Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Star Wars 'Curriculum'

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
Our 3 1/2 year old loves Star Wars.  He could narrate the whole story of The New Hope, look at Star Wars Encyclopedias, books and role play Luke, Anakin, Han, and all the other characters all day long. We think he is pretty young for the film, so we decided to create a Star Wars curriculum for him.  

1. We bought a few and borrow lots of Star Wars books.  Someone even suggested the Wookie Cookbook!

2. I relented and bought a lightsaber.  Some parents don't buy guns or swords for their kids, but a stick becomes a weapon anyway.  I bought the lightsaber as part of his 'costume'.  He play fights with full gusto as he narrates the stories. It's amazing how 'into' it a young child is when in pretend play.  I was glad to read Play. Yes, You Must by Stuart Brown, the founder and president of The National Institute for Play, because he agrees with play fighting.  He:

"studied a group of young murderers many years ago in Texas... Among many findings was the observation that none of these murderers had engaged in normal rough and tumble play when growing up, as compared to a large matched group also under study. Since then, the human clinical data on the importance of rough and tumble play in the development of social competency has been affirmed."

3. I found this fun kindergarten curriculum based on Star Wars.  I cannot believe this teacher got away with it, but she did!  Even better that it was on the web for me...  So, like she did, we decorated our son's desk with a Star Wars table cloth, a colouring book, some glow sticks, stickers, cups and plates.

4. We match words - for sight recognition.

5. Someone recommended having our son write words related to his favourite topic.  He loves it!

6. We have some Star Wars figures which are also used in narration.

7. We bought the Land Speeder Lego set, but our son doesn't like it because it doesn't look realistic enough.  Oh well... at least he put some of the Lego characters together.

8. A big bonus or a nightmare - depending on your day - is that we get to play along with him and enter Pretend Land.

P.S. A month later and Star Wars is still an obsession.  We have now introduced the Trilogy, 30 minutes at a time... and FYI we use subtitles so he can 'read' at the same time.

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