Yesterday’s tragedy of breaking Gloria’s beloved necklace, the one Milly gave her years ago, was a lesson in a whole lot of things – from how do you fix a problem, to doing the right thing, and caring for others. This is big stuff, whether you’re four or forty.
I was excited today. I had the new necklace in hand, ready to give to Gloria. I sat down with the children to show them the necklace, the clasp that was repaired, and the new hanging hearts. And, the medallion! The oohs and ahs were loud. We couldn’t wait to give it to Gloria.
Giving feels good. It’s as simple and as complex as that. The children got to experience that feeling in a very real way, not just hearing me read it to them in a story. Isn’t that what Gloria’s new necklace was all about?
After Gloria got her new necklace, children decided she needed to be on the couch with her blankie and a doll. I think Gloria liked that. Don’t you?
The children got to work writing a big thank you letter to Tracey Smith, the jeweler who transformed the broken necklace into something new and beautiful.
At the end of the day, Gloria was all smiles.
I can’t speak enough about emergent curriculum, following the lead of the children or what is really happening in the classroom, and using that as a foundation for teaching. I could have tossed the broken necklace in sadness and stuck with what I was teaching. And had I done so, it would have been a bigger tragedy. I would have missed the opportunity to teach – really teach – some of the most important things children need to learn.