Families of the second grade class were invited to an open eurythmy lesson on Wednesday, November 8, at 8:30 in the morning. The children began acting out the story of Bruin and Reynard in October. After the third lesson, I asked each student to imagine what animals the characters of Bruin and Reynard portrayed.
This allowed time for the children to use their own imaginations for the characters of Bruin and Reynard, and to live into the gestures. They named rabbits, squirrels, hamsters, and foxes for Reynard, and dogs, pigs, and bears were named for Bruin.
I told them that the story originated in France, where Reynard, the clever fox, often outwits Bruin, the bear. This lesson demonstrated how a eurythmy lesson develops memory and imagination, which is the foundation for abstract thinking.
The students enjoyed the dances, often asking to ‘do it again.’ At the end of every lesson we have a brief rest. The last poem allows the students rest on the floor. The attempt is to balance activity with restful moments in the school day.
The following story is featured in the video above:
Second Grade Harvest Story:
Entrance (from the opera Hansel and Gretel):‘Come my children, dance with me. Both my hands I give to thee. Right hand first, left hand then; round we go and back again. With my hands I clap, clap, clap. With my feet I tap, tap, tap. Right foot first, left foot then; round we go and back again. With my head I nick, nick, nick. With my fingers, click, click, click. Right foot first, left foot then; round we go and back again.’
Bruin and Reynard:
(Begins with music to introduce the characters)
Once upon a time Bruin and Reynard owned a field in common. They had a little clearing up in the wood, and the first year they sowed rye. (Music for sowing the seeds)
“Now we must share the crop as is fair and right,” said Reynard. “If you like to have the root, I’ll take the top.” (Rhythmic dance to music)
When harvest time came, they threshed out the crop. (Rhythmic dance to music)
Reynard got all the grain, but Bruin got nothing but roots and rubbish. He did not like it at all, but Reynard said that was how they had agreed to share it. (Movement to music)
“This year I have the grain,” said Reynard, “next year it will be your turn. Then you shall have the top, and I’ll put up with the root.” (Rhythmic dance to music)
When spring came, and it was time to sow, Reynard asked Bruin what he thought of turnips.
“Aye, aye!” said Bruin, “that’s much better food than rye,” and so Reynard thought also. But when harvest time came (Rhythmic dance to music) Reynard got the roots, while Bruin got the turnip tops. And then Bruin was so angry with Reynard that he put an end at once to his partnership with him.
(Music for the characters)
Tumpety, tumpety, turnip
Hide away under the ground.
Where nobly gnomes with knickety knocks are
Picking and poking and cracking the rocks. They are
Pulling the roots and pushing the shoots
And turning the turnips around.