It had to happen, our week of fire, was bound to end. Today we wrapped the programme off with a series of activities. In the morning we came together as group and all the children were asked to draw a self portrait. This elicited a lot of very interesting responses. There were children who went about drawing with confidence and excitement, those who were less thrilled and said they could not draw and then those who simply thought it was an impossible undertaking. Amazingly though 20 minutes later, we all had created something to represent ourselves. This was stuck onto a big piece of paper and the pictures were hung on the walls of the classroom.
Next I invited all the children to walk around and write something on the pages to acknowledge the person whose picture was on it. Again, the reactions varied…some could not wait and others simply sat still and watched what was happening. It did not take long before everyone’s paper had several comments on it from other children in the group. When I asked them afterwards how it felt to acknowledge each other, they said it felt good! I could clearly see everyone was eager to read what others had written about them too!
This process of acknowledgement has been something we have done throughout the week. At the end of the day I woudl often invite children to acknowledge each other for doing something that made them happy that day. It is a process that amazes me everytime…a reminder about just how much children notice and remember. Their acknowledgments were for things like:
“Helping me when I was on the round-a-bout and no-one heard me say stop, so you said it again.” ”
“Saying sorry when you hit me with the ball.”
“For being my friend again and not fighting with me today.”
“For playing with me!”
Such lovely simple statements, such candour and honesty. It is a lovely thing to witness and a wonderful thing to watch its impact on the person who receives the acknowledgement!
That was just the beginning of the day. My group moved on to cutting and packaging our home made soap. The children gave a soap box to the one of the children in Patsy’s group.
The day ended with the big burn…a fitting finale for a week devoted to an exploration of fire and what it leaves behind. Most of the children had brought in something to burn on Thursday and today they collected their burnable treasures as we stood around the fires. We ate some marshmellows to keep our stength up and then began to theorise about what would happen when different things were burnt. The burnable treasures included: cans, bottles, sponges, rubber bands, feathers, plastic margarine tops, a tylenol bottle, some silver plastic, steel wool, newspaper and rubber! It was a rich assortment. Plastic was the most exciting thing to watch burn…it reacted quickly! The best wburns were Sammy’s plastic straw that moved like a snake as it melted, drty clay that popped and the bouncy rubber ball that turned into a shrinking ball of fire!
And so the week came to an end…it was indeed a wonderful experience for all of us!