The Pre-K classes walked over the bridge to Kindergarten. An MKA tradition!
This week the Pre-K classes have begun to learn about the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly. They have been watching each day how the caterpillars in the classrooms are growing and are about to spin their chrysalis. Are You A Butterfly?,by Judy Allen, helps the reader to imagine what it would be like to be a caterpillar and then a butterfly. The children learned that if they were caterpillars, they would pop out of their skin at least three or four times, have breathing holes on their backs and have sixteen legs.
The fabrics used in African clothing are known for their bright colors and designs. The fabric is often used to make clothing worn in religious ceremonies. Among the best-known fabrics are Adire cloth from Nigeria and Kente cloth from Ghana. The children saw many images of both Adire cloth and Kente cloth on the Internet. Adire cloth is made by first applying a cassava paste design to a fabric before dying the cloth. The children drew designs on paper with white crayons then used a blue watercolor wash to create the batik effect of Adire cloth.
The focus of math this week was having concrete experiences with part/whole relationships. During this exploration, the children were challenged to discover how many different ways they could represent the number five using two different colored Unifix cubes, for example, 2 red cubes and 3 blue cubes. The activity demonstrated the concept that parts can be combined to form a whole and there are many ways to compose the same number
This week, the children began a study of African folktales, which will include many of the “Anansi” stories. These stories are the focus of Pre-K’s second Core Work. The children were introduced to African folktales and the mythical explanation of how the spider Anansi brought stories to the earth. The children located Africa on a map and learned about the many landforms that exist there, such as rainforests, grasslands, deserts and plains, as well as some of the animals living in each African habitat. There are many “Anansi” stories in which Anansi is portrayed either as a spider or as a man. Anansi is a trickster, who often finds himself in trouble, but he usually triumphs over larger foes. After hearing Anansi, the Spider, as retold by Gerald McDermott, the children voted on which one of Anansi’s six gifted sons deserved the prize for saving his father from danger.
This week brings the start of our African Folk take unit. The adventures of Anansi, mask making, authentic African cloths and discovering what animals live in both the rainforest and the African savannah. The classes will be transforming the castles into African huts and dressing up in traditional African clothes. They are looking forward to exploring the wonders of the continent of Africa.