March 2016 archive

Weekly Update 3.14

Earlier this week the Beavers got to spend some quality time with some older students with whom we rarely cross paths.

This semester, Ms. Brandt’s Tenth grade Health class has been working on a sociological about the origins of happiness. For their culminating activity they decided as a class that overall one of the things that makes them the happiest is being around younger children. What better way to wrap up their study than to spend time at the Beaver Lodge?! On Tuesday afternoon the tenth graders visited the Beavers to share some happiness. They talked about some of the things that make them happy:  dancing, being around friends, family, eating and having free time. We then went down to the Garden to draw pictures of some of the things that bring us joy.  New friendship were made and laughs were shared. Soon enough, games of hopscotch ensued,  bubbles were blown, and the Garden was teeming with happiness! It was a very special time for the Beavers and the tenth grade students really enjoyed their company.

We celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day! Here are some pictures of some good ol’ Saint Patty’s day fun!  Top of da mornin’ to ya 🙂

Teacher of the Day Dance Parties!

 

A Spring Composting Initiative – “Do the Rot Thing!”

The Beavers enjoyed many signs of spring this week!  The week  began with an inquiry centered on a mystery fallen branch that some friends found in the garden. We asked the Beavers what they thought would happen if we placed the branch in water. Hypotheses ranged, but to everyone’s pleasant surprise, beautiful white flowers began to bloom. The branch became the center of many observations.  Here are some pictures of the beavers in the science center, sketching their noticings.

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With the Beaver’s emergent interest in spring happenings, we decided to use the time to reintroduce our compost bin as a focal point of our curriculum.  We broke out the worms for some open-ended exploration.

After the Beavers had some time to bond with our wriggly friends, we started a conversation about the importance of composting.  Throughout the year, the children have shown a commitment to caring for our worms and reusing our food scraps.  At lunch, we often overhear them reminding each other to freeze their banana peels or rip their tangerine peels into small pieces.  Composting is important to the Beavers, but why? We asked them to think more deeply about what it means to compost.

What is Compost?

Carmen – It’s a bin with worms in it.

Vivian – We feed them food scraps and newspaper.

Why do we compost?

Téa – to help animals get food.  [we’re helping] worms

Lucia – So the worms can have more dirt to dig in

Jalen – Because worms eat banana peels and orange peels. It’s a good thing because they like to eat the peels

Ezra – Because they need it to make more dirt

Milo- I think anything with a core can be eaten by a worm. I think I saw a worm eat a core of a corn

Téa – the worms poop so much!… If you have so much garbage, you can give half of it to the worms and keep giving halves of all the garbage

Ava- We need healthy things for worms, like those things in the bin helps them grow bigger

Jake- The worms won’t grow bigger and bigger like us, they don’t have feet… they grow longer and longer.

Cate-It is good to compost because it makes more dirt for the world

Ruby- Why do we need the compost? because when the worms are living in that box we can set them free and we can use them for plants.

The Crickets came into our classroom for a surprise delivery of tangerine peels. The Beavers took this opportunity to thank and inform the crickets about what kinds of compost materials they can continue to bring down to our classroom to share with our worms.

The Beavers clearly understand how and what we compost, but we realized they needed more time to process why we compost.

On Wednesday, during half groups the Beavers engaged in an activity delineating the “journey of garbage”.  We began by reading Here Comes the Garbage Barge by Jonah Winter, a book that tells the true story of one small town in Long Island with a massive garbage problem.  As the author states, the moral of the story is: “Don’t Make So Much Garbage!” The teachers then asked the Beavers:  How can we reduce the amount of garbage we make?  How are we doing so in our classroom?  To illustrate this concept, the Beavers sequenced some images of garbage; one group of pictures showed the journey of trash ultimately ending up in a landfill. The other set of pictures showed the journey of food waste being added to a worm bin and ultimately, becoming compost.  These were some of their thoughts about the opposing trajectories of a food scrap.

