Last Monday when I picked Nate up from school, he had in his hand a shopping bag. He hadn’t brought the bag with him to school, so at first I wasn’t sure what was up. Then I remembered a note that had been sent home with him at the beginning of the school year containing details of a class “mascot”. This was Nate’s turn to bring home the class mascot, and that’s exactly what was in the bag.
The name of the stuffed puppy in the bag was Sparkle, which the members of his class had voted on. Accompanying Sparkle was a journal, and after each child spends a week with Sparkle, he or she provides a page of content for the journal detailing the previous week’s adventures with Sparkle.
Sparkle helped Nate choose his bedtime stories one night.
He slept with her, watched tv with her, sat her with him as he played his games on the iPad, and thought he was hilarious putting one of his pajama tops on her one evening.
We put Farley‘s sparkly collar on Sparkle.
Nate had fun all last week with Sparkle, and I think he will be sad to hand her to the next child today at school.
Pajamas on a puppy? That’s silly.
I think the idea of sharing a class mascot this way is really smart, because it helps teach kids all kinds of lessons, including:
1. Sharing—Sparkle has to be shared among all of the members of the class who agree to participate.
2. Storytelling—On Sunday Nate and I sat together and wrote out a little story for him to share with his class about how we spent our week with Sparkle.
3. Saying good bye—Time with Sparkle was limited, and today he will have to say good bye to her as she is passed along to another student in the class.
4. The significance of creating memories—All week I took photographs of Nate with Sparkle, who was never far from him. He even asked me to “picture him” with Sparkle a couple of times. We printed the photos on our home printer and cut them out for the page of the journal.
5. A sense of humour—Many of the kids had dressed up Sparkle, or introduced her to their own pets at home or taken her to the park for rides in swings, which I thought was very cute and funny.
When I was in kindergarten, our class mascot was a gerbil, which I brought home to care for one weekend. While times have changed somewhat and no live pets are shared among the kids, I’m glad to see the tradition of a class mascot continues on!