Monday, 25 November 2013

THANKSGIVING DAY 1

This week we are learning about Thanksgiving. I thought I would start of the week by setting up the homecorner ready for preparing a Thanksgiving meal to share. The homecorner is a big favourite of all the children at the moment and I thought it would be a great way to encourage their interest and open some doors of communication so that I could introduce the story of Thanksgiving and some of the traditions.

I thought it would be fun to offer some real veg to play with! They love this "Real" addition to the homecorner.


We set up a lovely Thanksgiving Turkey!


Little "L" set up a great meal and shared it with me. She told me we needed to sit at the table together for dinner and then I could have some ice-cream!


"I set up your dinner for you Pip!"


She worked hard at preparing the vegetables. She pulled the tops off the carrots and then told me they a bit mucky.
"I teened it for you! I got all the mutty bits off for you!"
"Thank you L" I told her. "That's very kind and looks really yummy!"


A bit later on Little "R" arrived and Little "L" came to play.
Little "I" was very interested in chopping up the vegetables to make dinner and worked hard at chopping the mini sweetcorns in to little chunks.


Holding with one hand and using the other to chop!


Little "R" worked on the Brussel sprouts. Peeling the otter leaves off of them.



After all her chopping, Little "I" feed her baby her Thanksgiving dinner!


Later on in the day I offered Little "T" the vegetable basket to explore. He continued on his interest in setting things in motion and rolled the carrots and sprouts around the room, chasing after them as they rolled from his reach!



Durring lunch the Postman came and delivered our new Thanksgiving story book. I shared the story with the children while they were eating and several times after lunch. Perfect timing!


After the school pick up, the homecorner get really busy........ and MESSY!
The older children are very good at chopping the vegetables and they asked for a cheese grater to cut things up a bit smaller! All great skills that they will be able use later in life when they start to cook real meals.
The older girls even set the table with a vase of flowers!


Kenzie was in charge of grating the carrots!




They also happily practised cleaning up after all the fun! They used dustpan and brushes, cloths to wipe the sides down, took all the dirty dishes to the kitchen and then got out the hoover. More great life skills being learnt for adult life.

LEARNING INTENTIONS AND IDEAS FOR EXPANDING LEARNING:
 The idea of this weeks focus is to introduce other cultures and traditions to the children. To learn the story of Thanksgiving and to experience some of the fun and traditions that American families enjoy each year. I wanted to offer this experience as an introduction to Thanksgiving and use it to open dialogue with the children before we look more deeply in to the people and stories behind Thanksgiving day.

CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING:
 All of the children showed real interest and motivation in this play activity. They all had their own ideas about how they wanted to use the food offered and the equipment.
 Little "L" wanted to clean the veg but offer up everything whole and she also wanted us to sit together to enjoy a family meal.
Little "I" wanted to chop everything in to smaller pieces so she could feed her baby. 
Little "R" wanted to play mums and babies and cook her family a meal.
The older children were much more keen in cutting the food in to tiny pieces and creating interesting dishes with the different coloured grated and chopped vegetables and with dried beans and pasta. They then turned the dinner table in to a restaurant!  They all had their own ideas and shared them freely. They thought critically and chose ways to do things while making links with similar real life experiences. 
The children were engaged and enjoying finding out about the vegetables as they peeled off outer leaves and chopped others up. They explored the resources offered and brought other loose parts in to their play.
 They enjoyed the Thanksgiving story and started to make links with the food on our table and the food in the story. "We have that in the playroom Pip!" 


Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas
  • Communication and Language
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Devvelopment
  • Understanding the World
  • Literacy
  • Expressive Art and Design.


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