Monday, September 12, 2011

Theme Week: Fall

I feel so schoolteachery this week! I've collected a fair number of materials that can be used for "curriculum" planning, and somehow this week I pieced together a quasi-educational theme (fall/autumn) and I pulled together stuff from more than one source and I'm using them with Jackson. Basically, it's a poem, a fingerplay, a read-aloud, and two field trips, all on the theme of fall. We'll do the read-alouds every day this week and slot in whatever else we can as it fits.

(1) Morning: Reading aloud of two poems from page 16 of my new book-friend, The Illustrated Treasury of Poetry for Children (1970) ed. by David Ross: "September" by Helen Hunt Jackson and "Autumn" by Emily Dickinson.

(2) Lunchtime: A Book of Seasons (1976) by Alice and Martin Provensen, which is an OOP "Random House Pictureback" that preceded (and probably inspired) the similarly seasonal The Year at Maple Hill Farm by two years.

(3) Evening: "Three Little Oak Leaves" from an outstanding educational relic called Rhymes for Fingers and Flannelboards (1960). When I get a chance I'll talk more about this book, but in the meantime, here's my slightly revised rhyme, which I've been doing with ASL signs instead of the suggested "fingerplays" which would be great for a class of second-graders but are a little silly for just me and my toddler:

Three Little Oak Leaves

Three little oak leaves, red, brown and gold,
Were happy, happy, happy when the wind turned cold

The first one said, "I'll be a coat for an elf,
He'll be able to warm his little self"

The second one said, "I'll be a home for a bug
So he will be cozy-dozy and snug"

The third one said, "To a tiny seed I'll be
A blanket until the first day of spring"

Three little oak leaves, red, brown and gold
Were happy, happy, happy when the wind turned cold

Jackson signed and said "Again" for the book and the fingerplay, and he was perfectly patient with the poems, so yay!

(4) FIELD TRIPS: Today we went on a nature walk to a local freshwater marsh (the Ballona Wetlands) and enjoyed the changing seasons. We saw water birds (I think I saw my first nightjar!), turtles, bugs, butterflies and flowers, Jackson was able to walk freely for once (relatively freely), and he even saw a real, live, wild BUNNEH! Later this week we'll go to a local community garden to see what's growing and/or how the gardeners are putting their plots to bed for winter.

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