Articles

Heroes And Fables In The Second Grade

By Miss Lajja Mandal, Class 2 Teacher

7 January, 2020

One of the most archetypal example of Duality and Polarity. Steiner education revolves around a very tailor-made curriculum that caters to the needs of a child of that particular age.

This year the children experienced a block each of Fables and Heroes also known as Good People. As we ferried through the short stories of Fables and long stories of Good People children associated with the inherent nature of each character.

The mischief of a monkey or the wisdom of an owl or the slyness of a fox, each caters to the instinctive nature relevant to that child. We worked with some of the heroes and saints and the children could well relate to the struggles faced by Milarepa, the Tibetan Saint, obstacles faced by Elizabeth of roses and so on. Awe and wonder!!!!

Two essential points that I came across:

The death and rebirth we experience when we go through the dark night of the soul or an inner transformation.

The healing of our hearts from unimaginable hurts.

The focus during the main lesson was on the speech, comprehension and sequencing the story during the recall. The main lesson book was adorned with some lovely drawings of animals and heroes; nevertheless, focusing on the font and the formation of letters as well as writing small sentences and working with word families.

The seven to eight year old are still in the element of will and we are working with their feeling life through the staple food of these stories where they associate with the PROTAGONIST. Heroes and Saints are not born as heroes and saints, but they grope in the dark, face obstacles and struggle to achieve that highest form of being close to God.

One of my children, after hearing the stories of Good People was keen to save money and buy something for the helper simply as a gesture of THANK YOU! That was sheer inspiration!

The other one wanted to buy some fruits for the cleaner in his / her building as a gesture of THANK YOU!

On the other end Fables are open ended. Hence it would be nice to leave them for the blossoming of their imagination than give them redundant morals which is not a blanket rule and applicable with the situation.

Though second graders experience consequences for their newfound NAUGHTY or MISCHIEVOUS behavior, the children are reassured through these stories that they are inherently good beings.

The stories were told in a way to evoke a kind of thrilled, silent awe. They were narrated keeping in mind the pleasures and sorrows that would continue to echo in the future, gradually to be transformed into understanding and interest.

And in my very own experience:

The two words that really held the spirit of these blocks were INTRIGUE and MAGIC!!!!!!!