Exploring the Underworld and Other News

On Monday we spent some time learning more about your children’s ideas about what lies beneath us. Responding to the prompt, “If I dig and dig and dig…”  the Beavers gathered to brainstorm and generate language of what we can discover through excavation.  They then shared their ideas about this act of discovery and their theory of what lies beneath.  Using chalk, gel markers, and a choice of black or brown paper, the Beavers then illustrated their ideas.  Here are their hypotheses:

Milo: I’ll find lava.

Harper: I will find worms!

Arjun: There’s the underworld and I got trapped in it, and the Hulk comes and saves them.  There are lava and booby traps in the underworld, and a deflector shield.

Ezra: The underworld, and there’s booby traps everywhere, that’s the white dots.  And there are monsters!

Jalen: I will find treasure.  Coins and treasure.

Carmen: I will an underworld.  The underworld will become a world of new things.

Lucia:  I will find golden necklaces and rings.

Pearl: You’ll find a puppy and bunny land.

Téa: You’ll find gold sand with a treasure chest in the middle!

Harry: I can find some worms!  This is a picture of the outside and inside, with a rainbow in the sky.  And there’s a rainbow underground.  

Ruby: A long worm, another worm, a root, rainbows, and that’s all!

Ava: I will find an underground rainbow shop.

Asher: I’ll find a baby magnet!

Steelo: Two plastic rings with red plastic gems.

Cate: I will find worms.  I drew these lines because I think I’m gonna find them in different spots.

Jake: I would find a pirate ship with the pirate inside.

Vivian: I will find mud and dirt.

Alex: Maybe I can find some old cookies!

Charlotte: I think I will find some history.  It could be!

Emerson: I will find worms and creatures and insects.

We noticed that in many of your children’s theories there were similar themes about the Underworld and its existence beneath the mud.  We asked them how they thought we might bring their ideas to life to further explore them.  Through discussion the Beavers agreed that they would like to transform our Dramatic Play area into “The Underworld.” To start this process we began painting some murals that will hang in their Underworld.  They grouped together their ideas to create 4 distinct murals. Pearl, Vivian, Emerson, Carmen and Arjun worked on a mural that included “Greek Gods,” “the bottom of the Earth,” “lava”, and “a world filled with puppies and bunnies.”  Harper, Jalen, Lucia, Téa, and Ezra worked on a mural that included: “a pink treasure chest,” “golden coins,” “dirt,” “worms,” and “litter.” Ruby, Harry, Asher, Elfie, and Cate created a mural with “old planted roots,” “mud and wet mud,” “worms,” and “baby chicks.” Jake, Ava, Charlotte, Alex and Steelo made a mural with “mud,” “buried treasure,” “a pirate ship,” “a treasure box,” and “a ring.”  Throughout the planning process there was lots of discussion about how when digging you will always first go through the layer of worms, mud, and litter before you will arrive at the Underworld filled with magical creatures and treasure.  Dramatic Play is still under construction and next week we anticipate planning the next stages of development.  

May Day was this week!  Congratulations to everyone involved, including older siblings.  Although the Beavers were not *officially* a part of the performance, the excitement and energy of the event carried over into our classroom.  We attended the dress rehearsal on the Thursday before the originally scheduled May Day, with the Beavers literally dancing in their seats as they watched!  On May Day itself, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to join the Puppies on the fire escape to watch the performance.  The Beavers have been so involved in the excitement and wrapped up in the May Day energy that the entire soundtrack has become a classroom favorite.  You may have heard your child singing the classic 80s tune “Eye Of The Tiger” by Survivor, or “Hula Hoop” by OMI.  We have been having daily dance parties to these songs, and today in Dance, Alicia dedicated her entire Movement soundtrack to the songs of May Day.  

On Wednesday, we had a very special author’s visit.  Kara Van Kirk Levin, a family friend of the Mannix’, and a local author, came in to share her self-published book “Soldier.”  The book tells the story of a special porcupine who cannot be hugged because his quills stand up, and of all the woodland creatures that come together to solve this problem.  The Beavers joined the Kindergarten Trains in their classroom to hear a reading of the book, as well as to engage in a question and answer session with Kara.  The reading was captivating, and the entire experience was a delight.  Thank you to the Mannix family for connecting us with Kara!

With the turn in the weather, we took every opportunity to spend time outdoors this week.  On Thursday, we had outdoor Snack, picnic style!  The Beavers sat in groups in our drop off area, chatting over pretzels and clementines.  It was such a delightful experience that we took our Choice Time activities outside as well – in the Puppet Theater, the Beavers got to work creating cards for Denisse (who we all miss dearly!) and writing in Writer’s Notebooks.  Seeing as how so much of our indoor curriculum has reflected outdoor exploration, it was a great way to bring our learning outside the walls of our classroom in yet another way.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

  

 

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