Lesson Fifty-four- Little March Amulet (Interdisciplinary)
Objective: Students will discover play related to friendship and love by exploring global traditions and creating Valentines for the Environment.
Materials: Assortment of art supplies including scissors, construction paper, glue, wallpapers, colored pencils, markers, crayons, and yarn
Procedures: Students will find and read the description of March amulets and the accompanying tale The Story of the Little March by Catalina Stoica from School 10, Focsani, Romania found in the “Customs” section of the Children’s Folk Games Project on the I*EARN Network. Description printed as shared- (Every year Romanian people knit two little tassels: a white one and a red one. At the beginning of March, they offer this amulet to the friends they love… In Moldavia, part of Romania, all persons can receive a little March amulet. Red means love for everything that is beautiful and white symbolizes the pureness and health of the snowdrops, the first flowers that appear in spring. That is the first celebration of spring in Romania).
The Story of the Little March
Once upon a time, there was an old woman. She had a son, March, who had just got married. The old woman did not like her daughter-in-law maybe because she was too beautiful. That is why she was trying to find a flaw in her son’s wife ordering her the most difficult jobs. One day the old woman commanded the girl to go to the river and to wash some black wool until it became white. Without a word the young woman went to the river. There a young man appeared miraculously. He immediately turned the black wool into white one. When (s)he wanted to thank him he disappeared leaving no trace behind him. Another time, at the end of winter, in February, the bad old woman asked her daughter-in-law to bring her some wild strawberries. The girl had no choice but to go find the wild fruits. March was desperate because his own mother was torturing his wife. That is why he left his home. Crying, the girl wanders throws the forest and suddenly the same handsome young boy appeared and filled her basket with wild strawberries. The young girl hung at her neck a white coin for the wool and a red one for the wild strawberries. In her husband’s memory whom she is still looking for, she called the coins “Little March”. From that day all the “Romanian girl and woman wear Little Marches”. They believe that the Little Marches bring them luck in love and good health.
Students will brainstorm our own love and friendship traditions as well as those associated with seasons, I.E. Valentines, friendship bracelets, Ukranian Friendship Eggs.
Next students will research the origin of traditions related to Valentines.
Working in pairs, students are to design Valentines or other symbols of love for some aspect of the environment. This could include particular plants and/or animals, specific eco-systems, clean air and/or water among others. Symbol must incorporate a Haiku about their theme.