Three-year-olds learned about Parashat Bereishit in different ways, all led by student curiosity. Here are examples from two classrooms where teachers brought the curriculum to life. Look for coverage of our two other PK3 classrooms in upcoming posts!
Morah Channa Fabian and Morah Barbara Forte followed their students' lead when the children decided to focus on animals during a lesson about creation. "They were naturally curious and full of questions about everything, from why the sky is blue, to how the elephant got its trunk," Fabian said.
The teachers designed learning experiences that took advantage of that special spark. The children classified animals according to habitat, shared how they care for their own pets and even observed a real tortoise munch on spinach leaves for lunch.
They expanded the unit of study by setting up a veterinary clinic to help stuffed animals feel better and stay healthy. This was one of three learning stations in the classroom, each focused on a specific developmental goal: social-emotional learning, literacy, math and fine-motor skills. For Morah Channa, "the intent was to encourage in children an interest in the diversity, beauty and joy of natural life."
Morah Nathalie Vainstein and Morah Rosa Bitton's class took on the solar system when they learned about Parshah Bereishit: an exploration that included learning about the planets, the sun, and most fantastically, a volcano on Mars! The children learned that this volcano is even larger than Mt. Everest on Earth: an opportunity Morah Naty took to review size concepts with her class. A highlight was to witness an actual volcano erupting - a small model of the one on Mars - to which all reacted with awe as the "lava" spewed out of it.