Today’s group expanded on our current exploration of fall by reading Lois Elhert’s book, NUTS TO YOU! This book follows a squirrels adventures, chock full of rhymes and montages/collages.
Mrs. Lozano worked in the hallway with small groups of students, counting out peanuts and working on writing strokes (tracing lines of various shapes leading a squirrel to a nut) and completing a maze, allowing a squirrel to find his way to his favorite food source.
Ms. Newman worked with children inside the classroom, “shucking” peanuts while singing and making observations about the appearance of the different nuts and even counting how many nuts were inside different shells. Once the children filled 3 bowls full of nuts, they worked to measure the nuts, oil, salt and honey in to a food processor to grind into some “squirrel nut butter” which they ate with their snacks.
As the children rotated to various centers, they also took turns helping to make rubbings of leaves and different textures on brown butcher paper, creating the bark of a tree which we would use later for their squirrel montages.
Once we completed our morning rotations, did our jobs and sang some of our new fall songs, we then read the book, NUTS TO YOU. Just before reading the book, Ms. Newman showed the children the pictures and directed their attention to some of the details of the montages. She told them the squirrel may be collecting different materials to bring to their DREY. She then asked them WHAT IS A DREY and charted their answers. As t story was read the children were asked to make predictions about what was going to happen and to say why the squirrel took different steps. At the conclusion of the story, the children were again asked to define what a drey was, and they were all able to provide accurate responses.
Finally, Mrs. Lozano guided the children through a lesson on how to create a squirrel montage, similar to that in the book. She demonstrated how to gather certain materials, cut and make an initial plan. Once they were satisfied with their initial plan, they were to glue their pieces on to their paper and then go to the “montage” table to retrieve different materials to add to their plan. Photos of leaves, actual leaves, nuts and photos of real squirrels…..all items were places on their montage before gluing, again creating awareness of placement and balance. Once the children were satisfied with their plan, they glued their pieces onto their papers. The room was very quiet as the children worked, observed and modified their projects. Once again, the children’s growth was easy to observe and their pride in the accomplishments was heard in the conversation.