Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

Fur, Feathers, Fat and Wool

For Valentines Day Monday students read about some friends in My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohman then created hearts of many colors. They traced heart shapes then outlined them with black marker. They used tape to create lines and filled the open spaces with color using pastels, marker, or paint. Finally they pulled up the tape leaving spaces of color separated by white.

My Friend RabbitIMG_0482 (2)criss cross heartso many colorsred and purplex's and o'sfilling inpurpleall the colorsremoving the tapepulling carefullyfinishing uphearts

Children used heart punches to punch out large, medium, and small hearts then used them to create Valentine pictures and cards for friends and family. Some children threaded beads on an elastic to create friendship bracelets.

HEARTS!!punching heartsfriendship braceletValentine cardsbeading a bracelet

As we have been learning about how animals adapt to winter weather, we looked at ways that animals insulate against the cold. The children discussed how many animals grow thicker coats of fur and birds grow downy feathers. We discussed how sheep have nice thick wool to keep them warm in the winter, then farmers shear it off to cool them in the summer. We also talked about bears and whales that have layers of fat, or blubber, that keep them warm. We then examined some coyote and rabbit fur, some raw wool, wool mittens, and a wool hat, some goose down feathers, and some fat. We discussed the different ways we use these things to keep us warm in the winter, with our wool socks, hats, and mittens, down jackets, and how native peoples were very conscious to use every part of the animals hunted for not only food, but to make tools, clothing, including warm winter wear, fat for burning, etc. The children tested the various insulators by holding an ice cube in a bare hand and an ice cube on the feathers, fat, fur, or wool.

coyoteanimal furso softwool mittens insulate against icerabbit fur insulatingfat insulationfeathers and furcold icetesting out the fur as an insulatorLaura staying nice and warmso cold!

We began to learn about birds and how they stay warm in winter. The children noticed a robin last week while snowshoeing, which was surprising. We learned from Susan that migrating is a hard journey for robins, and they don’t migrate because of the cold, but the lack of food. If they are able to continue to find food, they may not migrate because the risk of the trip is so great. We created some bird feeders by coating cardboard rolls with peanut butter and rolling them in birdseed, then hung them in the tree. Next week we will create others using bundt pans and muffin tins.

punching the holes for hangingspreading on the peanut butterstringing and smearinggetting all the surfacesrolling the peanut butter in the bird seedso carefulstringingtreats for the birds

Most birds live in nests that they build. We observed several nests and discussed what they were made with. The children noticed dried grasses, sticks, pine needles, hair, bark, and mud. We watched a timelapse video of a robin building a nest, bringing grasses and straw and sticks and mud, then packing it down and rounding it out with its’ feet and belly. We watched an engineer bird create an elaborate mud house, carrying the mud in its beak then placing it on the edge to build up the walls. We used some bark and various shredded wood and papers and some “mud” made from flour, water, and brown paint, to create our own bird nests.

nestnest of straw and leaves and barklots of grass and mud in this nesta very small nest with pine needles, long black hair, bark, and white flufflots of mud in this nestexamining the small nestlooking togetheran engineer bird building a mud nestmud and grassesadding brown to make mudstirring up the mudhunting for nesting materialsadding grasses

During Sign language with Rose we reviewed all the animals then learned the signs for the colors. We learned red, pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, gray, white, gold, and silver! Many of the colors are made in similar ways, by making the first letter in the name and shaking the hand back and forth. The children chose to sign and sing the “Elephants on a Spider’s Web” song before signing thank you to Rose.


Spanish with Zeanny kept us moving with Cabeza, Hombros, Piernes, Pies. She played a counting colors game, selecting volunteers to find a number of items of a particular color, which we then counted all together. We used the colored egg shakers to follow the directions and listened carefully while Zeanny tried to trick us. We finished up by reading the Spanish version of Sandra Boynton’s Moo, Baa, La La La, which is Muuu, Beee, Asi Fue! in Spanish.

cabezaseis rosadosiete naranjaverdearribasilencialentomorado

Work on the igloo is almost complete! The children tunneled through the mound of snow to create the entrance, and began digging out the snow that has piled up inside on the floor. More layers of ice blocks have been added and it is now about shoulder height for most students!

digging throughdigging from the outsidereachingdouble diggersinsidepopping throughtaking a breakhere she comesIMG_0570 (2)smoothing out the entrancetwo at a timegetting out the extra snowadding more layersin the iglooshoveling powderbright sunny smilesscraping off snowon the hillsled trainwoooshplay

Kindergarten students did sums of 8 with their cuisinaire rods and began to work on words that begin with J.

sums of 8ordering and matchingsound cylinders4+1=5tengu blockspatterns with cubespainting pink, purple, red, and bluedoll housesfriends and familyblue skiespatterning and countingpouringmarble runMy Bonnie Lies Over The OceanJohnny works with one hammer

Friday students explored sedimentary rocks. They watched a brief video about the formation of sedimentary rocks from various materials, such as sand, dead plants, dead animal bones & shells, etc. We learned that sedimentary rocks form when sediment in the seas and oceans are compacted from the pressure of the water over thousands of year. We learned that coal is compacted dead plants, limestone is marine animal bones and shells, and sandstone is sand. We took turns lifting an empty bucket and a bucket of water to compare their weight and feel how heavy water is and how much pressure it can apply. Some children became the bottom layer of sedimentary rocks, which we added layers to then some water to push down and condense them. We then did an experiment with jellybeans. The children divided them by color, and we pressed them together between boards with clamps, then by standing on them, one layer at a time, until we created a jellybean sedimentary rock.

heavy waterliftstrong muscleslayers under water pressurefirst layer redcreating pressuresorting the next layermore pressuresedimentary jelly beans

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