Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Winter Themes

By Sara Rocio Raeesi-Guajni
Wow! New Year, new decade, and new beginnings!
Early in January as the children were eager to share their holiday season experiences, they also were extremely curious about how the forest has changed and who lives underneath the snow. While walking up to the porcupines’ house and singing our weather song [... tell me the weather: it is raining, snowing or it is hot?]
ET: Is it hibernating!!!
At that moment we decided to pause and to question:
S: What is hibernation? What about the trees? Do they hibernate?
G: Trees do not hibernate. They stand up very, very tall and the snow falls on them and that is why they do not need to hibernate.
LC: Yes, trees hibernate because the bark protects them.
C: No, trees do not hibernate because they are trees.
EL: Yes, trees hibernate, they grow tall till they become a cave and in the cave they look for monsters.
January’s pedagogical theme:
We are deconstructing this concept with games such Hi? Bernate!!!, Camouflage!!, sensory explorations, nature treasure hunts, following animal tracks, building caves, dens, and burrows and by answering questions such who hibernates? How animals hibernate? How animals in the forest prepare for hibernation? Most importantly, we explore by having fun and enjoying the beauty of the snow with all our senses and, of course snuggling underneath trees and behind snow banks by the creek with meditation, telling stories and reading books.Lately the children are inquiring about:
1) It is possible to hibernate in space? Can people hibernate?
2) How it is possible to live in ice?
3) Who lives in the Arctic? Where do the penguins live? Does the sun shines in the Arctic?
4) How do the baby polar bears live in the cold arctic weather? What happens if the snow melts, can they walk?
5) What about if we add colour to the snow caves and ice houses we have created?
February’s pedagogical theme:
We will continue to explore the meaning of hibernation. We will add the concept of Winterlude, will investigate the life near the Arctic and Antarctic, and the children will be introduced to astronomy concepts such name of stars and how the stars are formed into constellations.We will recreate a Winterlude celebration throughout the forest, we will simulate the Aurora Borealis, and we will create a mini planetarium in the Igloo. These provocations will provide plenty for sensory explorations, games, artistic expression, reading, storytelling, building, creating and recreating, meditating and contemplating. What a great way to explore the forest in winter and to wrap up the most beautiful months of the year.Please join me and the children for a great winter celebration. Parents are welcome to share talents, resources, ideas, and by discussing and expanding these themes at home with your child.

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