During December we studied Christmas traditions in other countries. One of the things we learned was that in Germany each family has a creche (a nativity scene). This was surprising to the children since none of them had one at their home and the only one they said they had ever seeing was the one at school. (Although I did see one in the Catholic Credit Union today.) I thought it would be fun to challenge the children to make one out of modeling clay. I gave the 4 boys a set of colorful clay bars and a base. I gave the same to the four girls. They had 45 minutes to work together as a team to mold the clay into the figures. When the time was up, we would take a picture of what they had created.
Well the boys made their nativity scene in about 15 minutes while the girls were working meticulously on details. One glance at the boy's work showed a manger, and a baby, several "people" and a couple animals. It looked pretty good actually. They wondered what they should do for the remaining 30 minutes and I said,"Why don't you use the remaining clay to refine what you have, add some details, maybe make another animal... what do you think? They all said ok...cool.
I went over to the girls to see if I could help to move it along...when I heard loud laughing from the boys. Evidently one of the boys had picked up a sheep, turned it into a "marble" and shot it at the tree, which feel over. Then another boy grabbed the top of the tree and turned it into a "marble" and shot it at Mary and Joseph knocking them over (thus the laughing). Within about 3 minutes their scene was turned into several large colorful marbles. Hmmmm. Well, I told them that the girl's were moving right along... they now had about 25 minutes to re-create their nativity. They Hrrrrumphed for a minute but the thing about clay is ...not so much the final product but the way it feels in your hands. They picked up their "marbles" and before the time was up, had recreated the scene below. Nice.
Below is the girls' team effort. They also made a roof (stable) over the whole scene but I didn't choose that picture because the roof blocked the view of the figures.
Santa arrived and passed out the gifts to the children. He was great. He did a little punta (a Belize dance), danced with a few of the children and had us all laughing. The children loved their gifts. The little ones gushed and gushed saying "Look what Santa gave me!" They were so happy. After Santa left we had lunch, played some Christmas Bingo and exchanged gifts in our own classes.