Teacher Feature: PreK Class Explores Illustrators

It’s Teacher Feature Thursday!

This week we are featuring Amy Schoolcraft and Connie Giles of the three-year-old Wallaby class. The Wallabies were exploring books, and I joined the class for a lesson on Eric Carle and illustrators’ inspirations at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Below you will find images from the lesson, and a reflection from Amy.

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Here are a few images from their lesson on Illustrators:

SEECstories.com (27).pngThe class began their morning by heading straight to the museum before it got crowded.  Our students have been enjoying visiting the new National Museum of African American History and Culture, using it to explore a variety of topics including music, sports, theater, and architecture.

7The class went into the Visual Art and the American Experience gallery, where they found Transformation “Blue Horse” by local DC artist, BK Adams.  As soon as the group stopped in front of the artwork the children began making observations such as, “It’s three years old because it has a three on it”, and “It has wheels and a bike!”  Amy asked the children if the horse looked like the real horses they had seen when they visited the Park Police Stables.  They used their careful looking skills to examine the artwork further and said that it did not look like the horses they had seen because of the bike, number, lack of eyelashes, golden leg and eyes.

SEECstories.com (29).pngThe class sat down and Amy introduced them to the artist of Transformation “Blue Horse”, BK Adams, with photos, some information about his background, and how he became an artist. They agreed that BK Adams must have used his imagination for his artwork since horses do not look exactly like the one he created.

5Next, Amy introduced another artist who made a blue horse artwork, Franz Marc.  She showed a print out of his piece Blue Horse 1. Amy explained that an author and illustrator saw Franz Marc’s horse painting, and was very inspired to use his own imagination to draw animals any way he could imagine.  This author and illustrator is Eric Carle, and Amy showed the class a photo of him, and introduced his book, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, which was inspired by Marc’s painting.

6They read the book, comparing Carle’s blue horse to BK Adam’s blue horse.  They were happily surprised at all the imaginative animals, often exclaiming something like, “Wait a minute, that fox should be orange!”  It’s safe to say they enjoyed the book because at the end several children said, “Again! Again!”

2Amy then asked the class to use the artwork they had seen as inspiration to create their own imaginative animal.  She laid out the Marc print, a photo of Carle, the book and plastic animals to help inspire ideas.  Before drawing their own animal they brainstormed what animals they wanted to draw which included a green tiger, purple and pink bunny, a rainbow lion, and a normal prairie dog.

4Then the children set to work drawing their imaginative animals, using the art as inspiration.  As they drew they asked questions about what specific animal body parts looked like, and how to draw them.  Instead of simply providing an answer, Amy and Connie helped the children think about their questions and find answers through observing the art, book illustrations, and plastic animals.

3To wrap up the lesson Amy had planned to play a game, but the children requested to stop in the Cultural Expressions gallery to watch the video that surrounds the space, which they had seen on previous visits.  Amy, honoring the interest of the children, said they would decide which activity they would do through a vote.  Each child voted for the game or the video.  With a clear majority for the video, they headed to the space and decided they’d play their game in the afternoon.

2That afternoon they continued their exploration of Eric Carle through looking at his books and watching a video about him and his work.

31The children also used Carle’s technique of creating an illustration by cutting up paper that they had painted and creating a collage on a piece of contact paper.

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Following that, they played their game of “Guess that Animal!” Each child was given a turn to sit in the middle of the circle with a plastic animal on their head.  Their classmates gave them clues to help them guess their animal.  While none of the animals were as imaginatively colored as the ones they observed earlier in the day, there were plenty of features to focus on to give their friends clues, which connected back to their careful observations of animal features that morning.

A reflection from Amy:

Our class loves books and enjoys exploring books any chance they can get. We wanted to use their enthusiasm to help deepen their understanding of books and stories. So, we planned an entire unit dedicated to books. This particular week we were focusing on illustrators, including their style and technique. For this lesson, I chose to learn about Eric Carle, an author and illustrator that the class is familiar with, since we have read several of his books throughout the year. My original objective was to learn about Eric Carle’s illustration technique but while researching, I discovered that his book, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, was inspired by the painting Blue Horse I by Franz Marc. This new information shaped the rest of the lesson and my new objective was to build on their knowledge of Eric Carle by exploring the idea of what inspiration is, how artists and illustrators use inspiration to create their work, and to find our own inspiration to create original illustrations.

