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Following the Dragon

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Nurseries had a great time with the Lunar New Year feast. We read several picture books about Lunar New Year and then talked about how the Chinese dragon in the stories brought good luck to everyone and how it wasn’t like the European dragon that guarded gold and breathed fire. Nurseries reassured each other that the Kindergarten dragon would only breath air, or maybe water, and that it was a costume and that the Kindergartners would be inside making it move.

Several Nurseries said, “And anyway we will see their feet!”

What I didn’t know at the time, was that Kindergartners’ had decided together to take turns being the person who wore the dragon’s head during the actual parade… since there were six Kindergartners who wanted be the head! Lindie explained to them that, during the actual parade, she would be so busy putting down bubble wrap (to stomp for the firecracker sound effects) that she might not be able to cue them to switch. What to do?

One Kindergartner suggested that whenever they came to a doorway, they would know it was their cue to quickly change positions under the long red cloth — the body of the dragon.

So Lindie asked how many doorways they would be going through from start to finish. They figured out that if they went out of the Kindergarten room and then into the Nursery room from the hallway, that there would be six doorways… enough for each person who wanted to have a turn!  

I loved hearing from Lindie about Kindergartners’ impressive problem solving and group process. And I think the piece that really blew me away was how beautifully and seamlessly they carried through with their plan! It was so beautifully done that, even though I was just a few Nurseries behind the dragons tail, I didn’t have a clue that they were doing that kind of complicated stagecraft inside the dragon while they walked us from room to room and on down to the feast!

Nurseries truly loved the anticipation and joy of the celebration and the idea of being such a part of it all. When the time came on Thursday, we followed the Kindergartner’s dragon as it wound it’s way throughout all the rooms leading the entire school down the hall to the tables filled with stir fry, egg rolls, spring rolls, noodles, rice, and almond cookies. I know that Nurseries also loved the responsibility of expanded horizons and spreading out to sit along that long, long strip of red paper (the communal table) and then going up and down the hall on their own to get a cup of tea or another egg roll!