Tonight we (almost) completed our Making Choices Leaf, and we started the 3 Cheers for Animals! Journey. The girls were really ramped up, and it seemed like they became even more so after movement breaks. I think they were like this because they wanted to share their pet pictures NOW, and I had it planned for them to share towards the of the meeting. *sigh* Some nights are just like that.
Here’s a basic outline of our meeting:
*Making Choices Leaf (what is a goal? / 15 second jumping jack challenge)
*3 Cheers (introduce Journey / read Children Make Terrible Pets / talk about pets and how we care for them)
*Making Choices Leaf (30 second jumping jack challenge)
*3 Cheers (share pictures of our pets / make a mural using the pet pictures)
*Closing Circle (background patches were handed out to parents)
I opened up the meeting with Step 2 of the Making Choices Leaf (MCL), goal-setting. I asked the girls what a goal is and why it’s important. I gave some examples of goals and some of the girls shared examples as well. For this step, I used the GSRV planning guide since it involved movement.
I made a chart with each girls’ name and 9 columns for the jumping jacks – three each for 15 seconds, 30 seconds, and 60 seconds. The first column for each time increment was for their goal, the second was for how many they actually did, and the third for how many they did a second time with the goal of doing three more than before.
Getting the girls to accurately count their jumping jacks was a bit tricky. I blame myself for the wild numbers (80 jacks in 15 seconds) because I didn’t explain how to count out the jacks first. I made the assumption that they knew to count each time they clapped their hands above their heads versus wildly flailing their arms and legs and counting as fast as they could.
We only ended up doing the 15- and 30 second increments because one of the girls brought in cupcakes to celebrate her birthday. We’ll do the 60 second increment at our next meeting.
Thursday was also the night we started the 3 Cheers for Animals! Journey. I am excited about it because it’s a fun topic, and the books actually have a decent amount of activities to choose from. I modified it more than I was expecting to, but I think this way will work out nicely (completely ditching the story in the girls’ book – some were easy to modify/add actions to, but a few left me scratching my head, so I gave up). My goal is to get it done in six sessions. I’ll post an outline once I figure out more of the details.
3 Cheers Session 1: Intro to Pets / Caring for Pets
I told the girls we were going to start a new Journey similar to the one we did last year with the flower garden, only this time we’re going to learn about pets. I had them bring a photo of their pet (if they had one) so they could share their pet with the other girls.
Then we read the book, Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown. I had one dissenting voice regarding reading the book – my #1 didn’t want to listen to a story, to which I replied, “tough honkies.” Overall the girls liked the story.
When I finished, I had each girl give me one way care for our pets. I’ll print their suggestions onto strips of paper to put on our pet mural (this mural is replacing the paper maché bird bath from the leader’s guide). Here is what they said:
-hug and snuggle them
-keep their home clean
-pay attention to them
-play with them
-clean up their poop
-give them water
We finally got to the point in the meeting where the girls could share their pet pictures, and there was squabbling over who would go first. I told them we would go around in a circle, and anyone who was part of the squabbling would NOT go first. The girls loved talking about their pets. The ones who don’t have any talked about pets they had in the past (mostly goldfish, and all but one were flushed down the toilet upon their demise).
Once everyone had a chance to share, we trooped over to our craft room to start our mural. I will glue their pictures onto some poster board (possibly foam-core board), and add the pet care tips. Pet safety tips will be added at our next meeting.
Our next meeting will focus on pet safety. A volunteer from the SPCA will come to talk to the girls. She will also bring some animals for them to meet. The girls will get the Bird Bath Award.