Thursday, February 18, 2016

Book Review: Think of Something Quiet

Think of Something Quiet: A Guide for Achieving Serenity in Early Childhood Classrooms by Clare Cherry

Published in 1981, Think of Something Quiet is a relatively old book, as far as non-fiction goes. At least, it's older than most of the education books I read. Regardless, it's still very relevant today, and I found few instances of outdated material (the most notable in a section called "Tense and Hyperactive Behavior").

Cherry doesn't go as far as Teacher Tom or Janet Landsbury in "sports-casting" actions and facial expressions to explain emotion and self-reflection, but she does include many things that they don't get into, like body awareness. She includes exact words to say to children, which is great, especially for educators just starting out. The directions for games are very detailed, and she also writes out full stories to tell. My favorite is an "eyes closed" story called And Everyone Was Sound Asleep. Here's an excerpt from it:

I made a little pillow with my arms and put my head down on my cushiony hands just like this (demonstrate). I closed my eyes, and listened to the quiet, quiet world.
(Pause for the children to get comfortable and close their eyes. Remind them that this is an eyes-closed story.)
At first I didn't hear anything at all. But I was very quiet, and I listened very hard. Soon I heard a tiny, squeaky sound saying, "Meow. Meow. Meow." I knew what that was. It was my baby kitty cat saying, "Goodnight. Goodnight. Goodnight." Then my kitty cat rolled itself into a furry ball, put its head down on its paws just like you, and was soon sound asleep.
The world was very quiet.
The house was very quiet.
I was very quiet, and I listened very carefully.
Soon I heard another sound. It went, in a tiny, tiny voice, "Woof-woof. Woof-woof. Woof-woof." That was the little puppy dog who lived next door, saying, "Goodnight. Goodnight. Goodnight." Then the puppy dog put its head down on its paws, just like the kitty cat and just like you. It closed its eyes and soon was sound asleep.
The world was very quiet.
The house was very quiet.
I was very quiet, and I listened very carefully. ...

Cherry includes information on things I wouldn't have expected, too, like room furnishings and weather, as well as the expected things like yoga, body awareness, and emotions. It's a good introduction and a quick read. Nothing phenominal, but still something to recommend to those that could use it.