Recently we brought you a Teacher Feature from one of our four-year-old classes, the Honey Bears, as they discussed their thoughts and curiosities. This lesson was part of a mini unit on inquiry, which fit into a larger unit of Me, Myself, and I. The web below depicts the many facets the class, led by Jessie Miller and Will Kuehlne, explored during this unit to get know one another, their school and their community. Following the web are photos highlighting some of their experiences from the unit.
To discuss families, the class went to Nicholas Nixon’s Brown Sisters at the Smithsonian American Art Museum , an exhibit of forty photographs of the same four sisters over the course of four decades. After observing the photographs, each child got a chance to share their own family portrait and tell the class about who makes up their family.
The class discussed how all families are unique and different, but all families enjoy spending time together. After talking about their favorite family activities, they played family charades. Jessie printed out images of families doing favorite activities and placed them in a hat. Each child got a turn to pull a picture and act it out for the class.
After talking about their families, the Honey Bears turned more attention to themselves. They visited Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s Four Seasons in One Head at the National Gallery of Art to discuss portraits. They defined a portrait and carefully observed Arcimboldo’s unique portrait made of food and other natural materials. The class worked together to create a portrait using play food in the galleries.
Back at school the children made their own food portraits using food print outs on a paper canvas.
Later in the week the children made their own self-portraits. Will and Jessie printed out each child’s face, cut it in half and glued one half to a piece of paper. They provided the children with mirrors and flesh tone markers to create the rest of their self-portrait.
To end their week on “myself” the class went to the United States Botanic Garden to talk about the five senses. Will and Jessie made little books for each child that had a sense on each page. As they walked through the gardens they paused to identify what senses they were using.
Since the class ventures out to the museums and community daily to support their learning, Will and Jessie wanted to spend some time talking about our local community. The class took a community walk and added pictures of local buildings they visit to a big map of our surrounding area. They displayed the map in their classroom and reference it each morning when they discuss where they will be visiting. To talk about how our local community fits into the larger global community the class visited The United States Navy Memorial to see a giant world map on the ground. They learned a song about the seven continents by Wise Little Owls that Jessie found as a free download on Teachers Pay Teachers. Then they played a game where they passed a globe to each other and named a different place in the world (continents, countries, etc.).