Tea- Once upon a time there was a boy who ate an apple and then he threw it out into the garbage can. Sadly the boy watched as the garbage truck took away the garbage and ended up in the landfill.  I prefer [the composting] one  because it is helping the earth be a better place for everyone to live. It takes up a lot of space in our beautiful earth!

Emerson- First there was a boy.  He was eating an apple then and it waste some earth, which we could have made a big metal can to bury it. And this way we can save the earth.

Cate- The boy was eating an apple and he decided to put it in the compost bin, the worms get to work and they make soil.

Through this illustration, the Beavers were able to assess the benefits of composting, and how composting is an important step in our journey to reduce the amount of garbage we produce.

Following this discussion, the Beavers illustrated what they envision for our compost.  Starting with one of the images from our sequencing activity, the Beavers created visual storylines depicting how we can use the beautiful, fertile soil our compost bin is turning.  While some imagined returning the compost to the earth for plants and flowers, others imagined the next generation of worms wriggling happily through our worm bin.

When we return from spring break, we plan to harvest our compost and put it to use.  We will discuss the ways in which we can positively impact the earth and service our community.  Bridging our classroom project to the larger school community, we hope to use our knowledge to educate others about the power of composting.  Stay tuned…

Community in Action

Community in Action Week was a success!  The week, and Community in Action Day in particular, provided an excellent opportunity for the children to engage in our ongoing diversity work across grade levels.  As our conversations for the past two weeks have surrounded the themes of identity  and intersectionality, it was rewarding to bring the entire Preschool together to participate in these conversations together, and visualize the diversity of our school community.  As the Puppies, the Beavers, and the three Kindergarten classes entered the Lower School Music Room and gathered to start our assembly, the Beavers were visibly excited to continue these investigations.  We were so touched by their open hearts and open minds.  

We began the day with a Preschool Assembly.  Facilitated by our new Director of Diversity, Semeka Smith-Williams, we kick started the day with a viewing of a faculty and student intersectionality video.  In this video, various members of our school community shared about aspects of their identity – specifically disclosing some of their identifiers.  

After the assembly, we met in the Dance studio with the Puppies to play a game called “Four Corners.”  In this game, we asked the children various questions about different aspects of their identity.  Depending on their answers, they would travel to the corner of the room which had an answer with which they most closely identified.  Some of the questions we asked your children were…

  • If you had to choose, what’s your favorite color? (pink, blue, black, none of these)
  • How do you travel to school? (train, car/taxi, walk, other)
  • Learning in school feels…(just right, tricky, easy)
  • How would you describe your skin color? (light, dark, in-between)
  • Do you have siblings? (Yes, no, I wish I had siblings)
  • Do you feel like… (a girl, a boy,  both or neither?)              

Once the children had traveled to a corner of the room which they most closely identified with, the teachers facilitated conversations between the Puppies and the Beavers about what they noticed.  Are there a lot of children that identify this way? Why or why not? The dialogue was rich and the activity helped the children build connections with children who shared similar identifiers.   

After our Assembly and Four Corners, we headed back to our room for Morning Meeting.  Our greeting for the morning was to finish the sentence: “I’m Proud to Be…” Here were their responses.

Lucia: I’m proud to have a big family

Harper: I’m proud to be a girl

Charlie: I’m proud to come from Germany

Pearl: I’m proud to love sparkles

Téa: I’m proud to love the word “seashell” and to be a very fancy girl

Emerson: I’m proud to have two dogs

Ruby: I’m proud to have my squirrel shirt

Elfie: I’m proud to feel beautiful on the outside but also in my heart

Cate: I’m proud to have a family

Milo: I’m proud to be Persian, we have our own holidays!

Jake: I’m proud to be an active person in my family

Arjun: I’m proud to be a Skylander lover

Harry: I’m proud that part of my family came from a different country, because before I thought all of my family came from New York!

