Children have the best ideas! Sometimes the role of the teacher or parent is to provide some scaffolding so a child can get to work putting in place a more elaborate structure.
“If I Could Be Any Animal In The Jungle” (or the less wordy, “If I Could Be…”) is a great example of how to encourage and say YES.
Rules of "If I Could Be..."
One: Everybody gets a turn.
Two: Everybody’s ideas are totally right.
One child picks an animal, uses two words to describe it, and one action that animal might perform.
If I could be any animal in the jungle, I’d be a (animal name).
And I’d be very (a descriptive word), and very (another adjective),
And I would (action word) all day in the jungle.
Then, as we repeat the action word, the child shows the group how to move like the animal. The group responds by doing the movement.
Yes I would (action word) (action word) (action word),
(action word) (action word) (action word),
(action word) (action word) (action word) (action word) (action word) (action word)
But I would get so sleepy, from all of that (action word)-ing
I’d be the sleepiest (animal name) in the jungle.
After we “sleep” in child's pose, another child takes a turn.
"If I Could Be..." - Facebook Live
Get ready for some unusual and unexpected ideas! We’ve seen it all - sniffing anteaters, fuzzy sharks, flying unicorns, striped jackals, and basketball playing sloths. Do we experience the occasional use of bathroom humor? YES. Are children’s descriptions sometime beyond amazing? YES. Do these two things sometimes happen in the same verse? YES!!!
Saying YES tells children that we recognize them. An activity like "If I Could Be..." is a moment to let them know that their person and their ideas are seen and heard. Inspire innovation and collaboration!