The Goldammer Gift or 5B: from ages 8 to 13 years; or children in the Connecting School and Academy.

When Friedrich Froebel passed away in 1852, he left behind notes on expanding his Building Gifts. Several of his followers went on to develop these as in the previous Gift Six. One of his staunchest followers and the woman who is credited for popularizing Froebel's kindergarten during his lifetime and for many years after after was the Baroness Marenholtz-Bulow. The Baroness went on to train many teachers both men and women after Froebel's death. One of these men was Hermann Goldammer.

Hermann Goldammer worked for several years with Froebel's notes to create another building gift that would introduce the child to the curved line of the Gift Two cylinder. What he came up with was Gift 5B. The numbering system is flawed in many ways, so we shall refer to it as the Goldammer Gift. This Gift has as many supporters as it has people who dislike the Gift. Regardless of your personal thoughts, children need to be introduced to curved lines. This can be achieved by the next three Gifts.

The Goldammer Gift begins in true Froebelian fashion of what the child has seen and played with before; Gifts Two, Three and Five are represented. As the child moves from the known to the unknown, new shapes are introduced. The Goldammer Gift includes the divided cylinder and cubes that have a quarter of a cylinder removed. This introduces the Forms of Knowledge of concave, convex, and semi-circles. Forms of Life are expressed with round columns and arches leading a child to the study of Roman and Middle Eastern architecture. Forms of Beauty showing undulating curves and rosettes and representing Greek art can be created.

After learning the intricacies of this Gift and free building in all three Forms, an in depth study can be taken up, where historic buildings are built, replicas of artistic forms with the Occupations are created, and lesson books are written and illustrated and read, along with compatible stories for a complete unit study.

The Divided Cylinder and Curvilinear Gifts: from ages 4 to 13 years; or children in Kindergarten, Connecting School & Academy.

Friedrich Froebel's ideas were carried out by many educators; both men & women. The late 19th century and early 20th century saw many new developments. Some complimented Froebel's educational theories, others distracted from it.

Women teachers called Kindergartener's, were at the forefront. Three of these women were Elizabeth Harrison, the co-principal of the Chicago Kindergarten College, Belle Woodson, the college's Gift & Occupation instructor and Minnie M. Glidden, an instructor at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. All three of these women expanded Froebel's work of developing further Gifts from the sphere and cylinder shapes of Gift Two.

The Divided Cylinder and the Curvilinear Gifts are, "necessary for scientific completeness, since geometry demands curves as well as straight lines". In fact, "geometry starts with the rectilinear, and moves into the curvilinear by division of itself until it quite reaches the point". Quoted from: The Kindergarten Building Gifts By: Elizabeth Harrison & Belle Woodson, pg. 215. By dividing the Gift Two cylinder it illustrates how the inside relates to the outside and vice versa. This shows the child the genetic connection that lies between all the Gifts.

As with the proceeding Gifts, the Divided Cylinder & Curvilinear Gifts follow the Froebelian fashion of re-introducing the child to a familiar shape, the Gift Two cylinder, before experimenting with something new. Free play & discovery occur before a variety of Forms are shown. These new Gifts lend themselves nicely to Forms of Life, Forms of Beauty, and Forms of Knowledge. Buildings of antiquity are constructed, along with more modern structures, beautiful running patterns are illustrated and the knowledge of concentric circles, rings, arches, discs, spirals, diameter & radius are learned. When these Gifts are combined with others, very elaborate constructions can be created that unite all the forms together.

 

The Ring, Line, and Point Gifts: from ages 4 to 13 years; or children in the Kindergarten, Connecting School, and Academy.

Moving away from the surface of the solid gifts, the child now embraces the edge. The ring, ideally should go first as it represents the periphery of the soft sphere of Gift One and the solid wooden sphere of Gift Two. It also embodies the edge of the whole cylinder of Gift Two.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries the Ring Gift was made of steel. Nowadays they are made of colored wood. Both should be used as their Forms of Life and Knowledge are different and therefore educational.

From the whole-ring, the half-rings, and the concentric circles, the child then encounters the straight line which represents the edge of the cube, rectangle, triangle, and divided cylinder. Again offering these in the original steel and now in the colored wood is beneficial.

After the lines the child progresses to the corner of their Gifts or the points. These are sometimes referred to as dots. These are small, solid, flat, colored wooden pieces. Natural objects such as seeds and nuts are also used.

Each of these Gifts follows the same pattern of knowledge as before. Introduction of a few pieces and free building lets the child become familiar with their new gift; then follows the directed play of Forms of Life, Beauty and Knowledge. Each form is expanded in such ways as the solid gifts could not. When combined with the Surface Gifts detailed pictures can be illustrated. And when all of the above are united with the solid and curved gifts, truly fantastical creations can be constructed and a child's whole being; head, heart, and hands is utilized in a rewarding and satisfying way.

Surface Gift: from ages 4 to 13 years; or children in the Kindergarten, Connecting School and Academy.

To truly comprehend Friedrich Froebel's educational theory one must understand that he designed his Gifts to move from the three-dimensional solid objects of Gifts 1 thru 6, to the one-dimensional surface, ring, line and point. These Gifts have been formerly called Gifts Seven, Eight, Nine and Ten. These titles are confusing at best and are corrected here without numbers to them, but with a descriptive title. The fist one is the Surface Gift.

Up until now the child has been playing and learning forms with three-dimensional objects. The child recreated real objects from life, beautiful patterns, and learned mathematics with their hands. Now the one-dimension of the surfaces of the solid Gifts is explored. They are familiar shapes that the child knows, but there are two new features. One is the thinness of the shapes, the other are the colors. The Surface, Ring, Line, and Point Gifts are in the same rainbow colors of Gift One, with some also available in black and white. The new features excite the child's senses and stir their imaginations.

Introducing the new Gift with an old one, the child recognizes the similarities and differences. Several experiments to discover how this Gift of circles, rings, squares, rectangles, triangles, and half-circles and half-rings were made are undertaken before free building takes place. Forms of Life now represented as pictures, Forms of Beauty in color, and Forms of Knowledge, reviewing math processes and geometry are learned by the child, with a few pieces at first and growing gradually to larger and larger quantities.

When a unit study approach is used, combining the solid and surface Gifts together make the topic of study more realistic, beautiful, and rewarding. Froebel's Occupations compliment the surface Gifts like no other and are often combined in the lessons.