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$12.00My Restaurant Unit of Study Highlights Burgers and fries….. A creamy milkshake….. Pizza dripping with melted cheese…… What are your childhood memories of ‘eating out’? Eating out at a restaurant is a great learning experience for children. They learn to make decisions based on what they like, they practice appropriate social skills, they start to understand that we have to ‘pay’ for items, and they see all the different roles people have in a restaurant. Children will take this learning and re-visit it when engaging in ‘restaurant’ dramatic play. This is how they make sense of the world in which they live. Through restaurant play and exploration, children: • Develop vocabulary and speaking skills; • Practice counting and sorting food items; • Create food from self-hardening clay; • Develop large and small motors with the Serving Tray Game There are many different types of restaurants, offering a variety of foods. Try having a Pizza Shoppe one week, a Taco Stand the next week, and a Burger & Fries Drive-In the next… this could go on for a long time!‘The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear’ Unit of Study Highlights Book by Audrey and Don Wood Red and ripe ….. Sweet and juicy ….. The smell of fresh strawberries …… At the strawberry patch, it is hard to fill up the basket without eating a few! Summer is the time for picking and eating luscious fresh strawberries. Just like the little mouse wanted to do in the book, ‘The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear’. The book invites children to help little mouse find a way to keep the ripe strawberry safe from the big hungry bear. The best solution is for little mouse to share the strawberry with a friend! More fun strawberry activities provided by the United States Department of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service, can be found at https://buildingstrongchildren.usu.edu/files/Book7.pdf This book, (and strawberries) inspire many fun learning activities. Through hands-on activities, children: • Hunt for letters to spell out words from the book • Practice math skills by matching numerals, dots, and written number words • Make a ‘strawberry patch’ to pick berries and use in the Strawberry Farmer’s Market dramatic play area • Create strawberries for a basket using scented self-hardening clay Reading this book will definitely make you want to eat some strawberries yourself!$12.00The Rainforest Unit of Study Highlights Lush green canopy ….. Brilliant colored parrots ….. Frogs, and bugs, and butterflies abound …… These are memories many adults have of summer outdoor camping. The rainforest is a land of bright colors, exotic animals and lush greenery. The rainforest provides the world with many resources and products. It is also an ecological system that is endangered by the continued development of human beings. The rainforest is a great eco system for children to learn about environmental conservation. Through hands-on activities, children: • Use a ‘rain’ ruler to measure items, comparing them to the amount of rainfall that makes a rainforest • Explore the layers of the rainforest and what lives in each layer • Make a rain stick • Practice fine motor – scissors skills through cutting a spiral jungle vine The rainforest is an important ecological system for our world. Help children learn to love it and protect it!‘Where the Wild Things Are’ Unit of Study Highlights Book by Maurice Sendak Talking back or sassing ….. Consequences ….. Re-instated with the ones we love …… Most of us have experienced this sequence of events when we were children… misbehaving, having a consequence, and then back in the fold of our family’s love. Children will act out and push their boundaries … this is how they learn about their boundaries, and how to interact in an appropriate what with family members and out in society. There are consequences for all of our behaviors – some are positive consequences, and some are ‘learning experiences’. When positive behavior guidance strategies are used with love, children learn what appropriate expectations are. There are a lot of fun, learning activities that can be developed based on this book. Through hands-on activities, children: • Write a letter to a loved one • Create their own monster using a variety of art materials • Use ‘monster feet’ and their large muscles when following an obstacle course We all have a ‘wild thing’ inside of us…. we just need to know how to tame it!$12.00Mud Unit of Study Highlights A bucket of water, a pail of dirt ….. Mix all together for ….. Mud squishing between our toes ….. Who has not done this before? Or at least found a puddle and walked in it to make mud?? Great childhood memories come from simple things like dirt and water! Mud is a very inexpensive (free even!) material that can be found almost anywhere and can be used in a variety of learning activities. Most children absolutely love the feel of mud on their hands and between their toes. It is a very sensory-filled medium in which to play and discover new things. Some children can spend hours making mud, shaping pies, and then serving them at their ‘restaurant’. When doing this Unit of Study, prepare parents for some dirty children. In fact, request that the children wear their oldest clothes, and that they have at least one change of clothing per day! Use mud for learning through these hands-on activities: • Sequencing with the story Mud Walk by Joy Cowley • Practicing counting by cutting a mud pie into pieces, (also fractions) • Building with adobe mud bricks • Creating a ‘Mud Kitchen’ for dramatic play Remember, the dirtier children are at the end of the day, the more their learning was enhanced!