Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Juggling some new forms

Our school supplies finally arrived, so last night I stayed up long after I should have and finalized my plans for our next lesson. I'm presenting a 3 week block on Form Drawing using the story of The Clown of God. It's a fairly intense story that circles the seasons of one man's, or clown's, life. It touches upon religion and purpose and a sense of something more. It's not a light story, but it seems to fit, and I feel good about it.

Sunburst has never heard this story before. I picked it up on a whim at the bookstore earlier this summer. It spoke to me when I read it and seemed to mirror the spirit world connection that's present in the Saint Stories for Grade 2. The more I looked at it, the more I realized how it was just brimming with forms. And voila!

I read through my pile* of form drawing books and printouts late last night and started sketching the possibilities. I came up with twelve forms that I'm really happy with. My plan is to retell the story in bits as we go along. The ending is really surprising and magical (ok, and kind of freaky,) so I want to leave that for later. The rest of the story is rich enough that it will sustain her as we go along.

I would love to see what forms other Waldorf homeschoolers are covering with their children, so in the spirit of sharing, here are the twelve forms I came up with, roughly sketched/crammed onto the chalkboard. I've tried to incorporate some metamorphosing forms (where you add onto them/change them,) running forms, vertical and horizontal symmetry, lemniscates, growing forms, inward/centering forms, invisible lines, and circles upon circles. A story about juggling really works for all these circular forms!

What's really crazy is how symbolic these forms turned out to be. #1 (top left) is a simple metamorphosing form of a young Giovanni juggling. Though it kind of also looks like a cross emanating rays of light. Our last form, #12 (bottom right) shows a simple lemniscate (numeral 8) and then working a lemniscate inside a lemniscate. It represents the statue of Mary holding the Christ child holding Giovanni's golden ball. But it's also this very solidly infinite thing... and really gives the sense of holding or being held. And yet, it's really not an overly religious story. The only thing that's really in your face is the magic, the mystery, the possibility...

Though you don't have to tell these long, drawn-out stories to do Form Drawing, it's a good idea to make sure the lines on the page represent something tangible that a child can grasp and roll around in their imagination.

The forms I've chosen will represent:
1. Giovanni juggling (Spring)
2. Crowd (young and old)
3. juggling the rainbow balls
4-5. different balls?
6. I think I'll shift this to #11, and make it be the balls rising higher than ever before
7. crowd applauding (Summer)
8. Little Brothers
9. Giovanni old and defeated (Autumn)
10. city scape
11. candle light (Winter)
12. Mary, Christ, and the golden ball

*For those genuinely interested, my pile of Form Drawing Resources includes:
Form Drawing Grades One through Four - Laura Embrey-Stein & Ernst Schuberth
Form Drawing - Hans Niederhauser & Margaret Frohlich
Form Drawing for the Homeschooling Parent - Barbara Dewey
MillenialChild.com - Eugene Schwartz

Form Drawing for Young Children: Grades 1 to 3 - Marsha Johnson (WaldorfHomeEducators)
Journey to Numeria - Alan Whitehead, Spiritual Syllabus

5 comments:

  1. What a great plan! We're just finishing up our first form drawing block for first grade and my plan is to post what we've done, as well as the story we've created. Thanks for sharing this. I'm also interested in your resource: Form Drawing for Young Children: Grades 1 to 3 and plan to check it out.

    Thanks again!

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  2. what curriculum do you use? Or do you just take books from here and there? I'm looking for something.

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  3. I'm not very good at following a complete curriculum, so I do take things from here and there, and then make a lot of stuff up. There are so many good ideas out there, so I just look for the ones that connect with us and the rest I make up.

    There are lots of free or inexpensive curriculums out there-- Marsha Johnson (waldorf homeeducators) has some lovely stuff for free, Path of Discovery is a nice skeleton of information for each year, and Little Garden Flower also has some nice curriculum ideas that are reasonably priced. I also LOVE David Darcy's book Inspiring Your Child's Education which is packed with lovely ideas.

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  4. I love this Sara! So beautiful when lessons capture so many levels of being human, from the spiritual all the way down to fine motor skills. I see this was seven years ago (wow!) - I'm sure you've had many form drawing adventures along the way. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kelly. It's hard to believe this was seven years ago. We have done many form drawing stories since then, but this one is still my favorite. Like you said, it captures so much more. :)

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