looked down into the well & upon seeing his own reflection was immoderately enraged...and without another thought he ROARED and leapt into the well and perished...
(hands) handwork, continue work on treehouse.

tuesday, august 31st
(heart)walk/hike with circle time
(head) main lesson
*read aloud with mama, 15 minutes...the primer
*game: matching upper & lower case letters, with magnetic alphabet letters
we had loads of some letters and then none of others...(this is a very random collection that i have gathered from thrift stores over the years). whatver letters we didn't have, aydin just wrote them on little cards...
*recall story, with puppet show...using play stands, silks & little felt/wooden animals
this was awesome! i don't have any pictures tought because we videotaped it. maybe i can figure out how to upload a video...
we did a couple of rehearsals because aydin wanted to show papa, but he was was so sweet!

*draw picture from story
(hands) baking: trail mix bars (hmmm...these were NOT good, they seem like they would be though)
wednesday, september 1st
(normally we take wednesdays off for play, but with orin getting out early on friday & lance taking the day's his birthday! we decided to work a bit today)
(heart) hike/walk with circle time
(head) main lesson
*read aloud with mama, 15 min...the primer
*make set up upper & lower case letter cards out of old paintings
*bonus, help papa hang our shelf!
i traded with a friend, some knit goodies & who knows what else, for mr. mike to make us this lovely shelf for our lesson books!
i love it! it hangs flat on the wall, so no tipping & the books sit flat so that none of them can hide from us. :)
we always have books that go with our lessons, but not necessarily ones that we read together...we all also have books that we are reading for nighttime story, our blessing journal, etc... so, no more precarious stacks around the house (which makes papa happy!)
he left it natural for us & we used the last of our "mama kopp's all natural wood creme" to seal/finish it. lovely!
thanks mike!
*recall story, and write summary
(hands) handwork; finish treehouse...
thursday, september 2nd
(heart) walk/hike with circle time
(head) main lesson
*read aloud with mama, 15 minutes...the primer
*game: put letter cards from yesterday into a hat; pull out one letter at a time & think of a word that starts with that letter
*form drawing; christopherus form drawing for beginners, p. 26, fig b

the lion & tiger fighting, a foreshadowing, part of today's fable...
*tell animal intros for today's fables...recall lion, tell of tiger & wolf
you remember our friend lion...well, today we meet his cousin, the very largest of wild cats...tiger!
you will recognize him easily because of his reddish-orange coat with dark stripes. he lives in the jungles & woodlands of asia, but never far from water. tigers are excellent swimmers & they will often soak in pools & streams too cool off.
tigers are so large & powerful that they can hunt alone. they hunt under the cover of dark, for tigers can see quite well in the dark. once they spot their prey, they will sneak...closer....and ...closer...and then POUNCE!
ah, but we meet one more animal wolf.
wolves are beautiful creatures...their howls mysterious & enchanting.
they howl--and growl, whimper, yelp, snarl, and whine--to communicate with other wolves. this communication is extremely important to their packs and their survival. wolves work together to raise their young, to hunt, & to protect their territory.
wolves also use body language to communicate. for instance, if you see a wolf walking straight & tall, with his ears up & his tail straight, you know that he is confident & perhaps even a leader of the pack. if you see a wolf slinking around, with his head bowed, and his tail between his legs, you know that he is more submissive. and if you see a wolf with his front down & his butt up in the air, tail wagging, you know he wants to play!
wolf cubs play a lot! they play hide-and-seek, they wrestle, they leap, pounce & chase... BUT as they leap and pounce & wrestle, they are learning how to communicate & practicing their hunting skill for when they grow up & go out on their own.
*tell fable, "the lion, the tiger & the wolf"
A lion and a Tiger, at the same instant seized upon a young fawn, which they immediately killed. This they had no sooner performed, than they fell to fighting, in order to decide whose property it should be. The battle was so obstinate, that they were both compelled, by weariness and loss of blood, to desist and lie down breathless and quite disabled. A wolf passing that way, perceiving how the case stood, very impudently stepped up and seized the booty, which they had all this while been contending for, and carried it off. The two combatants, who beheld this without being able to prevent it, could only make this reflection: How foolish, said they, has been our conduct! Instead of being contented, as we ought, with our respective shares, our senseless rage has rendered us unable to prevent this rascally wolf from robbing us of the whole.
(hands) painting: skyline painting
(from "that artist woman"...i LOVE her site!)
essentially these paintings are made in 3 parts...
1) choose night/day for your sky...
we chose night & so we painted an entire sheet of paper black
2) once part 1 is dry, you can go back & add clouds (day) or stars for night...we added stars via splatter painting (always a hit, no??)
3) on a second piece of paper, you draw your skyline...aydin did a city skyline & i did our woods/country. once you are done decorating your city, etc. cut it out & glue it atop your sky, align the bottom edges. :)

lastly, i would like to share this bit of spontaneous artwork. such a simple act of layering hands atop one another, and yet the symbolism is so powerful...xoxo


  1. lovely jessi!
    we will start our work here in about a week :) we are doing grade 2 also!

  2. Your skylines look terrific!!!
    Thanks so much for letting me know.
    Great work!

  3. Wow, this is amazing. Thank you for giving us a taste of your homeschooling days.

  4. This is wonderful! I'm hoping to put a post up of our first two weeks soon and would love to link to this post. I love your explanation of Grade 2 at the beg and the focus! :D

    Well done!