Olympic sports, muscle work, Torches, fire, be alert! Traditions and a visit from Zeus, Olympic rings and classroom spruce, What time is it, please tell me: Consult the sun dial readily!
This week the children talked about the Olympics – we learned that they happen every 4 years, and the next one is next year, in Tokyo, Japan! We talked about sports that are involved in the Olympics, and how our muscles work to help us participate in sports and life. We couldn’t decide which muscle book to read, so we had a democracy party, where we learned about voting for which muscle book to read. We did this with a ballot box, and we had to put our fingerprint on a slip of paper in red for one book and blue for the other, then put the paper into the ballot box to be counted. We thought this was a novel idea, and some of the children got really involved!
Today we talked with children about the ritual of the Olympic torch. We explained that the Olympic torch is lit at the beginning of each Olympics by a relay – each person carries a flame to light the next person’s flame. Several months before the Olympic Games, the Olympic flame is lit at Olympia, Greece. This ceremony starts the Olympic torch relay, which formally ends with the lighting of the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. The flame then continues to burn in the cauldron for the duration of the Games, until it is extinguished during the Olympic closing ceremony. The flame symbolizes unity. Every four years, when Zeus was honoured at the Olympic Games, additional fires were lit at his temple and that of his wife, Hera. The modern Olympic flame is ignited at the site where the temple of Hera used to stand. Children then had the chance to make their own torches from the thread reel s and have their own torch relay in the playground. They thought this was the most amazing thing they could do, and they were so keen to have a turn. Everyone showed their ability to work together for a common goal and had a great time!
In keeping with our interest in the Olympic torch, we talked about the bowl where it is lit from. One of the children was talking about how her dad taught her how to light fires, and she used her language and interpersonal skills as she explained to the whole class the process. We decided to give it a go, and after we had made sure everything was safe and that nobody would get burned, we took a metal bowl with some paper and leaves inside, and held a magnifying glass up to the sun. We were so excited to see smoke coming from the bowl and the singed paper and leaves afterward! We described the smell, and then when everything was cool, we were able to get a closer look at the singed paper and leaves. This was a focus point of the day, and many children kept coming back to touch the leaves and paper and smell them again.
Talk to children about what colours they could see on the Olympic rings: blue, yellow, black, green and red. These colours represent the five continents of the world (Africa, Europe, Asia, Americas, Oceania), on a white background, they represent the six colours that appear on all the national flags of the world at the present time. Children then had the chance to make collaborative Olympic rings by cutting coloured paper and gluing to large cardboard circles. To be able to decorate the rings, the colours were given as a ‘reward’ for completing certain Olympic sports. This experience was great for teaching children about sports competed in during the Olympics, about teamwork, and also about following instructions and steps to complete a goal.
Today children talked about the sun and its movements, and about the differences, they notice between day and night. We showed them with a torch on the map, talking about where the sun was and what was happening on the other side of the world if one side was sunny. We talked about how we could tell the time in this way, and how the Greeks used sundials before modern-day clocks were invented. The children went outside to look at their shadows and we traced some in chalk. We used a sundial to see what the time was, and after a little bit of trial and error, we discovered that it was 12.oo! Everyone then had the chance to make their own take-home sundial!
Such nice weather we had today! With toddlers spent time outside filling up the pool and making lots of bubbles! Children were very excited about removing some clothes off and wetting their feet, feeling the temperature of the water and the textures of the bubbles. Some of them extend their learning putting sand on the water to have more sensorial surfaces! Water play encourages the development of eye/hand coordination through pouring, squeezing, stirring, painting, scrubbing, and squirting. We can’t wait for summer!!!
One of our children in the toddler’s room is about to start a new adventure in France! What better to say goodbye with a lot of food and balloons 😀 Children had the opportunity to share and play together, having fruit salad, rainbow jelly, nachos with guacamoles and crackers! We finished our party dancing with balloons.
We will miss you!