From the grade six year a child starts to make the transition from spontaneous to more thoughtful expression. He or she now starts to form more independent judgements about their experiences and observations.
This critical perspective can be balanced through the beauty of poetry and language.
So when the class six’s did their main lesson, earlier this year, on African Geography, I took the opportunity to hear their perspectives through poetry and their connection to their senses. They were given the task to work in groups or alone, and write a six verse poem entitled ‘I am an African’. The first five lines would start with I see, I taste, I hear, I feel, I smell; and the last would begin with the words I am grateful for. These are some of the verses they wrote.
I am an African
I see the mystical caves holding the past of ancient lives
I see the trees with giant green leaves
I see enormous mountains surrounded by seas.
I see the little birds fluttering among the trees
And large seagulls soaring across the seas.
I see stars shoot across the sky
And the moon sit, oh so high.
I see little buck flee with fear
from ferocious lions that are so near.
I see the majestic mountains covered in trees
And little flowers swaying in the breeze.
I hear the wind singing to an African beat,
I hear the birds singing in the lazy morning heat.
I hear the different languages of our great rainbow nation.
I hear the tribes sing the songs of their creation.
I hear the beautiful rain falling from the sky
I hear the African people sing their songs of lullaby
I hear the wide range of different languages spoken
I hear the animals in the depths of the equatorial jungles.
I can taste the sweet juicy mango sitting in my mouth,
I can taste the amazing foods of the South,
I can taste the minty freshness of my tooth paste.
I can taste the wonderful juicy red apple, not a bit do I waste.
I taste the flavours of something new
Someone’s unique creation
Each person has a task to do
Everyone a purpose
Both me and you.
The spices send my senses reeling,
My tastebuds find them so appealing.
I smell the scent of the African flowers
The morning dew from the night hours
I smell the fynbos ever so sweet
And the freshly baked bread made from wheat.
I smell our wonderful roses,
And our hot spicey spices,
I smell our freshly baked bread
But the ocean smells the nicest
I feel the soft, cool breeze,
And the scorching summer sun,
I feel the love of our people,
Caring for everyone.
I feel the love for Africa, the animals and insects too,
The loving sun on my back, just me and you.
I feel free when I am in Africa.
I am grateful for this continent, it is the most amazing place.
I am grateful for these people and the entire human race.
I am grateful for Waldorf schools
And being able to have the right tools,
And for my family and friends
On which I can depend.
I am grateful for food and drink
My mom and dad are, to me, a link.
I am grateful for the roof over my head,
And the books waiting to be read.
I am grateful for being an African, it means so much to me,
I am grateful for all the things I can feel, smell and see.
I am grateful for all the seasons, I can feel, hot and cold.
I am grateful for living here, and I will love it til I’m old.
I am grateful for being able to say “I am an African!”
I am grateful for having amazing African people around me.
I am grateful for being alive in this beautiful land of Africa.
I am an African!
Class 6 Teacher