April 27, 2012

Wonderful Spring

Spring is the time for beautiful new beginnings!  On this gorgeous spring day -my Mother's birthday- I dedicate, this, my newest article to you, Mom.  Thank you for being a fantastic mom, my Mom.  Thank you for loving me, hoping for me, believing in me, supporting me.  In celebration of your birthday today, I announce the beginning of Joy Before You.  I hope it can offer for teachers, parents, and caregivers the encouragement you offer me always.  
I love you!

Image by Enwikipedia.org

Read:  The Wonderful Happens written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Coco Dowley

There are many wonderful things in our world.  Ask the children, "What do you think is wonderful?"

Tell the children we are going to learn about something wonderful this week.

{Ahead of time, fill a box with a few items characteristic of spring time.  Ideas are a feather, a flower, a packet of seeds, a small rabbit figurine.}

Holding the box higher than the child's height but within reach, allow each child to "blindly" choose an item from the box.  Encourage them to identify the item.  This item has to do with the something wonderful we are going to learn about.  Can they guess what it is?  This method engages inductive reasoning, which gives children practice drawing conclusions in new ways.

Help children as necessary to come to the conclusion that the lessons this week will be about spring.  Get excited with them about all this beautiful new season offers us.  Use the objects from the box to open their minds to an understanding of the spring season.

Dramatic Play:  Do you spring clean at your home or in your classroom?  Many people "spring clean" to make a fresh start by cleaning, organizing, rearranging, and letting in the fresh spring air.  Allowing and encouraging children to participate (both in the home/classroom and in the home play center, if you have one) shows them that they can make an impact on the places where they spend time.  It also encourages them to appreciate the value of work and a clean space to play.

-Of course you should never give young children actual cleaning products.  They will, however, be thrilled to help with a baby wipe, a rag, and/or maybe even a small spray bottle filled with water.

-Children can also help sort items that need to be organized or given away.  They can help find matches for items with a missing piece, as well.

-This is a great time to help children learn life skills such as sweeping, dusting, wiping, taking care of our things, and so forth.  Enjoy the extra hands!

Read:  How Mama Brought the Spring written by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Holly Berry

This story is fairly long for young children.  Reading it will probably be enough for one sitting.  Throughout the day, however, you can ask children about the book:

-How does Mama make spring come?
-Can making blintzes really make spring come?
-What did making blintzes do for the family?

This is a great story.  Look for extension projects from this book in the Cooking, Culture, Art, and Faith labels.

Next Time
Read:  Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes

This is a fun read with great pictures.  The extension projects from How Mama Brought the Spring are real and valid and can be empowering, but they are also heavy on the heart.  Let this book cheer your heart that you and your child are loved.  Abide in that love, and always seek ways to share it with the world.  A little goes a long way!

Image by Bunny-rabbits.com

Movement:  Re-read the story and encourage children to act out the scenes they see and hear.  Surely, they can hop!  Can they also be tall?  Can they be still like a rock?  Can they flutter through the air?

1 comment:

  1. B- I am super impressed. This is looking fantastic!


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