Thursday, October 29, 2009

Using our Senses to get through the Rainforest

A look at this week:

What an amazing week, using our five senses to make it through our trip to the rainforest! First we found out how large some of the animals in the rainforest could be by making a paper anaconda. We learned that anacondas can be 30 feet long and that a 30 foot long snake would go from our art shelf, down the wall, around the office door and to the drying rack! And, not only that but if all the children were to lay down on the floor next to an anaconda, the anaconda would be longer than the entire class (head to foot)! Now our anaconda is another fixture in our room. After working with our class snake, we moved on to using our senses. The children really enjoyed using the binoculars to “see” in the rainforest. It was funny to watch some children try to find snakes, frogs and lizards in our coffee beans this week as at first, they were a little afraid to touch the beans. They said “we don’t want to get bit.” But that fear came to an end rather quickly as they realized the animals were not real! While using our sense of touch with the coffee beans, we also used our sense of hearing in the rainforest as not only did we hear true rainforest sounds but we made rain sticks to simulate the sound of the rain in the rainforest. We used our sense of smell as we smelled different scents that may be found in the rainforest and then matched the smell to cards with the words and pictures of those items. And we used our sense of taste by having avocado and pretzels for snack one day! In the meantime, we also spent some time working with letters. Although the children really enjoyed all the sense activities, I really enjoyed watching them work with their letters and seeing the excitement they displayed when realizing they learned the name of another letter! We took the magnetic letters and spelled out “rainforest” and then the children used those letters to match word cards that had other words that could be made with the same letters. Some children sounded out the words and ended up reading the words to me; some children worked on telling me the names of the letters each time they moved one; some children just matched the words; and some children just enjoyed manipulating the letters, even if they didn’t make the other words out of them. We also made paper plate frogs this week, which have been added to our rainforest and our bulletin board display.

Conversations from the week:

Since we had a special snack this week, I thought the conversation about the snack would be the best one to share!

Morah Amanda: (Holding up an avocado) What is this?

Class: Avocado

Morah Amanda: Where do you think an avocado grows?

Miriam: In a tree!

Morah Amanda: In a tree; where is a place we may be able to see an avocado growing in a tree?

Levi: Near your house

Morah Amanda: They normally grow somewhere where it is somewhat warm.

Mussie: In a forest.

Morah Amanda: What type?

Mussie: A rainforest

Morah Amanda: Possibly in the rainforest. Now let’s look at this. First of all, it is sometimes green and then starts turning brown. Do we eat this part?

Mussie: No.

Morah Amanda: No, this is the peel. We are going to cut into it.

Noah: I see the seeds.

Morah Amanda: You see the seeds? How many seeds do you think are in an avocado?

Mussie: There is one giant one.

Morah Amanda: There is one big seed.

Mussie: What if we had one big seed to make lots of avocados?

Jayden: We can touch it.

Morah Amanda: No, we aren’t going to touch it right now. It is covered in avocado. I am going to put a little bit of avocado on everybody’s plates. So that you can mash it up with your spoon.

Jayden: Yucky avocado. Yucky.

Miriam: I want some!

Morah Amanda: You can mix it up with your spoon.

Mussie: You can mash it! Jayden doesn’t want any.

Morah Amanda: That’s fine if Jayden doesn’t want any.

Mussie: (looking at a little brown part of avocado) We can’t use it when it’s dirty.

Noah: It’s dirty.

Morah Amanda: It’s fine. It is alright to eat.

Jayden: Yuck!

Morah Amanda: Ok, you can mash it up with your spoon. What do you think avocados are used to make?

Mussie: You can make a sandwich with it.

Morah Amanda: You can make a sandwich with it…

Levi: I am mashing it up!

Morah Amanda: You’re mashing it up? What else could you make with avocado?

After a little time: Avocado is used to make guacamole. You can mix it with lemon juice.

Miriam: I like avocados. Yum!

Levi: I don’t like avocados.

Morah Amanda: This is a chance to taste the rainforest by eating something we could get from a rainforest. I will give you some pretzels to eat with it. Sometimes we mix it with different foods to make it taste a little different.

Noah: Snack!

Morah Amanda: Look at how well Avery is smashing her’s!

Lizzie: I’m smashing mine!

Morah Amanda: You are doing a good job.

Lizzie: What do you do with the pretzels?

Morah Amanda: You can dip it into the smashed up avocado to help you eat it!

Jayden: Not me. I am not going to do that!

Miriam: I tried it! It’s tasty!

Morah Amanda: Let’s say the bracha. Ready?

Class says brachas together.

Morah Amanda: How does the avocado taste?

Mussie: Not so good.

Morah Amanda: Not so good? Oh, Avery is eating it with her spoon. Is it good Avery? (she nods) Avery likes it! How does it taste?

Lizzy: Yummy.

Morah Amanda: Does it taste yummy Lizzy?

Josh: I am going to try the pretzels.

Morah Amanda: Josh do you like the avocado?

Josh: No I just like the pretzels.

Morah Amanda: You just like the pretzels? Would you like to pass around the seed and feel it? Everyone can touch it. Is it heavy or is it light?

Avery: It’s not very heavy.

Morah Amanda: So, who likes the avocado?

Mussie, Levi, Avery, Miriam, Jayden: Me!

Morah Amanda: Mussie does, Levi does, Avery and Miriam do. Oh, Jayden said he likes the avocado.

Josh: I want some avocado.

Morah Amanda: You liked it?

Josh: Yes.

Morah Amanda (talking about the seed): Is it bumpy or is it smooth?

Jayden: Smooth.

Morah Amanda: Ok…we are going to see…we are going to put this on top of a cup of water and we will leave the water alone. And we will see if we can grow some roots on it.

Noah: Hey, it’s a sun!

Morah Amanda: It does look like a sun, doesn’t it?

A look at next week:

Next week we are going to start talking about transportation. As we focus this week on automobiles we are also going to look at maps, make our own passports, count wheels on different types of automobiles and make our own cars!

Smelling the rainforest scents

Raining with rainsticks in our rainforest

Avocado snack time

Rainforest word play

Using binoculars in the rainforest

What animals can you find?

The anaconda is longer than our entire class laying down!

Our Anaconda that goes around the office door

Our world wall

The rainforest

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