Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Stone Soup's ON

Today in Montessori classrooms all over New England children are making Stone Soup.
Last week when I visited the Montessori preschool (where I taught once upon a time), I saw a familiar poster hanging on the wall. Created by the children, it was large picture of a big pot filled with yummy items the children planned to bring to school on Stone Soup Day. At the top of the picture some of the children had traced their hands to show (similar to the illustrations by Susan Gaber) hands dropping the items into the pot.
And honestly, my waves of melancholy over not being their teacher any more, were washed away by the beauty of their collaborative art. I love this time of year! When the classroom community really starts to gel and the children work together on their first big community project. The look on the face of the child who discovers the stone in their bowl of soup is priceless! This morning I imagine children setting the table for the feast and the smell of the yummy veggie soup is bubbling through-out the busy classroom. Teachers are watching the clock and keeping track of which child has yet to add their contribution, and if everyone has had a chance to stir the pot, and is every one's place mat on the newly set table? Bellies are rumbling and excitement is building.

Before they eat, the children will sing a special blessing song: Oh the Earth's Been Good to Me, and the Stone Soup will taste delicious because together they made it; it will be the best soup they ever eaten. (Someone usually says this at least once, every year).

So there you go, another addition to my What I'm Thankful For This Year List: Stone Soup!
Here is a recipe for you and your children to use to make your own pot of Stone Soup. It can be found at the back of the book we most enjoy using at Stone Soup retold by Heather Forest and illustrated by Susan Gaber.
You will need:
  • one large stockpot
  • a group of friends
  • one stone the size of an egg
  • two quarts of water
  • one quart of tomato juice
  • several carrots
  • an onion
  • a couple of potatoes
  • a couple of stalks of celery
  • a cup of peas
  • a cup of corn kernels
  • a tomato
  • a bunch of green beans
  • small pieces of broccoli
  • a quarter-cup of uncooked pasta
  • a tablespoon of salt
  • a quarter-teaspoon of pepper
  • a loaf of yummy bread
  • and last but certainly not least the Magic ingredient: "Sharing"
Set a time and place were friends can cook together (this could be your home, a church, community center, go ahead start a tradition! Rent a hall even) Invitations could read:
"Bring What you've Got, Put it in the Pot, We're Making Stone Soup!"
Each friend brings something to contribute to the soup and every person (young and old) helps with the washing, cutting, slicing, pouring and stirring! Obviously wash your stone thoroughly before adding it to your soup water. This recipe makes 10-12 adult sized servings.
Here's the important part: While the soup is cooking, sing songs and tell stories.
Enjoy one another, be thankful for everyone and everything you share together. It's a nice grace to go around the table and ask each person to share something they are thankful for or to say something they enjoy sharing with others, (limit your guests to one word or the soup might get cold).


plaidshoes said...

My youngest is doing this as I read! His Montessori (in the Midwest) also does it every year.

Jennifer Howard said...

I should have written in Montessori schools all over the country! So nice to share, thanks for reading and commenting. In PEACE

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