Good day today!
Start lessons as soon as you have your tasks done for the day and have done some Childrobotics.
Grandma has a special lesson from the book by Mary Joyce. She wished we would have covered some of this ending to the book at the beginning of the lessons in the fall but it can also be used as a good review.
This lesson in Creative Dance is called "Relating Dance to Other Areas in Life". Mary Joyce writes, "Modern American society is one of the few in which there is no dance essential to the culture. Many countries still dance wedding rituals that have been handed down from ancestors. Agricultural and work dances, religious and magical dances are still done in many parts of the world, if not for their original function still as an important part of the life of the people. In the United States, most of our dance is social or theatrical. Perhaps the closest we come to depth of expression through movement by ordinary people is creative educational dance. Let the children feel this importance by relating their dance to events that mean something in their daily lives, or that touch chords of emotional feeling.
I watched a skilled teacher do a class that involved lots of skips, leaps, gallops, and combinations of these. The children's bodies were involved in total physical movement, and their minds were busy counting and placing the moves.
Then he asked them to sit down cross-legged with straight backs. The attention of the children was captured by this abrupt change of pace. The teacher then proceeded to lead them in very simple, stylized, unison movements of the hands, arms, and head. He accompanied them with his voice and with a soft, even, almost hypnotic drumbeat. The quiet formality seemed to lend dignity and meaning to the movement. The children felt it. A hush seemed to envelop them. They were no longer moving only physically and mentally. They were involved emotionally.
This is difficult to do, but very important. We need to bring each class to a point where the children can feel what it means to dance, to use themselves fully in mind, body, and spirit. To do this, we must somehow reach their emotions. Sometimes this happens through the drama of an idea. Sometimes the poetry they write for their dance evokes inner feeling. Sometimes the music you play makes a difference. Let them not think dance is merely a challenge to physical skill.
Human beings are not fragmented pieces; the emotions are tied to movement. When we move, we feel, and when we feel, we are moved. Aim for feeling states through movement.
For some, dance becomes more meaningful when it relates to another subject. Try using holidays in your dance class. It's hard to get past October 31 without a Halloween dance! Some lessons that fit this theme easily are lesson 5, living sculpture (you can change the name to rising ghosts); lesson 8, graveyard; lesson 17, spaghetti monsters, and lesson 19, haunted house. Children love to do a good-bye dance acting out the movements of the character they plan to be on Halloween.
If you like to use the children's ideas, you might start by asking them what kinds of characters are out on Halloween night. Take one at a time. How do they move? (See the section on structuring an idea, page 39.) After finding all possible movement qualities in several ideas, combine two by saying, "Once upon a time, late at night, there were some black cats moving about. Suddenly some ghosts appeared. Then what happened? How shall we end this dance?"
When Thanksgiving draws near, and you feel the need for a Thanksgiving dance, why not use the coming of the Mayflower? Discuss how it must have tossed as it sailed the rough ocean. Imagine the fear and curiosity of the Pilgrims, and the silent, alert, watchful movements of the Indians. Think about the ritual?
In order to make a dance and not a play, ask for movement words that describe the action. Ask for one movement word to describe the ocean and the ship--it might be rolling. One movement word to describe the Indians--it might be darting. One movement word to describe the ritual of friendship and thanks--it might be joining hands. Then, remembering crossovers (page 34), make a three-part dance: (1) rolling (stressing perhaps changes of level, and using high rolling with jumps as well as middle level and floor rolls), (2) darting (using sharp movements and straight short pathways), and (3) joining hands (their own hands, each other's hands, contact shapes in small groups and finally in one large group for an ending).
Christmas is a time of beautiful music and happy feelings. Traditional carols have very clear rhythmic patterns that can be translated into moves and steps. If you are working with older childen, give small groups each a phrase of a familiar tune. Have them set steps to its rhythm. Use entrances and exits. The resulting dance with each group performing successively can be exciting!
With smaller children, instead of what's in the cage, for lesson 33, you might try what's in the package? First, have the children explore many ideas by working on mechanical toy movements, rag doll moves, or computer workings. Then let them each dance the toy of their choice.
Valentine's Day is ever popular with children. Have them discuss what happens to their hearts when they get excited. It goes faster, of course. (See lesson 16, fast and slow.) Relate this to movement: "Can you show me a movement that gets faster? Now find a very slow beat, and then make that move go faster. Make the shape of a heart with your whole body. Can you make a heart shape with a partner? Can you rock that shape? Can you make those moves change speed? Can you move your heart shape through space? Change levels? Can the whole class make one huge heart shape in the room? Can you show the lace around the edges?"
For Easter explore the accents in "Happy Easter" (see lesson 22, accent). In that rhythm, have the rabits jump, the spring showers fall, and the flowers grow. Have the children spell out easter by making the letters with their bodies. They can paint the word in the air and write it on the floor with a pathway."
(Grandma is going to step in here and say how much we really can use this system for many more special days. We can even use it now when we are studying about Africa, the changes it has made, the slaves feelings, how Martin Luther King made a change in their lives. The wars and jews, feelings about things that have happened. You can reach into deep feelings your children may have about many things. Discuss things with them.)
