Sunday, July 8, 2012

Early Bird Preschool: Feather Week

Well, the first day made me glad I started this because it showed me that this will be good for Early Bird and me.

The theme for the first week is "Feathers." The only point I want him to remember is
"Birds are the only animals that have feathers." When I was planning this I had a lot of ideas and I started getting really deep and complicated and then I realized that simple is best. So for this week the thing to learn to apply is if an animal has feathers it's a bird, if it doesn't then it's not a bird.

We will be memorizing a poem about a bird that I found in What Your Preschooler Needs to Know. No author information was given.

Once I saw a little bird
Come hop, hop, hop.
So I cried, Little bird,
Will you stop, stop, stop?
I was going to the window
To say, How do you do?
But he shook his little tail
And away he flew.

Early Bird was able to read the poem, and insists on reading it himself each time he sees it. I have started saying the poem at other times because I think it will be easier to memories for him not seeing it. But I put it on paper for him to read it, too.

Day 1: To introduce him to feathers I used some big colored feathers labeled as quills and some smaller ones that I got at a garage sale. We used descriptive words like "smooth," "pokey," "light," etc. We just felt them, played with them, and tried blowing them with a small fan (which did not work in the way I thought it would.) Early Bird decided to sort the feathers by color. I used My Big Animal Book to show pictures of different kinds of birds, each time pointing out feathers and repeating that all birds have feathers. We played with some toy birds that we have. Then I showed him peacocks in the Kingfisher First Encyclopedia of Animals. He wanted to go to the beginning of "the story" and didn't like that we were only looking at the one page. But I showed him peacocks because they have lots of big, beautiful feathers. Then we traced our hands on paper to make feathers for peacocks (count 10 "feathers" with 1 to1 correspondence.) We had never done that before and he loved tracing his hand again and again, calling them "gloves." (Total time: about 30 minutes.)

Day 2: We started by working on the bird poem. First I read it and then he read it (he insisted.) Then we played with feathers again, repeating that birds are the only animals that have feathers. We reviewed human body parts by tickling with feathers on different parts while naming them (knees, neck, etc.) Then we looked at farm animals in My Big Animal Book. Repeating "Birds are the only animals that have feathers" and then saying a ______ has/does not have feathers. Is it a bird?" He mostly correctly distinguished farm birds (chicken, duck, turkey, rooster) from not birds (horse, pig, sheep, cow.) Then I got out the Color Birds. I made these last week preparing for Bird Preschool. (Templates and more detailed information about crafts are on the Early Bird Preschool Template page.) He has been playing with them for a week now, so we were able to actually do some things with them more than just matching and putting in rainbow order (which he insists on doing every time.) The tree on the board was new and using the birds we worked on the Position and Direction list. We also counted the birds, then counted by 2s (by color pair.) I put some birds on one branch and some on the other and we worked on which branch had more birds. Then we read about penguins from the First Encyclopedia of Animals. He kept repeating that penguins cannot fly, and thought that daddy penguins balancing the egg on their feet was really silly. Then we made a penguin out of basic shapes (oval, circle, triangle) identifying the shapes first, and then again after the craft was completed. (Total time: 30 minutes.) Later we also read Without You, a story about an Emperor Penguin baby and his daddy. We also watched the Go, Diego, Go episodes on Netflix Instant that are about penguins: Season 1, Episode 7, and Season 2, Episode 5.

Penguin Cam. This Discovery website has recordings of the live penguin camera from the spring.

Sorting Big and Little Birds
Day 3: We started by reviewing the bird poem, both with Early Bird reading it and me saying it. We reviewed that birds are the only animals that have feathers. I tickled his different body parts while naming them, and then took the feather away and asked him if he had any feathers on his body (he does not because he is not a bird.) Then we worked on "small" and "big" with the Color Birds sorting the big birds to the left branch and the little birds on the right branch. We also counted the 12 birds, counted them by 2s, and he did some bird addition on his own. We reviewed what we learned about penguins (it had been a few days since Day 2) and then we read about the ostrich in the First Encyclopedia of Animals. Because ostriches can run very fast we practiced running fast and walking slowly, alternating randomly. Early Bird had a lot of fun with that and I let him do it quite a bit before we moved on. Then I helped him use safety scissors, with my hand guiding, to cut slits in a (pre-cut by me) paper feather shape. Then we made an ostrich out of basic shapes, naming the shapes as we went. He used the glue stick all by himself. I intended the neck and legs to be identified as rectangles, but he called them "lines" so I didn't say anything. (Total time: 40 minutes with fast running/slow walking time.)

Day 4: We again started by reviewing the bird poem. Builder Boy who has been listening in here and there has it memorized and Early Bird can say it with just a little bit of prompting. I started reading it on and off the week before this one, so it took them about two weeks to memorize it. Then we played with the Color Birds, naming colors, counting them, adding them, and working on positions and directions. He also put them in rainbow order, putting the little birds on the trunk of the tree and the big birds on the right. Then I read to him about hummingbirds in the First Encyclopedia of Animals. We pretended that we were humming birds and ran
around flapping our "wings" and and flying fast and hovering. I wore out quickly, but Early Bird and Builder Boy ran around for a bit longer. We talked about how it was a lot of work to flap our arms and how it wore us out fast. We read about hummingbirds needing to drink a lot of red nectar from flowers for energy and I gave them red Otter Pops for "nectar." I could NOT make basic shapes work for making a hummingbird so I printed a picture off a website (craft information is on this page of my blog) and we colored it in. Then Builder Boy and I drew red flowers around the hummingbird. Early Bird was very intent on coloring carefully and in the lines, but wasn't interested in trying to draw flowers. (Total time: about 30 minutes.)

With Independence Day this week and other things happening we only were able to do 4 out of the planned 5 days. Next week will be Egg Week!
Books I used:


1 comment:

  1. Very cool! I'm going to write that poem up on our Monring Message board today.


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