Wednesday, October 21, 2015

For The Love Of Lemons

Question: when was the last time you got really excited about lemons? I mean REALLY excited, like jump for joy and shout "IT'S LEMON DAY!" kind of excited? Never?? Me either...

I was not prepared for the level of lemon-enthusiasm that greeted me on Day 8 of our In the Orchard theme, otherwise known as "Lemon Day". I had given the class a preview during closing circle the day before, when I hung up the daily topic poster. The first four students to arrive in the morning literally burst into the room with arms flung wide, declaring,"IT'S LEMON DAY!!!!" They were beside themselves with anticipation when they saw the two big, yellow lemons on the sign-in table. 

It was hard to resist being caught up in the lemon frenzy! They were having so much fun relating all play activities to this fabulous, and clearly under-appreciated yellow fruit. During free play, one child brought over a yellow plank block, placed it beside the lemons on the table, as if measuring it, and said proudly,"It's MATCHING!" 

For fine-motor play, I placed a variety of small yellow manipulatives in a clear container and hid two yellow lemon erasers in the bottom. The kids used pinchers to take objects out, count, and sort by type. Later in the day, they wanted to do this activity again, and discovered that they could make "lemon lollipops" by sticking the lemon erasers on top of the yellow sticks (from last month's theme box). The yellow sticks also doubled as chopsticks for picking up other yellow objects! 

In the math center, they used the MGT counting mats with numbers 1-4, but mostly they just filled up the blocks on the 10-frame. There wasn't enough yellow play-dough available for everyone, so we used yellow leaves and banana erasers instead.

The celebration of lemons continued in literacy with the MGT Little Reader Big Pig. It's quite a silly story! The introduction of the sight word pointers was great! Even me youngest (3 yr old) pre-reader was able to identify "I" and "a" in the story, using the pointers. Several students were quick to identify "pig" and "big" as rhyming words. 

Taking a "lemon break" from reading 
The most exciting activity of the day was the lemon "tasting". I gave everyone a small piece and they took turns looking in the mirror, licking their lemon, and making silly "sour" faces. 

We counted the seeds as I cut the lemon and took the seeds out. I missed a seed, but found it when I held the circle up at a different angle. This turned into a spontaneous science discovery lesson. I passed the circle around the table and they each held it up to the light and said what shapes they saw. Tiangles, circle, and "flower" shapes were mentioned. One student made a very astute observation that inside each triangle looked like the veins on a leaf. 

We talked about how the light shined through the lemon and made it look transparent, so that is how I was able to see through it to find the seed that was hiding. We counted 15 seeds in all, which we decided was more than the 10 seeds we counted when we cut the apple open last week. 

Take away: When life (or in this case, Mother Goose Time) gives you lemons, use your imagination, laugh at yourself, look at things from a different perspective, learn something new, and get excited about what the future has in store! 

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