Saturday, May 1, 2010


{ Asia }

I love sharing this story based in India.  I told the story with felt 'puppets' that I made and the children can retell the story using the puppets on a work rug to a friend or just to themselves.  

{ Asian Cultural Artifacts Basket }

Here one child is offering help to another child with the Asia map.  It is so heartwarming to see the kindness of helping hands throughout the course of the day...

Globes and puzzle maps are used in  3-6 Montessori environments to teach geography in an extremely concrete and motor sensorial way.  Children are able to see the Earth as a whole then as continents, then as countries, then states and so on.  During this time of their lives students also love to do puzzles.  The colorful wooden puzzles leave lasting impressions of the shapes and sizes of the countries and states.

One of the Ohio Academic Standards that has to be met by kindergartners is to "(m)easure...volume using uniform objects in the environment.  For example, how many small containers it takes to fill a big container using sand, rice, or beans."  Here the children used an Asian soup spoon to see how many spoonfuls are needed to fill the measuring cups.  I used the geese measuring cups to represent Spring ~ yea!  One was a half cup and the other was a full cup.

{ Mortar and Pestle with Anise Seeds }
This work made the room smell intoxicatingly licorice!
Using the mortar strengthened the children's handwriting muscles and created crushed anise to be used in the Smelling Bottles on our Sensorial Shelf.

As a side note, the Smelling Bottles contained various spices from Asia:  cinnamon, anise, curry, peppercorns, cardamom, and ginger.

As a Montessori teacher I am always seeking ways to refine the skills of the children including their gross motor skills.  I found this beautiful little Asian bell at Goodwill ( I love thrift stores!) for an exercise of 'Walking with a Bell' in which children walk the perimeter of the room in an attempt to not ring it while walking.

'Cherry Blossom Painting' is a work to celebrate spring's offerings and Japan's Sakura or Cherry blossom time ~ a very special time of the year.  

For this work, children use the eyedropper to squeeze four drops of diluted black tempura paint near the bottom of the sheet of 5x7 paper.  Secondly, they use a cut straw to blow the paint towards the top of the paper.  After the puddles of paint have been blown, they squeeze a tiny amount of pink tempura paint into the little bowl and practice painting cherry blossoms on the smaller sheets of paper with a paintbrush.  When they feel that they are ready, they paint the cherry blossoms onto their 5x7 sheet.  These are wonderful Mother's Day gifts, too!

The following are two paintings from the children ~

{ sweet }

{ Conical Hats }

We talked about staple foods and the staple food of Asia ~ rice.  The children made conical hats and also tasted rice...
and they loved it.  And, they say the most wonderful things like,  "This is so good I can eat this all day and all night until I blow up!"  One hears the funniest things when in the midst of children.  Anyways, it's amazing what a bit of vegetarian stir fry sauce can do to rice!

{ make it a beautiful day }