We had planned to visit Hahn/Cock by Katharina Fritsch, a giant blue rooster sculpture at the National Gallery of Art. Unfortunately, the weather was not conducive for this outdoor visit. So, we opted for a visit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture to see BK Adams’ sculpture . The kids had been entranced by this sculpture as we passed by it earlier in the year, and it turned out to be a great way to revisit the piece in a meaningful way. Because it was a last-minute change, there was not time to research Adams’ artwork beforehand. Thankfully our museum educator did some quick research and was able to find information on the piece and the artist, which she was able contribute to the lesson.

This lesson turned out better than I had anticipated because the book, painting, and sculpture tied together so nicely. The kids were able to make a connection easily between the inspiration (Marc’s painting) and the result (Carle’s book). Also, having learned about horses earlier in the year, they were able to make comparisons of what they already knew about horses and what they noticed about the Transformation “Blue Horse” by BK Adams. It was clear in their animal illustrations that they were using their animal figures as inspiration and their imaginations to make their artwork unique.

I had hoped to play an animal guessing game in the gallery, and have a follow up activity back in the classroom directly after our museum visit where they would make an Eric Carle style collage.  However, as we were wrapping up the kids said that they wanted to visit one of their favorite parts of the museum: a video montage of important moments in African American culture. So, we postponed the game and artwork for later in the day and spent a little more time in the museum instead. In retrospect, I would not have done the collage at all since we did not focus on Eric Carle’s technique during the lesson, and it felt as though the collage wasn’t as meaningful as it could have been.

If you are considering visiting NMAAHC, my recommendation is to get there early since it gets quite busy and is a little noisy.


Following their lesson on illustrators, the Wallabies explored authors, story structure, and story-telling.  Be sure to check back soon for a Round Up of the Wallabies’ unit on books, and in the meantime, check out our All About Books Pinterest board!

 

Close Up: SEEC’s 2017 Staff Development Week

Each August our staff takes a week to reflect, assess, and prepare for the upcoming school year. Staff development week is a long-standing tradition at SEEC — one that we look forward to, to connect with our colleagues and lay the groundwork for the upcoming year. It is an especially important way to bring the entire SEEC team together. Our school is physically divided into three centers so staff development week makes us feel like one family and helps provide continuity across the program.

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2Melody Passemante-Powell, director of infant and toddler programs, kicked off the week with a team building presentation. She got the morning started by sharing inspirational quotes about education. This exercise had a deeper purpose though. It helped us see that while everyone believed that the education of young children is important, not all of us had the same perspective of how to achieve that. She used this as a launching point to think about how important it is for us to consider alternative perspectives and not make assumptions when interacting with staff, children, and families.

 

Anti-Bias, Objects, and Technology

1Our team at the Center for Innovation in Early Learning (CIEL) followed with a presentation on anti-bias education. SEEC has always been thoughtful about creating an inclusive learning environment, but with the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and of course, current events, the issue has grown ever more important. We spent the morning focusing on the anti-bias education framework as outlined by NAEYC and considering it in terms of our unique school model. We concluded our time by asking faculty to begin building a tool that would help us reflect on the anti-bias nature of our classrooms, lessons, and relationships.  

3CIEL also led the group in an exercise reiterating the importance of connecting our lessons to the museum objects. SEEC believes strongly in facilitating activities and careful looking strategies that connect our lessons to the museum object, and we had fun demonstrating this with our colleagues. Our final CIEL segment was a collaboration with our administrative team that explored technology and early childhood classrooms. The large part of our presentation was thinking as a group about how we feel about technology and how it fits into our school. We are compiling the feedback in the hopes of continuing the dialogue.

SEECstories.com (2)Executive Functioning and Early Intervention

We were also lucky enough to have a few guest speakers. Occupational therapist, Judi Greenberg, from Child Development Consultants  led us in a great discussion about executive functioning skills. Greenberg reminded us of the importance of executive functioning and helped us think of ways we can help develop these skills in our students. She also reviewed signs that a child might be struggling with executive functioning and ways we can help them. We also had an informative session with DCPS’ Early Stages reminding us of their array of services and the benefits of early intervention. It felt great to know all the ways we can support our families.

