While I was teaching first grade Sunday School, we studied Nehemiah. I wanted the children to experience working together to build the wall brick by brick. I also wanted them to experience their part in building the wall.
My plan was to give each student a different color of construction paper and had them fold it in half and then half again. They would either tear or cut the paper into 4 bricks.
Then one by one, we would paste our bricks on a piece of butcher paper hanging in the room to create a wall.
I was very excited about this lesson. I thought for once I had a fool-proof plan my first graders would be able to accomplish without any problems or adjustments.
And for the most part it worked.
The girls got busy at making their bricks.
And then there was Anthony. He was our only boy
who regularly attended that year, giving him a
sense of entitlement to be different. He tore his bricks in half.
I breathed deeply, something I did often with this group. I let of of my preconceived ideas of what our wall would look like.
We built our wall, brick by brick, including Anthony’sbricks. About halfway through, one of the girls became a little anxious, and encouraged by Anthony’s half blocks, pasted hers perpendicular to the other bricks.
Once again, I took a deep breath.
We were all surprised when we stood back to look at our finished wall. We had all played a part in building it, and the finished wall was even better than the original plan. Now we had windows and doors. This is what happens when we work in community and allow individuals to express themselves, the original plan improves.
The drawings were done on my iPad in Stylus Sketchapp.