This evening, I was thinking and meditating and contemplating what blocks I am going to choose and/or design to finish our Third Grade year (I am now up to mid-March in planning). And this came to me:
The Third Grade year really is about how we, as an individual, find a home here on Earth from the spiritual realm. We can show this through the study of one group of people, the Ancient Hebrew people, in their stories as recorded in the Old Testament. The other possibilities are showing how the Native American people how they made their homes here as influenced by the land they lived on (and remember, I have said I am still not sure how I feel about Native Americans within the Third Grade curriculum). The third possibility for Americans to consider is the pioneer and how the pioneers made this individualized journey searching for a promised land as well, and how the pioneers also worked with the land and the weather to move from being a pioneer to being a settler. This is something a nine-year-old is facing as they become more of an individual and more separate but still part of a family, and part of a larger community as they grow and mature.
I think the Third Grade year is also about what we need in order to live. First of all, one could consider a relationship with God and to authority in order to live in community and as a spiritual being. This is shown in the Old Testament blocks. Marsha Johnson also has a free Third Grade block over in her files regarding Community. The next thing we need outside of a relationship with our Creator and a community is the basics of survival : a physical house (shown in the building block, but could also be highlighted in a Native American block in how the weather and climate and land shaped the housing styles); clothes to protect us from the elements (textile block); and food (farming block).
The Third Grade year is also about doing, doing, doing – how can one take these blocks and make them full of movement, full of the wonder of doing, and how can one tie this into a unified year. That is the challenge.
Just musing out loud.