Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Whole Wide World Comforts Her...

Sophie is ever angry now!

The soft clouds of children's thoughts put a damper
on the explosion
 I am a big fan of Molly Bang. I read Ten, Nine, Eight every night to my little ones for at least a year. How can any year with 3-year olds begin without When Sophie Gets Angry, Really, Really Angry? This year, we read it and then added a component shared by a parent who attended a wonderful retreat this past summer with her family. It was a visual and tactile exploration of what anger looks like and what to do with angry feelings.

Early childhood educators use vinegar and baking soda all the time and adding food color is certainly nothing new. For this, we talked about how each spoonful of the crunchy, salty, baking soda represented events that make each of us upset, "when my brother bites me," "when my sisters or my brother pushes me," "when my baby takes my toys," etc.

Each child had a spoonful to add and then we named the things that make us feel better and gave these shape in the soft, fluffy, cotton balls, "my bear," "my mommy," "sitting in my room," etc. The cotton balls were carefully placed on the tray and then as the children reenacted, physically what anger feels like with eyebrows, scrunched up shoulders and clenched fists, I poured in the vinegar. Pabam! The children jump, but as each cotton ball is added to the overflowing, sizzling red, they breathe deep and begin to relax.

Jars of paint and the glimmer of paintings
At the end of the book, Sophie paints a picture and there you see her cotton balls gathered, her family, her cat, her house, her tree, the whole wide world comforts her.

The children at our school paint their cotton balls. They tell us what they are painting, their skateboards, their homes, their families, their whole wide world. One child tells me that painting makes him feel better. He blends and swirls the paint. I sit next to him and paint too. It does feel good. It feels good to look at the jars of paint gathered on the table and to see the paint brushes coated from head to toe with shining colors.

The happiness that fills us up and takes away the hurt and anger

No comments:

Post a Comment