Psalm 108 (NIV)
Psalm 19: 1-4 (NIV)
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”
- In advance of each new unit of study that is scheduled for your journey through the year, reflect upon what in creation correlates to that study. Provide opportunities for your students to stand in awe and delight in it. This is done without a hidden agenda, without being in control. Depending upon the grade level, you may need to “guide” the awe and delight by your own voiced observations, but allow students to direct their own learning, their own wondering, their own focus of the subject at hand.
- Observe and notice with a clipboard and paper in hand. Give students opportunities but not requirements to draw what they see, to write about what they see on the clipboard and paper.
- Reflect together as a class the awes and wonders, the delights and great things that were noticed. It will take time to develop this culture in your classroom, but give your students the time to develop this skill of wondering and reflecting. You may be surprised and inspired at what they notice.
- Provide opportunities for “voice and choice”. The “great things” that your students notice and delight in may lead the learning down a different path than you planned. Allow yourself and your students this flexibility so that authentic learning can happen.
- Take time throughout the year just to go on “wonder walks”. Teach yourself and your students how to be “still” and see God in creation.
To once more quote Smith and Felch: “Do our pedagogical choices reinforce a sense of the generosity and abundance of creation, of the beauty and intricacy of the world, and of the possibility of delight as a response to learning?” (Smith and Felch, 2016, p. 100)