Our first week at Children’s House was a beautiful start to our school year. The classroom is set up to go along with our current Story Book Journey: How To Make An Apple Pie And Travel The World. Children could organize and sell fruit and veggies in the vegetable market, bake up pie and other delicious concoctions in the kitchen; run a farm in the hay table with the cows, tractors and barn and other animals. Children explored the different means of transportation represented in the book, including trains, planes and boats. It is always fun to hear where they are headed, to such destinations as the Arctic Circle, Panama and Boulder. Sometimes it is to “that pink place” on the world map. (That time Brazil)
Here Jen sings rhyming songs with the kids, as they sail down the Colorado to the Sea of Cortez. Rhyming is our current literacy focus and Jen plays the Nonsense Game, where familiar songs are changed with similar rhyming words. Children love to point out the “mistakes.” For example: Row, row, row your goat. This is great game to play anywhere.
One student inspired story line that mustered extensive play, was the repairing of the kitchen. We had a crew that worked more than one play period to fix the pipes. Children worked together to see the “problem,” and then each took their turn to crawl under the kitchen to make repairs. Teamwork was demonstrated as the current worker would call out for a different tool, and the others would hand it down. Meanwhile, others in the crew were sawing, drilling and hammering out other repairs.
One child inspired a spontaneous group art project, when she found a bird nest and needed a tree for it. When she decided panting was the best method to make the tree she soon had many helpers. Some painted branches while others painted grass and sky. The children returned to this project the next day to add apples.
In art apple pies were made using, as always all recycled materials. Jar lids were pie pans and children chose and cut there “fillings” from magnetic foam pieces. Crust were added with paper or ribbon, some made lattice tops. Art is always a chance to explore materials, work fine muscles and write stories about their projects, to share at Author’s Chair
Another project offered was chicken coops, with egg cartons, grass ,feathers and Styrofoam. The conversations around the art table were rich with ideas of how a chicken coop protects chickens and from what. The children came up with “Fox,” “snakes,” and “cats.”
Our apple tree is still producing apples, that keep falling onto the playground. Many little hands make light work as the children run to see who can pick up the most. They helped wash and, after cooked, grind up another batch of applesauce. Then the children got to try some real baking, making applesauce cake. The aroma of baked apples and apple cake added a delightful dimension to our journey all week long.