Little Experiments with Snow

by Isabel Bonifert-Manig


One afternoon – there were still 8 children in my group – I put a bowl with snow in the group room and waited for what would happen. So there was no experimental setup prepared, but we felt our way from experiment to experiment.

Each child worked at a single table and was allowed to try as long as it wanted and until it was „full“. As soon as a child had found out something, everyone watched and the child explained what it had researched. I let the children try it out and – according to their ideas – provided them with the necessary material as far as they could not find it themselves. At the end we sat down at a table and the children dictated to me what to write down. Each child formulated the process and its conclusions after the experiment itself, as it is noted here.

The children already had experience with experimenting, some are especially gifted.

For reasons of anonymity the names were changed.

1. Michael (4;11 years):

„Snow is held in a pot over the candle.
Snow melts and becomes water. I fill it into a glass and give it to my mom.“

2. Justin (5;0 years):

„Snow and salt also melts, but slowly. First holes appear, then it gets watery. It also goes everything somehow to the wall. It tastes quite salty.“

3. Rebecca (4;9 years):

„Blue colored water and snow together. It melts. At the end I have only blue, cold water.“

4. Marie (5;9 years)

finds out that „the blue snow first becomes ice – and then water.“

5. Adam (4;9 years):

„I pour boiling water into the snow. Everything quickly becomes water. You have to be careful with the hot water.“

6. Michael (4;11 years):

„Light the snow. He gets brown. The flame doesn’t go out, but there are hissing brown spots.“

7. Justin and Rebecca:

„Snow melts on the tongue, becomes water and you can drink it.“

(Attention, attention: You may not do this with ice from water. Very cold ice sticks to the tongue.)

8. Justin:

„Candle wax dripping in snow. There is a lump, not a plate.“

It was amazing how concisely and precisely the children formulated and how disciplined and attentive they were all the time. The prerequisite for this is certainly that the children are given plenty of time, space and undisturbed quietness for working to try out and reflect: What actually happened there?

Through the small experiments, they have experienced something new and have been able to use their skills to observe and formulate things precisely. But they also showed an already well-developed ability to stay close to the phenomenon – an important prerequisite for scientific research.


Date of publication in German: 2009, November
Copyright © Hanna Vock, see imprint.


Are All Children from the Examples Gifted?

by Hanna Vock


Many children are described in the manual. Are they all highly gifted? I’m sure not.

However, they all belong (estimated) to the children of extraordinary ability; thus we call the children, who have an intelligence quotient of at least 115 points. The mean value for all children is 100.

For more information on the distribution of intelligence and the intelligence quotient, as well as the relationship between intelligence and talent, see:

Gaussian Distribution of Intelligence

Giftedness – a Definition

Where Do the Extraordinary Abilities Come from? Giftedness or Superb Advancement?

Above Average or Gifted?

What Is intelligence?

Giftedness and High Intelligence

Most of the children who appear in the articles I have written are highly talented and tested. Often their testing took place years after the described events and confirmed the assumption.

During my many years of working with gifted children, I was able to learn to assess whether giftedness is present. Gifted children catch my eye quite quickly; and I can also advise colleagues and parents unerringly if their child is clearly not highly gifted or is near to giftedness. Concrete observations (from myself, colleagues or parents) and/or direct interaction with the child are sufficient for this.

To obtain a numerical value (for example an IQ value), a test is of course necessary. But such a figure is as imprecise as a good estimate based on precise observations and great experience.

A value measured in the test, for example IQ 130, can just as well represent an actual IQ of 125 or 135 due to the measurement inaccuracy included in the test. The result 130 simply means that the real intelligence is probably close to 130. Tests have not yet been able to measure more accurately. Different tests have different measurement inaccuracies. The tester knows them, they are indicated in the test material and they should also be referred to in a report that the parents receive.

The examples from the manual contributions of the other authors describe both highly gifted children and children of extraordinary ability.

The selection of the children is made in this way:
After the first seminar phase in the two-year IHVO Certificate Course, all participants are given the task of selecting a child from their group / kindergarten for their first practical homework assignment. It should be a child who has already attracted attention through striking developmental advantages and / or conspicuously intelligent questions or ideas or through particularly intelligent playing behaviour that is unusual for the age group. In some cases, the selection could already be based on a test result.

In purely mathematical terms, not every kindergarten group can have a highly gifted child. (Statistically, there are two to three highly gifted children per 100 children.) However, the probability that the participant will find a highly gifted child in her group shifts due to two factors:

1) Most participants register on their own initiative (in the rarest cases, they are brought up to this by their employer). The motive for the registration is often mentioned: „We have a highly gifted child in our institution and would like to be able to support her/him better“ or: „Parents have already told us on admission that they consider their child to be highly gifted and we would like to be able to deal with it“… or something similar.

2) Some of the participants come from Integrative Focus Kindergartens for the Advancement of Gifted Children, in which several (suspected or tested) highly gifted children have already gathered over the course of time because the parents have chosen this kindergarten specifically for their child.

For these reasons, the number of highly gifted children who can be selected for practical tasks is increasing.

Nevertheless, not every participant finds a highly gifted child in her group – but everyone finds a child of extraordinary ability who can become her „observation child“ in the course and with whom she can make specific experiences in the advancement of the gifted. During the two years of the course she can – especially in exchange with the other course participants – develop an ever better feeling for the type and level of talents.

The pedagogical process, which takes place during the course, then revolves around the recognition – understanding – advancement of children’s giftedness. These three tasks intertwine in everyday pedagogical life and always take place simultaneously.

Phase 1:

At the beginning I pay attention to indicators for special and high talents in the everyday life of the kindergarten.

See: Indicators of Possible Intellectual Giftedness.

When dealing with the child and when getting to know the child for the first time in the first few weeks, I (and colleagues with whom I exchange ideas) notice special developmental advances, astonishing statements and other indicators.

I communicate with the child at his or her observed level of development, thereby giving him or her the signal that I am aware of his or her strengths. It’s how I actively build trust. I offer her/him games and stories that I believe she/he can handle, but that also challenge her/him mentally.

In initial discussions with the parents (with the help of the Questionnaire for Parents) I collect further information and compare it with my own perception of the child. First trust between me and the parents (also on the topic of „special talent“) is built up.

Phase 2:

The continuous perception of the child’s reactions (in conversation, to targeted play offers, to offers by the other children) provide further insight, for example about his/her intrinsic motivations, the interests, the ease of learning and the speed of learning. This allows me to discover further indicators of giftedness.

At this stage, evocative observations play an important role.

See: Modes of Observation and Examples of Evocative Observations.

Phase 3:

When the child has experienced a successful, confirming and challenging communication over a long period of time, she/he will open up and will actively shape its own learning process by asking more questions and making its own suggestions.

This phase is particularly satisfying for both sides (kindergarten teacher and child) and can last until school enrolment, provided that the working conditions in the kindergarten make this possible in the long term.
(See also: Improving Framework Conditions!)


Date of publication in German: 2017, July
Copyright © Hanna Vock, see imprint.


Adrian Takes to Reading the Newspaper – Questions of Life and Death

by Jordis Overödder


Adrian (5;9) makes a balanced impression at the moment. He is cheerful and busy all day with his friends. He shows impatience and frustration only rarely, he is also no longer aggressive towards the other children.

With his play partners he has still unusual play ideas. They laugh a lot and like to take the jokes to extremes, so that you have to set limits for them.
The new computer games, which my colleague brought along a few weeks ago, Adrian accepted enthusiastically and immediately tried out. Again, he showed a lot of skill, didn’t need a briefing for the unfamiliar games, but worked out the game possibilities himself. He transferred the experiences from previous games to the new ones or implemented the verbal instructions of the computer voice safely.

Read more about Adrian here:
Adrian, 5;0 Years
Adrian Studies Nature’s Creeps

Adrian’s Parents

His mother is now working as a nurse again. Adrian still doesn’t sleep much, but his parents can accept it better now. They are still in contact with the counselling centre. There the mother was relieved of many of her worries about Adrian. This has a positive effect on Adrian, who seemed to share the mother’s fear.

… in a nutshell …

Some conversations with the five-year-old Adrian are necessary to find out which questions are bothering him. The author knows how to discuss „difficult“ questions, which also involve life and death, with Adrian and other children from day-to-day life at the kindergarten. At the same time, she introduces the children to the medium of the newspaper.

Once the children discovered large bird feathers in the workshop. They immediately had the idea to write with it and tried it out with watercolor. Since it was Friday afternoon just before the pick-up time, they could not experiment for long. They took the feathers home with them.

On Monday Adrian arrived and proudly told us that he had written secret writing with his mother („with lemon juice or milk, and you have to warm it up“). This is a good example of how his parents are now increasingly taking up his interests and topics at home.

Adrian’s grandmother died before Christmas. She fought against cancer for half a year. The parents did not take Adrian to visit his granny during this time. At home, they talked a lot about the death of grandma, also about the grief of Adrian’s father and grandpa. Adrian has been intensively involved with that.

The school

The teachers of his future school were, as every year, in our kindergarten to exchange ideas with us about the children who come to school this summer. They explained that they separate the parents and the children during the initial talk, that the children are in a small group with a teacher and do little games and tasks. The parents are asked to talk separately.

Adrian then had great difficulty separating from his mother so that she first had to go into the room for the children, but was then able to withdraw. The teacher remarked that she had the impression that also the mother was no good separating herself from Adrian.

Adrian was then at first rejecting, sulked, turned away when he was approached. When he then saw what the others were doing, the ice was broken and he solved all tasks well and independently.

The teacher and I talked about Adrian’s development at kindergarten, about his special abilities and his sensitivity. In order to take away his fear of the unknown demands made on him at school, the teachers immediately suggested that he should be invited to a trial lesson as soon as possible.
His old playmates are also in that class, so he has familiar faces around him and gets a glimpse.

In the next days Adrian is invited to the school. „Then I’ll go with Joseph by bus,“ he proudly announces. His mother has a hard time with this, his father supports Adrian’s endeavour to become independent. I also encourage her to let him tackle this adventure alone.

Wild Boars

The new year has begun and our group has finally been strengthened by a colleague. I am very happy to have time again for special offers. Since I still have no idea for a concrete objective, I will simply start. It is important for me to start by talking to Adrian.

I hope to come across an area in which I can stimulate his cognitive abilities.

Monday, January 11th
At breakfast Adrian tells me about the wild boars for half an hour. He was in the forest with his grandfather, who is a hunter. There they climbed up Grandpa’s hunter’s seat and Grandpa told him a lot about the wild boars. I take Adrian’s interest in this subject as a starting point to talk to him and find out more about his interests. We arrange to meet the next morning. I promise to bring him something about wild boars.

Tuesday, January 12th
In an adjoining room we sit together. I have pictures of wild pigs from the Internet stored on my laptop. Adrian thinks that’s great. I record on a mindmap what he already knows about wild boars.

(See also: Plans, Drawings, Sketches, Mind-Maps)

Then I suggest that we do a puzzle quiz. First I read him a text about the pictures – with information that goes beyond his previous knowledge. The text is already quite demanding. He listens well.

But with his answers to my subsequent questions I notice that the text was probably too long and he couldn’t remember so many new things. Adrian is sometimes insecure or prematurely says the wrong answer. However, he corrects himself when I ask questions or explains his idea to me.


I ask: „Who are the enemies of the wild boar?“
He answers: „Deer, roe deer and sheep!“
He excludes „bears, wolves and lynxes,“ „because, after all, they don’t exist in our forests.“ That does not lack a certain logic.

I ask: „How do the wild pigs clean their fur of vermin?“
He answers: „They shower – in the rain – or swim in the water.“
He says: „After all, they don’t get clean in the mud bath.“

A discussion arises as to whether one may simply shoot all wild pigs. With „what-if-if questions“ we approach different scenarios:
– if there are too many / too few wild boars;
– if there were wolves again;
– What can the farmer do to protect his corn if there are wild boars nearby?

Adrian takes some new technical terms with him. He has found that wolves are also useful for humans. „But people are also afraid of the wolves“, he concludes.
He enjoyed the meeting. I ask him if he wants to know more about wild boars. No, it is enough for him.

He declares to me that he wants to go to Radio Berg (our local station) to see „how they speak into there, how they do it“. He often listens to the radio at home in the afternoon. He has already expressed this wish in the preschool children’s group, and the preparations and appointments for this trip are already underway.

„And why are there always such bad news?“

he wants to know from me.

His mother told me in the parent-teacher conversation that the news always kept him very busy. Then he often can’t classify what’s said and so makes his thoughts about it.

So he is interested in the news. Spontaneously the idea comes to me that I can bring him a newspaper, which we then look at together. In my opinion, this is an easier medium to grasp than the radio news, but it deals with the same topics that he hears there. He thinks the idea is good, even if he is still a little sceptical about what a newspaper is all about.


