Today’s post is from my dear friend Rachel.
I had written the lesson plans for the week, and I was pretty sure the sounds I was hearing didn’t coincide with those plans. Add that to the fact that my five year old was obviously in a hurry to complete his math. As soon as the last problem was done he hopped down from the table and asked excitedly, “Can I go make my lion now?” I wasn’t sure what lion he was talking about, but I could tell that the children were up to something more than ignoring assignments.
It didn’t take long to find out what it was. As part of their reading assignments each day our children are to narrate what their reading is about. Typically this is simply them telling the story back to me so that I know they are comprehending it. If they choose to be more creative that’s great.
At this particular time my eight year old daughter was reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. She enjoys reading, but this book really captured her attention and led her into some very creative self-determined projects, and I heard and saw some unique narrations. On this day, everyone was involved as she planned and directed an entertaining skit based on the chapter she had read.
There were a number of things I really liked about what my children did on that morning.
First, this project belonged to child number four. She’s in the middle of the line-up and rarely has an opportunity to hone her leadership skills. This was a good time for her to practice.
The second thing was that for the skit to be successful they all had to work together. This was another good opportunity to work toward that end, and the best part was that they all pulled together on their own, without my intervention.
A third aspect of this project that I felt was important was the discussion on how movies based on books are often quite different from the books themselves. The chapter they were performing had been excluded from the movie altogether, and my daughter had the opportunity to share with her siblings the many other differences she had found.
For me was the reminder that lesson plans are a great tool, but they are intended to help, not hinder.
Sometimes the natural course of learning takes a different path than what was planned, and everyone ends up the richer for it.
Rachel is a Mama to eight. She and her husband make their home in Ohio.
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