Monday, February 27, 2012

J is for Jungle and A is for Animals

Last week we had a snow day so our J activities got cut short a bit.  So, Monday we started with Jungle Animals to connect the two letters. 
We started out by looking at the two books Walking Through the Jungle by Julie Lacome and We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs.  Both of these books are very rhythmical and well liked!  My main goal was to lead them to see that some of the animals were similar but the habitat was different.  A jungle was more of a rain forest type habitat and safari was more of a savanna type habitat.  I did not bring out the Venn diagram today.  That's coming out later in the week.  :-)  If your children are may wish to go into the difference between a rain forest and a jungle!  :-D  And you may wish to mention that really the lion isn't the "king of the jungle".  Something we found out this morning.  Lions like the wide open grasslands and do not spend much time in areas where there are a lot of trees.  However, maybe a jaguar (part of the cat family) would be considered the king of the jungle.   With older kids, you could really get into this theme and learn a lot of cool facts---a lot of cross-curricular could be slipped in!  With preschoolers, best to keep it simple.  (Though, my mind is already roaming with how I could use this topic to teach my school-age students next year!  Could turn into quite a project!)

Weekly Reader
We don't subscribe but I do save my boys' for future use (this particular one was from 2006) and I've had a few freebies come my way.  So this ran with our new found knowledge about the "king of the jungle".  :-)  I hadn't planned to use this today but decided this would be about perfect.  Added pipe cleaner snip its to find the words "some" and "are" since those are the repeated words.  Then when she rereads it without me, she has an easier time of it.  I suggest use of wikki stix also.  They don't move as easily as pipe cleaners.  :-)

Hundreds Chart
This day it was only K. so I pulled out a hundreds chart again.  This color coded hundreds chart came from  She loves her 10-100 song that we've learned and so she took a colored chip and moved it down the column as she sang the song.  We moved the chip around the hundreds chart as we "recounted" our number of days sticks.  We had used our counting sticks as we normally due, counting by 1s, making buddies and seeing if it was odd/even, comparing to each others (more, less, equal), counting by 2s.  But today we used our counting sticks like tallies and counted by 5s also. 
 Showing that on the hundreds chart was good!  After exploring with that hundreds chart we did a hands-on "what comes before and what comes after" number activity working with jungle animal minis with numbers ( to form a numberline from 1-20.  This was more difficult than I expected for her.  She really had a difficult time with the "before".  Using the term "after" seemed relatively easy but using the term "before" was not.  So we'll work on that.  She's really taken to the hundreds chart and really doesn't seem as overwhelmed with all those numbers as I thought she'd be.  She really has taken a liking to it.  She remembered many of our number chart patterns that I introduced last week!
Letter Sort
This "file folder activity" is visually appealing.  This printable has tall letters, short letters, monkey tail letters and loop letters.  The loop letters has a picture of a snake...which goes with many short/turtle letters.  Just a bit confusing for preschoolers.  Adding that "loop" category would make a nice venn diagram though.   Might just do that!  So I put a piece of paper over the loop and we just sorted by tall/giraffe, short/turtle, and tail/monkey letters.

Shades of Green Jungle 
This art activity really led to some great conversation.  First off, we had noticed the various shades of green in our book that we read.  Then we revisited how we make light and dark colors. 
So she made light green and dark green and we had regular green paint.  We used white with a bit of green, and green with a bit of brown to make the lighter and darker shades.  Then we used a J sponge to make our "jungle" with the shades of green.  Added stickers and voila! a simple art and fine motor activity!

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