Jalen: I’m proud to have stuffed animals at home

Asher: I’m proud to be a 4 train lover

Ava: I’m proud to have my sister as a part of my family

Erica: I’m proud to be a Californian

Alex: I’m proud to have peach skin

Steelo: I’m proud to be 5 years old

Ezra: I’m proud to be 4 and a half

Vivian: I’m proud to be a big sister

Denisse: I’m proud to have olive skin

Sara: I’m proud to live in a city with so many different kinds of people

Carmen: I’m proud to be a daughter

Later in the day, the children colored their Identity Branches, each with a different vision in mind.  To culminate our CIA day, we sat together in a “Celebration Circle.”  During this time, each child shared their completed Paper-Doll Self Portraits (they came out so well! – make sure to visit the bulletin boards in our hallway to get the full experience) and shared their identity branches.  As they shared, each Beaver beamed with pride.  We thank you for your support with these conversations.  It was evident that every child felt connected, proud and invested.  We loved watching them confidently discuss the ways they identify.  

We continued our work with our Buddies on Thursday, playing a game called “Mingle Huddle.” A take on freeze dance, the children bopped around until the music stopped.  When the music stopped, they were asked to find a huddle with their buddy and to try to come up with as many identifiers as they had in common.  It was amazing to hear the fourth graders engage our Pre-Kers in independent conversations about their gender, race, ethnicity, religion etc.  Time with our Buddies is always cherished, but Thursday’s visit  felt extra special.

One topic of conversation that emerged during our CIA week conversations was the notion of being an ally.  As we introduced different identifiers, the Beavers recognized the varying injustices that surrounded these topics:  Who says girls can’t play football?  Why are people judged by the color of their skin?  Why can’t a boy wear a dress if that’s what feels comfortable?  This conversation initially began after a reading of Players in Pigtails by Shana Corey, which tells the story of the first women’s baseball league.  Here are some of the Beavers thoughts as we read:

Elfie: Girls can do baseball, football or anything they want.

Ruby: Yeah, remember the golden rule, treat other people the way you want to be treated

Harry: That’s not nice to say girls can’t do baseball.

Arjun: It’s stereotype.

Cate: There are lots of boys and girls in this entire life

Elfie: If girls want to play basketball, they can play.

Milo: Very long ago girls weren’t able to do the things that boys were. Like they couldn’t be the bosses or they couldn’t even wear certain things. Like they always had to wear dresses and I know a lot of girls don’t like that but they didn’t have a choice

Cate: Girls… they weren’t allowed to do what they wanted to do

Steelo: But today women are the boss of men.  Woman don’t have to cook the men can cook for women now in these days. My mom doesn’t know how to cook so my dad cooks for my mom

Cate: My dad is a better cooker. My mom always messes up the pancakes

Emerson: Thankfully in the 1980s and in the 19’s later MLK, he decided that this world should change. Fight with your words and not with your hands.

Tea: Why did Katie not know that she would have a chance to play baseball?

Milo: Did you know, in the 1970s no girls were allowed to either cook or be in a kitchen.

No matter their theories (accurate or not! :), in these moments, the teachers encourage the Beavers to think critically about what they could do when they witness moments of injustice or perpetuated stereotypes.  Empowering children to see themselves as changemakers or allies is crucial.  On Thursday, we did some role playing to practice how to be an ally.  The teachers acted out various situations where someone was being treated unfairly due to an aspect of their identity.  We asked the Beavers to step in as the ally.  Here are some of their ideas about how they would be an ally.

These discussions continued today as we read One by Kathryn Otoshi.  This book examines the platitude “It only takes one”, providing context through characters of color.  While Blue is quiet, Red’s a “hothead” who likes to pick on Blue. The other colors don’t like what they see, but no one speaks up.  Then One comes along and shows all the colors how to stand up, stand together, and count. Here are some of the Beavers’ responses:

What is an ally?

