Eurythmy Peter Stories in Grade 1

class 1 eurythmy Feb 06, 2024
Eurythmy in Waldorf Classes

I absolutely love all things eurythmy. I love the way it connects to the beautiful world around us. One way we relate this in classes, specifically in the younger grades, is by teaching eurythmy gestures with stories. One of my favorite things to teach, is the Peter Stories in first grade. The children love the story because it is so relatable to the things they know and understand. On a deeper level, it shows the relationship between the human and animal worlds, showing the place of each on this earth. The story follows animals being animals and humans being human, but what happens when we intertwine the two? It’s a silly story that unfolds. It’s quite ridiculous and very interactive when you include the gestures. 

Every “chapter” of the story starts with Peter rising in the morning, getting ready for his day, and doing his chores. This may not seem exciting, but when you add big moving gestures, it really comes alive! We help Peter greet the sun with song and gesture, comb his hair, brush his teeth, and eat his breakfast. Then it begins… Peter has various tasks. One task consists of him taking his wagon, with wheels that go round and round, to the Farmer to pick up various produce. As always, on the way home, his animals friends have joined him and do what animals do best… follow their tummy and gobble up the veggies! We show how the animals can chew in different ways and move in different ways. We work with great effort to chop and pick produce. 

Other lessons of the story consists of Peter taking his animal friends for a swim. We work out how various animals might swim differently. On a deeper level, we are using the formative forces of the eurythmy gestures to bring out the characteristics and traits of each animal.

The final lesson story gets really silly. Before we discussed how animals chew or swim realistically. We talk about their traits and how they might move. But the final lesson really opens up the children’s imagination. We must throw a surprise birthday party for Peter! Now that we have gained some knowledge about each animal, what would it be like if a rabbit were to blow up a balloon? Of course, this could never happen, but after really studying the animals, we can take a pretty good guess! How about a turtle baking a cake, or a frog wrapping presents? How would all this look? What would this be like? We must make educated guesses to the best of our knowledge. The story really comes to life, regardless of how silly it seems!

Every year I teach this, the children cannot wait to find out what happens next! What will Peter be up to in the next lesson? What will the animals do next? How will Peter’s mother respond to all of this? What is going to happen?! Like I said, not only is the story engaging, but each child works very hard to show big beautiful gestures with all their might to help Peter pull his wagon, pick fruit, or chop wood; to help the animals chew and eat, bake a cake, or hide and jump out in surprise. It’s so much fun! And it’s amazing to see the thought processes of the children as they really think about how this all goes together.

Ms. Tiffany 

Learn more about the progression of Eurythmy in Class Details for each grade HERE.

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