Friday, October 30, 2009

Muchie Lal

After finishing our math block, we were in desperate need of a Fairy Tale. So for the end of our week, we worked with "Muchie Lal," an Indian Fairy Tale from the Enki Education Grade 1 Fairy Tale collection. For the first time, we wrote a summary of the story, rather than a verse from the story. We are getting ready to move into Grade 2 after the holidays, and story summaries are going to be a big part of our language arts work, so I figured a little preparatory work would be a good thing. So I read the kids the story on Wednesday. Yesterday we wrote the summary together (with me as scribe) on a large board and read it both before and after our story drawings. Then today the kids wrote the summaries in their good books. Above is J's summary and this is his story drawing.

The kids did a free drawing from the story, so they each chose whichever scene they wanted to draw. J drew the Muchie Rajah searching for his wife near the den of the 7-headed cobra (which you can see on the right side of the drawing). Zoo Boy (whose drawing is here) drew the Muchie Lal when he was still in his fish form. He used a silver pencil to draw the fish, since we didn't have any silver crayons.

Zoo Boy's story summary. I told him he could choose just one sentence from our group summary to write out, and he chose "Her step-sister pushed her in the river." Curiously, he decided to write this out with his left hand, despite having favored his right hand for most of his recent writing. I think that's why this is even less clear than his normal writing -- he just doesn't have as much mileage writing with the left. I'm still unsure whether or not to encourage him to choose between hands. Is it really a problem for a child to be ambidextrous? Wouldn't it be more like a strength?

My drawing, for comparison, or for curiosity I suppose since we are free-drawing now and my drawing is different from the boys' by any case, I chose to draw the Muchie Ranie and Muchie Lal (all dressed in bangles) inside the den of the 7-headed cobra. Zoo Boy would like for everyone to note that my cobra hoods are in the wrong place. Silly, silly mommy....

The new format for our story work threw Zoo-Boy for a loop. He was suspicious when a blank lined board greeted him at story work time instead of a verse as he has become accustomed to seeing and reading. And when I started writing out the summary on the board, he burst into tears and we had to take a break for a little while to give him time to accept that we were making a few changes in the way we usually do things. He eventually worked his way through it (there were a couple of more instances with tears as well). I think I made a good choice in introducing this variation with the same type of story format he's used to (the Fairy Tales) as opposed to switching to Trickster Tales (on tap for our first 2nd grade block) and story summaries all at once. And I'm also glad that I started with the free drawing last week instead of this so it wasn't two new things at a time. The Boy can only handle so much change in one sitting!

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