This fall, construction projects have been underway in Sunshine. We built many different structures with cardboard boxes. Boxes were taped together, untaped and something entirely different created. In addition, we formed various sculptures using toothpicks, sticks, straws, marshmallows and clay. Every sculpture was so creative and unique. After reading the book Iggy Peck, Architect, the children used construction paper shapes and chalk to fashion ‘city scapes’. Children made their own blueprints after looking at many different examples, using paint on blocks.
The children have also been very interested in different genres of music. We have been listening to everything from “The Nutcracker” to“Star Wars”, and always include lots of dancing. This has led to very interesting discussions about various musical instruments and the sounds they produce.
November and December have also been busy months in the Starburst classroom, learning about Space Exploration and the planets in our solar system. Some planets have moons while some do not and Jupiter has the most with 60+ moons! We learned that the rings seen around Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are created by ice, dust, and rocks that are moving so fast that they look like a blur.
Next, we used our K.W.L emergent curriculum (What do we know? What do we want to learn? What did we learn?), to study a continent found on Earth – Africa! The children wanted to hear about African animals. We also have been learning about African art, culture, and music. We made drums to play along with traditional African music. We have made masks and done weavings. Books have shown us that some people in Africa dress differently than we do, while others dress the same. We have also been enjoying stories about ‘Anansi the Trickster’, one of the most important characters of West African and Caribbean folklore.
Airplanes are also of interest to the Starburst children. The chairs are often set up in the block area facing our world map as the children pretend to fly to destinations on earth and in space. We even helped our younger Rainbow friends create a giant airplane.
Starburst and Sunshine gathered together for a fantastic science activity called Pumpanos – a pumpkin volcano! Pumpkins filled with baking soda, dish washing liquid, and vinegar created the lava effect which flowed out of the jack-o-lantern’s mouths. The children thought that this was great fun, laughing and saying, “Look the pumpkin is throwing up!” Many made sure to get a close up look!
Starburst and Sunshine also partnered to create a Friendship Feast. The children from both classrooms prepared a variety of foods, including mac and cheese, pumpkin pie, applesauce, cornbread, veggies and dip, friendship bread, and cornbread. We all had very full tummies. We are looking forward to all of the exciting activities planned for the new year!