I want to pick up his interest in the news.
He has questions about the short sequences he hears on the radio or about pictures he sees on television when he comes back to the living room in the evening. But the questions are too fleeting and are not dealt with sufficiently. His parents try to keep the „bad“ away from him.

In the next step I try out whether the medium newspaper is suitable for a discussion and how he reacts to it. I read the newspaper beforehand.

Reading the newspaper

Wednesday, January 13th
I will add Justin to this meeting. I do not want to give Adrian such a special role. Justin is thrilled. Both are very excited and start to meticulously look at every picture in the newspaper. They try their own interpretations of what they see.

If they are particularly interested in a photo, I read the picture captions to them and give them a short summary of the article. They ask questions about it.

These topics were particularly well received:
„More counterfeit banknotes“ – „Bisons in Yellowstone National Park“ – „Attack on the Togolese national team“.

They ask about the counterfeit banknotes:
„Why does someone print money himself?“ – „Then you get more out of it and you can buy a lot!“ – „But in the shop, there they have such a camera, there they can see who that was!“

They think a lot about the money: „Who makes the money? What if everyone could make money?“ We come to the subject of inflation. I give them food for thought, they pursue the thoughts further. „How do you recognize fake money?“ We look at banknotes from my wallet.

They are very interested in bison. The text says something about „almost extinct“. I tell them in a nutshell that the white settlers who came to Indian land were hunting the bison to make money with the skins. Only a few bison could have hidden themselves. These have reproduced later again and now live there protected in this large piece of land. They want to know more about it. I happened to record a documentary about the National Park which I could show them.

The photo of the coffin, which was unloaded from the airplane, occupies them the most. The report deals once again with the attack in Angola on the bus of the Togolese national soccer team a few days ago.
What happened there and why someone shot at a bus, just like that, and who died there and who was injured and how that happened and whether the police came and who took care of the injured and who put the corpse in the coffin…

A whole bunch of questions storming me. Some I can answer, others I have to ask for more information, because I did not follow these messages very closely in the days before. We write down the questions and think about where you can find answers about something that happened a few days ago: in the old newspapers! We’d take that up tomorrow.

We hang the interesting articles about the theme table in the group.

Concretise objectives

In my current assessment, questions about death and killing, soldiers and hunters are among the central issues that occupy Adrian at the moment. Questions arise about ethics and morality, what is „allowed“ and what is wrong.

I create a space and time frame for an examination of these topics.
A concrete formulation of objectives is not so easy for me. I could come to results like this:
– Adrian understands the rough connections of one or more events in the news.
– Adrian understands the interactions of living organisms in the ecosystem.
– Adrian knows the possible causes of a political conflict abroad.

Teaching the child the ABC is easier…


Thursday, January 14th
Adrian and Justin are already waiting for me: „Did you bring the newspapers with you?“ I had rummaged through the waste paper and sorted out the relevant pages. I want to deepen this topic first and not present a stack-thick offer of new topics.
So we look at the photos, reconstruct the course of the attack and investigate the motives of the „rebels“. A small article helps us further. For this we look at the country in the atlas.

According to the „rebels“ the exclave Cabinda should become a country of its own. Because the people there are poor. That would be different if they didn’t have to give the rich oil deposits to Angola. „Those are the blue boxes“ Adrian finds in the Atlas. „But that’s why they don’t have to shoot,“ complains Justin.

Adrian and Justin come to the conclusion that this conflict must not be resolved by force. „You must not shoot at people.“ They also see the different interests of the groups and notice that there is not always a simple solution.

Comment by the course instructor:
Those are already many important realizations and thoughts.

Pre-school children’s morning circle

At the preschoolers‘ meeting, we will give concrete form to the children’s wishes for excursions:

„To look at a church.“ They want to go to Cologne Cathedral. On a newspaper clipping you can see the Shrine of the Three Holy Kings (Epiphany Shrine – Dreikönigsschrein). The children are interested, because at Christmas we heard the story of the Three Kings and played it as a shadow theatre.

„Are they in there now?“ – „Can we look in there, I want to see them!“ (I already see myself with the cordless screwdriver…) I ask: „Well, what remains of somebody who died 2000 years ago?“ – „Bones!“ – „A skeleton“ – „and dust!“.

„My grandma has been burned, she is ash now,“ Adrian says. We briefly stick to different burial methods and then find out that today you can no longer tell what the Three Kings looked like.

This morning my colleague has some sad news for the children: Mrs. B., the director of the old people’s and nursing home, died suddenly. For many years our kindergarten had built up a friendship through her initiative. We regularly visited it with groups of children, with the music club, the theatre group, and just a few weeks ago with the preschool children. Mrs. B. showed them very sensitively the care department of the house with its handicapped inhabitants. The children wanted to visit them again soon.

My colleague and I agree that we have to talk to the children about Mrs B.’s death. We look at photos from the last visit and remember the nice trip.

The children wonder how bad this is for her husband and children. All the children were very affected. My colleague and they are making a plaque for the hallway so that we can always remember her.

Parental work

Death and war are still taboo topics in education. Parents want to protect their children from suffering, feel helpless and are afraid of having to answer the children’s questions. The cut out newspaper articles will probably cause some parents to be uncomprehending and sceptical.

Informing the parents about the project is an important step. I’m mainly looking for a personal conversation, because our parents often stop at the wall of topics and see what’s new there. In addition, I have also written a notice:

„Dear parents,
In the Morning Circle of the preschool group we discussed the children’s wishes for excursions today. We wanted to question some of the wishes and find out exactly what the children would like to see. This resulted in a varied program, which we will present to you at the parents‘ evening.
Ellen (my colleague) also had very sad news for the children today: Because this week our dear Mrs. B., with whom we had close contact for many years in the nursing home Haus Bergeck, died unexpectedly. Even before Christmas, she had greeted the preschool group so warmly and showed them the care department of the house with its residents and answered the children’s many questions so sensitively.
We would like to create a plaque with the children to commemorate Mrs. B., so that we often remember the beautiful time with her. The children were very affected and touched.
Your team of the preschool group“.

Reading the Newspaper

Friday, January 15th
Adrian and Justin are joined by other interested children. Ronja (5;2) also likes to read newspapers at home with her mother. Today she brings along a „treasure map“ which she cut out at home: a city map of Cologne. Frank (4;4) looks over our shoulder, because he also wants to have a treasure map. Rasmus (4;8) is also very curious.

With the younger children, reading the newspaper is a bit restless at first. Frank finally finds his treasure map in the local section.

Rasmus discovers a big article about the puppet theatre in Bensberg (a nearby town). They are very amused by the expressive faces of the puppets. Mara asks for the puppet stage, whether one could also see the people or only the marionettes and how they speak then. She wants to show it to her mother and go there.

After they have cut out their finds and hung them up at the theme table, I have to read the obituaries to Justin and Adrian. „Is Mrs. B. not there?“ Adrian asks. We don’t find anything in this issue.

Then they turn to the earthquake in Haiti. A picture shows the destroyed houses of the city. Mara in particular takes a very close look.

I say: „Imagine your house is broken and you don’t have anything left to put on, nothing to eat“.

„Then I could live with our neighbours,“ says Mara.

„The people here no longer have neighbours with a perfect house,“ Justin says looking at the picture. …

„The hospitals are also broken,“ says Adrian. Mara: „Yes, and there are far too many injured people. I saw it on Logo (children’s news on German TV channel ZDF), but only the beginning, and then I had to go to bed.“

Another photo shows a man sitting by the fire on the street cooking something to eat. That seems very adventurous to the boys, because they also like to make campfires. The real dimensions of this natural disaster they can not quite grasp. In any case, this news of the day will be attached to the theme wall by them.

Film about the Yellowstone National Park

Monday, January 18th
I offer this documentary film for interested preschool children. The boys and Mara are in. The theme of the film is the ecological balance in the national park. It was out of joint due to human intervention. By the killing of the „robbers“ like wolf or cougar the wapitis increased too strongly. The hunters had to shoot the wapitis again to decimate their number.

I stop the film in between and the children express their thoughts about it. It seems absurd to the children that the hunters have to shoot one species first, then the other. The problem of overpopulation is discussed.

„What happens if there is too much wapitis?“ I ask.
„They eat all the grass.“ – „They trample everything broken.“
Adrian: „Then they starve to death because there is no grass left!“

A five-year-old recognizes how an ecosystem
can tip over!

Then he notes: „We are already many, but we will not be shot!“

I ask him: „Why aren’t we shot?“

Adrian: „Because we are human beings.“

„And what if there are too many people for once?“, I go into it.

Adrian: „They’ll starve to death, just like in Africa.“ I leave that as it is. I don’t know what to do here either.

It is still difficult for me to ask specific questions that continue such thought processes. I have never dealt with philosophical questions, but I am now discovering them as an interesting topic.

Comment by the course instructor:
And as you can see, especially gifted children also deal with it very early on – and are often alone with it … but not with you anymore.

The children are very taken with the „sweet“ bear cubs in the film. When the mother bear then kills a little wapiti calf, they initially find it unfair. „But the bear can’t just eat grass. He needs meat to live.“
Topics such as evolutionary pressure and natural selection become clear. The wolves hunt the weak and sick animals. They can then no longer reproduce and pass on the disease.

„Why do deer fight in autumn? What is rut?“
At the end of the film these questions arise. The concentration of the children is exhausted after three quarters of an hour with intermediate discussions. I write down the questions in order to deal with them later.

Read the newspaper

Wednesday, January 20th

Six children come today to read the newspaper. Ronja is interested in the Opel in the factory building. „We also have such a car! Is that still in the factory?“ Melinda especially likes the horse-drawn sleigh in the snow. She has her own pony and is very fond of horses. Jesper finds a small photo of two bears: „Look: how the bears on TV“, he remembers our film.

Adrian and Justin stay with a photo of German soldiers in Afghanistan. The page of the letters to the editor. I explain to them what that is. „There, they’re sitting in the tank!“ – „Why do they have sunglasses on and up there something on their helmets?“ I describe Afghanistan to them as a country in the south, where the sun often shines.

„Why do they fight in Afghanistan? That is nevertheless quite far away. How did they attack us?“ Justin sees the task of the soldiers as defending against an enemy attack. This picture does not fit in with his image. After a few vague pieces of information, I don’t really know what to do. To explain the causes of the Afghanistan conflict in a child-friendly way is something I have to fit in with. We postpone the topic until tomorrow and I think about it in peace. (I have then read Wikipedia.)

Mara finds another picture of a doctor in the US Army who cares for injured children in Haiti. „Look, there’s a soldier here, too“. They discover that soldiers not only fight, but are also used for relief measures. „My dad’s friend is also a soldier. But he doesn’t shoot, he’s a paramedic and helps the injured,“ Adrian remembers. „The children are all out on the street because there is no hospital,“ Mara remarks.


Thursday, January 21st
I found what I was looking for on the Internet. I bring some photos with me. In a nutshell, I present the history of Afghanistan so far. Now there is no safe government that can take care of the people there. The soldiers from many countries have now helped for a long time to ensure peace and order. For example, German soldiers are helping to train police officers so that the people in the country can provide security themselves. But now it is being discussed how long this will continue and when the people will be able to get along on their own again.

„What does a government do?“ – „Who is doing something bad? Who do you have to watch out for?“ Here also again the „rebels“ appear. They find parallels to Angola. They think it’s good when soldiers help and protect. But they are also worried because they have a dangerous job.

On this day Adrian brings the obituary of Mrs. B. with him. He found it together with his mother in the Handelsblatt (a national business newspaper). We attach it to the plaque in the hallway.
On Friday there is a funeral service in the nursing home. My colleague will go there with two children.


Friday, January 22nd

In order not to hang up the different articles so confusingly, I decide to sort them with the children according to topic complexes:

The younger ones make a poster with their animals and one with the different vehicles and means of transport.

The earthquake in Haiti has already had several stages and will certainly continue to occupy us.

Adrian and Justin want to stick „Rebels in Angola and war in Afghanistan“ together on a poster.

Review and final questions

Monday, January 25th
Our breakfast is slowly becoming a literature café. The preschool children always have breakfast on the gallery. We also hung up the posters there in „their“ corner. At breakfast the conversation comes back to the earthquake.

Adrian saw the news yesterday with his father. (He wasn’t allowed to do that half a year ago). He knows a lot to tell, also about the oil tanker accident and the oil barrier they laid out there. His father obviously accompanied it well and talked to him about it.

In any case, the children want to know how this will continue in the earthquake area. I fetch the newspaper. They are amazed at the little miracle that a man could still be rescued after 11 days. The procedure of the dog squadron is explained. Thanks to his father, Adrian has a lot of knowledge about rescue-technical issues.

Many questions: Why didn’t they dig for the man earlier? And why he didn’t die of thirst. And what about the others who still lie under the stones. What the soldiers are doing there.

