16.11.10 – Max’s fifth grade class in Finland is full of courses which were often cut from the curriculum in the states; language (he’s studying English, French and Finnish), music, woodworking, gym and art. Lately, he’s been traveling with his class on Wednesdays to Ciasa, the International Cultural Centre of Helsinki, to work on art projects. Now that the course is drawing to a close, the teacher organized an exhibition to showcase their work.
The kids made art projects which helped them learn the Finnish language and also helped express their feelings and emotions. For one project, they created cardboard animals and wrote short stories about them. On another piece they drew pictures to represent emotions like iloinen (glad), pelottava (scared), rauhoittaa (calm), etc. It was obvious some of the kids found it difficult to talk about their work. I don’t think it’s ever easy to get up and talk, especially when you are a child, but these kids were further challenged by the fact that Finnish is not their mother tongue.
I think each of the kids was relieved once the exhibit was over and, more importantly, felt really proud. I felt relieved because I’m proud of Finland putting so much effort into keeping subjects like the arts in their curriculum.
- On Being Finnish (fishofgold.wordpress.com)
- Finnish Pronunciation (socyberty.com)
- I’m Finnish(ed) (edreformer.com)