"I put a moon. A moon inside for the bird to shine, and a moon on top" Penny, who just turned four
"On the folk-tale quest, encounters matter, be they with people, animals, luck or death. What is important in the quester is the readiness to encounter..." Jay Griffiths, A Country Called Childhood
The children in the Garden room found a dead bird outside one day. They did a lot of thinking about the bird in their classroom with Teachers Sara and Tiffany. They also came to the studio to make a coffin with caretaker and carpenter Pippin, and to decide how to decorate the coffin. I asked them what they thought would happen, now that the bird had died? During these conversations children would begin to sing. I started to pay attention to children's spontaneous songs.
Bird, Bird, Bird
you will be dead,
please will you turn into a
angel, or angel, or angel, or,
a angel bird...
I really love you bird,
be well soon,
maybe a lovebird,
will come and help her,
lovebird please, please come... me Where will the bird go when she dies?
Aedan Another bird might come and get her. Take her to a .. maybe to a farm house.
Eleanor I’m making a friend for her. This is the bird here. This is the bird and she’s flying all the way to…..
Eleanor No. Here’s the bird, and she’s flying all the way to… us. And this is just her and she’s going to make a circle, and she’ll come back here.
me Wait. Do you think a new bird will come around and fly back to us? Our red cardinal bird will turn into a new bird and come back?
a friend for the bird Eleanor
Eleanor Yes. I drawed a new friend so she will know a way to come. sings'little cardal its ok to cry but we’ll be here with you, you are ready to die. when you’re with us you’ll be tucked in, we love you, little birdie we love you.'
Riley (sings) Cause if they don’t die, cause she’ll still be sick. They would be never seen again in the forest.
don’t worry about a thing, but if you love us, we love you too, and when you are with us don’t worry about a thing (keeps singing in the background)
Aiden Wings wings. Those are her wings. Maybe my Mom gonna love that.
love bird Annabelle
Annabelle (sings) 'I really love you bird, be well soon, Maybe a love bird will come and help her.
Jeb (The Love Bird) That’s another spirit, Annabelle thinks. And there’s also love-squirrels.
me how do you get a lovebird to come?
Annabelle maybe you sing a beautiful song.
Jeb (sings) 'love bird please, lovebird please, please come…'
Lovebirds are the color of real angels. Well sometimes... maybe brown or something. It’s a very good secret.
the bird and heaven Alice
Alice Well, she can’t fly to heaven...
Annabelle Maybe we could carry the box to heaven
me Oh, do you know the way to heaven?
Annabelle Well I think I been to heaven but it was a loooong time ago, and I don’t remember. My Mom doesn't know.
Alice Is heaven a box?
me It’s usually thought to be a big space, with things that you like.
Alice Is heaven a building?
Annabelle I can draw a map, well, I… I think I know how to get there but the bird is kind of pinkish to me, so I’ll need a pink marker.
a map of the way to heaven Annabelle
me sometimes they say that heaven is over the rainbow.
Annabelle Oh! I know, cause I have a over the rainbow story and I know how to get there!
Sammy and John were helping make a movie to watch on it. But there was one problem.
These were made so the actor could see the picture, and during the show, the audience could only see the back of the paper. Some of the audience complained.
I love seeing these little glimpses of theory in action. Understanding another's viewpoint is linked to empathy and 'theory of mind', or understanding that other people have their own thoughts and preferences. Perspective taking is also an important part of developing spatial reasoning, which is the ability to use clues to understand things like relationships between objects, distance and direction. Knowing that a person sitting across the table is going to see a different side of an object placed in the middle requires that you can mentally understand the other person thinks differently than you do, and also that you can picture the object from all sides. Being able to shift in perspective from seeing only your own way to knowing that other people have a different point of view, is crucial work for young children.
Piaget and Inhelder wrote about the ability to understand that an observer standing in a different place would have a different view in their 'Three Mountains Task' back in 1956, and found that 9 or 10 year olds could consistently mentally represent that different observers would have different perspective. Since then experimenters have posited that very young children may be able to know that other people see a different view than they do, but may not be able to figure out or represent what exactly the other person could see.
One of the ways teachers at Sabot support growing the development of perspective taking is through observational drawing. When children spend time drawing an object and then seen that same object drawn by someone else at the table, that is perspective taking appearing right before their eyes.