Here's this week's glimpse into what's happening in our Kids Niche Programs! These feature lessons, activities, and saunters from a different classroom each week.
Today’s Feature: Shooting Stars’ Blindfolded Drumstalk Activity
Part 1: Where do things come from?
Teacher Dave showed students his drum made from elk skin and a deer hide that he tanned. Their natural curiosity lead to many questions. Teacher Dave then asked further questions to guide their thinking. What is this? Where’d it come from? What can it be used for? We learned that animal skins used to be what almost everyone used for clothes. What are your clothes made of? Where does that come from? It all comes from the Earth.
Part 2: Deer ears, raccoon touch, fox-walking
Students closed their eyes and expanded their hearing like deer. They tapped into their sense of touch. They learned the slow and deliberate technique called fox-walking. By regularly attempting to ‘walk in the shoes’ of their animal neighbors, students develop greater awareness of the natural world and build empathy.
Part 3: Blindfolded Drumstalk
All students (who wanted to be) were blindfolded. The drum was pounded from the other side of the playground. The goal was to use their animal-like senses to follow the sound of the drum until they could touch Dave playing it. With great excitement, the students wandered at varying speeds (and varying levels of peeking). We played multiple rounds with increasing difficulty. Every student navigated the dangers of tires, wood chips, and metal bars to receive a well-deserved high five!
Gain better understanding of where things come from: the Earth.
Explore senses: Use hearing (deer ears) and touch (raccoon touch) to become more aware of natural surroundings and personal abilities.
Begin to develop empathy for local animals through imitation.
Appropriately challenge physical abilities and comfort zone.