On a crisp October morning the kindergartners took a field trip to the nature center as a culminating activity for a unit on trees and leaves. We started out by walking through the woods, matching trees on the ground to leaves on the trees, and identifying the trees.
When we went indoors, one of the activities was to look at pictures of animals and trees and tell how the tree was helping the animals. Some of the animals were birds, bears, beavers, possums, etc., and the trees were providing food and shelter. Then the naturalist showed us a picture of people walking through the woods during the peak of fall color. Once again she asked us how the trees were helping the animals. The kindergartners responded that they did not see any animals in the picture. The naturalist made the point that the humans were animals. Several kindergartners objected that humans are not animals. The naturalist tried to show the similarities between humans and animals but the kindergartners were not convinced.
Way to go, kindergartners! At their young age they already know that they are created special by God and were bold enough to express that fact! I was impressed with how they expressed the truth while being respectful of the naturalist.
As the class moved on to another activity, I had a short conversation with the naturalist and shared with her that at CCS we believe that people are a special creation of God’s and are not the same as animals. She realized then that she did not share the same views that we teach at CCS and wished that she had led the discussion in a different direction. I assured her that we would have a classroom discussion to resolve the issue.
Back at school we discussed things that we liked and disliked about the field trip. The kindergartners liked the games, story, and art activity. They did not like the long walk and the cold weather. I shared that I did not like it when the naturalist said that humans were animals. That launched us into a discussion of how we were created in God’s image. I can assure you that the kindergartners are well-versed in knowing that God has created them! They spontaneously recited Psalm 139:14a (our September memory verse) several times during the rest of the school day: “I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Since that day I am more motivated to know and understand what I believe and to be able to defend my beliefs and what I teach at CCS. To help me achieve that goal I have reflected on other scripture texts that support our belief that we are created in God’s image:
Genesis 1:27 – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Psalm 8:4-9 – What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet; all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
The kindergartners’ behavior and words are a testimony of how their parents are training them in the way of the Lord. I am very grateful for the opportunity to partner with the parents in that endeavor. What a blessing it is to be part of a Christian community where we can boldly speak the truth of God’s Word!
Calvin Christian School–Blaine