Have you ever wondered how art projects begin? What inspires us to create? Our class recently created handprints on a heart, holding a snowflake. This was not something that we planned to make. God works in our lives in many ways, art is only one of them.
Last week, in preparation for celebrating Martin Luther King Jr., we began learning about his life and his teachings. We discussed his journey and his message and how he wanted us all to be treated equal no matter what differences we have. We started off the week by making our question of the day “Are we the same or different in this class?” This started the discussion of how not one of us is the same.
It just so happened that it was pretty chilly out and this sparked the children’s interest in snow. We talked about winter sports, what it would be like to live in a snowy area and what kind of activities they would like to do if there was snow in Florida. We had been cutting snowflakes in our art center and several children noticed that each one was different. We then went to our Smart Board to see what snowflakes looked like magnified, leading to our discussion of how no two snow flakes are the same. We talked about how God made them that way on purpose just like he did not make us the same.
We read the book Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport. We chose this book because it talks about what Martin Luther King Jr. did for our country in a way that the children can understand. Even though these events took place many years ago we wanted the children to know that his words are still relevant today. In today’s world where bullying still exists, it is important to carry on his message. One of his quotes that really stuck with the children is “Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that”.
After reading this book we asked the children “Who else teaches us that hate is not the way to solve our problems?” They all responded “Jesus!!” Martin Luther King Jr. is such a great example of shining your light and showing the fruit of the Spirit in your life. The children all agreed that God would be very happy with Martin Luther King Jr.’s actions and what he stood for. Another quote we all love is “Remember, if I am stopped, this movement will not be stopped, because God is with this movement”.
The week continued on with more conversations about how God would want us to treat each other. We explained to the children that not so long ago black children and white children were not allowed to be friends. They could not go to school together or eat in the same restaurants. We talked about Rosa Parks and what happened to her on the bus. It was time to go to the playground and we told the children that only the ones with red shirts were allowed to go. The children looked at us very confused and one child began to cry. Another child said, “That is not fair!” We had the children look at the crying boy’s face and the children made the connection to what segregation must have felt like. We were all very moved.
We talked again about how even though God has created us different, He wants us all to be treated equal. God loves us all. The children were inspired by what they had learned about Martin Luther King Jr , and snowflakes, to create their wonderful art. Their artwork truly reflects what they took away from this week at school. If you have any doubt that a five year old can understand the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., then take a moment and come see their work displayed on our door and read what the children have to say.
From VPK 2 – Ms. Stacey and Ms. Colby’s 4 year old class