A new group of young people, gathering together for a year long experience of collaborating to imagine, build and enliven a scale model village. It's always an exciting day, and always just a little intimidating; new people, new environment, a new community. How will it work out? Will I fit in? Are these people friendly? What do I do if I'm confused or upset, or feel threatened in some way? These are the questions that we all have when entering a new community - whether or not we articulate them, that is what we're always trying to figure out, and that is always what we address first at Game of Village Austin: Who are we? What are the safety and social rules? And, how do we resolve conflicts? The Community Guidelines, compiled by the children themselves, are written, signed and posted in our classroom and will serve as the cornerstone for peaceful community life in the coming year. This is just one piece of the rich and dynamic Social Emotional Learning that is part of the daily fare of Village life.
And what of the Peeps and our Roman Village? What progress was there? Well, before we can make Peeps and start building a Roman village, we have to know something of the times we are re-creating, so we played some brainstorming games to find out what we do know about life in ancient times, we worked with maps and talked about what cultures, countries and provinces were a part of the Roman Republic, how people lived and traveled, what resources they had and the importance of trade and the Silk Road, and we heard the story of Romulus and Remus; the foundlings, raised by wolves, and who went on to establish Rome as young men.
Our first day ended with each Villager choosing a specific province to research and from which their first Peep will hail. All are eager to learn more and share their new knowledge with the group next week. And, of course, to make their Peeps!