In the fourth grade, students spend time exploring the natural world through the study of animals. Their animal projects are quite comprehensive, incorporating drawing, painting, writing and animal models. Working on the projects allows for an in-depth appreciation of each student’s chosen animal, which includes an understanding of how animals possess distinctive specializations that help them function in their particular environments. The students’ work deepens their awareness of the natural world and their relationship to it.
Sold into slavery by his brothers, Joseph eventually becomes the right-hand man of the Pharaoh, a position from which he is able to help his family and find it within himself to forgive his brothers.
With humor, grace, music, song—and joy—the third grade created a wonderful and engaging performance. We hope you caught it!
Please enjoy some of the lovely artwork the second grade created of the crow, just before the fateful moment when she lost her prize . . .
by Bright Water Eurthmy Teacher Melissa McCall
Eurythmy plays an essential role in Waldorf education, and here at Bright Water, the Eurythmy program has grown steadily along with our school. There are Eurythmy classes for the kindergartens and all the grades, the opportunity for our community to attend professional performances, the fifth grade “Eurythmy jam,” and a thriving student Eurythmy ensemble, now in its thirteenth year. For those who have never experienced this unique movement art, however, the benefits and even the purpose of Eurythmy may seem a mystery.
Rudolf Steiner developed Eurythmy, in collaboration with his wife, Marie von Sivers, as a new impulse for the renewal of dance and the movement arts. One of the primary artistic aims of Eurythmy is to make speech and music visible. When speech or music sound forth, the air becomes alive with movement that is normally invisible to the human eye. Eurythmy unveils the inner movement concealed in speech and music and conveys it through the medium of the whole human being: body, soul and spirit.
Pedagogical Eurythmy kinesthetically explores and supports the learning experiences that students receive in their main lesson and other subject classes. From the feeling center of the human being, the two poles of human experience intersect – the consciousness of the head and the will activity of the limbs. Eurythmy exercises work from this center in two directions: to the experience of movement in space, and to the experience of knowledge or intellect. These strengthened faculties help link the human being to the world, to the divine, and to humanity. Eurythmy works with the life forces that manifest in the physical body and keeps them lively, flexible, and strong.
The pedagogical Eurythmy curriculum closely follows the ongoing development of the child. It engenders understanding of the lawfulness of geometry, a sense of timing and precision, love for the beauty of language and music, reverence, flexibility, and social awareness. It is ever inspiring to see a group of young people moving in harmony with each other, sensitive to the dynamic of the whole as well as their own striving. Their shared intention seems to carry them along, leaving little space for personality clashes or self-doubt.
To move harmoniously with a group is a concrete practice in healthy social interaction! Waldorf graduates who have experienced this movement have commented that the soul is moved in Eurythmy along with the pysical body, that they have a greater ability to engage with others harmoniously and even that they play sports better because of their Eurythmy experience!
It is my hope that this brief look into the purpose of the Eurythmy lesson has been instructive and
stimulating. One of the best ways to understand Eurythmy, of course, is to try it for yourself. Stay tuned for upcoming opportunities to explore Eurythmy.
ANNUAL BRIGHT WATER EURYTHMY CONCERT
This year’s Eurythmy concert, featuring work by our students in grades 3 through 8, will be held on Sunday, March 19 from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. in Skinner Theater.
Come see your children in a variety of offerings, from eurythmic skits and humoresques to classical poetry and music of Schumann, Türk, Haydn, Mozart, Pachelbel and Chopin, as well as the Finnish epic, the “Kalevala”.
The program will run about one and a half hours and refreshments will follow.
For more information, click here.
“Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle … a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream.”
~ Barbara Winkler
Is it too early to start thinking about Spring? The weather has been playing tricks on us—draping the Earth in white, rinsing it off with rain, then gracing us with a brief respite of sun and blue skies. The slumbering giant of Winter is stirring, it seems, restless, but not yet ready to awaken and be transformed by the first rustlings of Spring. Yet the moment is just around the corner . . . Enjoy these last rumblings of winter on your break; we look forward to marching together into Spring.
For more from this issue of the Bright Water Weekly, please click here.
