Module 2. Water
Good morning, dear donors, and we hope you are doing well?
You may remember that, thanks to wonderful supporters like you, we have been able to branch out and create a new course focusing on educating through the arts. And we can't remember when we had so much fun!
In fact it's hard to imagine being able to generate so much energy online - more particularly in the face of all sorts of minor setbacks such as balky internet connections, uncooperative cameras, and all the small interruptions that turn up in the more than forty households across the country that join our virtual classroom space every week.
In our last letter we were telling you about the first module of the course: earth. This time we want to showcase our second module: water. If we think of earth as representing something solid - our bodies, the roots of plants, the ground beneath our feet - water represents movement, flexibility, free flowing emotions.
We open our classes by checking in with everyone and sharing any feedback. And then it's time to get up, warm up and start moving. When we are thinking of water, we imagine all the different ways in which water moves - gentle rain, heavy rain, drifting snow, water dripping off the leaves of trees, a slow moving stream, a rushing waterfall, the waves of the sea, a violent tsunami.....
And once we are all focused, it's time to play. In pairs, one person moves and the other mirrors those movements, after which roles are reversed. A second game reminds us of the childhood game of passing the parcel. Students mime passing a small object (a pencil, a handkerchief, a notebook,) from one to the next, and when the moderator claps her hands, the person holding the object comes up with one letter of the alphabet. The object is passed to the next person whose task is to come up with six words beginning with the letter of the alphabet that has just been given. All those words should be connected with water, and the idea is to find the words in fifteen seconds.
Story time, and we start telling a story about water, with each student adding one sentence to the story. As you can imagine, it's always fun to see where the story goes. And then, we share another folk legend - this one telling the story of Iemanja, queen of the sea and the spirit of moonlight.
As part of their homework, students are asked to create a picture connected with the theme of water. With no hangups or judgement, and no worrying about the fact that they can´t draw, simply finding the courage to put something on paper as we all did when we were children.
And the results are extraordinary! Somehow, through the magic of the internet, we are able to draw together busy people from all corners of the country, and jointly rediscover our creativity, our energy, and our love for teaching - especially about nature. And we're getting overwhelmingly positive comments from the students.
So than you, dear donors, for making this possible! And for us this is an especially exciting moment in our journey because, in a sense, it closes the circle. We bring local schoolchildren out of the classroom into the forest to discover it for themselves. We offer internships and bring students and volunteers together from across the world to work on issues of conservation and sustainability. We provide a safe space for researchers to do their field studies. We run online courses for environmental leaders. And now we have the course for educators, who in turn will be able to educate more chilldren!
Who knows where this will lead us next? We'll keep you informed and would love to hear your feedback and suggestions!
with much love and appreciation from Yasmin, Raynan, and the Iracambi Educators.
Students views of water
More water pictures
card game on the four elements