Thursday, March 24, 2016

Blue in the Desert

On Day 6 of Discover the Desert we learned about the Sahara Desert.  We were to make a canteen prop, which my boys did not chose to do.  We did, however, complete two of the activities for the day.  First was the Sahara Blue Men activity.  Mother Goose Time always suggest a way to discuss and then explore before each activity.  For this activity they recommended setting out multiple shades of blue crayons and a white paper and let the children explore.  I actually put Lachlan to work by picking out all the blue shades on his own.
While they explored the colors I read the story "Sahara Blue Men".  It said the word blue over and over in the story and talked about water in the desert. 
They really had a lot of fun comparing the colors and I introduced them to the fact that crayons have the name of the color written on the paper sleeve.
 Here was the mess of stuff in front of me.  There was a lot of blue on this day. 
 At the end of the story I asked these discussion questions.  It's great that these are there.  Over the years the boys have improved dramatically with their reading comprehension. 
Even though they were coloring the whole time they were able to answer all of the questions.  I have had to let go of the image of a child sitting their quietly, not moving and listening to a story.  My boys have never been able to do that.  They really hear what I am saying much better when their hands are busy. 
Since they had so much fun with this I set up a tray and left it out for them to freely investigate.  The next day was St. Patrick's day, so I set up the same tray but in green.  I challenged them to draw a whole picture all in one color.
The second activity we did from the day was the folder game Race to the Oasis.  This was a fun game where the people raced to get to the oasis at the top of the board, but the goal wasn't to get there first, it was to get there with the most water.  A perfect goal for a Desert themed game.  On this day, we only completed 2 of the 4 lessons, but that's okay, and that's why I love MGTs flexibility.

But I have to go off track here and tell you about a few other favorite activities from this theme.  
This game had a spinner with colors that matched the linking cubes we got in our Mother Goose Time box.  We would spin and put that color cube on the color strip, also provided.  We would keep going until someone spun the scorpion and then we would stop to count the towers.
We talked about which tower was the tallest or had the most cubes and which was the shortest or had the least.  This is math vocabulary we covered this year in my sons 1st grade math curriculum.  I was super impressed that Mother Goose Time is introducing even younger minds to these concepts.  We will be using this again and again.

Another day that really surprised me was the rodeo day.  We started with the circle time discussion that introduced us to our new country Hungary.  We found Hungary on our world map and I introduced them to our Global Friend.  The teacher guide explained that in Hungary the rodeo riders to do tricks on horseback.  I of course, wanted to see it for myself, so we looked up videos on YouTube.

This first one we watched all the way through.  The concept of riding two horses with one foot on each horses back, according to YouTube, is a Hungarian thing.  I am so in awe and curious now I want to find out more.

This next one I also found fascinating and what really stood out to me was the costume.  It got me thinking about all the different "costumes" that are worn around the world by those who ride horses.  For instance, in the US we wear cowboy boots and hats, but in Australia, the cowboys of their culture wear a different kind of hat and a trench coat of sorts.  I am sure it has a proper name.  In Hungary, I am sure this costume is partly based on what they wear and have worn for years.   I would love to turn this into a big history lesson with my older children and look more into the different clothing "cowboys" from around the world, wear.

Next I really needed to introduce them to an American rodeo, but I have to say, I am not a big fan.  I really don't like what is done to the critters.  So I decided barrel racing would be a good compromise.  This video inspired us to set up a barrels in the backyard as the boys ran around them.  We plan on setting up cones for a bicycle barrel race soon.  :)

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