Sunday, June 28, 2009

African Crafts and Books

This morning, Aidyn and I worked on an elephant craft. I had saved a toilet paper roll and found elephant templates. First we had a mini-lesson about how white makes colors lighter. In this instance, we changed black to gray. Aidyn painted the tp roll gray while I cut out elephant body parts such as the head, legs, "hands," tail, and I also cut out an added peanut. When Aidyn finished painting, he colored all the body parts while we talked about where some elephants live and referenced picture books. While still waiting, we read We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs and Julia Cairns. It was such a sweet little counting-adventure book and, in the back, were pages filled with Tanzanian facts and animal words translated to Swahili. I added those words to our Swahili poster along with our Swahili numbers. Afterward, we read Anansi's Party Time by Eric A. Kimmel. The story of Anansi has its roots in African folklore. We also flipped through Look Book by Tana Hoban for our picture book requirement for summer reading. Finally, when everything dried, Aidyn glued on the body parts and I helped direct. We talked about elephant characteristics and their special appearance. When we were done, Aidyn ran and showed his grandma and proceeded to "teach" her all he learned.

Later, Aidyn made a savanna picture. Yesterday I created a base for the project. On a sheet of construction paper, I added yellow construction paper grass and drew an acacia tree in the background. I found some African animal templates, printed and cut them out. So Aidyn colored them and glued them in the scene where he saw fit. Meanwhile we talked about a certain kind of landscape in Africa called the savanna and how they have these tall, thin acacia trees. We also hunted for Africa on our globe and ran our fingers over the mountain ridges.

He went down for a nap while watching How the Leopard Got His Spots, narrated by Danny Glover. It's also a folktale from Africa. During the last week, Aidyn also watched Africa-related videos such as Children's Stories from Africa, The Lion King, and Tarzan.

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