I tell them about a report I saw yesterday on TV, about the distribution of relief supplies and the problems of the people there. That’s what they want to see. Unfortunately I didn’t record it, but I promise to look for something like that again.

Over the corpses and the bones we touch the holy three kings again in their shrine, why they would not have three coffins. The interest in the bones is still great. At home I have a magazine about the exhibition „The King’s Tombs of the Scythians“, which I visited once in Berlin. Maybe we can have a look at it.

The children discuss: „The soul is transparent and flies into heaven“. – „The bones are still there. The undertaker puts them in a coffin and then it is burned or comes into the earth.“ – „But that hurts nevertheless!“ means Justin dismayed. Whether one can choose this beforehand with the burning.
Adrian: „Grandma told my dad that.“
I can no longer reconstruct the whole course of the conversation.

Those were the topics in the further course: You can also die as a child, for example in an accident. The paramedics brought one child back to life, dad said. Is it possible to come back to life? That was the case with Jesus. No, he flew to heaven. With God he is now where the souls are. They can look down to us from there. Every evening I still talk to my grandma, she hears me then. And our two dogs, they are also up there. Maybe the soul comes down again into another person. Then one lives again. Maybe I will meet you then! But I do not recognize you then. And you don’t recognize me either, I look different then. Then I will become a soccer player!

It wasn’t a final discussion. If you can close something like that at all.

But this intensive conversation actually lasted
80 minutes.

„Will we do that again tomorrow?“ – Why not? Strangely enough, it’s the meal  together that is the situation in which the most „heavy food for the mind“ is digested. In any case, our café circle will certainly go on. I will look for a report on television, which I will record for the children. I still have the magazine about the royal graves somewhere.


Already on the second day of my project there was again a problem with time: my colleague, who had been ill for so long, is now out for another six months. The staff shortage has returned after a hopeful week and a half. – Oh no!!!
Once again it means: no time for post-processing, notes about observations and statements of the children. A recording device would be helpful again.
The bad basic conditions make me highly dissatisfied. I know that I could do something completely different. It cannot be changed. We hope for representation.

(See also: Improving Framework Conditions!, German version.)

How is Adrian after this time?

The contact between us has intensified. He talks more often and more openly about his thoughts, he feels taken seriously. His questions were differentiated, but I have also experienced particularly gifted children who have asked much deeper questions. In my view I was able to lead the conversations to satisfying results according to his thoughts. That’s my subjective assessment. Here we are confronted with the problem of target verification. I cannot look into his head.

Moreover, a process of questioning and developing one’s own views and theories is never complete, even for adults. So am I at a goal?

We have addressed and highlighted some „bad news“, and also seen that there is a lot of good news. The parents were surprised that he could handle the topics very well. At home he didn’t say that he can’t fall asleep or something like that. That was one of my fears.

Some questions remained unanswered, or I had the feeling not to be able to answer sufficiently. That was a stupid feeling. But that’s the way it is sometimes. There is no answer to everything.

Justin and Mara showed great interest and curiosity. Mara has also attracted my attention so far. I was glad that I could support her at the same time. So it also did my other „clever heads“ good. Compared to the two, Adrian’s reflections do not show any serious difference.

So I wonder whether there is another area of interest that needs to be promoted. I think I’m gonna have to try to find out some more here. Perhaps his lead in development from last year has simply converged. In this case, I am still very uncertain.

The newspaper also proved to be an interesting medium for younger children. They had other interests, they wanted to cut out especially the animal photos and vehicles. They were very happy to be involved. When they get to the point of asking deeper questions, they will also be interested in the other photos. So they could draw out for themselves what they need for themselves.

Have I left enough space to develop their own thoughts? What would I have to do differently?
It was still difficult for me to have philosophical conversations. Sometimes I had the feeling that I couldn’t improvise fast enough, that I had to ask the right question to continue their thoughts and to stimulate further thinking. You probably just have to practice that.

Comment by the course instructor:
Yes, maybe you can improve yourself through practice. But „difficult“ and/or philosophical topics do not primarily demand quick answers, but honest answers and the raising of new questions that arise from them.
I think you should not be too self-critical, but rather enjoy your visible successes.

I notice that I can still work on my general education, especially political education. Admittedly, I have not been so enthusiastic about this topic so far. However, I recently read an interesting novel („Lautlos“ by Frank Schätzing in German), which dealt with the different aspects and backgrounds of war, politics and economics. It was easy to read, but gave me some food for thought on the subject.
Philosophy is also one of the topics for which I still don’t feel fit enough. I often came up against my limits. The book „Who Am I – And If So, How Many?“, by Richard David Precht, I find quite revealing in this respect. Only the next step remains: How do you bring this closer to the children? I’m sure I’ll find suitable literature here as well.

Due to the lack of time, the newspaper project was less intensive than I would have wished. However, I have the feeling that it could keep us busy for quite some time. The children’s interest is great and they will always be able to discover new topics and events. From this impulses can be taken up well, like watching a film here for example.

The breakfast round with the preschool children is a suitable framework to maintain this ritual of reading the newspaper and discussing. I will definitely strive for that.

Comment by the course instructor:
I would like to encourage you in this very much. A new piece of culture has been created in your already culturally rich kindergarten.

See also: Reading a Newspaper, Making a Newspaper


Date of publication in German: 2015, October
Copyright © Jordis Overödder, see imprint.













Notes on Using the Manual

  • The manual is a collection of individual contributions on various terms, topics and questions. You can find your way around via the table of contents or via the keyword register, which you can both access from the start page. The table of contents as well as the start page can also be found above each article. In these directories, please double-click on the article of interest to go to the corresponding manual page.
  • Many practical examples or further explanations cannot be found in the table of contents. Please search for these in the sitemap (chapter 0 – German version).
  • The manual is constantly being revised and extended.
    Newly added or heavily revised articles can be found on the start page in the list of new entries, which you can also access via the index of contents, chapter 0.
    The entries in the list are sorted so that you find the last entries right at the beginning.
  • The texts contain links to other texts in the manual that are closely related to what you have just read or offer further explanations. Here, too, you can go directly to the other article by clicking on it.
  • Due to the highly networked structure of the manual, repetitions cannot be completely ruled out. The individual contributions should remain understandable – even separately from each other. We ask you to excuse the disadvantage (possible repetitions) in consideration with the advantages.
  • In many articles you will find a short summary.
  • As far as the language of the manual is concerned, it is to be hoped that they will find little „teacher-talk“. I agree with Schopenhauer on this issue:
    „Think like few people and talk like most people. You need ordinary words and say unusual things.“ (After: Wolf Schneider, Wie Sie besser schreiben (As you better write). In: Die Zeit. Magazin, May 2012, p. 10.
  • In the examples, all children’s names are changed to preserve the anonymity of the children.
  • Please respect the copyright! All contributions are the result of strenuous, committed work and are therefore protected by copyright. (See Imprint.)

Of course, you may use all ideas and materials for your work, provided you carefully state the source. For larger projects, consultation with the IHVO is necessary. (Contact:

We are interested in your opinion on our manual and on individual contributions, and are also grateful for any suggestions.

See also: The Becoming of the Manual


Date of publication in German: 2007, May
Copyright © Hanna Vock, see imprint.

Who Made the Manual Possible?


Firstly, the many gifted and particularly talented children I have met and worked with have made it possible. Their peculiarities, their ideas and their constantly astonishing play and learning needs were and are the driving force behind this manual. Thanks also to the many open-minded parents.

Secondly, the many committed kindergarten teachers who have intensively dealt with possibilities for advancement and integration in kindergarten in the IHVO certificate courses (and also after receiving their certificates) have made it possible. Their creative ideas and projects, which they have comprehensibly described and explained in their written papers, are an essential part of the manual.
Thirdly, financing is important.

I would like to express my thanks for this:

– the Imhoff Foundation Cologne, which in 2003-2005 not only supported the first certificate course for the advancement of gifted children in kindergarten, which took place in Germany at all, but also supported further IHVO certificate courses and projects as well as team training and parent counselling discussions in Cologne.

– the Youth Welfare Office of the German City of Remscheid, because it made the first project „Integrative Focus Kindergarten of Gifted Pre-School Children“ financially possible,

– the Peters-Beer-Foundation in the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Donors‘ Association for the Promotion of Humanities and Sciences in Germany), which financially supported certificate courses and projects of the IHVO as well as the conceptual design of the manual from 2007 to 2010.

– the participants of our courses who have paid all or part of the remaining participation fees themselves,

– and kindergartens who have paid all or part of the participation fees.

The ideational support provided by numerous people has been and remains to be important.

Thank you very much!

Hanna Vock

See also: The Becoming of the Manual


Publication in German: 2007, May
Translation: Arno Zucknick


Dear Readers

The requests from many kindergarten teachers and parents of young children for literature that specifically deals with giftedness in kindergarten encouraged me to launch the German handbook in 2007. In the meantime a lot of articles have been translated into English.

I am pleased that its many practical contributions have been very well received in Germany and far beyond.

We are constantly working on this manual so that you will always find new articles on new topics. Enjoy your reading!

First of all, I would like to welcome the pedagogical specialists in kindergartens as readers of the manual.

Dear colleagues,

this manual can help you

    • better understand what gifted kindergarten children need,
    • recognize giftedness,
    • support gifted children in kindergarten better than before.

How can you use this manual?

You can use it to familiarize yourself with the topic if it is new to you. No false shame! Of the more than 2500 kindergarten teachers I interviewed, only 8 had heard about giftedness during their training. According to their own assessment, however, they too had hardly learned anything useful on the topic during their training. I hope that you will be better off with this manual.

You can use this manual to check for yourself to what extent your kindergarten is already suitable for gifted children.

You can use this manual to learn how to improve your work for the gifted children.

Please don’t let yourself be pressured. The manual is the result of many people who have been dealing with the subject for a long time. Even if you can only implement a little of it in your kindergarten for a variety of reasons, this is progress for the gifted and particularly gifted children.

Experience from IHVO courses:
What is good for the approximately 2% of gifted children is also good for the 13% of children with above-average talents.

You can refer to this manual if you would like to get your colleagues interested in the topic.

The manual continuously tries to draw a comprehensive picture of the possibilities of gifted children’s advancement in kindergarten. It is a vision overall, but it is based on real experiences.

Next, I would like to welcome the lecturers at pedagogical technical schools,
universities and pedagogical training institutes as readers of the manual.

Ladies and gentlemen

I would be pleased if this manual provide you with additional motivation and useful material to include the topic of the advancement of gifted kindergarten children in your training courses or your advanced trainings and hence to enrich these curricula further. I am grateful for further suggestions from you and would be very interested in exchanging experiences.

And now I would like to address the parents of (probably or possibly) gifted children as readers of the manual.

Dear parents

Even though the manual is intended for use in kindergartens, I hope that you as parents will also find interesting and inspiring information for the advancement of your child in it.

If you would like to talk to your child’s teachers about what you have read, I would ask you to do the following:

Please keep in mind that the teachers and the kindergarten teachers (at least in Germany) probably did not learn anything about giftedness during their training. So do expect openness, interest and willingness to deal with the topic – but to be fair do do not expect extensive knowledge, experience or know-how in this area.

If you meet an experienced teacher in the field of gifted children, so much the better!

Greetings to the representatives of educational policy and the political administrations of the elementary sector

Ladies and gentlemen

I and the co-authors would be very pleased if reading the manual were to encourage you to consider the learning and developmental needs of gifted children in the educational landscape more effectively than before. On the one hand because of the children’s right to appropriate education and advancement, and on the other hand because of the high potential that gifted children would like to develop and on which the general public depends. Please help to create conditions in the kindergartens that make appropriate advancement possible! These include, among other things: smaller groups, more staff and, in many places, appropriate rooming conditions.

The (gifted) children and their (kindergarten) teachers need your support.


I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the development of the manual in one form or another and made its further development possible: especially of course my colleague and co-author Barbara Teeke, the translater Arno Zucknick, the authors and the foundations.
(Many articles in the manual aren’t yet translated by Arno Zucknick, but by DeepL. Sorry! It’s a question of time and money.)

Also important, however, were the people who – even in difficult times – accompanied the development of the IHVO attentively and favourably: I am especially grateful to my husband Jochen Vock, who supports me in every respect, the board and the members of the association as well as especially Dr. Harald Wagner, who has been the secretary of ECHA (European Council for High Ability) and the managing director of Bildung und Begabung e.V. for many years.

I very much hope that everyone involved can be satisfied with the development of the manual.

Hanna Vock
Kindergarten teacher, Educator M.A. and Sociologist M.A.,
Founder of the IHVO and publisher of the manual.

See also: Who Made the Manual Possible?

Date of publication in German: 2007, May
Translation: Arno Zucknick

Adrian Studies Nature’s Creeps

by Jordis Overödder


Adrian is now 5;4 years old. At the age of 3;0 he came to our kindergarten, but has only been in my group for one year.

