Friday, 13 January 2012

Junk box response

We've been experimenting with giving the children less direction in their response to teaching, so that they tell us what they really think rather than what they think we expect to hear!  The results have been interesting and have shown us that the children think very deeply about what they've heard in a way we might not give them credit for!

We decided that, once a month or so, instead of doing a directed craft or response which had a predetermined outcome, we would let them choose how to respond.  We created a 'junk box' containing fabric scraps, straws, pipe cleaners, paper, paper cups, plates, foil dishes, buttons etc and we also provided pens, paper and playdough.  The idea was that the children could make, draw or write anything that showed us what they had taken away from the teaching.  The first time we tried this we were a little bit worried that they wouldn't know where to start, but actually we didn't have to worry!  Now the children are used to the routine and even our 5 year olds get started right away.

One of the first response sessions we had was to Psalm 139.  An 8 year old put some buttons inside two foil dishes.  When asked what her model showed she said that she'd been struck by some words about protection.  The buttons were people and the foil dishes represented God protecting them.

We've been really challenged by how deep the children can go in their response when we don't put limitations on them!

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