Today while the children were playing outside I discovered a moth on the step. It seemed very still so I nudged it with a stick, it didn't react at all, it was clear that the creature was no longer alive. I thought for a moment about brushing the creature under the steps to spare the children being exposed to such a difficult topic, but after some thought I decided that taking time to respectfully observe the creature would be beneficial.
"Would you guys like to see something cool?" I called.
D (the eldest) was eager to help me pick up the moth and put him on a leaf. (1.9 Interacting with Adults - ELECT page 45)
"I think he's alive, I think I see him moving," D said. I explained that he looked like he was moving because his leg was stuck to the leaf which was moved, but he wasn't alive any more; we could look at him as long as we were respectful because at one time he was a living creature.
C talked a little bit about her understanding of death as we looked at the small insect. "His body doesn't work any more," she explained. (4.7 Reflecting and Reaching Conclusions - ELECT page 53)
We looked closely at the underside of the moth; its tongue was sticking out which gave us an opportunity to remember how butterflies and moths eat. We remembered our own butterflies that we had hatched in the spring and we hoped that they were doing well. These little ones have such wonderful, big hearts!
It was interesting to hear the knowledge the children already had about this topic; they really have so much to share when given the opportunity to lead the discussion.
"He'll go back to the ground to help the plants grow, it's a circle," D explained (4.9 Reasoning Logically - ELECT, page 54)
What a beautiful way to express it.
Goodbye little moth, thank you for sharing the wonder of your existence with my little friends.
We respectfully returned him to the ground so that he could be part of the circle.