In one of our classes for international preschool alumnae and returnees, we are reading a chapter each week from The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, a great read-aloud that I recommend highly. At certain points in the book, I ask the children to demonstrate comprehension by sketching a quick picture on the whiteboard of the scene we are reading about. Here are a few from chapter 1.
Mr. Shoemaker's Toolhouse on Fire
The Herdmans Stealing Five Dozen Doughnuts
The Herdmans' Mean, One-eyed, One Short-Legged, Broken-Tailed Cat
Ms. Brandel (Jacket on Head and Broom in Hand) Chasing Claude Herdman's Cat Around the Classroom
This week's "My World" theme is fire, so yesterday we went to the Shimura fire station for a tour.
The firefighters had just finished rehearsing a flannelboard story so we got to see the premiere performance. It was called "Fire is Scary" and was about some children who played with a lighter and started a fire. Things turned out fine (whew), but it was scary enough that I'm sure our children will always remember not to play with matches.
The firefighters had laid out all of their gear for us to see.
Children got to go inside a fire truck.
A firefighter showed us how fast he could get into his full gear.
I got to practice using a fire extinguisher.
Children got to wear small firefighter jackets and helmets.
They even gave the children firefighter origami and erasers shaped like fire engines and ambulances (sorry, no picture). When we got back to preschool, the children made and sent thank-you pictures to the firefighters.
Yes, that's right. We do teach some unusual topics. Along with this week's Bible story about Elisha and the miracle of the widow's oil, we are learning about oil in the preschool. Did you know that all living things contain oil?
To test that, the students put bits sesame seeds and bits of walnuts between pieces of tissue and crushed them with a spoon. Low and behold, oil came out!
We also dyed some oil with food coloring, then tried to mix it with water. Oil and water don't mix; the oil just floats on top in globs. To drive the point home, students set a piece of card stock on top of the oil/water and let it sit for about twenty seconds. The card was then placed on newsprint which absorbed the excess oil and water. Students who wanted to were then able to dye their cards in different colored water/oil mixture. This project had the potential to be really messy, but the results were beautiful and really illustrated the point that oil and water don't mix.
To wrap up the unit, the children drew four different plants that give us oil and put them in a book with an oil pitcher on the front. Nice work, guys!