Because I get a kick out of trying to turn my preschoolers into “global citizens” at the tender age of three, we have a world map posted in the dance studio and every once in a while, I’ll trade Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes for a little civics lesson.
“Where do we live?” I asked a few months ago.
“Earth!” one of my particularly astute three year olds shouted.
I’d been going for “Philadelphia,” or perhaps the “United State of America,” but I had to concede that she was in fact correct.
“Very good,” I replied. “We do live on earth. But can anyone tell me what country we live in?”
“A-rock Obama!” was their unanimous response.
“Good guess! But Barack Obama is the president of our country. Can anyone tell me the name of our country?”
After several well-intended but incorrect responses (Philadelphia, North Philly and “the ocean”), I finally cupped my hand to my ear, thereby signaling a temporary suspension of our usual “raise your hand” rule, and prompted “The United States of…???”
It took me a second but then I remembered that whenever I’m cupping my hand to my ear, I’m usually trying to get my little beach balls to remember what their ears (and various other body parts) are used for.
“Not the United States of Hearing,” I replied. “The United States of America! Now let’s all say that together: The United States of AMERICA!”
A few days later, I decided to try again:
What’s the name of our city?
No, friends. That’s the name of our president. Now, what’s the name of our country?
No, friends. That’s the name of our president. Now can we try to say it correctly this time?
Oh well. At least they’ll know who to vote for when the time comes.
(As for the gaming weekend: just wait. More on that later…)