"When relating academic subjects to dance, think of relating to one element in particular. Use the element to help teach the subject, or the subject to help teach the element. Use crossovers (page 34) to make the lesson thorough, and be sure to put the learning into some kind of form with a finish. In other words, structure such a lesson as you would if you were starting from the element itself.
It is possible to teach verbs, adverbs, rhyming words; addition, subraction, fractions, parts and whole; cursive writing and printing; geometric shapes; forms of matter, laws of motion, nuclear action, chemical action, mechanical laws; history, geography, geology; and more. Find which elements to use by asking the class:
How does this subject relate to space: shape, level, direction, size, pathway, place?
How does this subject relate to time: beat, speed, duration, pattern?
How does this subject relate to force: attack, strength, weight, flow?
Can you imitate or feel such actions in your body?
Can the class imitate such actins as a group?
After the exploration, complete the lesson by putting the actions into a form (see page 36).
Someday, in spite of your careful planning, you may have to or want to build a lesson spontaneously. Something will happen that interests the children so much you'll want to make it part of the lesson for the day. For instance, if a sudden thunderstorm comes up, if the electricity goes off, if a favorite friend is leaving ..., if a dance company has performed..., or if the children have just seen a popular movie, you'll want to use these things. Structure spontaneous happenings just as you would structure ideas from the children (see page 39). When something looms large in the lives of the children, by all means, build a lesson around it. Don't hesitate. Find your way by trial and error. You'll do better tomorrow by starting today!
Bible History and more-
Grandma is now backing up and starting with Ezra. Faith Alive asks in the beginning:
"Whom...didGod inspire to write this book? Very likely Ezra himself wrote this book, although that is not certain. Probably the same author wrote Ezra and 1 and 2 Chronicles.
How...does Ezra show us God's love? God shows his love in the book of Ezra by bringing the exiled people of Judah home from Babylon. Through this act, God keeps alive the promise of the Saviour, who was to be born in the land of Judah. God also enables the people to rebuild the temple, assuring them that he is still present with them.
When...did this happen? The first people returned to Judah in 538 BC. Ezra returned in 458 BC.
Where...did this happen? The events of this book happened in the land of Judah and the city of Jerusalem.
What...special messages does this book give us? God always keeps his promises. Even exile to a faraway place could not prevent God from fulfilling his Word to his people. God also enables his people to overcome tremendous obstacles to accomplish his will.
...action happens in this book? The Persian ruler Cyrus lets captive people return home. Some of the people of Judah in Babylon go back to Judah. They rebuild God's temple. Later Ezra comes from Babylon to teach God's law.
...important people do we meet? The most important people in this book include King Cyrus, Zerubbabel, and Ezra.
...are some of the stories in this book?
Exiles return home. Ezra 1-2
Rebuilding the temple. Ezra 3-6
Ezra returns to Jerusalem. Ezra 7
Ezra confesses Judah's sins. Ezra 9
The people of Judah confess. Ezra 10
Faith Alive writes in:
Let's Live It! Ezra 1:1-11-Leaving Home--The people of Judah had been in Babylon for seventy years. Most had homes there. So, many of them decided to stay in Babylon and not move to Judah. Read Ezra 1:1-11. Why was it so important that some go back to Judah? (See Matthew 2:4-6.)
Pretend that you are in one of these families in Babylon. Your father asks, "Do you want to move to Judah?" What will you tell him? Write down reasons not to move. Write down reasons you should move.
There are always plenty of reasons to go or to stay when we face a move. But one question is really most important; Where will we best fit into God's plan? Maybe your parents can make a better income to support the family in a new place. Or maybe being closer to family will enable you to share God's love with them. Or maybe a new job is a better way to use the talents God has given your parents. If your family es ever considering a move, ask your mom or dad to talk about these things.
Let's Live It! Ezra 3:1-6-Celebration--Read Ezra 3:1-6. "Tabernacles" was a holiday for the Israelites. The word means "tents" or "outdoor shelters." The Israelites who had returned all came to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.
Leviticus 23:33-44 tells us that the Israelites lived in these tents for seven days each year to help them remember how they lived when God brought them out of Egypt. Also, the verses in Leviticus tell them that this was a holiday to celebrate. What do you think of when you think of a celebration?
Your family could have a one-day Feast of Tabernacles. Put up a tent in your yard and live in it for one day. Think of how God has taken care of your family and given you a home to live in. It will be like a small vacation...so celebrate!
Did You Know? Who were the enemies of the people of Judah? When the king of Assyria took the people of Israel captive, he settled other people in their land. Those people were pagans. Because they thought the Lord owned the land of Israel, they started to worship the Lord along with their old pagan idols. Now they offered to help the people of Judah rebuild their temple. The people of Judah would not let the pagan settlers help. This made the settlers angry, and they tried to stop the building.
