Giraffe Spots

Using paper towels, paint brushes, and watercolors, we explored the exciting science behind giraffe spots! Before doing this project, we talked about spots and the different animals that have them. We then examined a few toy giraffes and discussed the different colors we saw. Lastly, we conducted an experiment! Using paint brushes, we dropped watercolors onto paper towels.

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As the towel became saturated, the spots started to run together! Sensory and discovery activities offer a means to introduce scientific concepts to young children.

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As they engage in the activity, they are practicing what they are learning. The actions they take part in allow them to experience a concept.

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As we were doing this activity, your little one was encouraged to talk about what they saw and what they were doing.

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Doing this enables their understanding of the physical and mental processes they are experiencing and provides them with the vocabulary to describe it.

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Giraffe Habitats

Giraffes can be found in central, eastern and southern Africa.

20180813_100540_hdrGiraffes live in the savannas of Africa, where they roam freely among the tall trees, arid land, dense forests and open plains.

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As part of our giraffe unit, we created our very own habitats out of brown styrofoam, wheat stalks, artificial grass and toy giraffes!

Play Dough Savannahs

One thing we like to do in Miss Carrie’s class is create environments.

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We do this with a variety of materials to make these activities fun and stimulating.

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For this activity, we created savannahs out of play dough and yellow pipe cleaners.

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Students then added an animal to their savannahs and created different scenarios with their friends!

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Sorting Elephants

Sorting and classifying are basic skills taught to children as part of preschool and kindergarten math programs. These activities require children to organize items into groups based on a common characteristic such as size, color, shape, texture, or flavor and also explain why they grouped the items as they did.

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Sorting and classifying are skills that a child will use in all areas of his life at home and in school as he puts away toys, organizes clothes, arranges a locker or empties the dishwasher, for example. Children first learn how to sort items.

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For example, a young child can likely separate a group of plastic figurines into two groups (vehicles and animals, perhaps) before he is able to state the distinction that cars have wheels and animals are living things. As children gain comfort sorting, they are encouraged to explain their thought process in sorting by identifying and naming the characteristic that determines the groups.

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Recognizing groups of objects requires logical thinking, an ability that will be important as your child makes other decisions. Also, understanding the relationship between the different groups and being able to discuss that relationship hones analytical skills. For this activity, we practiced sorting elephants by size. We placed large elephants at the top of the tray and decreased in size as we went down.

Feeding the Elephants

Under natural conditions, elephants eat mostly grass, tree leaves, flowers, wild fruits, twigs, shrubs, bamboo, and bananas.

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Their main food is grass when it’s available, along with some leaves. But if the weather turns dry and grass dies back, they will eat almost any kind of vegetation they can find.

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They will knock down trees to eat their foliage. They will even turn to bark and the woody parts of plants. Also elephants use their tusks to dig for roots.

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Much of this coarse food passes through their system without being thoroughly digested. They also use their tusks to dig for water, making it available not only to themselves, but also to other types of animals.

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To demonstrate this phenomena, we fed our very own elephants! Using tweezers, students placed leaves into the mouths of their elephants. This accessed both fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination!

 

Elephant Sensory Play

From birth through to early childhood, children use their senses to explore and try to make sense of the world around them.

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They do this by touching, tasting, smelling, seeing, moving and hearing.

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Sensory activities also play a key role in the maturation process of young children.

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Activities that require manipulation and touch enable children to heighten the adaptive response tthey playedhrough their senses. They are an integral component in early childhood education.

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They not only engage the child, but stimulate cognitive development.  To access this, your young one participated in an activity where they played with you elephants on “savannahs” made out of pasta, rice, and beans. Students enjoyed creating stories with their friends, engaging with their senses while doing so!

Lion Pom Poms

Very early writing is indicative of unconscious, or implicit knowledge of writing conventions.

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As children’s knowledge of writing develops, their implicit knowledge gradually becomes more explicit knowledge that they learn to use to communicate meaning.

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The more children interact with print in various forms, the more likely they will develop explicit knowledge and awareness of writing conventions. It is for this reason that we are always using creative ways to practice our writing. From tracing letters in sand, to writing them in pencil, we enjoy literacy!

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For this activity, we discussed the different shapes that form letters. We learned that some of these shapes are round, some are pointy and some are jagged. Using tweezers and pom poms, we created a letter L. They then traced Ls in sand. Lastly, we learned how to write an L with large pencils!