You can read more about Adrian here:
Adrian, 5;0 Years
Adrian Takes to Reading the Newspaper – Questions of Life and Death

In the last year I observed great restlessness, impatience and frustration in him, which discharged into aggression and fingernail chewing.

With my support, he found good access to the older children who are now in school. He mainly played with them.

He showed a lot of interest in computers and got his PC driver’s license early (see: The Experts Principle in Our Kindergarten… (German version)). Today he still plays on the computer from time to time, but has exhausted this area for himself at the moment.

He is still very eager and active in his role as a computer specialist. If the others have a question, if the game does not start or similar, then he helps immediately and competently. This role is immensely important to him and fills him with great pride.

Our concern about what will happen when his friends are all in school has disappeared. The friendship with Mara, which is quite similar to him with its creativity, has strengthened. (See: Adrian, 5;0 Years.)

Adrian has also found a good friend in Justin, who joined the group, who has the same interests and a social and humorous nature as Adrian.

With Frank and Jesper two more boys in his age group came to us. Maybe something will develop here. Adrian has been very cheerful and carefree lately.

He enjoys his new role to finally become one of the „big ones“. He no longer has to fight for his status and can bring in his many ideas and talents.

A few observations

    • Before the holidays, one of the grandmothers offered a guided nature tour. She showed the children many herbs and plants in the forest and on the pasture and told them something about their characteristics. Adrian was very attentive and one week later was able to remember special features: „If you crush the ribwort in this way, you can put it on a wound. It cleans the blood then.“
    • After the holidays Adrian took over a new job: He watered the flowers in the group. He does that with great pleasure, sometimes a little too benevolently, so that he has to pour out the pot afterwards.
    • At dessert, the children find seeds in the melon. Adrian wants to plant them and puts them in the flower pots. The others do the same to him. „You have to water them now, too“, Adrian knows and fetches the pot. Every single core is watered specifically.
    • Outside he has found a mouse hole. For several days he designs the entrance area, which is located on the side of a tree stump. He builds a waterfall for the mouse so that it has something to drink and collects seeds and berries for it.
    • I also remember the workpiece he built in the workshop course: a feeding station for birds.

Adrian is currently showing a great interest in nature. He likes to observe animals, discovers plants and takes care of their welfare. His interest is less theoretical than practical. He brings his social disposition to the care and handling of plants and animals and takes great pleasure in it.


In August there were flocks of wasps. Attracted by our apple trees and the fallen fruit, they became really annoying. They came into the group room and sat on the raw food plate, almost daily a child was stabbed.

Adrian and Justin appointed themselves wasp police. Armed with a clap, they took action against wasps approaching the children’s breakfast plates and cups.
I was not at ease, because my attitude towards animals also gave them the right to live. But since I also belong to those people who find the approach of a wasp extremely unpleasant, especially when they then crawl around on the children, I have approved their procedure for the time being.

But I didn’t want to leave the attitude „wasps are dangerous“ so uncommented and decided to perhaps steer the interest of both of them in other directions. I wanted to get to the bottom of the subject of wasps.

Impulse: Thematic and observation of wasps

In the group there is a small table, a place for visual objects, books and materials on current topics. It is filled by children and adults. I often lay out materials there and the children supplement what they find themselves, bring with them from home, and paint in addition.

I have selected nature guides from the library and my private collection. We bought magnifying glasses and large cucumber glasses with screw caps from the experiment room. First we have to see what a wasp looks like. Adrian collected three dead wasps from the windowsill.

Frank discovers „It’s got hair!“ in a magnifying glass. With an apple Adrian lures a wasp from the raw food plate into the cucumber glass. Quickly put the lid on it. That was exciting! Now a feeling of relief is spreading, because the wasp can’t do anything to us in the glass. Frank still looks skeptical: „It can’t stick through glass, can it?“ Adrian makes air holes in the lid. Does it still need something to drink? He wants to fill the glass under the tap. I quickly notice that there is enough apple juice in the apple and that it can manage with it until we let it fly again later.

Adrian does not have the inner calm to take a closer look at the wasps, but shows even more zeal in the procurement of further objects of interest. He shows great skill in tracking and catching. One also learns something about how the animals crawl or fly, where they hide and how to outwit them. This is much more exciting for him than looking at the pictures in the books.

At home I made myself smart by Internet research to the topic wasps still in addition. I saved some interesting pictures to show them to the children in their laptops. Unfortunately we did not get to it.
But it did have some effect: my own interest was aroused. I learned a lot of new things and that also had an influence on my attitude. Wasps not only seemed annoying and threatening to me, they were also really exciting. In conversations with individual children I was able to use my knowledge in the end.

Comment by the course instructor:
Ah great! This is exactly how „real“ research works: The adult takes up a current interest / an important question of the children and goes JOINTly with the children into the research. Of course the adult informs himself in advance, like you, but he lets the children make their own experiences. The adult is a „facilitator“, accompanies and supports – and expands his or her own horizon in the process.

In any case, the intensive occupation with the wasps has also brought about a change of heart in Adrian and the other children.

The next wasp that came in for breakfast wanted to lure Justin and Adrian back outside. Unfortunately, the little animal hummed outside their radius at the top of our ceiling lights. „They like sweets, don’t they? We can attract it with an apple!“ Said, done, Adrian had already fetched a piece of apple from the raw food plate. But his arm was too short and the wasp kept humming around the lamp. Adrian ran into the workshop next door and got a rather long roof batten, put the apple on the end. Then he climbed onto the table, marvelled at by the other children sitting around with their lunch boxes, and held the wasp’s bait with the batten in front of its „nose“.

We all had great pleasure in this action. Normally I wouldn’t have allowed him to balance on the table during breakfast with a batten from the workshop. But in this case I could understand his motivation very well and his approach was imaginative and also met my wish to find alternatives to killing the wasps.

His success was only indirect – the wasp was probably too annoyed and it flew out again on its own – but that didn’t stop Adrian’s joy.

The other children’s interest in the topic

Frank (3;11) has a special artistic talent. He likes to paint and draw. His spatial imagination is very pronounced, he painted early realistic pictures, for example machines with many parts, where he could explain exactly the functions. He sketched a wasp buzzing in a cucumber glass. To his discovery that the wasp has hair, he later expressed the thought whether it should go to the hairdresser.

Debbie (4;9) also draws the wasp. The correct attachement of the legs and wings impresses me. Emil (4;3) paints a thick bumblebee. He discovered it on a photo in the nature guide and finds it quite funny.

Larissa (5;10) wants me to write down her observations. She likes to file all possible work results in her folder. She dictates to me exactly what to write. This is also a good language support for her, because her family speaks Russian at home. I give her corrective feedback if she confuses the articles, for example.

Mara (5;9) disappears for a long time in the workshop and makes a wasp trap with windows out of cardboard boxes, toilet rolls and plastic. So that you can also look inside. The flap at the end of the entrance tube opens only to the inside. Mara fills Mara fills the trap with applest and places it trap outside on the windowsill. Works!

Comment by the course instructor:
Amazing idea of Mara! Above all, that she has also thought of the viewing windows!

Adrian catches several spiders in the cup magnifier. I offer him and Mara a portfolio sheet: „An observation of nature“ on which they can paint the spider. Mara starts right away, Adrian then joins in and paints a small spider with eight legs. “ It is also very small!“ Both then have so much fun painting the circles for the web that they fill the whole sheet with it.

Excursus: Discussions about observations

Adrian does not like to record his observations. Painting is too difficult for him, he finds dictation stupid. I write to him simply too slowly. I have already thought about getting myself a small dictation machine. Such a technical device would certainly be an incentive for Adrian. I can imagine that we could then be more persistent about his observations and other questions that arise for him from it, into the conversation. So he always leaves very quickly because he has something important to do. I would like to work on these conversations in order to help him to consciously steer his learning processes further, to formulate questions and to seek specific answers.

Comment by the course instructor:
This also seems to us to be an important approach for the further promotion of Adrian.

What else creeps and flies

We found an escargot outside. They are actually not so widespread here. It is under the glass salad bowl one day a guest in the group. Especially the little ones are happy. Outside they still find nudibranchs.

Adrian brings a crayfish from home, which he found the day before in the creek. He explains to me, „It must not be allowed in other water, otherwise it will break! We carefully pour it into a clear bucket – with the brook water, of course. The children are fascinated. Adrian releases it again in the afternoon. I am happy that his parents support him.

Grass snake
On the doormat in the open door to the outside area there was a tiny snake. This snake also briefly went into the glass, was admired and determined with the help of the colleagues: a grass snake!

Construction site: rabbit tunnel
Our two rabbits jump on warm days in their own small „outside area“ around. There the children can watch and pet them. But on this day Biscuit probably wanted to make an excursion and scratched himself unnoticed a tunnel under the little gate. It had already escaped! After numerous children and educators had caught it again, it had to into the stable.

Adrian, Justin and Mara immediately made it their task to close the hole again. But they didn’t just pour in some sand, but meticulously planned and thought through how the ground would hold up best.

They were busy for two hours: first they looked for small pebbles, then in the bushes with soil, which had to be knocked off, they mixed a tough mud. This was mixed with fine sand and applied to the pebbles as mortar. Finally, they plucked moss and planted it on top for fixing. This of course had to be stomped for compaction and finally watered. „Here it doesn’t grow out any more“ Adrian stated with satisfaction. It actually still lasts.

„There! A squirrel!“

As we sit in the morning circle, Jesper suddenly sees a squirrel in the meadow. Everyone immediately wants to look out of the window. Really! There it jumps around and makes use of our hazel bushes. This year there are many nuts. Finally it disappears from our field of vision. The children are disappointed.

Right after breakfast Adrian, Justin and Jesper go outside. They want to look for nuts for the squirrel to bury. Adrian has found a broken root that can be used to chop, shovel and tap at the same time.
I am nearby with the other children and am available when needed. They already have a question: „Where does the squirrel look for the nuts in winter?“ They want to make sure it finds them. A long time ago I had seen an animal film and was able to give some information: „In striking places.“ – „What is striking?“

Excursus: Language
I often use difficult words towards the children. It is just my way of speaking. When I notice that children don’t understand me, I say it again in a different way. It is important to me that they have a rich vocabulary on their way. I like to help them derive difficult words by pointing them to words of the same root they know.

Striking places: „These are unusual things that are particularly noticeable in their surroundings, a root, a thick stone. These are ‚landmarks‘ for the squirrel, like a ‚marker‘ in the landscape.“ – „Ah, like on a treasure map!“ – „And it finds it in the snow, too“ – „Well, then we’ll look for landmarks now! Here, the post from the stairs.“

Plant bushes

The next day they find a nut with root while collecting supplies. „There, look, a tree! I’ll plant it now!“ Justin finds a small holly sprout. „What’s his name?“ he asks me. I should also photograph it. For his folder.

Adrian expertly digs a hole with his special root and inserts the germinated nut. „Now I still have to water! I need water!“ He goes in with the bucket. The colleague asks him about his plan. „Water a bush!“

That he had to water the bushes outside with our expensive tap water was not obvious to her. The bushes would get enough water from the rain.
Without water he came back and explained his dilemma. „She won’t let me!“ I went again with him together and cleared up the misunderstanding. I am very happy about our good communication in the team. Here nobody feels undermined in his authority, if the other makes for special reason other decisions.

Squirrels: Impulse through non-fiction

I would like to take up and deepen the interest of the children. I buy a book about squirrels. I would like to introduce this to an interested small group. In the morning circle I ask who wants to participate. Almost everyone raise the hand, except the youngest ones, who probably didn’t understand what I asked. So I decide to let everyone join in. So we all arrange to meet before noon on the carpet.

I design a small square with illustrative material: nuts, acorns, plums, berries, chestnuts – what the squirrel eats. While reading, the children can immediately look at the things and touch them. I have copied some pages. The children who feel like it can then paint the pictures and stitch them into their portfolio. There is a lively rush.

I was surprised that not only the big ones, but also the younger children were so attentive and interested in this offer. Everyone was involved in the process. As far as possible, I tried to involve everyone in such a large group and to capture comments from every child.


The next day the older ones search outside for the squirrel’s nest. It is raining, but they have put on mud clothes to look for the squirrel. They are lucky that the rain keeps the other children from going out, because they can actually watch the squirrel for a long time on the quiet outside grounds and follow its jumps and paths. I watch them through the window. They are very excited, but sneak and whisper quietly so as not to scare the squirrel away.

„The squirrel is my favourite animal“ Justin tells his mother as soon as she picks him up in the afternoon. Then he fetches his folder to show her the pictures.

