Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Coloring With Flowers

Our conversations in the Gan often focus on the beautiful array of colors.  Colors of nature surround us and inspire us.  The Two’s cluster explored the garden and focused on the colors of the plants.
We started the guided discovery experience by giving each child a color sample to hold.  They were told that we would walk through the garden looking for a plant that matched the color on their sample card.

The children had to walk slowly and carefully while they looked for a color match.  Self control and the ability to focus were skills required for this stage of the experience.


When each child found a match, they announced to the group that they had found their color. They took great pride in their accomplishment.

To extend the discovery, we gathered back in the Blue classroom, and looked at a collection of leaves, flowers, bean pods, and wood chips that had been collected in the Gan.  I asked the children if they had ever used a crayon to color on paper.  They demonstrated with their hands how they would move the crayon to put color onto the paper. 
I asked them if they thought the color from the plants would make color on the paper.  Some said “no” and some said “yes”.

I asked how we could find out.  The answer was “press it” on the paper.  We tried.  We got a smudge.
I asked again how they move a crayon and then a child tried moving a flower on the paper in the same way.
It worked!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Family Reunion

Fall has arrived and the markets are filled with Halloween pumpkins and acorn squash.  Talk turns to family activities such as carving a jack-o-lantern and the family Thanksgiving dinner.  In the Gan, our conversation turned to a particular family, the Gourd family.  Our students heard the story of Pepo's Family Reunion.  We learned that Pepo (an oversized berry with a hard rind) has many cousins, and aunts and uncles.  Uncle Turk wears a turban of many colors and Aunt Chioggia must have been really old because she had bumps all over. Pepo even has a cousin named Banana squash!  One of the students  said Aunt Chioggia had "a billion bumps".

The students took a few minutes to meet Pepo's family.  They found out that some things were the same and some things were different between all the family members.  We also talked about how they have brothers and sisters, or cousins that might have the same color hair or different color eyes, but they are still part of their family. They said Pepo was "smooth like a popsicle" but another family member was "scratchy in my hand".   It was interesting to use the sense of touch to feel the different textures.

We even got to look inside and see the seeds.


Then the children went to visit one of Pepo's cousins that lives in the Gan. Cousin Loofah looks like a "cucumber" or a "pickle". It even "feels like a cucumber".  But it is "not round like Pepo".  And it doesn't have a hard rind, it is softer.

When Loofah gets old and dries out, the fiber turns into a sponge - a loofah sponge! And you can use it in the bath tub to scrub clean.  There was so much to remember about Pepo's family that the students documented their discoveries.
Do you know Pepo's family?