$12.00Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry piled up high ….. Dripping down the side of the cone ….. A cool treat on a hot summer’s day ….. Ice cream can bring a smile to most faces, and it is a great antidote for the blues! Almost everyone loves ice cream! Not only is ice cream great to eat, a lot of knowledge can be acquired by exploring the science behind how ice cream is made, and the social systems aspect of where the raw ingredients come from. Children will also have fun making an ‘ice cream sundae’ from art materials. Through hands-on activities, children will use all of their senses to explore ice cream: • Participate in a flannel board story of Five Ice Cream Cones • Create a group mural after listening to the story Milk to Ice Cream by Julie Murray • Sculpt an ‘ice cream sundae’ using air dry clay and puffy paint • Make Kick the Can ice cream Children will love exploring how they can make ice cream on paper, use cones and scoops of ice cream in a game, and make a yummy-to-eat ice cream treat!$12.00Coats, jackets and shirts ….. Big, little, round and square ….. Insert, push and pull …… Buttons can be a challenge for all of us sometimes! Learning to button, zip and tie are major accomplishments for children as they develop independence through mastering self-help skills. Providing opportunities for lots of practice ensures that children are able to master these skills. Children that are competent in taking care of their basic needs feel better about themselves and develop confidence in their abilities, which in turn supports school readiness. Buttons are an easy material to access. Through hands-on activities, children: • Discover what items of clothing have buttons • Practice math skills through graphing buttons • Use buttons as a material for creativity • Practice buttoning as they make a cool headband The more children have the opportunity to manipulate buttons, the better they will be at being able to dress independently – and that is a goal we are working towards! NOTE: Activities using buttons should be closely supervised; size of buttons should be appropriate for ages of children$12.00Fresh fallen snow ….. Footprints made by who?….. Tracks leading where? ….. Tracks in the snow (or mud) are fascinating to follow, seeing who made them and where they lead. Seeing and following animal tracks can provide a wealth of information and engaging learning activities for children (and adults!). Through following animal tracks, we can see where they live, where they hunt for or find food, and how they care for their young. Animal tracks can provide the opportunity for children to develop scientific observation and higher level thinking skills. Animal tracking is fun and engaging. Through hands-on activities, children: • Learn how to visually differentiate between different shapes of tracks • Use their own footprint as a tool for measuring • Create a clay tile of animal tracks Finding animal tracks can be done in any season with mud and snow. At the river bed, on a sandy road or the snow around the base of a tree, animals are leaving a footprint to their presence.$12.00Ooey, gooey melt-y cheese …... Pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions …… Crispy crust and spicy sauces …... What do you like best about pizza? Almost everyone loves some kind of pizza – whether it is a traditional pepperoni with tomato sauce or a ‘blonde’ pizza with chicken and Alfredo sauce. Pizza is a great topic that can provide learning in all areas – cognitive, language, creative and motor. Taking a field trip to a pizzeria is a really fun activity, especially if the children get to make their own pizza! Encourage children to explore all types of learning through these hands-on pizza activities: • Reading a recipe to make a personal pizza • Practicing sequencing in the ‘Top the Pizza’ game • Throwing a soft Frisbee ‘pizza’ As one of the pizza songs in the Unit says…. ‘Eatalota Eatalota Eatalota pizza’!Messy but fun concoctions$12.00Spiders can be very interesting to watch as they spin webs, stalk prey, and speed across an open space. Learning about spiders encourages children to develop research and organizational skills as they collect interesting facts about spiders. See the list of spider facts in the Template section. Encourage children to explore spiders through these hands-on activities: · Hear folk tales about Anansi the spider · Watch live spiders in an aquarium or clear plastic container (really fun!!) · Match numbers for the 8 legs of a spider · Make spider hats Teaching children to be respectful of all creatures in our world can foster an attitude of caring for everything in our world – not just spiders, but the different people they will meet and the lands they will visit.$12.00Puffy as marshmallows ….. Streaks across the sky ….. Playing peek-a-boo with the sun ..… Clouds can be a sign of things to come, or a sculpture in the sky. No matter what, they play an important part in our weather. On a warm spring or summer day, it is great fun for children to lay on their backs and gaze up into the clouds to ‘see what they can see’. Children that can ‘see’ various things in the clouds are more apt to look at other things in their world with more imagination and interest. Teaching children to really look at things in their world helps them to become better observers, and to develop language skills to describe what they see. Exploring clouds provides many learning experiences for children. Through hands-on activities, children: • Learn about the different types of clouds • Explore how a cloud is made through a great science experiment • Strengthen fine motor muscles and coordination • Use their imagination to ‘see’ sculptures in the sky Children are so open to new ideas and learning. Showing them how to discover pictures in clouds is an activity that they can do for the rest of their lives.