by Diana Klever


Five-year-old Johnny already knows all the letters of the alphabet, he has great fun spelling names and words.
Johnny always wants to know what I am writing, spells and „reads“ the children’s names from the attendance list, for example, or helps to put pictures into the appropriate folders.

In a project, some of the pre-school children were given a homework assignment. Johnny was my „secretary“. He wrote down the children’s names and then read them out again.
The next day we could use Johnny’s list to check whether the children had done their homework. Everyone had done it.

In the project „We repair and beautify our kindergarten“ we formed a small „handicraft team“. Johnny, with my support, took on the task of guiding the other children. At the beginning, I gave him a notepad to take notes on, a pen and the order to „write down“ everything that needed to be repaired. The other children were to work with Johnny to find things to fix, which were then recorded by Johnny.
He took his role as „leader“ very seriously and gave the children friendly but firm instructions: „You go look if something is broken!“ He himself also looked for broken things. …
Every chair, cupboard and table was wobbled, and everything else was also closely examined and „written down“. All the children were very enthusiastic and took their tasks very seriously.
The notes were deposited in a specific place and worked on as a work assignment during the next „shift“. Johnny continued to check and „write down“ throughout the day.
At the next team meeting, he spread his notes on the floor and we all discussed together which repairs we wanted to start with.

It was suggested to start with the boxes of the building corner, as these would be needed to clean up the building blocks.
Now we thought about what tools would be needed. The answers came from the children in wild confusion. I noticed that Johnny only repeated the children’s answers, but did not name any tools himself. When we went to fetch them, Johnny was able to name every single part correctly: Hammer, pliers, screwdriver, nail…

The children carried the tools into the „workshop“. After a short discussion on how to repair the boxes, the work started.
The next day, Johnny asked very early when we were going to work again and could hardly wait until all the children had arrived. With great zeal, he and another child carried two gym benches over. After careful examination and determination of tools and procedures, each child got his material and started to work.
The next few days were similar. At the beginning, the children joined in with great enthusiasm, always looking for new things to repair. Later, the euphoria waned a little.

At the end of the project, we met in our workshop and Johnny ticked off our work list with the work we had done. We had done everything!

When groceries had to be bought for the kindergarten, I suggested to Johnny that we write a shopping list together. He got a piece of paper and a pen. We sat down at a table and thought about what to get. What we could think of was written down by Johnny.

To complete the list, Johnny asked the colleague in charge of purchasing what else was needed. She suggested that he go to the kitchen and see what was missing. So we did, looked in the cupboards and added to the list.
Johnny asked himself the individual letters to come up with the words. After precise recitation on my part and repetition on his part, he wrote an extensive shopping list. When the colleague came into the kitchen, Johnny proudly read out his work – guessing the individual words from the initial letters.
Johnny later used the list to check very conscientiously that everything had been bought.


Date of publication in German: August 2021
Copyright © Hanna Vock, see imprint