Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Animals and Winter

We are currently  talking about winter animals in our classroom and I introduced a few new exercises.

First, I added a tray on our literacy: drawing a penguin. I made up a little booklet showing the children how to draw a penguin from scratch. Every time they turn a page, they add to their sketching until they have a cute little penguin looking at them!

The children have also practiced their writing ( I got the sheet from KidsSoup). First they had to trace around the outline of the penguin. once they were done, they coloured it.

And finally, they cut out the template. I then used cello tape to stick a wooden lollipop stick at the back of it to create a little puppet. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the end result. But you get my drift. And believe me, kids got so excited with their puppets... They made up stories about lost penguins on an iceberg.. Look out, here is a killer whale. It was fantastic to see all the facts they have learned about Antartica taking life in the classroom!! (By the way, I will post about our study on Antartica! I just haven't got around it yet. But as you guess, penguins would be a huge part of our continent study. Themes overlap quite often and this is just an example).

  (TUNE:  Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star)
Penguins, penguins having fun
Waddling in the winter sun.
Waddling fast and waddling slow,
Waddling to and waddling fro.
Penguins, penguins having fun
Waddling in the winter sun.

What else?
We  have added  an animal tracks game (I downloaded i from Montessori for Everyone.  I introduced this work at group time and showed the children each animal and its track in the snow or in the mud .  I colour coded the picures with stickers placed on the back of the tracks and the animals. Control of error is a key startegy in all of Montessori materials and it was important to le the children work on their own, once I had shown them how to work the cards.

And we have made our bird feeder too!! What a husstle and bustle around this activity this morning! This is the 3rd year I am making bird feeders and this is always such enjoyment. We have talking about birds and what happened to them during winter. I have left some old binoculars on the shelves for the children to observe our garden birds as they fed on the nuts I regularly put outside. They have learnt the names of  Blue Tits, Great Tits, Tree Sparrow, Robin, House Sparrow.  So this was a nice conclusion to our study.

So here is how we made our bird feeders: first, I collected as many as I could and had them drying and opening up on my stove.

Next, I gathered pine cones, string, peanut butter and bird seeds. I poured all the seeds in a huge bowl, tied the string around each pine cone and helped the children to cover their cone up with peant butter (before you do so, you need to make sure none of your children have nut allergy. Thank god, this has never happen yet in our classroom. If you cannot use peanut butter, use lard.). Have the children roll te pine cones in the seeds and pat the seeds properly. This is a great sensorial activity: the feel of the seeds between their fingers is quite an experience and many of them were giggling as they plunged both hands in the bowl!! Just check the photos I took last year right here.

That's it for today! See you soon!


  1. Another fun thing we do when we learn about Antarctica/Penguins is to have the children try to walk with the ovoid (from the geo. solids) on their feet, like a daddy penguin.


  2. How did I miss these last few posts? You are clearly so passionate about your teaching. Your students are so lucky to have you!!!! (Oh, and I made some "penguins and their chicks" matching cards. Let me know if you want me to e-mail them to you! : )


Please leave your comment right here. Thank you :)