Sunday, April 28, 2013

We are Wild About the Zoo!

What a fun week we have had!  I think we spent more time this past week just "talking" about our topic than ever before.  Zoo Week was just plain fun!  Our circle times were lively and not only full of questions, but animal sounds too!  Here are just a few highlights from our busy week.

We celebrated "Earth Day" on Monday.  We talked about "reusing" items to help protect our planet.  One of the things that we do in my class is recycle lunch containers.  It seems that at least one child brings applesauce to school each day in a disposable container.

The students love to rinse them out for me so we can use them to hold paint or glue when we do an art project.  It may not seem like much but we are trying to do our part!  In case you missed it, here are a couple of our beautiful recycled spring flower -

Everyone loves monkeys so our very first zoo art project had to be a monkey!  Ours was so cute and so much fun to make.

It is probably hard to tell by the pictures, but the students actually cut the arms, legs and tales out my themselves.  We let them dry just a bit before we accordion folded the arms and legs.  I just love them.  We also spent the ENTIRE DAY talking about monkeys and apes.  Of course there was a lot of monkeying around too!

I was really excited when I saw this next art project on PINTEREST .  I instantly fell in love with it.  I also knew my class AND their parents would really like it.  But of course, I had to add the "Mrs. Karen" twist to it. 

The original art work used the child's hand prints for the zebra and the grass.  We needed something a little more fun.  Can you guess what we used to make the grass? 

If you said a "fork", you are right!
Everyone really enjoyed painting with an old plastic fork, which by the way we had leftover from lunch on Monday!  (Don't worry, we washed it!)
On Tuesday, we painted old paper towel tubes green and after they dried, we added dots with fun little paint dabbers.  Now that was just plain messy, fun but messy!  Everyone kept trying to guess what we were going to do with them.  Finally on Thursday they all found out! 

Let me be the first to say that this art project DID NOT turn out like the original one I saw.  Here is it-

But to honest, I like ours better!  They were silly fun!  We also spent the entire day talking about snakes!  (Footnote:  I do NOT like snakes!  But my class does, so I an forced to keep my feelings to myself.)
One of the topics that came up during our circle time was zoos versus wild.  Hmmm . . . kind of a deep subject for a group of four year olds, isn't it?  Well, that started a unique discussion about the pros and cons of being a zoo animal versus being an animal living in it's natural habitat.  WOW, my class really surprised me with their ideas and comments.  So, we did an art project that represented the animals in their natural environment.
We found some jungle stamps in our supply closet that had never been used.  It was fun to use "new" supplies.  Again, since our cutting skills are SO GOOD, I feel like I must mention that our "tree trunks" were cut by the children!  I really wasn't sure how much the children would enjoy this art project.  It really didn't say "FUN" to me.  I WAS WRONG!  Everyone loved picking out their favorite animals and stamping them in the jungle.

Friday was our "ZERO DAY"!  This year's class loves to do BIG group projects.  We covered our tables with butcher paper and laid out different circle shaped objects along with some colored pencils and markers.  Everyone had a blast tracing the circles and make ZEROES! 


Honestly, several of the students could have done this for HOURS!  I will say that the trick to making this successful is having a LARGE variety of traceable objects.  This was just an easy and fun way to work on our fine motor skills AND our sharing skills too!

Thank you for visiting with us.  I hope you can use some of these ideas for your classroom or just to do with your own children.  Next week we will be talking about the OCEAN!  I hope you drop back by and see what we have done!

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