Youngest Cougars Study Animals, Stories with Global Scholar John Dau
As part of a unit studying animals, Junior Kindergarten students welcomed John Dau, Collegiate School's Global Scholar-in-Residence. Mr. Dau shared stories about the animals of his childhood in South Sudan and their behaviors, including animal communities, care of animal babies, habitat and habits. The many curious minds in the room asked questions such as "Why do giraffes only eat leaves?”, “Where do elephants live?", "Do they have a house?” and “How do the animal babies behave?"
To illustrate the importance of being a responsible citizen and proud of who you are, Mr. Dau told the students the South Sudanese story of the fox who wanted to be a lion.
One day, a fox found the skin of a lion that had passed away. Thinking himself clever, the fox climbed into the skin of the lion with the intent of being treated like a king and scaring animals. Once the fox spent time in the lion’s skin, things became easier because other foxes ran away, and he was regarded as a lion. But one day, when the fox dressed as lion heard other foxes barking in the distance, he instinctually joined them. Very quickly, the trickery of the fox was revealed. The animal community isolated the deceptive fox from the pack until he acknowledged his mistake and how important it is that he be himself.
Sydney Pender and Laura Matthew’s Kindergarten class asked Mr. Dau to return to their class so they could hear more animal stories supporting the Lower School values of the month: compassion, thankfulness, faith, courage, charity, patience, truthfulness and hope. Mr. Dau obliged and recently shared two new stories. He requested that the boys and girls listen intently and think deeply to decipher the moral of each story.
As the children pieced together the underlying lessons, Mr. Dau summarized that we should "treat everyone the same no matter what they look like. We should all include each other. We are all one."
“Mr. Dau's message of inclusivity and appreciation of diversity was not lost on even our youngest Collegiate Cougars," Ms. Pender said. "It is clear that our Kindergarteners are growing into responsible citizens who will surely make a difference in our world."