Tea- someone who stands up for others.  An Ally can say hey Red, that is not nice you should stop it and be nicer to Blue.

Why don’t any of the other colors say something to Red?

Carmen- Because Yellow would feel bad for Blue, but maybe she is afraid of Red.

Milo- I think she would be scared because she might blend in with Red.

Elfie- They might feel sad when someone is giving them a put down.

Why did Red get bigger?

Pearl- because no one stopped him.

Tea- I would say, STOP PICKING ON THE NICE PEOPLE!

…You would feel not so small.  Can you please stop picking on us, we love you bye.

Ruby- Stop doing it, we don’t like it we are going to run away from you unless you stop it

Jake- be nicer to us, we are smaller than you. We are nice colors too, you know?

Asher- He has to be little because he was not nice

What would make red feel better?

Steelo- Stop it you are making him feel bad and small

What does the phrase: “Sometimes it just takes one” mean?

They all chanted: One person!, one color!, one Beaver!

Happy Birthday to another Beaver! Thanks for sharing delicious cupcakes and a reading of The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew DayWalt.

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Identity Conversations: Gender, Culture, and our Physical Expressions of Identity

This week, we continued to explore the guiding question: What makes you, you? We focused on aspects of our physical identity and the ways we express our identity outwardly.

We started the week by reading “Children Just Like Me” by Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley.  In this nonfiction book assembled by UNICEF, the authors and photojournalists, use real photos and descriptions of the daily lives of children from around the world. We examined the ways in which our physical expression reflects our culture. We learned about Celina from the Amazon, Esta, a member of the Maasai people living in Tanzania, Erdene from Mongolia, Meena from New Delhi and Suchart from Thailand. We examined aspects of their daily lives and the impact they may have on the clothing they wear.  We asked them to think about the information we could garner about aspects of each of these children’s identity just by looking at them.  We could tell Celina must live somewhere hot, because she wears light cotton shorts, no shirt and no shoes.  We learned that Está had a shaved head because in her village all of the woman and girls are expected to wear their hair this way.  We learned that Suchart wore an orange robe because he lived in a temple and is studying to become a buddhist monk.

We then read, “My Mom is a Foreigner, but Not Me!” and talked about American children (New Yorkers, moreover) who all have mothers who are immigrants.  We discussed what it means to be a foreigner and to be living in a place with different customs and culture.  We talked about how it might be very hard at times to be living in a place that is so different from where you grew up.  When some of the characters felt embarrassed by the “different” ways their mothers did things, the Beavers considered this.  Many children commented that they shouldn’t feel embarrassed as everyone is different and differences are really good.  We affirmed that it is these differences that make the world a more interesting place.  Throughout this conversation we talked about how our outward expression of who we are can reflect our culture.  We discussed the character whose mom wears a sari or the boy whose mother wears a kimono.  We then talked about the American culture around clothing and some of the things we commonly see.  Providing children an opportunity to examine the ways we communicate our culture is an important step in helping them expand their perspective, and to process an alternate way of living.

Another aspect of identity we explored this week is gender.  At Packer we are committed to shaping an environment which is inclusive.  We know from the research that children can identify themselves and others as a boy or girl by the age of two.  On a daily basis our students are receiving implicit and explicit messages about what it means to be a boy or a girl. In her book, “From the Dress-Up Corner to the Senior Prom: Navigating Gender and Sexuality Diversity in PreK-12 Schools,” Dr. Jennifer Bryan writes, “Marketers of fashion, toys, and gear populate and dominate consumer culture with grossly exaggerated images of femininity and masculinity.” (Bryan, 2012).   In our classroom conversations we want to help children recognize, identify and reject these stereotypes.  Our goal is to help children see, there are many ways to be a human; all of which are equally valuable and important.  Traditionally we have been offered an either/or view of gender.  You are one thing or another.  We know that the world is infinitely more complex and beautiful.  Leading children to believe that they need to choose one thing over another, limits them in oppressive ways.