Excursus: Frank and Mathematics

Frank (4;11) likes to count everything. Every morning there is exactly a dozen kisses for mummy. „…ten – eleven – twelve! Bye, Mama!“ He compares and measures and weighs. „There are three apples more than on the red plate!“

I think about what he might enjoy. In my own kindergarten days I always liked this Montessori hundred tablet. At home at the computer I design a table of hundreds with light grey numbers to trace. That goes down well! The older children all want a sheet of paper. Most of them can count up to 21. Only Frank and Mara are able to count up to a hundred. Frank looks thereby exactly on the numbers and reads. Mara counts rather by heart. Adrian is also there, very eager and highly motivated. Such persistent activities are not really for him. But here he benefits from the motivation of the others.

Outside, I suggest that the children collect a hundred nuts. I lay down four slats as a frame for them. Everyone helps with the search. By dessert we have the two hundred almost full.

The next morning the children look for the nuts again: The squirrel was there and stole some! They fill the table again. „Now we are running a hundred laps“ they call out and run off. After 26, they have made a mess of counting, but they had a lot of fun.
Frank and Justin try out how they can crack the nuts. It works with thick stones. If there’s anything to try, the others are also quick to get in and deliver supplies.

On another day, Frank has built four block towers of different heights. He shows them to me: “ It is small, it is medium“, he truncates for a moment and considers, „it is bigger and it is the biggest!

For breakfast I have filled two different jugs with apple spritzer. Frank comes and lifts both up.
Frank: „It’s heavier, it’s lighter“.
Jordis: „Where’s more in it?“
He points to the lighter, taller, narrower pot.
Frank: „In that, that’s higher.“
Jordis: „And which one is heavier?“
Frank: „The other one.“
Jordis: „Aha.“
Frank: „That’s because the water’s being pushed so high here.“
Jordis: „We can measure where there is more in it if we pour the spritzer into the same containers.“
Frank: „In the cups.“
Jordis: „Well, then get them from the breakfast table.“
Frank: „We’re all pouring the same amount.“
It makes 4 and a little from the narrow pot and 5 and almost full from the wide pot.
Frank: „Aha. There is more in it.“ He points to the wide one.
Jordis: „We can pour the same amount into both jugs now.“
Frank: „Yes. 5 cups in both cans.“
Frank looks again. He laughs, points to the narrow pot: „There is much higher! He weighs: „Both the same!“ He helps me to dry the cups and brings them back to the table.

With this little in-between action he has become aware of the distribution of fluid in different containers and he has made a reference to the weight.

Comment by the course istructor:
It is nice for us to read how relaxed and easy – and yet so clear and deliberate – you take up the children’s many questions and interests, integrate them into everyday life and accompany the children on their explorations!

Apple harvest and what can be done with it

It gets cooler. The wasps only hum around sporadically and slowly. „They will hibernate soon“, Adrian remarks. Now the children can finally venture onto the apple trees to pick the apples. Last month I had forbidden this to the children because of the large number of wasps that feasted in the apples. They eagerly pick and shake the trees.

Our apples are green and quite sour. They bring the apples in so that we can eat them for dessert. They collect the rotten ones outside and process them into „apple juice“ in the sand moulds.
At dessert we all have to laugh because the apples are so sour. There are many left. Adrian has an idea: „We can cook apple sauce after all! – „Ow, yes!“

Somehow apple sauce

The next day my colleague goes gymnastics with the younger children. The big ones are among themselves. „Now you can cook apple sauce“ I suggest to them. „You can do it alone. Just let me know if you need anything“.

Comment by the course instructor:
Fine! We like it well!

On the one hand I didn’t have the opportunity to prepare anything, on the other hand I’m very curious how they will do it now and whether they can develop the work steps themselves.

Adrian shoots off right away: „We need a pot!“ It is quickly fetched from the cook in the kitchen. „Now put the apples in there.“ Uiuiu. Nothing good shimmers to me. But I keep quiet for a moment. Thank God Mara complains that she doesn’t like the seeds.

„You have to cut them out after all!“ – „Well, that’s what we do. Jordis, we need the knives.“ I hand them kitchen knives from our closet. They get boards. Jesper wants to watch.
„Ew, there ist dirt on my apple“ – Larissa holds her apple up in amazement. „Then we probably have to wash them.“ Jesper thinks that’s good. He stutters excitedly, „I’ll do the hm-m!“ So he also has a task that he enjoys. Everyone who is finished, he brings another apple.

Let’s go. Put apples without seeds in the pot. „Now we’re cooking. Turn on the stove, Jordis.“ I advise them to add another small cup of water. I would like to spare them burnt apples. – „Hmmm, that smells delicious! I’ll give it a try – ugh! Sour!“- „My mum makes sugar in there. It’s in the closet, isn’t it? Laura always puts it in her coffee.“

The gymnastics children are also invited to eat apple sauce. Adrian counts the children and takes out little bowls.
Delicious! I still suggest to paint the work steps so that the children have their own recipe. They also want to write themselves. I get the letter cards and put the words they can’t spell themselves.

The children think it’s great that I’ve finally had time only for them after a long time. They are allowed to do something special all by themselves, because I can be there with unlimited attention.

With guidance and guidelines I deliberately hold myself back completely in order to challenge her thinking. That appeals to them very much. To belong to the „big ones“ is a new role for all of them. Adrian is of course a driving force and has a more or less clever answer to everything (whole apples unwashed in the pot). But he acts with the others and not alone. Everyone is involved, everyone can have a say. It is discussed and Adrian also experiences rejection of his rash ideas and actions, for example that he gets the pot from the kitchen alone.

Others want to join him, too! The girls will give him a contra. In the end, he’s probably glad that he didn’t scare the others away by giving in and doesn’t have to cut the apples all by himself in the end. It is a very harmonious round and and the interaction between the children is respectful. They are all very persevering.

I am very happy that Jesper has also found a place in this group. He was often excluded by Adrian in the first weeks, in my opinion because he speaks unclearly and cannot bring in his concerns quickly and fluently. „Jesper, you’re not playing“ he often got to hear. In other game situations Adrian was often very impatient with him and hardly let him speak. Negotiations and common considerations probably didn’t go fast enough for him.
Here I see a change in Adrian’s attitude. In situations like this he experiences Jesper as a valuable member of the group and also discovers many qualities in him. In the meantime the two have also found a common ground: They both like to be on the road with their learner bikes. In cycling Jesper is a manoeuvrable speedster and for Adrian a good buddy to compete with. Adrian has become more patient and lets Jesper play along more often.

Find mushrooms

Last weekend I took part in a mushroom excursion. I found that very interesting. During the walk I found a very beautiful fly agaric and took it to the kindergarten for the children to look at. Many immediately knew how to report „It’s poisonous“.

Justin was able to explain to us why the fungus is called a fly agaric. „Because if you crush it like that and then put it in milk, the flies will drink it and die.“ We look at other mushrooms in my mushroom book. „They grow also outside on the meadow“ Mara recognizes immediately. At noon we set off with a small group to find mushrooms outside.

„We have to put on gloves“ Adrian remarks, because there could be poisonous mushrooms.

In fact, we find some mushrooms. We look for their names in the identification book: green-leaved sulphur head and radish helmet – no, you can’t eat them! Adrian has another idea: „We can paint on and mark the ones we found here.“

What else Adrian does

Adrian asks his friends to „Come, let’s go on a treasure hunt“ after cutting out talers from the gold foil he found on the shelf in the workshop. Of course, he also painted a map.

He directs the group through the outside area and finally says: „So, here you have to search!“ When they find the treasure, I have to hide it again for them. I draw a map with arrows and they brood over the symbols: „That must be the ship. And here the stairs!“  (Our wooden ship in the sandbox is a popular climbing device and always encourages pirate games.) Already it starts and actually they find what they’re looking for.

Adrian asks again and again for a sewing needle. He likes to sew little bags or pillows for his sister. Mara also likes to be there. She sews hearts or cushions for her built things (doll’s bed…).

Adrian is still an avid computer specialist.

In the last week some children have contacted us who would like to become master children in the (wooden) workshop. Adrian has also „applied“. I took these children with me to the workshop course during the week to see if and how they fulfilled their task of helping the newcomers. Adrian and a girl preferred to deal with their own things, build something themselves and implement their own ideas. Adrian hardly took care of the other children at all. I also reported that to him in the same way.

Although I kept reminding him of his task in the meantime, he didn’t try very hard. I discussed with him that at a later date we would consider again whether he could become a master child and what exactly I expect from him. He is very concerned about that. I consider drawing up a „learning contract“ with him so that we can discuss exactly what tasks he has as a master child, how he can initially „practice“ this and how we can finally check whether he fulfils the tasks.


More ideas that I have for the continuation of the theme „animals and mushrooms“:
– Walk in the forest
– Collecting plants, pressing, designing books
– Invitation of the school in the forest
– A father is a forester and could show us how trees are felled.
– Project week in the experiment room

If the topic “ Animals and Mushrooms “ is closed, perhaps another one results. Frank is very interested in the universe, in stars and astronauts. Perhaps in the next months also something new results in this direction, which inspires also Adrian.

In the dark season of the year, Adrian’s interest in the PC could also grow again. Maybe he would like to try out new games, because he already knows all the others. I can make myself smart there times, what there is so new.

Adrian’s wealth of ideas and his creativity are no longer a problem for the others. They accept him and profit from it. In his new role as a preschool child, he now has much more room for independence and opportunities to try out solutions.

He shows more perseverance, even dares to tackle difficult things. In my opinion, this goes hand in hand with his solid self-confidence.

Comment by the course instructor:
For us, the question still remains whether such a positive development would have been possible for Adrian even earlier, whether you could have helped him more in his fight for acceptance with the older ones at that time. What do you think?

Now that the older children are gone, he doesn’t set himself any less high goals. Some of the girls or Justin and Frank are at eye level with him in some areas.

His frustration tolerance has become much higher, he no longer gives up so easily. His perseverance in repetitive activities is increased by the motivation of the other children.

My communication with Adrian has improved. He explains to me what he needs and why, and is no longer irritated or feels misunderstood when asked. I have more patience for him. His parents also question his intentions differently. He no longer has to fight so hard for the implementation of his ideas.

At the moment I notice that he is doing very well in the group. I am much more worried about a lot of other children. There is a danger that I will lose sight of his needs because others need me more.

Allowing exceptions, redefining rules, allowing special activities often means an extreme additional burden in everyday working life. Nevertheless, further training helps me to become aware of such situations. I am becoming more and more successful at simply allowing small support measures to flow into my work without any great hassle.


Date of publication in German: September 2015
Copyright © Jordis Overödder, see imprint.



Adrian, 5;0 Years

by Jordis Overödder


Adrian is 5;0 years old. He has been visiting our institution and this group for two years. I joined the group about a year ago as a group leader. I will describe my observations from this year here.

Adrian struck me from the beginning (he was 4;0) as a very active and enthusiastic child. Our trainee had created a special offer for the boys in the group where there were more girls at that time, the „crocodile gang“. Movement games, making ice cream, making dough, no matter what it was, Adrian always enjoyed taking part in these activities.

Adrian’s play friends were and are especially the older children. Whether it is because there are no boys of the same age in the group, I do not know. Anyway, he also played less often with the girls of the same age, but rather with the older ones, for example Lotta and Nele, who are both more than a year older.

After the summer holidays last year, when the „big ones“ were in school and the next generation of preschoolers moved up, Adrian had a hard time. The new preschoolers were very busy negotiating their new role and hierarchy. Adrian always wanted to play along, but was suddenly rejected because he was still „small“. That kept him very busy, because of his abilities and interests he was able to keep up with the older children. There are always arguments because Adrian fought persistently to be accepted into the group.

Comment by the course instructor:
From your point of view today, would it have been possible to support him in such a way that he would have joined the group of preschool children? Obviously, it was very important to him. Often very gifted children have a sure feeling for where they fit best. What would have had to happen for the older children to accept him? What was the attitude of the teachers like? Was it decisive in this context?

He put a lot of energy into these arguments and they exhausted his self-esteem. At that time Adrian showed a great restlessness, was constantly in motion and could hardly stay seated for a moment, for example at lunch. The same was reported by his parents from home.
Adrian chewed intensively on his fingernails, on the sleeve of his sweater, and even on his toenails in bed in the evening. He had great difficulty falling asleep and woke up at the slightest noise, then was no longer tired.

In kindergarten Adrian was very impatient. If he wanted something, it had to be immediately. He often took toys away from other children. „Mara had that for a long time now“ was his argument.
Mara had brought her plasticine from home and wanted to pack it again after playing together. When Mara tried to get Adrian to give the plasticine to her, he replied: „That’s not Maras, it’s from the kindergarten!

He often tried to achieve his goals with arguments, even if he knew that they were not tenable. The mother expressed her concern: „My child lies consciously!

I see in this behaviour Adrian’s irrepressible urge to fight for his interests, for the things that „drive“ him in the truest sense of the word. He wants to build a motorway bridge with the long building blocks. He wants to make a pasta salad out of plasticine, he now needs the glue bottle immediately because he…

With his wealth of ideas and creativity, he reaches the limits of the other children.

