K/1 Students Learn About Maslow to Better Understand Systems in Their Homes

thumbnail_FullSizeRender-9.jpg

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

In our K/1 class, we are introducing a basic understanding of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to expand our Social Studies unit of study, Families & Homes. Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist (1908-1970) who believed that in order for a person to be self actualized, or reach one’s full potential, certain physiological and emotional needs have to be in place. Maslow identified these needs as:

  1. Basic Needs: food, air, water, sleep
  2. Safety Needs: shelter, safety, stability
  3. Love & Belonging Needs: family, friendship, acceptance, community
  4. Esteem Needs: feeling respected, capable, worthy,
  5. Self-Actualization: harmony, set goals, successful, achieving full potential

 

While we have just begun our conversations, our little ones are already thinking hard and sharing their wonderings.When asked, “Imagine not knowing where you are going to sleep tonight, what you are going to eat for dinner, or who will keep you safe?”  

Our K/1 students were quiet as they contemplated these scenarios. Some asked, “But what about their parents? Where are they?

I replied, “Maybe they are working three jobs to make ends meet. Therefore, they can’t be home to tuck you in bed or read you a story. Some families struggle every day to get their basic needs met. How would you view the world if this was your experience every day. Would you think the world was a fun place full of adventures or do you think you would be scared and unsure?”

They quickly said they would be scared if their mommy’s and daddy’s weren’t home to take care of them. Others said, “I didn’t know some kids have it so hard. I guess we’re lucky to be in our homes, really lucky.” A little girl thoughtfully said, “I know I am because my family gives me encouragement, especially at school because sometimes learning is hard for me.” 

We have written a class big book to help begin our learning on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In the next coming weeks our K/1 students will fill our class hierarchy of needs with writings, drawings, and personal examples as to how their families support their needs both at home and school.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We will delve into each need and how our families and homes provide us tools to support our physical and emotional development to become the best versions of ourselves.  I’m also curious to see if they will offer solutions to advocate and support kids who need more support in their homes.

A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. – Abraham Maslow

 

The Belonging System: A glimpse into the places where children feel they belong.

images.jpg

In Social Studies, we are continuing our learning on Families & Homes. We have spent the beginning of the school year exploring the various ways families come to be. Some family members are born into their families and other are made with love and appreciation. We have concluded that families are formed through friendships, school communities, religious places like churches or synagogues, work, school and travels.

We are beginning our investigations on where families live and the types of places that can be considered home. We will discuss the types of homes people live in, in our communities and around the world. To start this conversation, we read the gorgeous picture book, You Belong Here, written by M.H. Clark and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault. This book takes the reader on a lyrical journey of where plants, animals and children belong.

And the trees belong in the wild wood and the deer belong in their shade,

and the birds belong so safe and good and warm in the nests that they’ve made.

book.jpg

After we read this book, we brainstormed the various places where we belong. We explained that belonging can be attached to a physical place like one’s home or favorite park. We can also belong to ideas, or places that make our hearts sing, nourish our souls, and ground us. I shared that I belong to words and writing, picture books, and my yoga corner. Using a systems map we asked, “Where do you belong?”  Our littles shared many interesting and heartfelt places of belonging.

belonging system.jpg

As a follow up activity, our little ones wrote a book where they chose five places using the sentence starter: I belong in / I belong with__________________.

Here are some of the wonderful places where we belong. It was also noted that no matter where we come from, there is always a place where we belong.

imgaginationnaturefamilyseashellssfparents

 

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten we belong to each other.

– Mother Theresa

 

Fireboat Field Trip!

fireboat in.jpg

Fireboat 2 – San Pedro, CA

Today, I experienced our class field trip to the fireboat through the eyes of a child. Earlier in the school year my team teacher suggested we visit the fireboat as a means to tie in the social studies theme – “World of Work”. Confused because I had never in my entire life heard of a “fireboat” I asked, “What’s a fireboat?” I came home that night and asked my family and my childhood friends, who like me, are college educated professionals, products of hardworking immigrant families where English was our second language and Spanish was the home language.  None of them had ever heard of a fireboat. A fellow colleague (also from an immigrant family) shared a book with me and chuckled – “Don’t worry, I had no idea what that was either!” As I read and perused the pictures in the book, Fireboat, I waited for this special day with much anticipation.

When we arrived to the Fireboat Station in San Pedro, I couldn’t wait to put a real life experience to the book that I had read with much curiosity. The fireboat was out, doing a dance with the water. It reminded me of the Bellagio Water Show in Las Vegas.

fireboat dance.jpg

Then we walked inside the station and it was the most awesome thing ever. It was dark, mysterious and beautiful. While we waited for the fireboat to dock, we were given an informative tour. I really appreciate how the firefighter leading the tour emphasized how every firefighter helps clean, cook, organize and maintain the fireboat. It was a natural tie-in to the theme, “World of Work” – a study of the many systems in place needed to keep and maintain a community thriving.

fireboat dock.jpg

After the tour, our little ones were given the opportunity to handle a fire hose. They held onto the long hose, waiting patiently to get wet…and boy did they get wet!

fireboat.jpgWhile the little ones waited to get their turn at spraying water from the hose, a student ran up to me and said, “There’s a girl firefighter here, like your book. You have to talk to her.” I eventually talked to the girl firefighter whose name is Valerie (shout out to Valerie and all the other girl firefighters!). I loved that Valerie said that where she’s from, she was raised with the belief that she could be whatever she wanted to be when she grew up. I shared with Valerie that my picture book, Pink Fire Trucks aims to inspire this important message. I could see how significant this was for my female students since it was mentioned a few times on our drive back to school.

08e134b1-7499-4d13-973c-20829f22d024.jpg

Thank you Fireboat Station 112 for your time and dedication. Today was exciting! It’s important for students of all ages to not only be able to conceptualize concepts they are learning, but to experience them. Field trips are important. And for an adult who had never heard of the word “fireboat” – today’s field trip was extra special.