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Of course there was a lot of time for our faculty to work on preparing our classrooms and they are looking great! Now that it is all wrapped up, we can’t wait for the children to arrive on Tuesday.

Top 5: Transitioning Back to School

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Transitioning back to school can be difficult for children, no matter their age.  Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure a smooth and exciting transition to the school year.  Try out some of these ideas to ease back into the school year.

1. Create a Morning Routine – Waking up in time for school after a summer break can come as a shock to the whole family!  Try getting into your school year routine gradually the week before the start of school.  Wake up ten to fifteen minutes earlier every morning until you reach the time you’ll need to get up.  Set the alarm together; this will make your child feel included and develop math skills.  After waking up, practice the school morning routine.  If the bus will take the children to school, take a morning walk to the bus stop the week before school to get them acclimated.

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2.  Talk about Feelings The start of school can bring up a lot of emotions.  Some children will be eager, while others will be more hesitant, and of course, there can be a combination.  Talk about how your children are feeling, and validate those feelings.  Share times when you might have felt the same way, i.e., when you met new people, or started a new job.  There are many books that can help get the conversation started.  Check out this list of back to school books from Gift of Curiosity for some ideas.

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3. Talk about what to Expect – Just like adults, children feel more in control and less anxious when they know what to expect. Attend any school events prior to the start of the school year and learn a little bit about their future teacher and classroom.  Read their class list together and talk about who you know and who will be new friends.  Have an end of summer play date with future classmates to get the ball rolling.  If your child is still anxious about the first day of school, create a plan for the day, listing your morning routine, their school day, and after school activities.

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4. Prepare Together! – Do some things that will engage your child in school and get them excited!  For example, go shopping together for their lunch box or make a list together of healthy lunch options.  Shop for the items on their school supply list together together, encouraging your child to check off each item as they put it in the cart.  Involving your child in the school preparation will make your child feel part of the process and also help them learn about nutrition, literacy, and math.

 

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5. Document the First Day – The first day of school marks the beginning of another chapter in your child’s life.  Make it special by sitting down for breakfast together or including a note in your child’s lunch.  Snapping a photo is another great way to mark the occasion and share the moment with friends and family.  The Idea Room has put together a fantastic list of creative ideas for that first day photo!

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Plan on taking photos on every first and last day of school, and all throughout the year! You can create a book of each school year and include your child’s accomplishments from that school year, for example, started soccer, began reading chapter books, started wearing underwear, etc.  At SEEC, documenting each child’s growth is part of our practice, and our children love to look through their books and reflect on their own growth and memories.

It’s important to note, that if your child is feeling anxious and doesn’t want to pose for a photo, you should respect their feelings over snapping an Instagram-worthy shot. If they aren’t feeling it the first day, perhaps later in the week or year they’ll be feeling more comfortable, and you can get a photo then.


Want more ideas?  Visit our Back to School Pinterest board for more books, activities, and resources to make the start of the school year great!

Artist Round Up

One of our recent posts was a teacher feature from a two-year-old classroom on Alexander Calder. This class did not simply learn about Calder’s life and work and then move on to another topic. Rather, the teachers, Javacia Finney, Stephanie Lopez, and Shawna Williams, came up with lessons to allow their classroom to do an in-depth study on several artists. For each artist, the class looked closely at the work, learned about the artistic techniques used, and then created their own work inspired by the art. Below is a web that gives an overview of the artist lessons and images from the class’ lessons.

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To start their artist exploration, the class viewed Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors and Pumpkin at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. The two year olds particularly enjoyed adding polka dot stickers to the Obliteration Room. They had so much fun that the Hirshhorn Museum highlighted them adding dots on this video. Back in the classroom, the class made their own papier-mâché pumpkins and added polka dots to a large piece of white paper that was hung up on a wall.

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After learning that Impressionist painter Claude Monet took his painting supplies outside to paint beaches, gardens, and ponds in the actual outdoors the class decided that they would also try to paint en plein air. Javacia, Stephanie, and Shawna loaded up a red wagon and brought watercolors outside to paint in the National Museum of Natural History’s Pollinator Garden so their class could be inspired to paint the light, shadows, and flowers in the garden.

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The class went to the National Gallery of Art and looked at many Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings, including Self Portrait (1889), where they talked about self-portraits and noticed Van Gogh’s use of broad strokes and thick paint. Following the museum visit, the class mixed the colors yellow, blue, and white using forks instead of paintbrushes.