In autumn, the preschool children learned how to use a PC and how the games work in a computer course. (See: The Experts Principle in Our Kindergarten Botzeknööfe – German version)

Adrian (now 5;4) was on fire.

He also wanted to get a computer driving license!

He sat with great perseverance and concentration when the older children played. He knew the individual functions very quickly and knew how to solve this or that task.

He whined and begged all the time when he would finally be allowed to get his PC driving license. Since the group of preschool children was very large, he could not participate immediately, but had to be patient a little.

Comment by the course instructor:
Also here he must wait again, although he showed enormous interest.

At this time I had the first conversation with Adrian’s parents. In addition to the restlessness and sleep difficulties…

Course instructor:
In this context, please read the article Little Need for Sleep. Maybe the article could help the parents.

… they report violent outbursts of anger and that Adrian often disregards rules and then discusses them for a long time. The father has 24-hour service with the fire brigade. The mother often feels overwhelmed with both children in the evening when the father is on duty. Adrian is very fond of the little one-year-old sister and cares for her very caringly, sometimes more than the mother would like.

I experience the contact in the family from the outside as very loving and with mutual understanding. The parents said of themselves that they did not want to be as strict as they themselves had been brought up at that time. We talked about the importance of clear rules and boundaries, that they do not contradict a loving upbringing, and how Adrian’s need for space for his interests could be secured.

Comment by the course instructor:
Well formulated! Both are equally important.

For example, he always wants to play with the candle. Once he blew so hard that the hot wax splashed into his face. The parents reacted with a ban on candles. I pleaded not to deny him this learning field, but to set up clear conditions, for example that Adrian only lights candles under the supervision of his parents, then is allowed to do small experiments in the presence of one parent.

In his frequent border crossings I also see an urge for independence.

Comment by the course instructor:
You formulated it well above: The urge for independence itself is not dangerous; the children are only in real danger if the adults are not able to keep up with their attention and experience.

He wants to decide things for himself, pursue his own ideas and make his own experiences.

He can’t assess his abilities well yet, or he doesn’t take the time for a lengthy assessment of the situation. For example, he once jumped into the neighbour’s pond, although he could not swim yet.

Comment by the course instructor:
However, this can be a pedagogical approach. The parents (and you) would not have to work on his desire to experiment, but only on his carelessness.

Adrian has been attending a swimming course in the afternoon for some time now at the request of his mother. In the beginning he didn’t want that and resisted it very much. I suppose the threshold was once again too high for him. Maybe he was afraid he wouldn’t make it or the tedious practice was too annoying for him. The mother insisted on it anyway. Meanwhile he has received the frog badge (a badge for swimming beginners) and swimming practice is a lot of fun for him.

Comment by the course instructor:
Was that after his pond adventure? Then it wouldn’t be very surprising if he first reacted with fear.
„The threshold was once again too high for him“ => in which situations could you still observe this, independent of the topic swimming?

Adrian participates with the older children

In the kindergarten we made it possible for him to take part in the computer course. Adrian was very happy and proud about it. He was soon so fit in this area that he could even give tips and advice to the older children, who still had difficulties with some of the games.

Comment by the course instructor:
There is a great potential and a great learning speed here, isn’t there?

Supported by our encouragement and with his iron perseverance, he finally reached his goal that the older children would let him play along.

There were still situations in which he made himself unpopular with his ideas. Once the children built an igloo out of snow. They were busy all morning with the decoration and already had red noses.
Adrian had the great wish to install sockets in this beautiful igloo, in addition to the front door, toilet and garden.

His approach of pressing holes into the igloo-walls with a broom handle met with angry resistance from the other children. The following discussion about an electrical installation, to which Adrian gave arguments with great conviction, finally ended with the others making it clear to Adrian that he was either abandoning his idea or would no longer be involved in the game.

I had the feeling that this was primarily about the big ones not giving up their position of power. Adrian did not succeed with his arguments against it. I tried to explain it to him in such a way that he was probably right, but the others wanted to decide. He felt taken seriously by me. He decided to do without his sockets in order to be allowed to play again.

In such situations he has two heart’s desires: „To be part of it, to be allowed to play“ and „I have a great idea which I have to implement immediately“. This is quite typical for Adrian.

Comment by the course instructor:
It is hoped that he doesn’t have to experience too often putting his ideas back (forgetting them) in order to be allowed to belong to them. What else could happen to him?

Another activity offer Adrian wanted to participate in was the gymnastics of the preschool children. We divided the gymnastics groups into age groups in order to be able to offer the children age-appropriate movement activities. Adrian was also vehemently committed to being able to do gymnastics together with his older friends. He was able to keep up well in terms of his abilities. We gave him the opportunity, but not every time, because there were protests from the older ones, because they sometimes wanted to be among themselves.

Comment by the course instructor:
Did he behave disturbingly? What does „among themselves“ mean, what makes them a group to which Adrian does not belong? Only his age?

How the parents see Adrian

A few months ago I had the second conversation with his parents. I asked them to fill out the parent questionnaire. As special interests the parents named cars, fire brigade, non-fiction books („Was ist Was?“ – What is what?- A German children’s book series with richly illustrated, child-friendly explanations for different subject areas – Adrian’s favorite topics are f.e. weather or the earth), learning games on the PC. Adrian doesn’t like watching television because, as his parents suspect, he can’t be active in it.

They have observed that Adrian often has a high perception of the fact that he only has to hear and see things at the very edge in order to call them up sometime later. So he can talk at the same time and hear the weather report on the radio in the background, which he then reproduces in detail later.

Even seemingly trivial information and small details are stored by him for a very long time and then suddenly reappear because he finds a mental connection.

Comment by the course instructor:
He may already have a sense that he can keep a lot in his memory, and his brain collects information for this reason, even if it may seem insignificant at the moment.
Perhaps his memory system has even made the experience and stored that it was later used for this purpose several times and has drawn the conclusion for itself: Pick it up! Who knows what it might still be good for at some time in the future.

Adrian is very independent at home, always has many suggestions for solutions to problems and a good technical understanding. According to his parents, he is particularly able to concentrate on parlour games, PCs and handicraft activities.

Questions that occupy him are for example: „Why is the earth round and why don’t we fall off?“

He is afraid in the dark, for example in the cellar or on the toilet. He had a hard time learning to ride a bicycle because he was afraid of falling down.

This assessment of the parents also coincides with my observations. Adrian is very curious and inquisitive, especially in the area of natural sciences.

On his birthday, children painted him a crown with a pirate ship, sun and moon. After stapling, the sun and moon happened to lie opposite each other. Adrian enthusiastically turned the crown back and forth: „Day – night! It’s like it’s real!“

Adrian tries out many things

He is investigating material properties in detail. For some time mysterious cuts from the scissors were found in tablecloths and plastic foils. Adrian probably wanted to test how this and that could be cut. Also the tools in the wood workshop had a big attraction. But I had to admonish Adrian again and again, because he didn’t have a workshop diploma yet and wasn’t allowed to use it alone.

The workshop course was an annoying detour in Adrian’s eyes. He would have liked to start right away. But I insisted on it, because his use of the tools was very „experimental“ and posed a danger to him and others.

The approach we usually practice is the following: In the workshop course, the children produce a workpiece alone in my presence in order to practice the handling of the tools. The workpiece is presented to the masters during the examination.

This was a difficult task for Adrian. He sawed and hammered a little here and there, but discarded everything again. Perhaps he had too many ideas, perhaps he had high expectations of himself, but could not yet implement his ideas in this way because he still lacked the skill to do so.

I suggested that he make a sketch first of all. That helped him a lot. He wanted to build a feeding place for birds. After a week his „Wren“ was finished, with hooks and eyelets where you can hang dumplings. He was very proud.

Now he is often busy in the workshop, building bows and arrows, gluing himself with adhesive foil from top to bottom and then being a „knight“ or inventing a „protective goggle“ made of plastic foil for me. He still avoids work that requires perseverance, such as sawing through a thick board.

Comment by the course instructor:
…even if he needs a piece of the thick board for his plans?
– But maybe he really is the more creative developer who later has machines and his helpers and employees for the implementation of his ideas.

Provocative observation:

In order to observe his behaviour more closely in situations in which something is specifically demanded of him, I offer the children a handicraft work from a book. With the help of a stencil, the children can make a flower chain out of coloured cardboard, wool and pearls.

After some children have already made a necklace, Adrian also enjoys it and wants to make a necklace for his mother. He goes to work with good cheer. He works completely independently, imagines the flowers.
Sometimes he still has difficulties cutting out the flowers, even now: he misses the curve of the line. „Now it’s so straight,“ he complains. Out of frustration he cuts the flower through the middle.

I encouraged him to try it again. It succeeds and he is satisfied. Now he pokes holes in the flower. „Like a face, look! He cuts off a wool thread. At the end a pearl is to be knotted.

But the pearl he chooses has a clogged hole. „I know how I can do that! So, that in, and pull out.“ He first tries to push the thread through with scissors, then with a needle, and finally takes a new pearl. He bends the flower and cuts a larger hole with the scissors, because the wool thread does not fit through it.

He hears something from the distant gym. He speaks to himself, half to me: „They went into the gym. They bang the mat. – But the gnomes (the children under 3) don’t sleep. – There the ear hairs crumple! – A woman, the Lizzi, lives with me in the street. She is completely deaf. When I scream, she still doesn’t hear anything.“

Then he threads the pearl and the flower, holds the thread taut with both hands and lets it slide back and forth for a while. He is happy about it. He makes a thick knot at one end by taking the string twice several times. The knot is not thick enough, the pearl falls down. „Now I can’t put that on it any more, oh yes!“ He puts the pearl on the other end. The flower slips to the knot, the pearl on it, that holds.

He makes it swing like a pendulum. „Ready! I just want it that way!“ Then he helps Mara with her pearl.

Adrian often has a very low frustration tolerance. If something does not meet his expectations, he easily gives up. His stamina during repetitive activities (such as cutting out several flowers) is low. He needs a change soon.

His thoughts work fast and flexible. The bang from the gym reminds him of our conversation about loudness and that noise damages the ears. He thinks ahead and establishes a connection to the neighbour.

Another time he tinkered a ladybug. He wants to write his name on its head. He prescribes himself and paints two A’s in a row at the beginning. After a short hesitation, he paints a lot of A on the face. He says to me, „It has measles!“ It seems as if he wants to cover up his mishap with it.

Comment by the course instructor:
You have often pointed out his flexibility in thinking and his creativity. Are you sure that he felt the two A’s to be a mishap? Maybe he just quickly invented another good idea that he liked well?

Scientific interest

Adrian’s interest in the natural sciences is also repeatedly reflected in his free play. I often observe him when he is outside investigating things. What can you do with a piece of ice, how does it break? How do the air bubbles get in? What is the piece of chalk doing in the water? Does it swim, does it sink? Why does the pink suddenly turn dark red? He deals with such things very persistently over a longer period of time. He doesn’t let himself be disturbed and is completely absorbed in the matter.

My colleague has started an experimentation club with Adrian’s age group. Adrian is always very attentive and curious. He often has special ideas on how to change an experiment, and then Adrian can be very happy and cheerful.

I met one of his interests during the fire protection education that I conduct with the children every year. As the son of a firefighter, he already brought some knowledge with him. He was able to explain dangerous situations well on the basis of photos and he knew exactly what to do in an emergency.

During the experiments with combustion tests I was then surprised that Adrian was just as often wrong with his suppositions, whether something burns or not, as the other children were. He had probably gained little experience in this area.
In any case, experimenting was a lot of fun for him and the other children.

Adrian often tells about the fire engines of the airport, about the „Simba“ and „Panther“. Since I know something as a fire woman, I can say, however, that his knowledge is not very comprehensive and profound.

Comment by the course instructor:
How much does his father pass on to him? Some fathers are very reserved and think that their child is still too young to teach him seriously about their own important work…

Charm, helpfulness and humour

Adrian is very sociable and always seeks contact with other children. He has a lot of charm and can inspire others and pull them along. He is very helpful. He quickly notices situations in which he can help and takes the initiative without being asked. He helps to open the water bottle, knot something, get a hammer, solve a riddle…

He is very caring and circumspect towards the younger children. Since January he has held a job in our kindergarten which he has chosen for himself (this job did not exist before): He fetches the trolley with the bowls from the kitchen for lunch.
He does this job independently and reliably and it suits him very well: on the way there are always opportunities for a little chat and in the kitchen you pick up the latest news. He even jumps up during lunch to get seconds for the others. The importance of his role is good for him!

Adrian has a special sense of humour. He often slips into the role of the clown. He likes to laugh and enjoys the attention he gets from the kids for his original jokes. He often invents word games and funny thought connections.

