Thursday, November 15, 2012

M is for Mail and Map

This week has been full of last minute ideas and pleasant surprises.  We decorate Diwali cards on Tuesday and realized that we needed a Post Office in our town if we were going to be able to mail them. Although we still haven't remembered to actually add the Post Office to the map, we have been busy pretending to write, mail and deliver letters. 

There was a little confusion about Letters (in the mail) and Letters (Alphabet). I asked one child, "Who are you going to write your letter to?" The response I got was, "The Letter E."

Today we were still talking about the Letter M. I kept emphasizing how Mail and Mom, both started with the Letter M.  I pulled out a flashcard to show them what M looked liked and was pleasantly surprised to see a MAP on the back of the card. Silly Teacher! Here we have been learning about Maps for two weeks and I don't even make the connection. So today we decided to each make our very own maps.

On Wednesday I pulled out some small blocks and transportation counters. The counters include fire trucks, buses, airplanes and trains. I thought it would be an appropriate activity to offer while we are learning about community.  It was an instant hit.

By Thursday we realized that we could use the blocks to make interactive maps that the vehicles could actually travel on.

Fire Station and a house that is on fire.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy Diwali

Although nobody in our current preschool community celebrates Diwali (the Hindu New Year and Festival of Lights), I decided this might be a great way to expand our knowledge of the diversity that can be found in a community.  It was a very "tip of the iceberg" approach, but the children seemed sincerely interested. If any of my information is incorrect, I apologize and please feel free to leave a comment. :)

At circle time, we were looking at the map of our imaginary town. I told the children that a new family had moved into "our town." This family was from India and celebrated a holiday called Diwali (pronounced Devali). I told them that I would like to make them cards for their special holiday and to welcome them to our community. We talked about how different families everywhere celebrate different things. One child added that some families don't celebrate at all. I explained that this holiday was about the goodness inside people.  The love and kindness that is like a little light glowing inside you (A very condensed version of good overcomes evil).

We then sang along with Raffi's version of This Little Light of Mine

We made cards with Diyas on them.

Image from

Lights and sparkles are a major part of the celebration.

Our Diya cards.
Candlelight Lunch

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