March 17, 2006 - Friday
Current mood: sleepy Category: Life
Kindergarten children are the funniest people at school. Right now I'm teaching all of my student patriotic songs mostly because I have time right now and it is something I'm supposed to teach. There is a book called "America the beautiful" that contains all of the verses of the song, but with the added benefit of full illustrations. It is a beautiful book and is useful with children since most of them don't know what "amber waves of grain" mean anyway.
So there I was with 35 5-6 year old children gathered around me looking at the picture for purple mountain majesties above the fruited plains. Obviously in the background there were beautiful snow capped, purple mountains. However, in the foreground there is a wide variety of living things intended to make one understand that the plain is a fertile place capable of sustaining life. There are a few small trees, lots of grass, lots of buffalo and off in the distance there is a collection of teepees with smoke curling out of the tops. I asked the children about what living things that they could see in the picture. One child said, "rocks" another said "mooses", another said, "Indians". Oscar (name changed) , who had been dozing in the back perked up at the idea of Indians and wanted to know how I knew they were there if they weren’t in the picture. We decided that it was obvious that Indians lived on the plain because we could see their houses. I pointed out that the mooses were actually called buffalo and that the Indians hunted the buffalo. I then explained that the Indian houses in the picture were called teepees and were made to be lightweight like a tent so that they could be collapsed and carried to a new spot. I then looked at Santana (fake name) and said, " wouldn't be fun to live in a house that you could fold up?". He said, "yes, but my mom won't let me because we just live in an apartment - maybe I can when we get a big house."