It was wonderful to get outside and play in the sunshine and snow! The children made chipmunk houses, went sled surfing, played hide and seek, pulled each other around in the sleds, and chipped away at the snow and ice to create sculptures.
We began exploring Africa this week. We learned about the equator, the part of the earth that is closest to the sun, and saw that it runs through the middle of Africa. In this area of Africa there is a tropical rain forest, with animals such as the okapi and gorillas. Moving away from the rain forest we learned about the mild zone, the grassy plains, and the deserts, with various animals and styles of living. We saw pictures of different types of homes in Africa, animals, people, and the landscape. We observed that African people have dark skin, and learned about melanin, which makes skin darker. We discussed how our skin darkens when we spend a lot of time in the sun, and how people that live near the equator have darker skin than those who do not. We learned the names of many African animals, and enjoyed playing games with them.
At the art table we used sand dough to create sculptures. The children also colored pictures of African masks, and made their own.
Zeanny began teaching the Spanish names of the African animals. We played an animal sounds game. When Zeanny said the name of an animal, everyone made the sound of that animal. We also read De la cabeza a los pies, by Eric Carle, and acted it out.
Friday students were so busy working all day long! They were so engaged with all of their math, reading, writing, art, etc., that we never made it to a science project.
They were so excited when Mima the Mime (our friend Gerrie Scott) performed for us. She began by pouring tea for everyone. Next she did some hula hooping to music, then tossing and catching with her juggling sticks. She did some charades, and we guessed what she was acting out. For the finale she did more hula hooping and juggling sticks. The children all agreed that it was “AWESOME!”