Thursday, 25 February 2010

The Simple Things - School Project

( if you aren't familiar with 'the simple things idea'
you may read this and this and this if you like.)
Oooh! I'm so excited! Totally over the moon.
About a month ago when Christina organised another 'simple things' day
I pondered about it a little:
"finding happiness and beauty in the little things
is actually huge; being grateful for what you have,
not taking anything for granted,
learning to appreciate whatever surrounds you,
makes you a better person.
These are values I'd like my students to have.
In a time and era that they have everything they want,
I want them to be able to look around and find joy
in the little things."

So I asked Christina if it was ok with her to use her idea with my classes
and of course she said yes.
At first they were a bit numb.
"what's our new grammar and vocabulary?
will we be tested on this material?"
"No,no,no. Now we're talking about you.
We're using this foreign language we've been learning
on a real-life project"

And then they got it.
We talked about it as a class -there was a handout with ideas to get them started;
then they made their personal lists,
and finally, working in groups, they made posters with a couple of ideas from each student.
I brought this idea to four of my classes-
students aged from 10 to 12, third and fourth year of studying English.
They loved it!!!!
They were so enthusiastic about it and so proud of their final lists!!!
and they made me happy oh so happy.
There were 'computer games' and 'TV' of course
but there were also things like
'helping friends' and 'a warm hug' and 'books' and 'a colourful picture'...
And can you see the little drawings? Aren't they cute?
I'm telling you, they loved it!

I love every single idea they wrote,
the colourful posters they created,
all the fun they had...
But most of all I love that I got them thinking about what really matters.
I bet they all were a little more grateful for the lunch they ate with their families
when they went home after that.



andamento said...

Excellent lists, heartwarming!

Christina said...

sweetheart, this just warms my heart. i want to run my hands over these papers and never forget this day. happy tears.
maybe you can email me your address, and i could send them a little thank you note.
how is it possible, you have brought me so close to this far away place... oh yes, that beautiful heart of yours.

Scattering Lupines said...

Oh, Yiota! This is my favorite post of your EVER!

Thank you for sharing this! They are not only learning a language... they are learning POETRY. These are beutiful little masterpieces. I hope every single one finds its way to a frame above a fireplace.

How very inspiring!
How awesome. I love that you connected this blogland haven of yours/ours with your everyday life and in the process shared this priceless philosophy with those learning, yearning little minds!

Lynne said...

What a great idea for the students to use their new found language and they certainly seemed to enjoy it. Their posters are great too.

Joy said...

I got tears in my eyes too Yiota. There is something about the preciousness of the little simple things that make us all know we are human together.

Anonymous said...

how wonderful!!!! this warms my heart so.

MyStory of HiStory said...

What a great way to use words! Perhaps - since they enjoyed it so much - thinking "this way" will come more naturally to them. Neat - how you & others were so blessed as a result of someone else counting & sharing their blessings w/ an attidude of gratitude :)

Lucy Caitlin Higham said...

I enjoyed reading what your students had written. They seemed to have loved their lesson with you :D It is such a great idea.
Lucy xx

Tracy said...

just LOVE this... and love seeing the photos, those little hands, those lists... Wonderful idea, Yiota...what a great lesson in appreciating life--and never to young or old for that! :o) Happy Weekend ((HUGS))

Sherry said...

It's evident what makes you a teacher and an excellent one at that...not only did you infuse your students with enthusiasm for this project, they enthused you and refreshed your see the progress they are making with English and you see how they grasped the concept of what was required. Joy to your heart and joy to them. I'll wager there were some wonderful conversations taking place in their homes after this the teaching reaches even further than the classroom.

Brava Yiota for spreading the love!! xoxox

Sarah said...

Oh that's so brilliant Yiota! I love it! It is so great that you used this idea so successfully with your classes!

SE'LAH... said...

this is THE best!!!
it's lovely that children can express the things they appreciate. bringing attention to that through your class is fantastic. wish there were more teachers like you.

one love.