This week, we began our identity work around gender by reading “Jacob’s New Dress” by Sarah Hoffman, Chris Hoffman and Chris Case.  This book tells the story of Jacob, a young preschool-age boy who likes to wear the “girl stuff” in the dress-up corner.  He then goes home and expresses an interest in wearing a dress to school.  The book explores his parents’ complicated feelings, as well as Jacob’s feelings of shame and experimentation.  Ultimately, he is supported by his friends and his parents, and finds pride in the way he is choosing to express himself.  As he claims in the end, “There are lots of ways to be a boy.”

In order to more fully unpack the happenings in this book, we first needed to introduce the notion of stereotypes. As we defined them to your children, “stereotypes are when some people believe only one thing to be true about something.” We then referred back to previous conversations we have had about colors, toys and activities in which we engage.  The Beavers have dispelled gendered binaries before, claiming there is no such thing as “girl stuff” or “boy stuff”. We talked about how dangerous stereotypes are. To quote the Beavers – something we know to be true – “anyone can be who or what they want to be.”  Through this lens, we read “Jacob’s New Dress.” The following are some of the quotes from our discussion:

Carmen: It’s a boy and the boy wanted to wear a dress and any boy can wear a dress

Jake: It looked like he likes to wear earrings and he likes his hair to be like a girl.

Vivian: [On the cover,] he’s playing with dinosaurs.

Milo: He looks like he needs to go to the bathroom.

In reference to Jacob putting on a dress, and another student criticizing him:

Arjun: that’s a put down the thing that (Christopher) just said.

Asher: and Christopher is wearing a dragon.

How do you think it made Jacob feel when Christopher told him dresses are only for girls?

Elfie: Really sad.  His friend Emily is giving him a put up because she did something nice.

We then discussed what we saw all of the boys wearing in the dress up corner of Jacob’s classroom.  We asked them to think about what they think these boys might want to play?

Asher: Policeman had guns

Carmen: Jacob wants to play princess or maybe he wants to play fireman?

Jake: maybe he wants to play he’s the fairy and he gives a big dinosaur a wish

Elfie: He can even be a queen. Christopher wants him to be a boy like a pirate or something.  But remember, on the computer a boy’s wearing a skirt (in reference to a picture of Jaden Smith we saw, in which he is wearing a dress).

Milo: Maybe she [the teacher] thinks it’s a costume.

Carmen: I think it’s like a fairy costume and he wants to wear it.

When Jacob asks his mom if he can wear a dress to school, we asked the Beavers to share what they thought his mom’s answer should be.

Cate: Of course you can

Ezra: You can wear dresses if you want to.

Ruby: I think Christopher really wants Jacob to be a boy because he always wear the girl clothes.

Steelo: Maybe Christopher thinks that girls are the only ones who can wear dresses and that boys are the only ones can wear pants and shorts.

Téa: What? That is so not true.

What would you say to Christopher to stand up for Jacob?

Harry: Boys can wear anything they want to!

Téa: You’re being naughtier and not a nice person, it’s really not what friends should do.

Steelo: I would say, Stop being mean!

Elfie:[I would say] I didn’t do anything to you, why are you laughing at my friend?

Charlie: I think Jacob probably felt powerful when he said he was in his dress. I bet he felt powerful because boys can wear shorts, t-shirts, or dresses.  Whatever they want.

On Thursday, we read “Horace and Morris But Mostly Dolores” by James Howe, illustrated by Amy Walrod. Throughout the book the children identified the stereotypes that were inhibiting Dolores and her friends. In this story, Horace and Morris but mostly Dolores love adventure.  They love to play pirates and explorers.  One day Horace and Morris are told that “A boy mouse must do what a boy mouse must do” and are asked to go play at a club where only boys are allowed.  Likewise, Dolores is told “a girl mouse must do what a girl mouse must do.” Dolores finds herself sad, depressed and bored when being forced to join the “Cheese Puffs Girls Only” club where she is told she can only do things like have tea parties and play princesses.  As we read, the children recognized the inherent stereotypes that were limiting Dolores.  Here are some sound bytes from our conversation:  

How do we believe Dolores felt when she saw her friends Horace and Morris go play in the ‘boys only’ club house?

