This month we moved on from the study of mammals to the study of birds. The children are learning that birds are the only animals that have feathers, that they give birth to eggs from which the hatchlings emerge, and that some birds can fly while others can not.
Connecting our study of animals to geography in an interdisciplinary approach we have created nomenclature cards for the classroom of birds from the different continents, and of course a set of lovable penguin cards (who doesn’t love penguins?). The children have enjoyed learning about the Macaroni Penguin, the Rock Hopper Penguin and the birds in their own backyards. You can download your own copy of our (North American) Pacific Northwest Bird Cards.
Summer is a great time for the children to get outdoors and learn as well. The garden is in full bloom and the children have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and grapes. Our outdoor work shelf includes harvesting containers for the children to pick their own berries. We have also been discussing the growth of the vegetables in the garden, another interdisciplinary approach to nature, math and sensorial education as we notice and measure the change in size, shape, smell, and color of our flowers and plants (especially the growth of our corn and beans). Our study of plants continues inside the classroom with Garden Flowers of the Pacific Northwest, Parts of a Flower, and Herbs nomenclature cards.
Children play a large role in the care of the plants both inside and outside of the classroom learning responsibility and growing their self-esteem. There are opportunities for watering plants, pruning plants, washing the leaves of a plant and even dusting plants. This past week we added a potting bench to our outdoor environment and will be stocking it with soil, child sized tools and seeds to help nurture the next generation of garden enthusiasts.