Before Christmas, we spent two weeks learning about the Lenape tribes that lived in New Jersey before the European settlers arrived. We especially enjoyed playing Lenape games and making clay pots.
This week we learned about the explorers who traveled around the world looking for an easy route to India. Did you know that they wanted spices to mask the taste of rotten food? After reading from A Child's History of the World, we smelled many different spices. We also learned about navigation methods. We made our own compasses, using magnetized paper clips. We also learned constellations, and painted pictures of the night sky. At the end of the day, we enjoyed Eric Carle's Draw Me a Star.
Next week we will learn about the lives of the early European settlers.
On Monday, our Early Elementary students learned about the different habitats we will find in our study of New Jersey. The children were able to tell us about these habitats in their own words:
Animals live in habitats. They need food, and they need to be safe. They all need water to drink. Some animals need water to swim in. Animals need to be in the right temperature. Some need big space and others live in small homes.
What a delightful group of children join us each Monday for our early elementary class. They are inquisitive and talkative and interested in every activity we bring out. Our cultural geography studies are interwoven with math, reading, and writing games and opportunities.
We started out with the broad view of our world, and we are gradually getting closer to our study of New Jersey. Each week we enjoy a few chapters of Thorton Burgess's wonderful story, Happy Jack Squirrel. We are also watching a large maple tree in the front of the church for changes, and are each drawing pictures for a semester long book about the tree. Ask your children which tree it is, so that you can make observations together when you arrive.
We have spent the first few weeks of class learning about the earth. Our first week of class we learned about the elements - earth, air, fire, and water - that make up our world, and talked about the animals that live in them. We loved making paper mache globes. Don't they look wonderful? The second week, we learned about the continents and read stories about children from around the world. We made a play house and dress up clothes out of silks, and imagined we lived somewhere far, far away. Last week we moved onto land forms, such as bays and capes, peninsulas and gulfs, isthmus and straights. We each made one out of clay, and next week we will paint them and bring them home.
Next week we will finally arrive in New Jersey...at the shore. We are looking forward to learning about all of the creatures that we find in the ocean, both big and small, and remembering summer days gone by...
Kim & Sally