Monday, February 1, 2016

Snowy Owls and Icicle Houses

Owls are kind of big deal in Japan. There are lots of varieties native to the area, and they can be seen in nature as well as more urban settings, like owl cafes here. Snowy owls aren't common around Osaka, but they have been seen in Hokkaido, which is the northern-most island in Japan. Because of this, we spent several extra days on owls, exploring lots of different books, and watching youtube videos. My class was particularly taken with baby owls.

We read Owl Moon and then they decided what variety of owl (I tried to encourage the snowy ones) they wanted to create for art. I was so impressed with one of my 3 year olds, who spent a solid 30 minutes diligently coloring her ENTIRE owl black. Even after we switched small groups, she stayed at the table until she was finished. It's not often you find one activity that can keep a little one fully and happily engaged in for that long without prompting! Thanks to Mother Goose Time for such an adorable project!

During free play centers, they had owl coloring pages that they decorated freely. I came across this really cute owl poem that counts down from Five Snowy Owls that had reproducible finger puppets to go with it. My favorite moment of the activity was when I was reciting the poem, "Four snowy owls sitting in the tree..." And one of my kiddos interjected,"One fell off and bumped his head!" (Five little monkeys jumping on the bed must have made an impression...) It was hard to keep from laughing at that one!

"Kairu sensei, it's a polka dot snowy owl with angry eyes!"

The math/fine motor owl related activity had the kids build "houses" for the shape owls with the colored shape-builder manipulatives. They made some pretty elaborate structures. If I were an owl, I would want a house like that! 

Our icicle house were inspired by a friend's picture, posted after the winter storm in Nashville, of giant icicles that had formed on the gutters along the edge of her roof. We made a little winter neighborhood scene for display in the hallway. They turned out so cute. While a couple children frequently refer to the example on the art instruction page to complete projects, I love how each child made their icicle house unique. 

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