Thursday, May 3, 2012

End of the Rabbit Trail

Last weekend, we finished up our Critter Country Unit Study, our first study of many Disneyland-themed units. We covered many topics extending far beyond the little land within the Happiest Place on Earth.

Combining Easter with our unit, we studied rabbits during the first week. We read an assortment of rabbit tales, such as:

The Little Rabbit by Judy Dunn
One Brown Bunny by Marion Baur
 Gail Gibbon's wonderful Rabbits, Rabbits, and More Rabbits
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
The Fierce Bad Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

His kindergarten class also learned a bit about rabbits, and Aidyn brought home more rabbit crafts. To further soak up some wabbity knowledge, he made a lapbook with rabbit classifications, the diet of rabbits, and a compare/contrast chart of rabbits and hares.

Here is our lapbook.

We also made papier-mache rabbits. Aidyn made a traditional white rabbit, while his dad chose to make a Quasimodo-Rabbit, and I went for a fantasy-purple bunny. The project took us some time as we literally made them from newspaper scraps, egg cartons, tape, mod podge, and paint.

On the eve before Easter, we did the usual dyeing of eggs and also snacked on "bunny cookies."

During the second week, we shifted gears and focused on Br'er Rabbit tales. I researched a bit myself since I had little knowledge of the Gullah culture and their use of the trickster character. I found some wonderful resources including We enjoyed listening to some stories told in a Gullah dialect. We also shared some silly Br'er Rabbit stories and even acted out one about the trickster and Br'er Gator.

During the third week, we spent time in the Hundred Acre Woods, reading about Winnie the Pooh. We read some classic Pooh stories, and even took a field trip to a local river and played "Pooh Sticks."

We concluded the unit learning about bees and how they pollinate flowers and make honey. As a tasty treat, we also sampled honey-laden snacks. As a final wrap-up for the woodland area of Critter Country, we watched the Disney animated classic Bambi and checked off all the woodland creatures in the film.

Our jaunt through Critter Country was also sprinkled with bluegrass music, both kid-friendly tunes and a sampling of classic bluegrass music from The Carter Family. In October, when we walk through the real Critter Country and catch Br'er Rabbit up to his old tricks on Splash Mountain, I hope Aidyn will remember our little play and how hilarious and tricky that bunny was. As we ride a bee hive through the Hundred Acre Wood, I hope he recalls our afternoon playing Pooh Sticks and the calm evenings reading about Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin.

On to Tomorrowland!

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