Carefully, the children make their way through the trees and across the grass, hoping to catch a glimpse of a spider, a fairy wren, an eagle or an eel. Soon they are immersed in still observation, drawing and writing about what they see – a rare moment of calm and immersion in the life of a 10-year-old. Each day, the drawings are more detailed and the descriptions more refined.
We discover that a cow’s hoof, a fish’s fin, a bird’s wing are all singularly suited to their task. In comparison, it astounds us ever again to notice how our hands are able to swim, knead, draw, play an instrument, climb, dig – the list is endless, really. How versatile humans are!
Our class, tucked away near the cows from next door, has enjoyed their bovine company and attention - their wet noses, their long eyelashes and their curling tongues, reaching for a sugar cane leaf.
The Class 4 child has inwardly crossed a threshold, experiencing, for the first time, a separation from others and from the world. Lesson content now needs sharper definition. By studying the animal world, the children are discovering how their own inner, and outer, uprightness affords them discernment and individualisation.
Next week, we are off to our Human and Animal camp. Equipped with drawing pads and colour pencils, we will be studiously observing and documenting all we can find climbing, slithering, swimming or running on K’gari (Fraser Island).
Class 4 Teacher