Thursday, 18 September 2014

INTRODUCING MICHAELMAS!

Dragon Bread for Michaelmas.



I have heard of Michaelmas in the past but never really known anything about it or realised what fun I have been missing! After reading lots of Waldorf Steiner books and Blogs from families who were looking forward to their Michaelmas celebrations, I thought I would give it a go!
Michaelmas is celebrated on the 29th September and is the feast of St Michael the Archangel. It falls nicely with the start of Autumn, the end of Harvest and the day’s becoming shorter. We tell the story of how Lucifer was banished from Heaven and thrown out by Michael. Lucifer fell to earth and landed in a blackberry bush. Because of this we should not pick Blackberries after this date, as it is said that he cursed the brambles he fell in. Even if you are not very religious, the story is one of good winning over evil and all children seem to love stories like this!
So on the week of Michaelmas, we colour and paint pictures of St Michael slaying a Dragon (the image portrays good defeating evil), Look at the Bible story of Michael throwing Lucifer out of Heaven and also read about St George and the Dragon. Being English, this is a nice reminder of our patron saint! We have Dragon dressing up out and the children enjoy much Dragon slaying! 


The children all look forward to the highlight of our week…. Baking the Dragon bread!
 It is wonderful for strengthening the muscles in the children’s little fingers as they kneed the bread dough and shape it in to a dragon. Fine motor skills are improved as they add the delicate fine details to their Dragons, using raisins for the eyes and sunflower seeds for the spikes and claws!


You can make fresh bread dough from scratch with the children and use it as an opportunity for mathematical language and investigation as you follow the recipe and measure out the ingredients! Using language such as more and less. Lighter and heavier.  We also talk about why we must wash our hands before we cook and touch on good food hygiene and how germs can make us poorly.
Once the dough has been worked and left to rise you can break it up in to separate balls for each child to work with. The dough is stretchy and fun to use. We often have many creations before the final Dragons are created. The children talk about how their dragons are going to look. Sharing their ideas and talking about the size of his wings or claws. No two Dragons are ever the same!

This activity can be altered to accommodate children with wheat allergies by using a bread mix that is gluten free.

Once the Dragons have all been made, place them on a greased baking tray in a pre-heated oven at 220C/425F/Gas 7 for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

This activity covers the following Prime and Specific areas of the EYFS:
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Creative Art and Design
  • Understanding the World.


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