Elfie: If we were in that book and we wanted to go in there and it said “no girls allowed” then we will be really sad.

Ezra: That would make me feel sad.

Lucia: [She felt sad] because she didn’t have someone with her.  She didn’t have her friends.

Vivian: Because she wants to see her friends but they are in a boy’s club house.

We introduced the word “ally” as a person who stands up for others and fights for equity or “fairness.” What would an ally do to help Dolores?

Téa: [An ally would] change the sign!

Charlie: It could say “Girls AND Boys allowed”

Milo: Maybe they could break off that sign and put it in the garbage?

How do we believe Dolores was feeling when she was in the ‘girls only’ club house?

Ruby: And also I saw that all that girls were wearing was dresses.  Boys don’t have to like black and blue…I like black and blue.

Cate: Sad… It’s like they are forcing her to do these things…

Emerson: She can make her own choices.

When the mice decide to make their own club that rejects stereotypes and includes all types of mice, we asked: Who do we believe will be allowed into Horace, Morris, Dolores and Cloris’ club house?

Elfie: Boys and girls allowed.

Emerson: All mouse children allowed.

Tea: Adventure club: all mice allowed.

Jalen: All the mouses allowed.

Harry: Everybody allowed.

After reading these stories, we introduced Jennifer Bryan’s gender continuum.  This construct challenges the oppressive nature of a gender binary and offers a framework, which embraces the inherent diversity of gender identity.  Specifically we discussed gender identity, “the way one thinks and feel inside about their gender”; gender expression, “the way one shows the world their gender;” and the bodies we are born in, “the body parts each of us has at birth.”  We talked about how each of us falls somewhere on this continuum and that from day to day these aspects of our identity can be different and don’t always match up.

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We then placed where we think Jacob from “Jacob’s New Dress” and Dolores from “Horace and Morris But Mostly Dolores” would place themselves on the continuum.  We debated and contributed our thoughts about the identity of each of these characters based upon the facts we could gather through the books.  The Beavers agreed that both Jacob and Dolores would fall on different places on each continuum.  We then talked about how all of us can use this framework to help us describe our identity.  We named the fact that for some people their gender identity may line up with their gender expression and the body in which they were born; but for some, it does not.  We closed the week by reading the book “Players in Pigtails” by Shana Corey, illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon, another book which rejects the stereotypes and talks about America’s first female baseball team.  

After a week of read alouds exploring the identity of others, we culminated our discussions today by reflecting on the physical expression of our identity. During Morning Meeting, we laid all of the printed photographs of the Beavers in their favorite outfits on the rug. We participated in a gallery walk to observe these images of our students and ourselves.   This conversation began with Sara modelling what her appearance and chosen clothing could show about her identity.  Carmen noticed, “[Your skin] looks a little white but really peach”; Alex noticed, “Your hair is long but also brown and blackish”; Pearl remarked, “You look like a girl, but you don’t wear colors like a girl.”  Sara agreed, affirming that although the body she was born in is that of a woman, and she identifies and feels like a woman, she doesn’t dress in a stereotypically feminine way.  We asked them to then think about what we can tell about the external expression of identity in our community. Here were their thoughts…

Milo: I notice Arjun is looking like his brother Theo!

Harper: Jake is holding a ball…he likes soccer.

Jalen: Harry is not holding something, but his hands are moving. I think it’s called a punch.

Harry: I like to move my body alot forward and backwards. This is a city bus shirt that I made and I like buses.

Ruby: Alex’s picture is telling me that she likes pretty stuff, because she is wearing a pretty pink dress. She has a feminine gender expression (pointed to the continuum).

