This week in the 4-day class we traveled to South America where we learned about a few cultural traditions of the continent and also about the beautiful and precious rainforest environment that exists there. It was fun to notice all of the differences between this continent and ours and also to hear how the students felt about the "strange" creatures of the rainforest.
On Monday, I was out with a sick kid but Miss Meg and the class began working on our rainforest model which took us all week to complete but was well worth all the hard work. Students made the Amazon River, painted tree trunks and also used droppers and water color paint to make coffee filters into foliage for the trees. Students also worked on placing their passport materials into their books which will be coming home soon for you to enjoy...we have one more stop to make before February break! Students also participated in a full hour of music on Monday with new songs from Miss Katie.
On Tuesday the students learned about a special doll that the children of Guatemala use to help them get a good night's sleep. The worry doll of Guatemalan tradition is used so that children can have an outlet, so to speak, for their worries. Children whisper their worries to the doll before going to bed at night and the doll can worry for them while they get a good night's sleep. This was a great activity and our discussion beforehand included examples of worries we all may have and how our bodies need good sleep to tackle our problems. I imagine there are parents out there who could use a worry doll now and again. Having a discussion about worries with preschool aged children, without it being too heavy of course, can really help to open up communication and let you into those busy little minds.
On Wednesday we began to work on our rain sticks by hammering nails into the cardboard tubes. The children really loved the challenge of hammering, especially on a round object. We talked about why nails are used in rain sticks and what job they preformed to make the magical sound of rain. After hammering, the students who wanted to, painted the outside of their tubes. Students also took a look at some photographs of frogs that are found in the rainforest and then colored their own rainforest frogs. The kids were fascinated by the different types of frogs and their colorful skin.
Today we wrapped up our rain sticks by covering one end of the tube, adding stones, rice, wheat berries, and cracked corn and then sealing the other end. Some students also wanted to add some decorative fabric to either end. We also made rain forest cookies with Miss Susie today and discussed how many of the ingredients actually came from rainforest regions of our planet.
Books From the Week:
South America by: Rebecca Hirsch
In the Rainforest by: Kate Duke
The Umbrella by: Jan Brett
The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by: Lynne Cherry