OUR BOOK 'HAPPINES IN THE FAMILY'
(Guide for Teachers and Parents)
32 stories, poems and lessons about family life
(a miracle of parent love; a role of the father; brotherly love;
what our grandparents can teach us; a family support;
family's school etc.)
Authors: Lopatina A. & Screbtsova M.
FRAGMENTS FROM THE BOOK
"Happinnes in the Family "
content of the book
"Happiness in the Family"
page 1 :: page 2 :: page 3 ::
Questions and task for discussion:
• What do a mother's hands do for her children?
• What should a mother and her children be like if they want to be true friends? For example: they should be able to forgive each other, be patient, attentive, etc. Then ask the children to think about different times in their lives when friendship with their mothers helped them out.
• Imagine that your mother had to go away for a week, and you had to do all her chores for her. List all of the chores, and think about how you could do them by yourself.
Read the story:
A MOTHER'S HEART
The magnificent birch tree grew deep in heart of the forest, and close nearby grew her three little daughters, still slim of trunk. The Mother Birch's great canopy of branches protected her daughters from wind and rain, and from the burning sun, too, during the hot summer. The little birches grew fast, and their life was carefree and happy. With their mother standing beside them they weren't afraid of anything.
One day the forest was shaken by a fierce storm, such as the forest had not seen for a long time. The thunder roared, and the sky was filled with flashes of lightning. One fork of lightning crashed into a nearby grove, and several trees were badly burned. The little birches trembled in fear. The Mother Birch hugged them tightly in her branches.
«Don't be afraid,» she said soothingly. «The lightning won't notice you hidden beneath my branches. I'm the tallest tree in the forest.»
The Mother Birch had hardly spoken these words than a terrible, deafening crack shook the air, and a sharp, hot tongue of lightning landed right on her trunk. The blow was so awful that the branches of all the trees in the surrounding grove trembled. The lightning scorched its way to the very center of the Mother Birch's trunk, but she remembered that she had to protect her daughters, and there was no fire. The ground was shaking from the lightning's blows, which fell here and there all around. Pouring rain and howling wind tried to fell the Mother Birch, but she stood firm. Not for a moment did she forget her children, and not for a moment did her embrace weaken. Only when the storm had passed, the wind had stilled, and the drenched earth was again warmed by the sun, did the Mother Birch's battered trunk finally give way. As she felt herself starting to fall, she whispered to her children, «Don't be afraid. I'm not leaving you. The lightning could not touch my heart. My old trunk will grow covered with moss and grass, but my heart will never stop beating. My roots are still holding tightly to yours under the earth, and nothing can tear us apart.» And with those words, the Mother Birch's trunk crashed to the ground - without even scratching one of her daughters. To this day the old stump is surrounded by three slim birches. Their branches encircle it gently, as if protecting it from rain and sun. Below them lies a great log covered with moss and grass. If one day you should come walking through the woods to this spot, sit and rest on the Mother Birch's trunk: it's wonderfully soft! Then close your eyes and listen. Perhaps you will hear the beat of a mother's heart.
Questions and tasks on the story:
• Imagine that all the trees are one big family. Who do you think are the parents in the family, and the grandparents, and the children?
• Do you think the three birch sisters will ever be separated?
• Why do you think the mother always protected her children?
• Ask the children to think about how they can help their mother if she's in a bad mood, or something bad happens to her at work, or she's not feeling well.
The children stand in a circle and the teacher stands in the center, holding a ball. She tosses the ball to the children one by one and asks something about their mother, e.g. «Should you ask your mother for advice?» If the child thinks he should, then he catches the ball. If he thinks he doesn't need to ask his mother for advice, he lets the ball go. If another child disagrees, the game stops while everybody discusses the question.
Questions to the story:
• Should you miss your mother when she's away from home?
• Should you always expect your mother to give you presents?
• Should you feel sorry for your mother?
• Should you praise your mother?
• Should you ask about how/what your mother is doing?
• Should you hide the truth from your mother, so she won't get upset?
Draw your family in the form of trees.
Read the children the saying: « The sun makes you warm, but your mother makes your home.»
Draw the sun of a mother's love on the board, and ask the children to name all of the wonderful things they can about their mothers. Everything the children say is a ray of the sun. Ask the children to write down the wonderful things that appeared inside them when they are «warmed» by the sun of a mother's love.
Ask the children to interview their mother. The children should find out what is her favourite season, her favourite activity, favourite film, etc. Then the children tell each other about their mothers. Tell them that they must listen to each other very carefully. Then the teacher asks questions about their mothers, e.g. «Whose mother loves to knit (read, cook, etc.)» The children must remember what the others said about their mothers.
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