A new day, a new group! Our Monday group explored the necessity of communication and focus as we played a game involving throwing balls in complicated order with increasingly complicated factors (more balls, moving around, forward and backwards order simultaneously, etc.). Everyone encouraged one another during the challenge, setting the best possible time for our first Monday meeting.
The Monday group solved the same challenge that the Tuesday group was given last week. The challenge? To fit the group into smaller and smaller circles. Interestingly, they had the exact same idea when we got down to the smallest circle! They thought to put their hair in the tiny final ring. In the case of both groups, the kids worked swimmingly together, celebrating along the way. The power of small groups never ceases to amaze me; when they only have each other, the level of patience, understanding, and respect seems to come naturally.
We LOVE "the spot" behind the house for discussion, play, reading, and lunch. Not bad for a classroom! Heidi and Soleil told us that there are some development projects brewing around this forested space that are threatening the trees, trails, and animals. We spent some time brainstorming about how we might intervene to protect this space that we already love for NOMAD so much. We think this might be a perfect way to flex our democratic rights! As we read in the introduction to Howard Zinn's book A Young People's History of the United States: "If you live in a democratic state, it means you have the right to criticize your government's policies." We think we ought to criticize our local city council policies on the development of this precious open space. Stay tuned! For now, we have ideas for flags and banners that might symbolize our movement.
Heidi led us in a brainstorm about how we might engage in the development issue on the trail. We started off by sketching out best, second best, and worst case scenarios. We then made a list of actions we could take including creating a banner or flag to hang over the trail to raise awareness and attract supporters, attending city council meetings, creating a petition, and writing speeches. We also took a series of beautiful photos to illustrate what might be lost if the project goes through. The kids drew a connection between this issue and the Howard Zinn chapter we read today on Columbus and colonization. They said that the people wanting to build apartments would push the animals from their homes. They felt that a development project seemed greedy and imposing, just as Columbus must have seemed to the Arawak Indians in the Bahamas in 1492. This group is certainly invested in this issue which fits right in with our study of flags and both the conquering and revolutions they can represent.