Sunday, 31 May 2020 13:49

Kindergarten synergy in the year of a pandemic

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     Here at The Antioch School we celebrate and cherish each individual.  Our website says, children ". . .  walk their own learning path, as fast and as far as it may go. .  Each person is trusted as a learner "  Our greatest contributions, though, are often made as part of a group. 

     This year was the fourteenth in which I had the privilege of spending time with a group of Kindergartners.  For thirteen years prior to this, as I have watched, each group has spontaneously come together in May to culminate the year by creating something big--all of them, together.  I don't share this with any group during the year.  I don't interfere with what they create.  And year after year it happens--sometimes at the very last minute or sometimes planned over the course of the school year.  Kindergarten children have created original plays, rewritten popular musicals, composed their own music and dance, shared their gifts in a talent show, performed reprises of the Younger Group's circus, and designed and helped build a straw bale playhouse on our playground.  This happened for Kindergartners at The Antioch School before I was the teacher--my own son's group performed their own version of the Older Group's musical from that year.  It is something that is in these five and six year olds, and that if adults are brave enough to stand aside, the children, as a group, will bring out.

     If I would have known at the beginning of this school year that our time to be physically together as a group would end in early March, my greatest disappointment for the children would have been believing that they would not have the time to come together as a group in May, as the thirteen groups that proceeded them have, to create whatever amazing, synergistic group wonder was in them.  

     In November, this Kindergarten group, inspired by the Younger Group's Halloween play, wrote their own play and decided to perform it for parents and the entire school.  I was amazed at their boldness, the size and breadth of their endeavor.  Never had something like this happened so early in the Kindergarten year.  In hindsight, I am even more amazed at their uncanny, unconscious, or perhaps just serendipitous timing.  If a standard curriculum was imposed here, none of this amazing work would happen, and if I had been imposing a schedule, the children this year would have missed out on this group event entirely.  For me it has been the best lesson in the importance of the teacher following the lead and readiness of the children and given me even greater respect for the wisdom of the group.    

     So, as this school year ends, I leave this group with much love, gratitude, and respect, and I leave all of you with some of their finest work--

The Haunted City Pet Store Goes Wrong

By Antioch School Kindergarten 2019-20

Characters

Bald Eagle, Rose—Ayla

Kitten, Zephyr—Layli

Butterfly—Kyeu

Bad Guy Ogre—Naomi

Superhero Cat, Tornado--August

Peregrine Falcon, Turbo—Cong Cong

Dog, Tornado—Colt

Turtle, Slash—Leon

Unicorn, Uni—Raelin

Superhero Cina—Antonia

Princess Eleoda—Ahnika

 

In a city in a pet store where things always go wrong, there was a ghost tree where a bad guy Ogre lived.

A cat named Zephyr jumps out and tries to make the Ogre nice, but he wouldn't listen.

The superhero cat, Tornado, breaks out of his cage. When he tries to shoot his double power saw it bounces back, hits his shield and bounces onto the ground, sawing a tunnel into the ground.

Most of the animals, except Tornado cat, jump into the hole to hide. One of the animals didn't go into the hole and hided somewhere else. That was Uni. The bald eagle, Rose, stayed out of the hole, too, because she was brave.

And then the peregrine falcon, Turbo, zoomed out of the hole and zoomed into the sky.

Tornado dog dug the hole deeper and made a cavern for the animals to live in.

The turtle, Slash, slippery slipped out.

The Superhero Cina and Princess Eleoda come and get the ghost tree and the bad guy Ogre to be nice.

The pet store and the city transform into two houses.

The End

 

 

 

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