Class 6 by Liz Morrell
I am now coming toward the end of the sixth year with my class and each year I am grateful for having the opportunity to experience and further understand the growth and development of the children.
Geometry Main Lesson Book
The twelve-year-old is beginning to think in practical terms. Cause and effect is evolving as the important factor in the children’s understanding of human motivation, history, and science. The children are developing an understanding of justice and loyalty which can result in many a lively debate and discussion. The Waldorf curriculum allows for learning through practical, physical application of what is being studied.
The study of profit and loss sparked a healthy interest in money matters. In term four, the phenomena of acoustics, heat, magnetism and optics will be explored through concrete application and experimentation.
The culture of ancient Rome has been studied with an emphasis on the material and practical. In Rome, men began to stand on earth as they have never done before and human individualism began to manifest as never before. The Roman gift for law allowed for lively debate and formulation of classroom rules to be upheld.
Geometry Main Lesson Book
To work toward the notion that ‘Rome unified the whole of Europe, the tradition of Greek and Jew civilised it, and the growth of Christianity ennobled it’ has been brought to the children in elementary pictures.
The children are currently in the process of literally touching and holding the physical earth while uncovering the secrets of this fascinating mineral world. Much excitement surrounds the prospect of fossicking while on camp at Girraween national Park!
One of the most challenging Main Lessons for me to teach this year was geometry. We have been preparing for this over the years with form drawing. In class 1 and 2, there was an emphasis on repetitive patterns which moved into symmetry exercises in class 3. In class 4, the patterns of Celtic knots and braids were drawn. In class 5, the freehand geometric patterns became more formalised with the basis being the circle pattern.
A certain seriousness and anticipation was built up within the class, with the knowledge that the compass was to be introduced in class 6. An emphasis was placed on the importance of maintaining our instruments i.e. compass, sharp pencil, rule, and eraser, in top condition to enable us to construct our forms as perfectly as we could.
We began with horizontal, vertical and oblique lines then moved on to the construction of circles, triangle squares and pentagons. I approached this Main Lesson as a problem solving exercise.
How would you construct a square from a straight line?
The children would then dedicate some time trying to work out this problem – all good compass practises! Another clue would then be given and some more dedicated activity would follow. Maybe a few more clues would follow until most of the children would discover and feel the power of being able to construct the form from a logical process.
The exactness of this geometry is ‘right’ for the class 6 child. They are looking for the logic and the beginning of more formed intellectual thought which will lay the foundation for their High School education.
It was interesting to observe that most of the children chose their geometry Main Lesson book to display at the Medieval Fair. Geometry will be further explored in class 7 and this I look forward to!