In the morning circle and in circle games he participates actively and overcomes more and more his former shyness. Meanwhile he likes to be the centre of attention and has become much more self-confident.

Chewing on fingernails and sweaters has almost ceased. Only in situations in which he has to watch inactively and would like to be in action himself, for example when someone else plays on the PC, it still occurs.

Comment by the course instructor:
Do you see with Adrian with all good development and all possibilities, which he has in your kindergarten, symptoms of the – at least temporary – underchallenge?

Adrian has become more balanced and satisfied overall.

It’s good for him that his circle of friends has gained stability. He now often plays with children of the same age or younger. It was a good decision to let him participate early in certain offers.

Comment by the course instructor:
In any case! Lucky for him!

For the next computer course he will support the teacher as a computer specialist and accompany the other children for the first time. The experimentation club also corresponds to his interest. The laboratory that we are currently setting up will certainly become a new field of discovery for him in the near future.

Observation sheet according to Huser

If I now take a look at the observation sheet after Joelle Huser, then some points catch my eye, which I could mark with a cross.

Adrian is very curious. His perception is versatile and intense. He thinks fast and often makes surprising connections of thoughts.

Adrian is sociable and shows a pronounced social behaviour. Last year he played mainly with older children. Now the other boys are at least half a year younger than him. Meanwhile, he is also establishing close contacts with the girls of the same age.

His ability to remember is comparatively large. He also keeps details for a long time. However, the information is not always reliable. Sometimes he invents stories or is convinced of his statement, which is demonstrably false.

Comment by the course instructor:
Like all of us, he needs a team as a corrective.

He often shows a high level of self-motivation. He finds something interesting everywhere – whether he looks at how the sauce runs on his plate, or when he discovers various earth crumbs falling out of his sole while putting on his boots.

But his interest can also diminish very quickly. With some things it can be completely deepened. The concentration endurance is not longer than with other children also. But he fights vehemently against disturbances.

Adrian has high ambitions of his own. He wants to be able to do many things, but is also afraid not to learn them. There seems to be a huge mountain in front of him.

Comment by the course instructor:
He may not trust enough that he is very capable of learning and that he will receive the necessary guidance and support. (?)

His striving for perfection becomes obvious in small details, when cutting or when he made a little mistake when he was painting. On the other hand, he can also work very agilely and superficially if something is not so important to him. Diligent work is definitely not for Adrian. It simply bores him to do the same thing over a longer period of time.

The fact that he used to practice little in fine motor activities also meant that he was unable to put his ideas into practice because he lacked the manual skills. He is catching up at the moment.

Adrian always pushes for the implementation of his own ideas. I can ascribe creativity and originality to him. I also often observe a good capacity for abstraction when Adrian is faced with a problem. He uses knowledge from different areas to arrive at a solution.

Adrian likes to play the clown, but he doesn’t just look for confirmation, but enjoys his jokes and thought games himself. His vocabulary is average. Sometimes he still makes small mistakes. But he has an extremely high willingness to speak and he likes to discuss.

Adrian still has problems falling asleep. Therefore, and in order to check their parenting behaviour at home, his parents turned to a counselling centre.

Comment by the course instructor:
See the tip above. (Little Need for Sleep?). He is just a very alert mind who does not easily calm down, both when he is frustrated and when he is positively excited, because everything is so interesting…

The conclusion of my observations is that Adrian has special talents in some areas. In my opinion, his practical (technical?) and scientific intelligence are very pronounced. He has an interest in natural history: Observations of nature, experiments, technology and computers. However, his knowledge is neither particularly broad nor deeply developed.
Perhaps he still lacks the suitable „food“ for further learning.

Comment by the course instructor:
What conditions has he had so far to gain deeper and broader knowledge? Does he have an instructor/promoter/mentor?
This is an important assumption that you should continue to follow. Instead of „food“ you could also say „projects“.

Adrian is very creative, has a good talent for combination.
These talents are pronounced, but according to my current knowledge they are not as far above average as I have seen it with other children who were later considered highly gifted. If I look at his ability with these standards, then I am no longer so sure whether I can mark one or the other at all. If I compare the girls at his age with this, I can give them special abilities that Adrian does not yet have.

Comment by the course instructor:
What skills are these?

If I look back, I would say that in the first half of this kindergarten year he made a great leap forward in his development, which has relativized itself again over the last few months. I now experience the children of the same age similarly motivated and awake.

Even if Adrian is not highly gifted, I can now better understand his conspicuous behaviour and special needs, react to them and help him.

Comment by the course instructor:
That is very valuable. There is no need to define yourself positively or negatively in the question of giftedness now. High talents are very different!

Ultimately, it is not important to reach a point value on an sheet of paper. Because basically the same things help the children on both sides of the border to giftedness: understanding for their needs, trust in their abilities, freedom and support, confirmation and affection.

Comment by the course instructor:
In addition, particularly gifted children also need many impulses from older people, more experienced ones – or if, like Adrian himself, they have many ideas, targeted help with the implementation of some of their ideas, so that in the end there is a clear sense of achievement.
The point value is actually not so important, but the actual potential behind it. The question is how far Adrian has been able to realize his potential so far.

Adrian has increasingly played with Mara in recent weeks. She is five months older and, like Adrian, very creative.

The two take great pleasure in pursuing their unusual ideas together, complementing each other and driving each other forward.

With Mara, I also see great potential, which needs to be observed further. She often surprises with very detailed statements and generally has a great deal of expert knowledge. Both will be pre-school children after the holidays. I am very curious.

Comment by the course instructor:
A very sensitive, comprehensive description of a very interesting child.

You can read here what also happened to Adrian in kindergarten:

Adrian Studies Nature’s Creeps

Adrian Takes to Reading the Newspaper – Questions of Life and Death


Date of publication in German: September 2015
Copyright © Jordis Overödder, see imprint.


Rachel: „I Made up a Story and We Want to Show It to You Now!”

by Heike Miethig


Rachel, my observation child, is now 4;8 years old.

Building on Rachel’s linguistic and creative skills (talents), I would like to promote her self-confidence so that she can contribute her knowledge and ideas more easily to the group as a whole.

Read more about Rachel’s talents here: Rachel, 4;6 Years and Rachel and Her Letters.


I would like to support Rachel in the linguistic and creative area, because I believe that this is where her particular strengths lie. I would like to challenge her eloquence and narrative pleasure by developing a short story with her and writing it down according to her wording. Rachel should experience that her ideas and ideas find recognition.
This little short story is then painted by Rachel, i.e. written in pictures, in order to present it to a small group. Here I would like Rachel to feel proud that her story is presented.

I want her to have more confidence in her abilities. In order to further develop their creative abilities, I would like to create costumes with Rachel and a small group and select costumes from our pool to dress up the characters of their story according to their ideas. Some props are also to be created in this small group.
In the small group it should then also have the opportunity to express the ideas of its history and to communicate them linguistically to others.

The performance of the story in the whole group should then serve to give Rachel – with the helpful small group behind her – security and to encourage her to contribute her thoughts, knowledge and ideas to the whole group.


… in a nutshell …

4-year-old Rachel is clever, imaginative and eloquent, but doesn’t dare to express her opinion and her own ideas in the group as a whole.
In a dialogue, the author allows her to develop her own story, which then becomes the content of a small group project. Strengthened by her experiences in this small group, Rachel can then confidently present her story to the whole group.

Phases of the project

1 Phase:
Rachel’s making up the short story.

2nd phase
Rachel paints pictures of her story and introduces everything to a small group.

Phase 3
Costumes and props are thought about, they are produced, the role play is rehearsed.

4th phase
Rachel and the small group play the history of the whole group.

Implementation phase 1:
Rachel’s making up this short story.

At the beginning I asked Rachel if she would like to make up a story with me, which we later perform as a play for the other children.

Rachel was immediately thrilled, laughed and said:
„I’m a great storyteller! When do we start? Mama always reads me stories, but not her own. They’re always from books.“

I was delighted to see her so enthusiastic, because all I really wanted to clarify with my question was her fundamental willingness. I changed my daily planning, asked her for a little patience, because I wanted to make the rooms in which I wanted to develop the story with her even more comfortable and stimulating.

I placed candles, laid out the room with blankets and pillows so that we could make ourselves comfortable. To finish it, I had to walk around the kindergarten several times, and every time Rachel saw me, she’d yell, „Can we start the project?“ (I must have used the word „project“ in my explanations at some point. She was impressed by this word, which I am sure she had never heard before.

When I was done, I went to her and asked her to come with me. Rachel rejoiced and said: „Now we’re doing the project!“
We went into the prepared room. Rachel became a little shy when he saw the candles and pillows, but said: „That looks nice.“

To get her out of her shyness, I threw myself into the cushions and said: „Let’s make ourselves comfortable!“ Thereupon she took off and threw herself into the pillows with screams. We snuggled up a bit and I felt the need to explain the word „project“ to her first. I simply explained that the word project means that something happens according to a plan, that something special is planned.
Rachel listened very carefully and said:

„Then we start the plan now and when the play comes, the plan is over, so the project!“

I thought it was unbelievable how easily she handled this term.
I asked her if she had ever tried to make up a story. Rachel replied: „When I play with Playmobil, I make up stories and then put everything where I want it.“
„Do you have an idea for a story yet?“ „Yes,“ she said and started very carefully:

„There’s a princess floating in a castle.“ Then she hesitated. I asked them if the princess and the castle might have a name.
„Yes, of course,“ she said, „The princess is a child princess and her name is Shuga! And the castle is called Bäger.“
I think the two names were really fictitious and spontaneously mentioned.

Her initial hesitation eased as I kept asking back, praising her ideas and giving small suggestions.
She then told very frankly what she had thought up. Her stories came together and I noticed the story taking shape in her head as she told it. I just let her tell it.

When she told me where the shelves were in the office of the castle, I had not understood her correctly and asked: „Where are the shelves now, in front of the desk or behind it?“
Rachel said: „Of course they are behind the desk and behind the shelf the children are sleeping. The children can always choose a bed to sleep in. „Behind it’s the bathroom, then a door, the adults are sleeping.“
I found it very astonishing how clearly she imagined the premises.

Then she just kept telling the story as if I had never interrupted her. Now it became important to her that the children start playing, and she thought up various games that should be played, for example „shoe salad“, „butterfly, you little thing“, „king of keys“.

Then she said: „When the children have finished playing, they go to bed and the story is over!“

She answered in the affirmative and jumped out of the room.


I believe I have succeeded in challenging Rachel’s linguistic abilities. She has formulated her sentences very clearly and carefully. Their speech flow, rhythm and melody were well developed. She found it easy to form main clauses and subordinate clauses. She visibly enjoyed translating her ideas and conceptions into language. I was particularly pleased that her initial shyness quickly subsided through praise and recognition and found her a safe and joyful narrative style. When I had the impression that more and more pictures were created in her head by the fluid narration, I deliberately withdrew myself in order not to interrupt her.

Further considerations:
I think Rachel’s pronounced narrative pleasure should be given much more room in the future by giving her more narrative time and more narrative offers, for the benefit of her audience.

I am also curious to see how far she can get involved with the small group in the next step and communicate her contributions to its history.

In her short history it became clear again that she has a great interest in the location of rooms and structures. I will also pay more attention to this in the future.

Implementation phase 2:
Rachel paints pictures of her story and introduces everything to a small group.

In this part of the project, I want Rachel to transform the images created by free narration into creative painting so that her ideas become visible once again to herself and to the other children.
I would like to encourage them to formulate their own ideas linguistically in small groups (and not to repeat the answers of the other children, as they have almost always done so far) and to bring in their linguistic skills.

I want her to develop her language skills and gain more confidence in her abilities. With the help of the small group she is already familiar with, she will succeed in reducing her great inhibition of expressing herself within the group as a whole.
Immediately after we finished the story, I asked her if she would like to paint the first picture. She spontaneously agreed and said: „I paint Bäger Castle!“ She sat down at the painting table and painted with great concentration. She told the other children at the painting table why she is now painting the castle. She said, „It’s my own castle and it’s pink!“ I found her very self-confident at that moment.

In the next few days we selected together which parts of the story she wanted to illustrate. In addition to Bäger Castle, she decided to paint Princess Shuga, the King and Queen, friends, friends, the parents‘ office and the children’s sleeping places. Thus she began to independently complete further motifs from the story.

She’d come to me every time before and say, „I’m going ahead with our project!“ When I asked her what she wanted to paint, she could immediately name the motif. So she said: „Today I paint my friends or the king and the queen!“ Then she went to work very purposefully.
It took her an unusual amount of time to finish the picture of the princess’s friends. I got the impression that it might have been too much for her and asked her if she would like to ask a child to help her with the design of the pictures. She shook her head vigorously and said: „I want to do this alone!“ And that’s exactly what she did in the next few days until all the pictures were ready.