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Next the class learned about Roy Lichenstein’s Pop art. They viewed his Painting with Statue of Liberty as well as Look Mickey at the National Gallery of Art. To imitate Lichenstein’s dot technique, the two-year-olds painted with q-tips, which made different sized dots when pressed on the paper. The class also looked at Lichenstein’s sculptures, such as Brushstroke at the Hirshhorn Museum. Brushstroke was a class favorite because the class could easily see it while walking along the National Mall. Inspired by the contrasting black and white colors in the sculpture, the two year olds glued stripes of black paper onto white paper.

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For their study of Henri Matisse, the class learned about his technique, painting with scissors, when they visited examples at the National Gallery of Art. They worked on their own cutting skills by using scissors to cut lines into paper.

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As highlighted in their Teacher Feature, the class also learned about Alexander Calder. After learning about Calder’s mobiles, they began exploring his large sculptures and his playful animal sculptures. The class was given metal wire, a material that Calder himself used, to create their own sculpture or mobile.

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To conclude the unit and show off all the artwork, the class held an art exhibition. They carefully displayed all the artwork and made labels. Then they invited their families and friends into their classroom to see their art exhibition.

For more ideas about using art in the classroom, check out SEEC’s Pinterest pages on Teaching with the Arts, Color Mixing, Collage, and Self Portraits.

Biblioburro (Donkey Library) Revisited

You may remember a Teacher Feature from the spring that highlighted our kindergarten’s lesson on Luis Soriano and his biblioburro or donkey library.  During the lesson, Maureen Leary, the Kindergarten Spanish teacher, used books, videos, and a trip to a Smithsonian Library to encourage the children to think about the importance of libraries, and to learn more about a very unique library in Colombia – Luis Soriano’s biblioburro.  At the end of the lesson, Maureen wrote down the children’s questions for Mr. Soriano and asked if they wanted to help support his library.  They all agreed that they would like to help in some way, and they were busy with these efforts until the end of the school year.

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Photo used with permission from Luis Soriano.

To help, the class decided to create a book of their own that could be a contribution to the library.  They had just finished a unit learning about the ocean, so creating a bilingual alphabet book about ocean creatures seemed to be a logical fit.  Each child took a few letters of the alphabet and thought of an ocean creature that started with those letters in Spanish.

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The class took photos in the National Museum of Natural History’s Sant Ocean Hall with their favorite ocean creatures.  With the guidance of SEEC’s Art teacher, they also created artwork for each creature, which was incorporated into the book. They worked individually with Maureen to look up information about their animals and chose one or two interesting facts to include in the book. All the text was done in both English and Spanish.

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The class used Shutterfly to compile the artwork and photos, and to produce their book.  They each got a copy to keep for themselves, and they sent a book to Mr. Soriano so that he could have a copy in his biblioburro.

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Maureen communicated with Luis Soriano throughout the project and was able to share their conversations with the children. The students had a lot of questions for Mr. Soriano, which he was happy to answer. Some of the things they learned about him and his work were that his grandmother taught him to read and instilled in him a love of books; he delivers books on Wednesdays and Saturdays; the kids in the villages can borrow five books at a time for up to one month; and he uses a small portable computer to keep track of all his books.

1After learning so much about Mr. Soriano and his work, the children were eager to raise funds for his library renovation so they held a bake sale.  The day of the bake sale was filled with excitement! The students all brought in baked goods and took turns running the bake sale in our conference room.  The children were proud to share their treats with parents, teachers, and museum staff, while taking donations to send to the biblioburro.  They enjoyed counting the money, and sending it off to Mr. Soriano. Every last treat was sold and the class raised almost $500 to support Mr. Soriano’s library!

3Through this extension of the original biblioburro lesson, the kindergartners worked hard in the service of someone else and gained a sense of accomplishment when they finished the projects.  They gained a new appreciation for community service and helping others.  Their world view expanded as they explored something familiar (libraries) with the unfamiliar (donkey libraries).  Important skills were also built upon; for example, their Spanish vocabulary grew as they researched the names of their favorite ocean creatures; their math skills were expanded through counting the donations from their bake sale; their fine motor skills and creativity were developed through their artwork for the book. It was truly an interdisciplinary project that all of the students felt ownership in and one that allowed them to make a positive difference in other children’s lives.

