A broad but fascinating topic – the Earth – has evoked strong learning interests from the kindergarten children during September. The general topic has been split into three parts:
the shape and composition of the Earth
There is a complete learning sequence for each specific focus. In order to explore the shape and composition of our planet, children were provided with a globe to observe and investigate.
Firstly, we did some research during group time and reached the conclusion that the Earth is a sphere and is mainly covered by water and land. The second activity was balloon painting which is an appealing sensory activity.
Every child managed to paint the globe onto the balloon and roll it onto the paper into a perfect circle. The rolling process added more details and beautiful textures to the final artwork.
The third activity was making the globe using a foam ball and shredded paper. The skills and technique required for this activity included cutting, tearing, and pasting.
The creation process also provided the opportunity for children to understand three-dimensional shapes, which can be a great starting point to teach children geometry - a significant component of mathematics.
For the topic of continents, a world map was introduced during group time and displayed at our board. We started by identifying and recognizing their shapes, sizes, names and their major features. The multimedia learning resource we chose to use was the “Seven Continents Song” from Hopscotch, because it is so informative and interesting that children love to watch it repeatedly, obtaining and remembering the essential information easily.
Additionally, we explored the outlines of several continents which are quite intricate by coloring them in and decorating them with glitters.
We have also made this learning experience meaningful by connecting continents to our birthplace as the Camelot team is a highly diverse and multicultural group.
The continent matching set has been introduced as a follow-up activity to assess children’s learning and understanding. Once they could sort the seven continents and match them within the map, they developed a greater concept of the whole world.
For the topic of oceans, we tried to be creative with all the resources we possess. We made ocean slime for under the sea fun and children were inspired to discover the concept of hard and soft as they were offered a variety of sea animals and seashells. On the following day, we created an ocean tank to reflect the underwater world.
Firstly, we filled half up the tank with fresh water and we discussed the difference between fresh water and ocean water. We all agreed that ocean water tastes salty so we put salt in it.
Visually, ocean water is blue so we added blue food color into the tank. We also explored that sand stays at the bottom of the sea from our book ‘Tiddler’. We also learned that baby oil can be used to represent the waves of the sea as it floats on the surface. Lastly, our kinder children carefully put the sea creatures back into the ocean to mimic the authentic environment.
The third activity of this learning sequence was discovering the five oceans through the “Five Oceans Song” from Hopscotch to learn about their names and positions. As the ocean is surrounded by the landmass, it is important for children to recognise all the continents before they learn oceans.
Later, children were given different materials to make the sea creatures they like such as crabs, octopus and jelly fish. In order to encourage children’s communication skills and enrich this specific topic, we designed a group story-telling activity using the storyline of ‘Tiddler’, which involves performing arts as well.