Last week we had a 2-days workshop with a bunch of wonderful 1st graders from St Knuds School in Aarhus.
Since it was the first MoHo-workshop as a team I most admit that we were a bit nervous. To settle our nerves we met already at 8.30 for a hot chocolate and a chai latte at a café close to the school. There’s nothing that calms down the nerves quite as well as a calm start of the morning. There we once more went through the days schedule as meticulously as we could. How to present our selves, introduce the game “Stop the Swede”, Oskar the giraffe, energizer exercises, break, etc. etc.
[I feel like "Stop the Swede" (SS) is in need of and explanation - Since I, Moa, am Swedish both kids and grown-ups have a tendency to think that I'm speaking Swedish to them even when I'm only using Danish words. It's my accent that makes them shut down. So was the case with the kids from St Knuds as well. So we told them that all they needed to do when they didn't understand what I was saying was to do the Time-Out sign and shout out "Stop the Swede" and I would try to explain myself in another way. Now it was fun to misunderstand me. There were a lot of "Stop the Swede" right in the very beginning, but after a few times it got old, and they seemed to understand every word that came out of my mouth]
Everything went rather smoothly the first day. After the story of Oskar we introduced them to yet another game. This one we had named “Rum Sten” (Space Stone). First we gave them 6 rocks with 3 different colors. Each color represented a different area. Pink = Best place to work in teams, Gren = Best places to work individual, Yellow = Best places to chill. With the Space Stones we asked them to show us their favorite spot depending on the colors. They were allowed to go wherever they wanted, as long as it was within their area of the school. One of the things that we hadn’t considered was “Where will they have the stones when they look for their favorite space?” We had taken for granted that they were just going to put them into their pockets, but small people have small pants with surprisingly small pockets. So next time we decide to do anything that requires storage of any sort on a person, we have to take the size of the people we work with into.
After they all were done with putting their stones into place – we went on a Tour de’ Space Stone and went through the different locations asking them why they had put the stones where they etc. They had marked some spots that I doubt that nor Heidi nor I would have thought about.
- One boy preferred to sit in-between the sofa and the wall when he wanted to chill or/and to be alone. This way he could just peek his head out whenever it sounded like he was missing out on something.
- Some of the girls really liked to drag the big curtain past the windows and hang it onto a door. In that way they could create there own little space, their own little cave.
- One boy didn’t care were he was sitting as long as he was able to play chess
- Many of the boys pointed out that the lines in the floor where you could see the division of the carpet was very important, since that was the border between two pieces of land, two different worlds. And this was, as you must understand, very important when playing with cars or anything else for that mater.
- One girl pointed out that the fluffy, pink pig cushions were one of her favorites when she could chose.
Since they didn’t really work in groups, they did consider teamwork as sitting next to one another and work on individual on assignments. Therefor most Pink stones ended up on their desks inside the classroom.
AFTER lunch the exercise was for the students to build one of the three situations – not a particulate place on the school but they were suppose to use their imagination. Quite a few of them had a hard time thinking outside the box and combine more of their thoughts into new shapes. Building 3 dimensional wasn’t easy for the students, but as time past they really got the hang of it. And you could see that they opened up and started to get more imaginative as time past.
When they afterwards presented their models we noticed that many of them forgot everything about the space we had asked them to focus on as the materials were all new and very exiting (colored clay, colored paper, balloons, crayons etc.). They took whatever materials they found interesting and worked with that as inspiration. If it was more fun to build an air castle, with a snail farm in the garden out of balloons, that was what they did. So if they felt like building a playground with soft ground and water that was what they did.
During the presentation they showed their models to the class and told us about their thoughts behind it – what they had build and why. If the answer would be something like “I build it, cause it was fun” then we would ask them why they thought it was fun – and then they started to come up with some truly interesting answers.
These kids are amazing and we adore them for their crazy personalities.
Now it’s time for me to sleep. We have our first workshop with “Plan B Skolen” tomorrow. Train leaves at 7