My six year old granddaughter just learned about Pompeii, where lots and lots of people DIED. She is nervous, now, about volcanoes in Utah. Who wouldn’t be? And she’s moving to Indiana, where there are sometimes tornadoes.
So, this is the curriculum I’ve devised for advanced first graders who really need to know how scary life can be:
Math: 27,000 people died in an earthquake in Guatemala in 1976. Can you arrange 27,000 dominoes? Now make them all fall down. Numbers are big.
Science: When warm air meets cool air (as it often does in Indiana), a tornado might result. Research tornadoes. How many people died in the biggest tornadoes? How did they die? How many tornadoes have there been in Indiana? What would happen to you if you were in a car and an F-5 tornado formed right above you?
Art: Tsunamis kill whole villages.
Draw a picture of this school just after it has been hit by a tsunami.
English: Read _Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day_. What would make your day really, really bad? Write an essay about how you’d feel if you discovered that your house was sitting on a volcano, and one day your toilet started erupting lava. Do you want to use the bathroom now?
Obviously, life happens and children will have to learn about the Holocaust, Pompeii, etc. We hope they do learn of such things, because they need to know about the world around them–and they need to develop compassion. But that milk before meat idea is a really good one, don’t you think? I’d like my granddaughter focused on Hannah Montana for now. She can see _Schindler’s List_ when she’s in college. (Then again, some students are never quite ready for _Schindler’s List_ and all of the other horror stories humanity and nature have produced. ) I don’t like the idea of force-feeding. Nonetheless, we all learn hard things eventually. Isn’t that the point?