Life in Bible Times-Letters-In Old Testament times, letters were often written on clay tablets. Marks were pressed into soft clay, which was then hardened and placed in clay envelopes. Later, letters were written on animal skin or on a kind of paper. The paper was made by gluing together flat layers of the stem of the papyrus reed. Our word paper has its beginnings in the word papyrus.
Let's Live It! Ezra 4:6-16;5:6-12-The Eighth Commandment--"You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor" (Exodus 20:16).
The people of Judah were working to rebuild the temple. Neighboring stop the building (Ezra 4:6-16). Some of what they wrote was false; they lied. Some of the things, though, were true. The people of Judah had often rebelled. Was it a sin to write these true things?
Luther's explanation of this commandment can help you think about that: "We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way."
Think about someone who has argued with you. What kind thing can you say about that person? What kind thing can you do?
Words to Remember 7:10 Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the law of the Lord.
Did You Know? 8:1 When did Ezra come to Jerusalem? Ezra came to Jerusalem in 458 BC. The first six chapters of the book of Ezra are about things that happened eighty years earlier, when the first people came back to Judah from Babylon in 538 BC. The last four chapters tell what happened when Ezra returned.
Life in Bible Times-Wedding Celebrations-Weddings were happy times in Israel. For a week the bride and groom were treated like a queen and king. There was music, dancing, and feasting. But Israelites were foridden to marry pagans, who did not worship the Lord. When Ezra heard about such weddings, he did not rejoice. He wept for shame and confessed the sin to God.
Did You Know? 9:15 What is said in a prayer of confession? In a prayer of confession, people tell God about their sins and ask God for forgiveness. Ezra 9:6-15 records Ezra's prayer confessing that his people had done wrong. Because Ezra was so upset, the people realized they had sinned and they confessed. Ezra 10 tells how the people of Judah showed they were truly sorry for their sin.
Grandma must be very tired tonight. She is trying to get into it more again. She will soon, she needs some help on the machine from the son soon.
In looking into the calendar for Book 1 Grandma knows she must give you the line-up first.
The Project of the Month is Soup's On
"Soup's on all month when your" children "celebrate National Soup Month. Start the celebration by having your" children " write, draw, or tell about their favorite soups and when they like to have them. Kids who don't like soup, if there are any, can tell why. How do the soup lovers feel about these negative reviews? Can they think of any ways to change their minds--and palates?
Look at labels of soups you eat and list contents of soups you make. Make a soup booklet. Figure out how you want to organize it--by country of origin, by family name, by type of soup? Encourage the children to develop an index for cross-referencing. Sample various soups throughout the month.
Have the children discover the nutritional value of various soups by examining labels and checking information on the computer and in books. Libraries may be able to help. Find out the difference in different brands and making them homemade. The children could also discover various myths--such as the medicinal properties of chicken soup or the amount of strength provided by hearty meat and barley soup.
March of Dimes Birth Defects Prevention Month
National Eye Care Month
National Hobby Month
National Hobby Month
National Oatmeal Month
National Soup Month
National Volunteer Blood Donor Month
Read a New Book Month
Wheat Bread Month
National Bowling Week(first week)
Spontaneous Celebrations Week (first week)
National Education on Smoking and Health Week(second full week)
National Ski Week(second full week)
International Printing Week (week including Jan. 14)
Pizza Week(third week)
International Forgiveness Week(last full week)
Mozart Week(week including Jan. 27)
Special Days and Celebrations
New Year's Day (Jan. 1)
Volunteer Fireman Day(second Sunday)
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day(third Monday)
National Clean Off Your Desk Day(third Monday)
Hat Day(third Friday)
National Popcorn Day(Super Bowl Sunday)
Other special days
Polar Bear Club Swim Day(Jan. 1)
Good Luck Day(Jan. 2)
Kakizome in Japan(Jan. 2)
Trivia Day(Jan. 4)
Bird Day(Jan. 5)
Panama Canal Day(Jan. 7)
World Literacy Day(Jan. 8)
Human Relations Day(Jan. 10)
Banana Split Day(Jan. 11)
Silvesterklause Parade in Switzerland(Jan. 13)
Stephen Foster Memorial Day(Jan. 13)
National Printing Ink Day(Jan. 14)
Pongal-Harvest Festival in Singapore(Jan. 14)
Humanitarian Day(Jan. 15)
National Compliment Day(Jan. 15)
National Nothing Day(Jan. 16)
Pooh Day(Jan. 18)
Singapore Kite Festival(Jan. 19)
Presidential Inauguration Day(Jan. 20)
National Hugging Day(Jan. 21)
Elfstedentocht in the Netherlands(Jan. 22)
Babin Den(Grandmother's Day) in Bulgaria(Jan. 23)
National Handwriting Day(Jan. 23)
Pie Day(Jan. 23)
Alacitis-Bolivian festival(Jan. 24-26)
Australia Day(Jan. 26)
National Day of Excellence(Jan. 28)
National Kazoo Day(Jan. 28)
Purple Cow Day(Jan. 30)
Have a nice weekend! Grandma will try to give more information on Monday.