Celebration – an expression of Gratitude.
ILM Montessori wore a festive air throughout September. Here’s what kept us so merry throughout:
Sept 5th: The month started with Onam and Teachers’ Day celebrations.
Sept 13th: Ofcourse on Sept 13th ILM had it’s very first Sports Day.
Sept 21st & 22nd: We also celebrated the World Peace Day.
Sept 26th: The month gleefully ended with the celebration of six birthdays!
First things first – “A Very Happy Birthday” to Anusree, Atif, Nayanica, Nishka, Nuha and Rayyan! You are all very special and we are so happy to have you at ILM with us. I read somewhere that any celebration is an expression of gratitude. It was palpable on September 26 as parents took turns to share memorable anecdotes about their precious ones with all of us.
Children went bananas on Onam!
On Onam, children made Pookalam with flower petals. Apart from enjoying the festivities of the day, they also had very interesting lessons on culture and botany. They learned about Kerala, their people, culture, food habits, attire & language. They so enjoyed the banana chips and jaggery for snacks. Also, eating on banana leaves was a new experience for most of our children.
The older children learned to weave mats with stripes cut out of banana leaves. As they plucked on flower petals, they learned about different parts of a flower. Infact the previous week, primary children had a lesson on the same topic. So the Pookalam activity was indeed a practical for them that they enjoyed all the more because of their newly acquired knowledge!
Nuha’s mom graciously sent the pre-mix for preparing Paladda, a sweet dish of Kerala, that the children savoured with absolute delight after lunch. The younger ones made boats with chart paper and ice-cream sticks as an Onam takeaway.
Empathy for Teachers.
As Teachers’ day was on the same day as Onam, I had to plan a surprise for the teachers carefully. I told them to take rest for some time while I would do an Empathy activity with children, similar to the one in Ramadan. All the children and teachers gathered in the Circle Room. Some were expecting a story, others a puppet show or an Empathy video. So the teachers were in for a big surprise when I took out a bagful of letters addressed to them! Thanks to all the parents for helping their children write those lovely notes for their teachers. For three days we collected notes from children’s bags quietly and finally when I read the notes during Circle time and got the children to give the notes personally to their teachers, they were so moved by the activity. All I can say is that they deserve every bit of joy and recognition for their hard work and passion for teaching. As they say teaching is that one profession that makes all other professions in the world. Thank You Teachers!
Building Peace, piece by piece.
Sunday, September 21 was World Peace Day. We celebrated it in school on Monday, September 22. Mahatma Gandhi said “If we are to achieve real peace in this world, we shall have to begin with the children”. This week and also in the coming week (as October 2 happens to be Gandhi Jayanti) we are doing several peace-related activities at ILM.
You may wonder how can we talk to two-three year olds about peace…it’s by sharing a lovely poem that we read out to all our children in Circle time. The Poem’s called Hey Little Ant, by Philip and Hannah Hoose. The poem is a dialogue between a boy and an ant that he is about to (Oh my God!) squish! Should he or should he not? Here’s a stanza from the poem:
But all my friends squish ants each day,
Squishing ants is a game we play.
They’re looking at me—they’re listening, too.
They all say I should squish you.
I can see you’re big and strong,
Decide for yourself what’s right and wrong,
If you were me and I were you,
What would you want me to do?
You can watch a reading of the poem at this video available here or read a text version of the poem here. Do look up the video again with your child and discuss it at home to reinforce the message. Meanwhile, we took a peace pledge here at ILM not to squish ants anymore.
Till the next update. Cheerio!