Two days ago, the students in Grade 3 in Modena were provoked to think about their need every time they said “I need…” or “I want to…” by questions like “Do you really need this?”, “Do you need this now?”. Eventually, they went off in groups to really think about the things we need.
Some were very obvious ones: Bones, blood, skin, mouth…. but would we be able to exist without bones? Do we really need our mouth? (“Of course, can’t breathe without it, Miss Kelleher”).
Others were more thought through: water, food, house, friends/play. There were discussions about whether we need money or animals. We chose the most important ones from every group and collated them. Later on, I gave them the opportunity to take envelopes full of needs and want cards (unmarked of course), which they sorted into MOST IMPORTANT, IMPORTANT and LEAST IMPORTANT first, then only got to choose the six most important.
My impression is that they have a good understanding of what is a privilege in their life, and what is a necessity. This was a great way to pre-assess needs/wants/rights understandings and will link to the classroom, their lives and responsibilities as we continue. Today’s provocation will be: Which of these “Most important things we need” do we need help with, and which ones do children need to ensure they do not deprive others off”.
Also happening today: Students will start keeping a responsibilities diary. Parents have been informed about this at last night’s back to school night. The aim is to record development of understanding of taking responsibility, and reflecting on it more deeply as we go along.