We have one week to go until we break up for the Easter holidays.
There are some quite strong traditions around Easter in kindergartens. Making little baskets to put eggs in. Easter egg hunts. Imagery of eggs, chickens and rabbits. Talk of the Easter Bunny.
When I taught an Italian-English bilingual program, I always made a point of choosing different imagery for Easter. I drew from the Italian artistic tradition, and used doves and lambs. The dove is a traditional symbol of the holy spirit. The Italian Easter cake – colomba – is dove shaped. The lamb is a traditional icon of Christ as the ‘Paschal sacrifice’ – the Lamb of God. A lot of Australians eat lamb for feast days, including Easter. I did not tell the children the story of Easter, though. It feels a bit solemn for 3-4 year olds.
This year, I am teaching three year olds (mainstream) and I find I don’t want to ‘do’ Easter with them at all at the moment. I think it would be meaningless for them this week. I have asked them, and they don’t really remember last Easter, when they were 2. I don’t want to give them chocolate Easter eggs. I think they get enough sugar elsewhere.
We have chicken hatching at the moment. We chose the weeks close to Easter on purpose, for the egg connection. But we are not being very explicit about it.
When we come back after Easter feels like a better time to include this celebration in our curriculum. After they have experienced Easter recently, and with their more powerful three year old ability to store memories.
A lot of my class has some Greek heritage, and Greek Easter is the week after western Easter (15 April this year). I think I fancy dying some red eggs with them, like the Greeks do. Perhaps we will do some collage with Easter egg wrappers. We could paint on egg shaped paper. We can talk about what the families did for Easter. About families and celebration and holidays. And see where that takes us.