Vivian: It looks like that Steelo loves robots, because there is robots on his pants and shirt.

Steelo: These are not all robots, these are all super heroes.

Elfie: I like Rescuebots and if someone like Rescuebots they just laugh because it’s the same.

Carmen: Steelo is moving his body; I think maybe he likes to move.

Harry: Ezra is almost on his tippy toes.

Carmen: He [Ezra] looks happy.

Cate: Asher loves Iron Man.

Milo: He [Asher] likes silliness a lot.

Ruby: Arjun… I know he really loves Star Wars now.

Tea: It looks like she [Carmen] wanted to show more of a feminine way, she wanted to show to the world that she loves girl stuff.

Elfie: This outfit kind of shows who I am. I like wearing dresses and skirts and t-shirts and pants. I think that my favorite color is pink and I like wearing pink, because it’s dark and light and I really like it.

The Beavers were delighted to see all of the photographs together.  As we reflected on the images, we noted how the exterior can reveal nuances of the individual.  Our community is diverse and is beautiful because of it.  

We are teaching children how to confidently describe themselves, explaining to them that their descriptions of themselves can change as often as they like.  Identity is fluid.  As they grow and change they will learn new and different ways to describe themselves, each of which we hope will be more empowering than the last.  We believe that every child in this community is unique and we want them to learn the vocabulary they need to celebrate their uniqueness with their peers.

 

The Beavers Take the MET!

On Wednesday, the Beavers (and eleven chaperones) loaded onto a school bus for our biggest field trip to date: a pizza party on the Upper East Side and a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art!  After enjoying a light lunch at Mimi’s Pizzeria on 84th and Lexington Avenue, we went to the museum for an educational afternoon.

In conjunction with our continuing study of imaginary and mythological creatures, our agenda led us right to the Greek and Roman exhibits, to embark on a scavenger hunt to find evidence of chimeras, griffins, the sphinx, and others.  As the Beavers wandered the halls of ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, they noticed the beautiful bronzes, ancient stone pieces, and familiar shapes and animals.  Using a trip sheet prepared by the teachers, they tallied off the number of Greek mythological creatures they noticed throughout the galleries.  They stopped in front of the Greek sphinx to do a quick sketch and notice similarities and differences from the sphinx’ we had studied from our classroom library.  

We then continued through to another sculpture hall of Ancient Greece to see a depiction of Perseus holding the head of Medusa in statue form.  The Beavers enjoyed seeing this sculpture, as it is a more artful interpretation of a “scary” myth, as opposed to a shocking or frightening one.  We discussed how many of the statues showed men and women in the nude, and discussed how as this might seem silly to us, it was done purposefully so that the viewer could appreciate the human body.  The Beavers remarked how this interpretation of Perseus and Medusa was not scary at all, and unanimously agreed that it was one of the best parts of the Greek and Roman exhibits.

We then proceeded to the section of the museum showing sculptures and artifacts from Ancient Egypt, looking specifically for the Egyptian interpretation of the sphinx to compare and contrast.  We observed and sketched the large sphinx at the Temple of Dendur and explored the temple itself.  We then closed out our afternoon at the MET by visiting a nearby playground in Central Park.  If you’ve never visited the “Ancient Playground” on 85th and 5th avenue, it is a must and was a real highlight of the trip!

Although it was a busy day, the Beavers maintained their attention and focus beautifully and were all interested in the all the MET had to offer.  We encourage you to return with your family!  

 

Goings-On Around (Beaver)Town…

Here are some images from the week!  Aside from our field trip, we had four days in our classroom full of activity and adventure.  We had some wonderful Teacher-of-the-Day shares and dances.

Speaking of dances, a HUGE thank you to Sary for coming in to DJ a dance party for the Beavers during Movement.  The dance party included mixed versions of all the class favorites, as well as a black light, a strobe light, and glow sticks for all!  Wow… talk about TGIF! Such fun!