This week began class with reading a traditional folktale of the Hmong; a group of indigenous people of Laos titled – “Nine-in-one, Grr! Grr!” by Blia Xiong. If you’re not familiar with the story, it’s a classic “trickster” tale that offers lessons in perseverance, care and focus. As the story goes, a tiger is tasked to remember a specific order or numbers to be granted her wish of yearly cubs, but an Eu (black) bird breaks her concentration so that she misremembers the numbers.
We looked at images of the landscape of Laos, Maps of SE Asia, Hmong people in brightly colored garments, examples of Laotian needlework/embroidery and examples of SE Asian ball games such as Kataw (like volleyball using your feet) and Tikhy (kind of like street hockey, but played in celebration of the Lunar Eclipse at Buddhist That Luang Festivals occurring either in October or November, depending on the lunar calendar.)
The Quarks then collaborated on constructing an obstacle course out in the field using pool noodles, agility course tools, logs, a yoga board and a skateboard. Quarks took turns re-enacting the tale wearing images of the Tiger and the Eu bird; The “tiger” was told a number to remember while traversing the obstacle course while the Eu bird tried to distract the “tiger” so they would forget their number.
Quarks had fun running, jumping, crawling, rolling through the course while practicing some adjacent executive functioning skills of focus driven work and play.