Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk 

We have really enjoyed small fables and fairy tale units the last few weeks. Recently we spent a week on Jack and the Beanstalk.
I like to set up some props on display with different versions of our story by our morning calendar. I follow a similar morning routine with all the units. We read one of the books and have discussion questions. I ask two or three and let them contribute to discussion (you would be amazed sometimes what 2, 4 & 6 year olds will come up with !).

Here are some of the questions we used for our discussions :

Why did Jack's mother send him to the market ?
Why did Jack trade his family's cow for some beans ?

Why did Jack go back to the castle even though the golden hen would have ensured that his family would not be poor ?

Do you think Jack was right to take from The Giant ? 

Make the stories come to life
I made some simple "Giant's Feet" that the kids could use for dramatic play but also for working on tying shoe laces. They were lots of fun and the house was full of  FEE FI FO FUM's !

Fee Fi Fo Fum !

Little kids, Big feet
Include your theme in all your activites

The boys enjoyed using the props to in small world play....

Retelling the story

We explored different types of beans .....

Beans !

I set up a milking station for the boys to milk Jack's cow.... 

Even a barn cat !
I found a free printable maze at http://www.kidspot.com.au/slideshow/Kids-games-medium-mazes+68+Jack-And-The-Beanstalk-Maze+1080+preview.htm

Some free printable sequencing cards at http://education.scholastic.co.uk/resources/13285

Friday, April 5, 2013

Mini Beaver Unit

Mini Beaver Unit 

I used to be burnt out homeschooling by Spring time. In fact I think it's a common phenomenon among homeschooling moms  ! This year I am so much more relaxed and I think it's because I am using this time to really engage the children in units that are fun for them - and educational !
This week we did a mini beaver unit.  There wasn't much that I could find for ideas online so we focused on one easy reader that we read every day  and added our activities around that.

One thing we did was start a giant book of our own with what we knew about beavers. We added information throughout the week and the boys all illustrated the pages. 

 First page
questions, answers & pictures

Busy Beavers

Because it was an easy reader , with lots of repetition and easy words I also spent time beginning to teach my 4 year old sight words. Or "popcorn" words as they are sometimes referred to. We started a "Popcorn word bucket" that we are going to continue adding to as we learn more sight words. 

Sight word recognition

To illustrate how beavers look and their characteristics I put together a make shift costume for the kids to experience.  This easily transitioned to dramatic play for the younger ones once our sit down lesson was through.

Beaver dress up
Beaver sandwich

We wrapped up the unit with a simple lunch in the same theme. I used peanut butter and it worked nicely to "glue" the eyes, nose, teeth and tail on.