Teacher Feature: Twos Class Explores Alexander Calder

This week’s teacher feature highlights a lesson from one of our two year old classrooms. Teachers Javacia Finney, Stephanie Lopez, and Shawna Williams brought their class to the National Gallery of Art’s newly renovated East Building. They used works of art made by Alexander Calder to teach about his life, techniques, and artwork. Below, you can find photos from the lesson and a reflection from Javacia, Stephanie, and Shawna.

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Before visiting the National Gallery of Art, Javacia laid out all the artwork that the class had recently made. Since the class had been learning about artists, there was a plethora of work. Javacia led a discussion where the children talked about what they remembered about each artist and work of art.

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Rather than dismissing the group as a whole, she called on each child to point to a specific artwork before leaving the circle. This game allowed her to ensure that each child had the opportunity to be recognized as an individual and helped to smooth the transition.

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Once at the National Gallery of Art, the class sat underneath Untitled, 1976, by Alexander Calder, a giant mobile that hangs from the atrium ceiling.  They made a circle and were encouraged to look up at the mobile as Javacia read the book Sandy’s Circus by Tanya Lee Stone.

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As Javacia read, the children were able to take advantage of the amazing space. They continually looked up at the ceiling and pointed to the moving mobile. The class was so captivated by Untitled that Javacia said in her reflection that she believes that this moment will leave lasting memories for her class.

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Javacia passed out materials for the class to explore. The materials included pipe cleaners and metal wire. The class was encouraged to manipulate and explore the materials while looking up at Calder’s mobile. Javacia explained that back in the classroom, the children would have the opportunity to use even more materials and supplies such as scissors and glue to create their own mobiles.

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To see more examples of Calder’s work, the class went upstairs to the Calder Tower, which houses the largest collection of Calder art. The class walked around the room and described what they saw. Some children were particularly drawn to the sculptures of animals. Others seemed to gravitate towards the mobiles which produced shadows that moved across the space.

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After visiting the National Gallery of Art, the class worked on making their own art inspired by Calder, which was later displayed in the class’ very own art exhibition. Manipulating the metal wire provided the children with the opportunity to work their fine motor skills in a new way.

A reflection from Javacia, Stephanie, and Shawna:

What were your topics of exploration?

For the past few weeks we have been learning about different artists. Some of the artists in our unit of study included Henri Matisse, Roy Lichtenstein, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and Yayoi Kusama. On this particular day, we were learning about Alexander Calder.

How did this topic emerge?

We noticed that our students were interested in the sculptures that we saw while walking on the National Mall and in the sculpture gardens. We thought it would be a great idea to teach them about the artist who created these wonderful works of art.

Why and how did you choose the visit?

I chose the National Gallery of Art because I wanted to make use of Alexander Calder’s amazing 76-foot-long mobile that hangs from the ceiling of the East Building. The National Gallery has other Calder works, including an entire room in its tower that is completely dedicated to Alexander Calder. In this room, my class was able to see sculptures and mobiles from his entire career. To utilize both spaces, we had circle time under the large mobile in the lobby and then went upstairs to the tower to view more of his work.

What were your learning objectives?

  • Learn about the life and work of the artist.
  • Observe and speculate about the artistic intentions in specific pieces of art.
  • Learn about various processes and techniques used to produce works of art.
  • Use a variety of materials to make their own reproductions of the art.

During this specific lesson I read Sandy’s Circus by Tanya Lee Stone. This book describes the story of Calder’s youth and his making of wire circus figurines. After reading Sandy’s Circus, I gave out craft wire, pipe cleaners, and other materials. These materials encouraged group discussion, engaged the senses, and strengthened their fine motor skills. I then explained that the class would have the opportunity to create their own mobiles and sculptures back in the classroom. The children took full advantage of their opportunity to create and craft with the wire, which allowed the children to create without boundaries.

How did you prepare yourself for this lesson? Did you know about this topic beforehand or did you have to research?

To prepare for this lesson, I read several different books about Alexander Calder. The two books that I found most useful were Alexander Calder by Mike Venezia and Sandy’s Circus. I also used the internet as a resource. The National Gallery of Art has a great website and I relied on it heavily. After I had enough information about him, I was sure to visit the works at the National Gallery of Art and looked at all of his sculptures that are outside on the National Mall.

