April

Unit 1:

This is ME!

Before a child can begin to understand the world around him, he has to understand himself. Personal orientation in space and time grounds a child’s identity and creates value in oneself. Creating a connection to true identity and place silences doubt and gives confidence to explore beyond the current edges. This confidence is freedom!

Topics:

Hello! My name is…

The most important letter in the alphabet for me is…

Here is how my body moves and ways I am practicing to move.

Expression through movement and music interpretation- Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

Suggested Books:

Three Trees

Ten Tiny Toes

At Home Activities:

The first letter a child should learn is the first letter of her name. It gives letters and sound meaning and purpose! Hang your child’s letter in a prominent place and remind her daily that it is her letter. Consider throwing on hats and grabbing binoculars or a magnifying glass to go on a Letter Safari in your home and yard. Find items that start with the same sound (don’t be concerned if they start with a different letter for now, just the sound) and create a little showcase on a shelf or windowsill.

Differentiating letter sounds requires deep listening. At Deep Roots Nature School, we call this “Deer Ears.” Go outside with your child this week. Have them sit comfortably or lay on a blanket. Close your eyes and listen for 20 seconds. What sounds did you hear? Where were they coming from? Did you hear different bird sounds or multiples of the same sounds? Slowly extend the amount of time for quiet listening.

Movement is magical for children. We listened to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at our Nature Experience. Pull the piece up on your phone and select a section ( it’s LONG) to play. Encourage your child to move like the music. Ask big questions like “What is happening in the song?” “Which of the Four Seasons do you think this music is expressing?”


Unit 2:

This is MY WORLD!

The concept of The Earth is very obscure for little minds. Think about it…. something so big that you can’t see it, a sky that has no seeming end, land that continues beyond what you can see. It really is a difficult concept. Before this just becomes accepted knowledge, we can create an overwhelming amazement of all the components of our planet.

Topics:

I live on the Planet Earth (globes, maps).

The Earth has the Land, the Water, and the Sky.

I have to keep my body healthy and WE have to keep the Earth healthy.

The Sun provides Energy for all living things.

Expression through movement and music interpretation- Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

Suggested Books

A Walk Through The Woods

Little Cloud

At Home Activities:

The plants on the Earth each serve a special purpose, just like the people on Earth. Every single plant is different and every single person is different. These differences create a magical world. Take a hike, a walk around the neighborhood or even just in your own yard. Collect as many different leaves as you can find. Next, sort the leaves. Let your child lead the way on this. You could sort by size or shape, or you could sort by color. Your child may find even another way to classify! If interest is still high, grab a magnifying glass ( I like these) and look at the veins, textures, and ridges of the leaves. At Nature School, we use the term “Owl Eyes” when we are really trying to SEE the world. Reinforce this phrase and encourage your child to use their Owl Eyes to find cool things!

Consider making an Ocean Play station in a Rubbermaid container. The one we will use at class this week is great because you can get a whole kit. It uses waterbeads, which my kids LOVE, but do this outside because they WILL get messy and start throwing them! You could recreate an ocean with blue food coloring in water or blue jello and add some fun fish and boats or shells and sand. Let your child explore this station without boundaries!

Take a blanket outside and gaze at the clouds with your child. Point out a cloud and declare that it looks just like something (a dinosaur or elephant or rocket ship). Make up a short story about who is in the rocket ship or where the dinosaur is heading. Can your child find any shapes in the clouds?


Unit 3

Inch by Inch, I am Growing Taller!

Young children are excited by their changing bodies and growing capabilities. While they are very aware of their own personal growth, they are still ego-centric in their view of the world. Children can begin to relate to ALL living creatures as they gain awareness that everything starts small, just like them!

Topics:

Living things change as they grow.

Seeds become plants and trees. Babies become adults.

A Life Cycle shows the stages of life for different living things.

Baby creatures often look different than mature ones and have different names.

Expression through movement and music interpretation- Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

Suggested Books:

The Oak Inside the Acorn

Because of an Acorn

Inch by Inch

At Home Activities:

The Growing Up Wild curriculum is a wonderful FREE curriculum offered by the FWC (with attendance to a one day training). This is available nationally, though not necessarily for free. Print the resource page Grow as We Go and cut out the cards. Place the cards face up spread out in an open area, except the card depicting the mature animal. Place these face down in a row. Ask your child to flip over one card and race around finding all the stages of life that the mature animal had to grow through to become an adult.

After reading Inch by Inch, cut out your own inch worm and use the record sheet to make length predictions. Use your inchworm to test your prediction. Try drawing a chalk outline of your child and let him inch the inchworm along his body to see how big he is! Download the Inchworm and Prediction sheet HERE.

These Mommy and Baby Turtles have provided hours of fun at our home. We play “Night, Night Turtle” before bed. Hold up a mommy turtle and ask your child to find it’s baby. “Can you help me find the Purple Baby?” The shells of the mommy come off and the child can position the baby inside. Placing the shell back on the mommy like a puzzle. Be sure to kiss the baby goodnight and reinforce that animal mommies protect their babies just like you protect your baby!

Put on some great classical music and act through the stages of development of different animals with your child. You go first and act out being an egg, then a loud cheeping baby bird, then trying to fly and then soaring around the room. Let your child pick the next animal. You might try: caterpillars, cocoon, butterfly or egg, tadpole, frog as suggestions!