This week we started our unit on cold weather animals and the season of winter. We read the book Eskimo, Eskimo What Do You Hear discussed about different kinds of animals that live in very cold places such as the North Pole or Antarctica. We also read an emergent nonfiction text and student wrote about what their favorite polar animal is.
The next day we watched a science video about the Walrus and discussed different things that walrus have to adapt to such cold weather. For art we made construction paper walrus art.
All last week we talked about folktales and one of my favorite folktales we talk about over the holidays, is The Gingerbread Man. So all last week we read gingerbread related folktales and did compare and contrast activities between the books.
One very unique story we read during this unit is Gingerbread Baby. In this story the gingerbread character doesn’t get eaten by the fox at the end, the little boy makes a house for the gingerbread baby! We talk about how the ending from Gingerbread Baby is different from all the other endings we’ve read. Then we make a gingerbread house art project.
To finish off color week We read the story Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr & Eric Carle. We recreated the sequence of the story by making paper bag puppets of the brown bear with the other animal characters in the story. You can get the paper bag puppets from Mrs. Ricca’s Kindergarten.
For the past two weeks one of the reading skills the students have been learning is how to compare and contrast their lives to books. This week we reread and discussed the story Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes and talked about white was probably the color he liked the best since those were the shoes he had. Students decided which color is their favorite color and made their own Pete the Cats (wearing their favorite colored shoes) with construction paper. They also completed the sentence “I love my ________________ shoes.”
As part of our All About me unit each student received a puzzle piece. On the puzzle piece students drew and colored pictures that resembled themselves. They drew pictures of themselves, their favorite colors, favorite food, favorite toys, etc. Students where then encouraged to find others with puzzle pieces that they felt matched their pieces.
As we finish up with our first week of school we spent some time getting to know the members of our All-Star community. We also danced to some songs such as ‘5 Little Monkeys‘. Then we took pictures of ourselves and glued them to pictures of t-shirts that we colored and designed ourselves. The activity can be found here.
At the end of our beach unit this last Friday we had our Beach Day. At the beginning of the week we read the story Moe the Dog in Tropical Paradise. It is about a dog (Moe) who has a vacation but it is in the middle of a cold January. Unable to afford a vacation to a tropical place, Moe makes a fake beach inside his house with sand and a pool. The whole week we talked about beach activities and learned about ocean animals. One of our art activities was to make hand fish puppets with fancy art paper.
On Friday we made our own tropical paradise inside our classroom and had our beach day on Friday. In all three of our kindergarten classrooms we had various beach related activities. In one classroom we had two inflatable pools where kids got to enjoy the water and listen to beach themed music. In the other classroom there snacks and Moana. In the All-Stars classroom we played beach/pool related games. Students also made ocean pictures with pattern blocks and enjoyed a sensory bin with water beads.
As we continued our Polar Express unit we read the book The Night Tree, which is a book about a family that goes to decorate a tree with food that is made to look like a Christmas tree. The book is very different than The Polar Express however it is a great introduction in showing how to compare popular stories. We discussed how in both stories the characters had hot chocolate.
We then watched a video on how to make hot chocolate and then wrote directions on how to make hot chocolate in three easy steps. For math we made hot chocolate mug art with cotton balls acting as marshmallows. Students wrote how many marshmallows were in their cup. To have a copy of the mug activity click here.
Today begins our last week of school before Christmas break and it also begins our Polar Express week! We started off by reading The Polar Express. We used pictures and illustrations to create a flow map to re-tell the story. Then on their own students put the story back in the correct sequence with a cut and paste activity.
During center time students put together A-Z alphabetical order train puzzles. For math we reviewed 2D shapes and made a train glyph based on answers about trains and The Polar Express. The train activity comes from Simply Kinder.