What was successful in terms of your preparation and logistics?

I think sitting and having our circle time underneath the large 76-foot long Alexander Calder mobile was definitely helpful. As I was reading and talking about Calder’s mobiles, I saw the children looking up in amazement. I feel that was a powerful experience that will have a lasting memory.

What recommendations would you have for another teacher trying out this lesson?

For another teacher trying out this lesson, I would let them know that an alternative place to have a circle is on the rooftop off of the Calder tower. This might be helpful if the museum is particularly crowded. My class was lucky in that we were able to sit under the Calder mobile in the lobby with minimal distractions. But since that mobile is in the lobby, it just takes one large group to make the space too loud or distracting for a class of two year olds. I often like to have backup locations for circles in my mind. This helps ensure that I can be flexible and my class can have the best lesson possible.

How did you follow up this lesson? What topics were explored?

Alexander Calder was the last artist we learned about. We had previously done similar in-depth studies of artists and had given the class the opportunity to create their own work inspired by the artists. For example, Claude Monet inspired lily-pond paintings, Vincent Van Gogh inspired Starry night paintings, Roy Lichtenstein inspired pop art, Yayoi Kusama inspired pumpkins and a polka-dot wall, and Henri Matisse inspired cut-outs. After the children were finished with all of their projects, we transformed our classroom into a museum by hanging up all of their artwork.  We ended this artist unit of study by having a special art exhibition and invited family members to come view their artwork.

To learn more about how this class studied Kusama, Van Gogh, Lichenstein, Monet, and Matisse, come back to read their round up on artists.

 

 

 

 

 

Explorers Round Up

We recently featured a toddler class lesson on natural wonders. This lesson was part of a larger unit on explorers. The web below shows some of the topics that the class investigated while learning about explorers. The highlights from the unit included camping, transportation, and outside play. The class ended the unit with their own adventure by riding on the DC Circulator Bus.

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To start their unit on explorers, the toddler class learned about the different places that they could explore. The teachers, Lauren Bundy, Katherine Custer, and Emily Romig, brought their class to the see an exhibit in the National Museum of Natural History called the 100 Years of America’s National Park Service: Preserve, Enjoy, Inspire. Learning about the different areas in the world through the collections, such as the picture above of Death Valley National Park, allowed the class to discuss places that they would like to visit and explore.

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When exploring new areas, having a map to navigate can be extremely helpful. So Lauren, Katherine, and Emily put out maps in their classroom to help their class of explorers learn to navigate. The toddlers were fascinated by maps and pointed them out whenever they saw them on their daily outings.

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The class turned their attention to exploring the bugs and insects on the National Mall. The class visited the Pollinator Garden, which is one of the gardens outside the National Museum of Natural History. By looking through handmade binoculars (toilet paper rolls taped together), the class was able to spy different aspects of the garden.

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For toddlers, exploring the outdoors means playing outdoors! This class took full advantage of SEEC’s playgrounds where they were able to play and partake in self-directed exploration. Playing outdoors is not only fun; it is also crucial for young children since they learn through play. Additionally, playing and exploring the outdoors helps children build appreciation to the natural wonders that occur outside and helps create the desire to help protect the environment.

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To continue their exploration, the class needed to pack their bags. During morning circle, the toddlers were able to choose which items they wanted to put in a suitcase. Later that day, the class went to the National Air and Space Museum’s America by Air to learn about traveling by plane and to see examples of things people packed in their luggage.

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The toddler explorers decided to go on a camping trip while at school. So the teachers setup a tent on the playground where they learned about campfires, made kid-friendly (no fire) s’mores, ate the s’mores inside a tent, and played with flashlights and shadows.

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Explorers need a way to communicate with their friends and family while traveling so the class learned about sending postcards. The toddlers made their own postcards, visited the post office, and then pretended to drop their letters off in a postbox.

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To end their unit on explorers, the toddlers went on their own adventure! The class boarded the DC Circulator Bus and rode it around the National Mall and monuments. At SEEC, toddlers often see and point out the buses as they go by, but they are rarely given the opportunity to ride the bus. Being able to board and ride the bus was such a hit that many of the toddlers did not want to get off even when it was their stop!

For other ideas check out SEEC’s Pinterest! If you are thinking about creating an explorers unit, be sure to check out our boards on camping, nature, play, and natural phenomena