Two years ago I cut out an article from the UU World Magazine about Beatrix Potter and this past Sunday I finally did a lesson about her work and her life. At 150, Beatrix Potter continues to delight was written by Kris Willcox. There were several facts that caught my eye and in turn informed my Sunday lesson:
- Beatrix Potter often disagreed with her teachers and still persevered, becoming an extremely successful artist and writer.
- Potter carefully studied mushrooms and lichens that grew around Dunkeld, Scotland and discovered an undocumented process of fungi reproduction from spores. She presented her discovery to the Royal Botanical Society much to the chagrin of all of the male members.
- Potter controlled her own money, even after getting married late in life.
- Potter bought a large farm and became a very successful farmer.
- Potter donated more than 4,300 acres of Lake District farmlands to the National Trust which is one of the world’s first conservation organizations.
After reading Potter’s short story about Miss Moppet we discussed our own experiences with teachers who we don’t agree with and why it is important to keep learning and growing on our own. From there we moved to our tables where children chose different natural objects to draw – a split open orange, a beetle, shells of different sizes, a radish, a piece of a pepper, some feathers and a sprig of Japanese Knot-weed.
Back in our closing circle we wrapped up the lesson linking Potter’s life to the UU Principles and the children mentioned the three I have listed below:
1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Passover and Easter don’t usually fall on the same week, but this year the two holidays arrived together and the children at the UUSA celebrated with an egg hunt and a matzoh snack. We had 15 children between the ages of 2 and 12 and our volunteers hid the eggs accordingly. After the plastic eggs were found, the children were given hard-boiled eggs to decorate with crayons and everyone had as much matzoh as they could eat.
And in case some of you are wondering, the vacuum most definitely came out during clean up!
Thanks to all who made the morning fun.
Happy Spring everyone!
What Do You Do With A Problem? by Kobi Yamada is a wonderful book about a little person who is scared by a problem, but then decides to face it head on and learn from dealing with it. Last Sunday our group discussed problems we have faced and what we learned when we dealt with them. Then we took a step back and talked about Climate Change which is of course no small problem! The children discussed solutions including some like: “we should all walk instead of drive” and possible inventions that we could develop to reduce our carbon emissions like a carbon vacuum.
Following our check in and discussion we made clay sculptures of inventions, faces of people dealing with problems and one child drew symbols on clay tablets. One of the cool things about having a small group is that even when we stop our “formal” discussion, once our hands get busy with the RE craft our informal chat starts up and this is usually when I see the “magic” of RE happen. Kids share ideas, materials and get to know each other through doing and being together.
The K-2 and 4-6 OWL groups finished their programming with two very different celebrations, but with equal enthusiasm and joy. The K-2 group celebrated everyone’s birth with cupcakes and cookies. And 4-6 wrote recipes for healthy relationships. Check out the photos below. Thank you to all of the families for attending each Sunday – regular attendance is key to the OWL program. With OWL finished we will start up our regular Sunday routine – upstairs to start! Happy Spring!