Monday, December 3, 2012

What happens when a child touches an Elf?

Our poor Elf, Trinity, lost some of her magic last week when she was touched by a human child. We were so upset that this happened. Luckily, we had a book about an Elf that got touched by a child (because I KNEW this was going to happen!) and as a class we were able to work together as a team to come up with a plan to try to get her magic back. When and Elf is touched some of their magic is lost. This prevents the Elf from flying back and forth to the North Pole each night.

Now, the children were really upset with the child that touched the Elf.  I am talking six kids crying and not just the girls!  And the child that touched our Elf was crushed that his classmates were so upset with him.  Thank goodness in the book the main lesson is about forgiveness and righting a wrong.  Also, in the book the child writes a letter to Santa telling him how sorry he was for touching the Elf and how upset his sister's were about the Elf being gone from the house.

The children really thought about the book.  At that point I left the class to decide what they wanted to do.  I walked to the door and stood outside of it and listened to the children talk about what they were going to do to fix this problem.  They realized that in this situation the teacher didn't have the answer and they had the power to choose what they wanted to do. They decided to make cards asking Santa to make Trinity better and to maybe give them one more chance and send her back to us.   The children all made cards to ask Santa to please take Trinity to the special Elf hospital and to let her get better. We placed the cards next to Trinity and left for specials.  When we came back Trinity was gone! Her Elf friends must have come and gotten her and taken her back to the North Pole. Later in the afternoon we got a fax from the North Pole! It had pictures of Trinity in the Elf hospital! We were so upset!
At the end of the day the children taught me a really big lesson.  The little guy that touched the Elf came to me during Center Time and asked if I thought his friends were still mad at him.  I told him I didn't know and that we could ask them.  So we called all of the kids over to the carpet.  This little guy hung his head and shyly asked the class if they were still mad at him.  A long silence ensued.  Then, one child stood up, walked to him and said, "Friend, I forgive you." and then hugged him.  And, as tears filled my eyes, the whole class ran up and hugged him!  They all forgave him.  I didn't even talk to them about forgiveness, they just listened to the book, spent the day processing, and making their own decision.  I was so stinking proud of them.  And the little guy who touched the Elf?  Well, he apologized (and I didn't even tell him too) and hugged his friends back.  I think this was my proudest moment in teaching in a long time.

I am happy to tell you that she was able to return to us after a day in the Elf Hospital (better known as our awesome Nurse who doctored our Elf and came up with the great idea to create the Elf Hospital to help the children visualize the "hurt" touching an Elf can cause). Everyone learned a great lesson on forgiveness and that sometimes the actions of one person can either cause damage to all or lift up everyone depending on what decisions you make. This also was a great way for the children to realize that writing has a deep meaning. When they were writing to Santa they were really thinking about their message, what they wanted their words to convey and how their illustrations can help get your meaning across to the reader. The children learned a lot academically and emotionally on the Day Trinity Lost Her Magic!