When we heard that our friend Luca was hospitalized with an asthma attack, the teachers were deeply worried about Luca’s condition, but also felt the importance of sharing this news with the rest of the class. Our image of a child that we hold for each of the children is one that is strong, competent and resourceful, capable of understanding the feelings and situations of others. After sharing a photo of Luca in hospital, the following are the voices of the children which portray this image:
Luca cannot come here, maybe he will be back tomorrow, which hospital is Luca in?
He is sick
I had that what Luca had and it was so tight, and I had a ride on a bed
Why did he have a cough?
Luca coughed a lot, that is why he is in hospital
Luca’s in hospital, he had to go the hospital
I can see a book (in his cot)
…and there is a car
That is because Luca likes cars
Teacher: Luca has to stay in the hospital for a few days, how can we help him?
We can surprise him!
How about giving him some flowers?
How about we get some from the garden?
…but you know we cannot pick them
Then make something…
And if Luca eats a lot he will get better
He needs to take medicine, maybe a shot?
Teacher: What can we do for Luca?
How about make a present?
A present and flowers, and then we take lots of presents and take them to the hospital!
Where is the hospital?
Teacher: We need to find out where the hospital is
We can do a map, my brother has his iPod maybe we can borrow his iPad
The following day we revisited their ideas and all the children are enthusiastic to make a present for Luca and surprise him. We introduced the Japanese art form called ‘origami’ (folding paper) to make flowers, trains and cars – all the things we thought Luca likes. With Luca in their thoughts, it was with much joy to witness the care with which each of the children took as they folded the origami. When Luca actually came back to school, the children were so happy to see him! We presented our gift to him with an element of surprise, it was such a happy moment for everyone.