Fourth graders immerse themselves in a rousing study of Norse Mythology. These timeless stories of powerful yet fallible gods offer plenty of adventure, pathos and humor. The slideshow features artwork by the fourth grade that depicts the thunder god Thor disguised as the blushing bride Freya—a ruse he must engage in to recover his stolen hammer . . . Elsewhere we have pictures of Odin, the ruler of the gods and the trickster Loki, as drawn by current fourth-grade teacher Beth Simpson. She points out that through their study of the myths, fourth graders begin to understand themselves and their behaviors in new ways. For example, Loki’s mischievous appeal offers considerable opportunity to examine impulsivity and its consequences.
If we were half as devoted and serious in our adult activities as the child is in his play,
we should be a different order of humanity.
~ Francis Edmonds
Children play in the pouring January rain, clutching shovels tightly as they shift dirt and sand around a huge puddle on the edge of the playground. They work with determination, intensity and enthusiasm towards some not-quite-discernible—but undoubtedly important—goal. Watching them offers the reminder that childhood is serious business, but also the revelation that seriousness and unbridled joy are not mutually exclusive. They can even go hand in hand. This, most likely, is an observation these children would consider too obvious to mention.
For more from this issue of the Bright Water Weekly, click here.
A Message from Dr. Ghosh: When our students show us the way, we are all the better for it. On the Friday before Martin Luther King Jr Day, the eighth grade led a group of performances marking the birthday of Dr. King. Each student took responsibility for creating the right mood and spirit for the many poems and songs they shared, and they inspired every class in the school to participate as well. The performances were (in the words of one BWWS parent) “breathtaking”! Congratulations to our eighth graders, and to teacher Nazneen D’Souza and her helper, Kirsten Dahlberg (former Main Lesson teacher at BWWS) for a moving event.
For more from this issue of the Weekly, click here.
“I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.”
“Everybody can be great . . . because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
“Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.
A Message from Head of School, Dr. Ghosh:
When our students show us the way, we are all the better for it! On the Friday before Martin Luther King Jr Day, the eighth grade led a group of performances marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. Each
student took responsibility for creating the right mood and spirit for the many poems and songs they shared, and they inspired every class in the school to participate as well. The performances were (in the words of one BWWS parent) “breathtaking”! Congratulations to our eighth graders, and to teacher Nazneen D’Souza and her helper, Kirsten Dahlberg (former Main Lesson teacher at BWWS) for a moving event.
Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us to “stay awake in times of change.” Indeed, these are challenging times and many of us are re-examining our roles and responsibilities in this new political era. Our eighth grade students called on us to take courage and heed the words of Martin Luther King—to support those who are vulnerable and speak out in the face of “injustice.” Our gathering on Friday was a demonstration of our emphasis on developing a strong moral compass. We are very proud of our students and of all the families who encourage their children to stand up and be counted.
~ Jayasri Ghosh, PhD
Martin Luther King Jr Assembly
The eighth grade hosted a moving tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr this past Friday, January 13. King was born on January 15, 1929, and became one of the most prominent figures in the Civil Rights Movement. His remarkable and lasting contributions were celebrated by the Bright Water Waldorf grades classes and the larger community through songs and recitations of poetry, quotes and extracts from speeches by the likes of Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Robert Kennedy and others. The fourth grade sang the gospel song “This Little Light of Mine,” carrying candles onto the stage which they left there when they were done singing, and which burned throughout the rest of the assembly. The first grade sang “We Come from the Mountains,” while grade three performed “The Vine and Fig Tree.”
“And every one ‘neath their vine and fig tree
Shall live in peace and unafraid.”
A beautiful rendition of Nina Simone’s “I Wish I Knew How It Felt to Be Free” was performed by three eighth graders.
“I wish I knew how
It would feel to be free
I wish I could break
All the chains holding me”
Other eighth grade contributions included recitation of “Tableau,” a poem by Countee Cullen, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou, and quotes from Muhammad Ali and Mother Jones. Several grades contributed songs as well, often inviting the audience to join in, such as during the Fifth Grade’s performance of “This Land Is Your Land.” (The full program is below.) Throughout the assembly there was a sense of the spirit and strength of Dr. King and everyone involved in the Civil Rights Movement. The message of Dr. King strikes a chord that resonates within our souls to this day, urging us to recognize the tremendous courage and dignity of the human spirit that exists in every human being. The assembly offered an opportunity to honor that dignity, and to recognize the immense contributions and sacrifices of the men and women who have fought and died for it.
As part of their study of ancient myth and history, the fifth grade is working on their Egyptian block and have had their first experience with pastels. Selections from their beautiful work are below.