“For the Fourth Grade child, the inner and outer worlds are no longer one. The child experiences these worlds as torn apart. Self-consciousness becomes stronger, and the soul life becomes more inward and independent. The task of the teacher and parent is to lead the child into a world that is filled with beauty and meaning.”Rudolf Steiner
Stories about complex characters living together in a fractured world offer a reflection of how ten-year-olds see their lives; not quite a little kid, and not ready for adolescence. Friendships and interests are deepening at this age, along with their thoughts about love and hate, innocence and guilt.
The children are delighted to be back in the fun and fantasy of Norse Mythology. This past week we heard some great stories about heroes, villains, and some interesting in-between characters swayed by passion and pride. In the scene below, the giant Loki (brought into Asgard by All-Father Odin and begrudgingly tolerated by the other gods) is making trouble for Freya, the goddess of beauty. In his hands, he holds the necklace Brising, Freya’s most prized possession, which he stole while she was sleeping. However, Loki is confronted by Heimdall, the watchful guardian god who sees far and wide. After a fierce, shape-shifting struggle, Brising is returned to Freya, and the gods of Asgard once again debate whether or not Loki should be allowed to remain there. Ultimately, they decide that Loki can stick around since they are more powerful than he is and can usually keep him in check.
This amazing curriculum is really just the medium for skill-building. These kids learn how to DO things! Yes, the stories are great, but it is the skills that students gain as we explore that are most important.
The story of Freya’s Necklace was rich ground for exploring the four types of sentences. The children learned the definitions and differences between declarative, imperative, interrogative, and exclamatory sentences and came up with some examples of their own from the story. We reviewed this concept throughout the week. We revisited dialogue and how to use quotation marks as well.