On the first day of school the class watched me draw a straight line. Afterward, I invited each child up to the board to draw one, too. We then did the same for the curved line. I named the lines straight and curved and pointed out they had just practiced writing every letter of the alphabet and every number. Thus began our first form drawing block.
Our first painting was created by all and now hangs proudly at the front of our classroom. I put a yellow patch on the paper and every first grader came up to add their own patch. I then painted the top half with blue surrounding the patches and the bottom half with green, pointing out the starker contrast between the blue and yellow.
Rudolf Steiner recommended these two exercises to the teachers of the first Waldorf school and they are still used today over the first days of first grade in many Waldorf schools around the world. The first exercise offers the students an opportunity on the very first day to do something skillful with their hands. This helps make them aware of what concerns all of us as human beings – that we have hands with which to work. The second is a lesson on aesthetics, which allows them to feel and ponder the difference between something beautiful and something less so.
Continuing our exploration of the straight and curve, each student collected samples of straight lines in nature and paired up to produce a progressive form. We also created a large lemniscate with the whole class! https://photos.app.goo.gl/VMmsyIzlfpJzrdch1
Each week I randomly select three children to work together to produce an obstacle course in our classroom. They then demonstrate the path of the course and we respectfully watch as each knight navigates it themselves, honing gross motor skills.