Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Living in Yesterday and Today #5 - Life of Early Humans

Owen brought a stone tool from home to show the children. It sparked the Water group's curiosty of early humans. How did they build things with tools made out of sticks and stones. The children turned themselves into cavemen and women to experience what it was like to live like cave people. We went into the forest and found materials that we think can help us build a house. The children gathered sticks, barks and leaves. We tied the sticks together with tree bark and used a rock to hammer the sticks into the ground. and the children used leaves and wood pieces to decorated our house.

Living in Yesterday and Today #4 - Extinction and Preservation

Making the salt dough.
The children were so interested in finding gold that they started looking for gold during their morning playtime in the forest. During their dig, a child cried, "I found a dinosaur bone!" This made the children wonder what happened to the dinosaurs? How were people able to find their bones?

Making the dinosaur imprints.
We researched the topic by watching videos from Brainpop Jr. The children learned that the dinosaurs died and through the process of fossilization people were able to know of their existence. We discussed the different theories (asteriod, volcanic activity, ice age, disease, and the gradually climate change) as to how the dinosaur became extinct.   We furthered our discussion into the animals that have become extinct (e.g. dodo birds) and ones that are endangered. We talked about the change of the animal's habitats and what people can do to prevent other species from going extinct. 

Baking the salt dough fossil.
Lastly, the children made their own dinosaur fossilss out of salt dough. The loved it and commented that the colour on the fossils really looked "old".

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Living in Today and Yesterday #3 - Celebrating the Year of the Dragon

Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. The Water group children discussed some of the customs and traditions that chinese people still do and don't do for this special holiday. Most people cleanse their houses before the new year to sweep away any ill-fortune and make way for good incoming luck. Many will decorate their windows and doors with red colour paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of "good fortune", "happiness", "wealth", and "longevity". The most exciting thing for the children is receiving money in red envelopes (hon bao). One thing that many people in the city do not do much of anymore is lighting firecrackers at midnight. 

In connection with our Barkerville project, the children made red envelopes and put gold pieces in their "hon bao" because long ago chinese people use gold nuggets as their currency. Furthermore, one of the dishes that many Chinese people eat during the new year is dumpling because it resembles a gold nugget. Then the Water group cooked some dumplings to shared with the other groups, hoping the dumplings will bring them good fortunes and wealth.