When we realized together that we had all pictures together, she proudly said: „Now I’m done!“ Exactly these words she had also mentioned during the completion of the story. I asked her if she would like to choose a nice ribbon to tie the individual pictures together to a book.
She nodded happily and we went to our cupboard with all the ribbons.

It took her exactly 7 minutes to decide on a ribbon. I made her various suggestions, but she just shook her head and said every time: „I don’t want that!“ I let her choose on her own and she chose and chose. When she made up her mind, she came to me with the tape and said: „Let the book look like this!“

She connected the individual pictures very carefully with the ribbon and made the ribbon herself. Then she looked at her work for a while and laughed at me. She seemed very proud and happy of me at that moment.

I asked her which children she would like to present her book to and with which children she would later also like to perform it as a small play in the whole group. She named the children: Annett 4;9, Lale 4;5, Hanna, 5;6, Nele 4;11, Patrick 4;9, Mia 5;8.

I asked her if she wanted to tell the story herself. She shook her head hard. I suggested that she read the story and show her the pictures. She accepted this offer.
The next day Rachel and I asked the children mentioned if they would like to participate in this action. Here I left it to Rachel to explain it in more detail.
She said: „I made up a story and drew pictures, which I will show you and then play theatre.“

The children listened to Rachel in great concentration. I explained to them that I would read the story and Rachel would show the pictures. I made eye contact with Rachel to make sure that she would stick to her decision to show the pictures. At my questioning look, she nodded her head.
I started to read the story and Rachel was very concentrated in showing the right pictures at the right moment. The children reacted positively to their first picture; so Hanna (5;6) said: „But this is a beautiful castle!
I could see from Rachel’s radiant face how well the children’s confirmation did her.

She showed the other pictures proudly and self-confidently. Asked by Nele (Nele asked Rachel directly if the friends live and eat in the castle, Rachel replied: „Yes, they eat and live in the castle with the princess“. The answer came immediately, without hesitation and very definitely.

Here are two more pictures from the series:

When the story was over, I asked the children how they liked the little story and the children answered: Yes, that was beautiful!

Rachel was a bit embarrassed, but was visibly pleased. When I asked them if they could imagine making a little play out of this story, they were all very happy and interested – and Rachel screamed especially loudly.

The children found out that we need costumes and crowns for the king and queen. Rachel suggested that the princess’s friends should still play „Sleeping Beauty. The other children were enthusiastic about the proposal and so the Sleeping Beauty game was included.

I explained to the children that the next day we could start making the costumes or searching from our stock.


I think I’ve managed to give Rachel more confidence in her abilities. The positive reinforcement of her ideas and plans has, I think, given her more security. It was also a very important experience for Rachel to feel at the centre of the action with her own contents and to feel this as positive and pleasant. The positive reaction of the children made Rachel visibly happy and braver.
I also liked the fact that she only painted the pictures she thought she needed and that she always got her way with further proposals from my side.
It was important to me that she tried to represent her contents and ideas to the outside world by naming her project in front of others without – as so often in such moments – withdrawing or refusing. So far, she has succeeded in keeping her enthusiasm and self-confidence high (with the exception of small uncertainties).

Implementation phase 3:
Costumes and props are thought about, they are produced, the role play is rehearsed.

I want Rachel to be encouraged in her creativity by expressing her ideas for the design of the costumes and props and by selecting and producing the materials, costumes and props with me and the other children.

Rachel and I gathered the children of the small group to explore our costume collection in the basement. Here it became clear that Rachel had very clear ideas about what the figures should look like. When I suggested a dress for the queen, she said: „No, I don’t like it, the queen should wear a flowered skirt and a pink blouse.“ So we looked for a floral skirt together, but we didn’t find a blouse that was pink, which obviously upset Rachel. She started complaining: „This is stupid, I don’t want it that way!“ She shook her head in anger at my other offers regarding the queen’s outerwear.

Then I remembered that I had a pink blouse in my closet at home. I suggested this solution and asked her if it would be okay with her. She nodded her head and her mood suddenly improved. She laughed again and helped to find the other costumes. The other children had found a red velvet cape for the king and different clothes for their friends.

As a princess (it was clear to her that she was the princess) Rachel was looking for a yellow tulle skirt and the matching top. We went back to the group room, put the costumes on the tables and the children started to distribute the roles on their own. Patrick was the only boy to become king, Hanna the queen and Annett, Lale, Nele and Mia the friends.

Then we decided together which props we still needed. Rachel said: „We need three crowns“. She immediately agreed to make the crowns. Nele suggested making red capes for the friends.

In the cellar we had found an old scenery with a landscape with two houses. Looking at the background, Rachel stated: „We are turning the yellow house into a castle. We cut out a lock and stick it over the house.“ We collected the different materials together: Gold foil for the crowns, red crepe paper and ribbon for the cap, pink paper for a pink lock. When we had everything together, I explained briefly how the cloaks could be made and that we would have to paint the outlines of the castle on the paper.

Rachel said she knew how to make a crown. The children started working. After a short time Rachel asked me for help, because she had problems to paint the teeth of the crown. I showed it to her, and she finished the task on her own.

While the children were working, they talked about the fairy tales they knew and told each other about the content. Rachel also entertained her desk with her knowledge, while she was able to reproduce the contents of the fairy tales very precisely. There was a concentrated, intense, themed and cheerful atmosphere among the children.

But then everything changed!
The group door opened and Hanna’s mother came in. Hanna had probably told about the upcoming play at home and her mother was so enthusiastic about it that she picked out all her carnival costumes. She stood there with an arm full of pink princess dresses, fairy robes, girl dreams made of tulle and lace and a frog with huge eyes of faith.
She beamed and asked if we could use the clothes for the play. Before I could say anything, the children came running to her with loud screams and tore her clothes almost out of her hands. Rachel was just as enraptured by the sight of the dresses and chose a pink dress with smocked top and white lace in the skirt. The children started to put on the clothes, helped each other to close the costumes and then started to play the story. They gave each other tips as to who should stand or go.

Hanna’s mother stood next to me and was happy. I, on the other hand, didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. But the children’s enthusiasm was so great that in my opinion an interruption would have been criminal. Rachel was roaring through the room in her pink lace dress on a bobby car, screaming again and again:

„I am Princess Shuga!“

I’ve rarely seen Rachel solved like that.

The other children danced around her, and the king and queen sat worthily in front of the not yet existing castle. I let the children have their way. After the spontaneous zeal had subsided, the children asked Hanna’s mother if they could continue to use the clothes for the game. Hanna’s mother answered in the affirmative and I fired a mother who felt that she had done a good job.

When the mother left, I asked the children if they really wanted to use these clothes for the game and not those they had chosen themselves. Rachel was the first to say, „I want to wear this dress, it’s much nicer!“ The other children joined and I gave in. The clothes were unbeatable. Then I told the children that although they now had beautiful costumes, even the princess’s friends now had such beautiful dresses – we no longer needed the capes – the castle was not yet finished.

„We need the castle for the story“, Rachel said. Together we decided to finish the castle the next day in free play. Because now we didn’t have time because the children were picked up.


I think I’ve only achieved my goal of encouraging Rachel’s creativity to some extent because of the situation. Although she completed the crowns and later worked on the completion of the castle, the costumes she had chosen, which were actually intended to express her ideas, did not come into their own.
Maybe the clothes that Hanna’s mother brought with her, but also simply met her taste more and she could do a lot with her friends, who looked like fairies and dancers. Anyway, her joyful detachment pointed to it.

On the one hand, I found it a pity that the beautiful „working atmosphere“ was interrupted by the arrival of Hanna’s mother, on the other hand I found the children’s enthusiasm and the spontaneous implementation of the story very impressive. It was also nice to see how independently they helped each other. I was also pleased how naturally Rachel took on her role.

As far as linguistic support is concerned: Rachel’s narrative pleasure found room
and she used it extensively to convey her fairy-tale knowledge. I have the impression that she is becoming more courageous in sharing her knowledge with the children, although she seems to pay less attention to how the children react. I think that’s a small success.


Before the next activity (performance in the whole group) I would like to ask Rachel if she would like to label her painted pictures.

Implementation phase 3 a:
The pictures are labeled

When Rachel came to kindergarten the next morning, I asked her if she wanted to write something about her pictures as she knows it from a picture book. She was happy and said: „Yes, but I want to do it in your office and you have to prescribe it.“ I promised her my help and we went to the office. Or rather, she happily jumped after me. We looked at the pictures and Rachel told me what she wanted to write about them.

I wrote her the individual sentences. Then she started to rewrite the letters, and when she had finished the first letters, she really said to me radiantly: „I’m writing a book!“
I said: „Yes, you are writing a book.“

Then she called out to every child in the hall:

„Come here, look, I’m writing a book! I’m writing a book!“

It was extremely easy for her to rewrite the letters, and her joy was immense. I will promote their pronounced relationship to letters even more specifically in the near future.

And this is the story Rachel dictated in the office:

„A princess floats into the castle. The castle is called Bäger and is pink. There is a treasure chest in the castle. The princess is called Schuga and has a pink dress on with flowers and stripes at the hem and the dress sparkles. Her hair is red. It’s a child princess and she’s playing.

She plays bobby car driving, that’s what she likes best. Her friends also live in the castle. You’re wearing red sweaters and yellow pants and pink shoes. But driving Bobbycar always makes the princess alone. When she wants to play with her friends, she calls everyone. Everybody’s nice to her and they don’t quarrel. The princess’s parents also live in the castle and they like it when the princess laughs and has fun.
The princess has so many toys in her room that she has no room left. When you go down the stairs, there’s Mom and Dad’s office. Books, shelves and children are sleeping behind the shelves. There’s also a play corner in the office. The children can always choose a bed to sleep in. Behind it is the bathroom, then comes a door, there sleeps the adults. Now the children and the princess are playing „shoe salad“ and the story is over.“

Implementation phase 4:
Rachel and the small group play the history of the whole group

With the performance in the whole group I would like to achieve that Rachel loses her shyness to speak in front of the whole group. That’s why she should announce her story to the children herself before the performance. The small group she has been working with all this time should give her security. I want her to feel that the other children like her ideas and ideas and that it can be a pleasant feeling to be in the centre of attention thematically. I want to strengthen her self-confidence by proudly experiencing that it is her story that is now being shown as a small play.

On the day of the performance Rachel came very excitedly to the kindergarten. She greeted me with the words: „Today is my performance.“ I enjoyed that she could really see the little play as hers. We fixed the finished castle on the scenery, then the children played until it was time to change for the play.

When the time came, I asked Rachel to call all the children involved. An excited swarm of children (especially Rachel) arrived at the office. I asked Rachel to tell the children before the performance that it was her story she made up.
Here I wasn’t sure if I wouldn’t take a vehement no, but Rachel nodded and said, „I’ll tell them that.“

The colleagues had prepared a suitable music for our move in, and we entered the stage closed. Rachel sat on her bobby car and raced into the room like a wild horse, lifted the bobby car several times and then slammed it loudly onto the floor. The children stood next to each other and waited until the music was over. Then I gave Rachel a sign that she could start.

And she actually did. She said: „I made up a story and now we want to show it to you.“

The children applauded and the game began. Rachel seemed very self-confident and her requests to the other players to play the different games arrived clearly and safely.
The children played the story and Rachel led one or the other player into the necessary position. Rachel also took the lead in the jointly decided Sleeping Beauty game, which was also installed, and divided the players. At the end of the performance all the players bowed and the audience clapped. Rachel laughed all over his face and was visibly proud.

Total reflection:

I believe that the project as a whole has succeeded in promoting Rachel in the linguistic and creative field and at the same time strengthening her confidence in her abilities. In this project she had the opportunity to contribute her linguistic and creative strength. She could apply her joy of speech and narration at many points of the project. The invention of the story challenged their imagination and expanded their understanding of speech. With each phase of the project she became safer and more self-confident.

Her more and more relaxed behaviour in the small group was then also reflected in the whole group, when she came on stage very massively with the bobby car like a wild horse and presented herself as strong and self-confident.

I sometimes wondered if I had chosen the right project to support Rachel. For example, if I had taken a series of games to build on, the result would have been much clearer and more namable. But I come to the conclusion that this project as a whole was well suited to further strengthen Rachel’s personality, so that she becomes more courageous, trusts her knowledge and may also represent her knowledge and skills to the outside world.

I also believe that the feeling of being at the centre of her topic and experiencing recognition for it has given her the certainty to appear confidently before the whole group. I believe that Rachel’s professional development should be accompanied by the promotion of her personality in order to avoid withdrawal and refusal.

To see how other children of extraordinary ability (with an estimated IQ above 115) have found theatre play, read:
Examples for Drama Activities at Kindergarten
Theatre Play with Gifted Children.


Date of publication in German: 2014, February
Copyright © Hanna Vock, see imprint.