Learning is a process of inquiry and investigation. I have loved using the Mother Goose Time curriculum for that reason. Their activities are laid out in three sections that include questions and exploration. The sections are: Discuss, Explore, and Play.
In this section, there is always a question to ask the students that gets them thinking about the activity. This month we are learning about baby animals. Day 2 is all about eggs. There are 3 different activities. I am going to focus on one of the activities called Hexagon Egg Hunt. The question in this section asks the students, “Where is a good place to hide an egg?”
I love the conversation that comes out of the discuss questions. It’s always fun to see where their little minds go. I asked my students this question and they immediately started listing off places they would hide an egg. Here is their list: a nest, a tree, inside a wall, inside a cave.
After one of my students suggested a cave, another student remembered when we did an activity with bear caves and said, “Ya! A bear cave. I would hide my egg in a bear cave.”
Then, another student said, “You have a baby snake in your yard.” I told her, “I hope not.”
I have found that the discuss part is usually pretty short and often times they get off topic. One student’s answer triggers a memory or thought in another student and the next thing we know we are talking about snakes in my backyard. In this situation though, I can easily get them back on topic by saying, “Do snakes hatch from eggs?” “Where do snakes hide their eggs?”
The Discuss section is a great tool for me to use as a teacher to see what they already know about the topic and where I can lead them in the explore section to get them to learn what I want them to learn.
In this section, I introduced the pattern blocks that Mother Goose Time sent with January’s curriculum box. The students explored sorting, stacking, and connecting them. As they played, I would ask them what shape they were holding.
In this section, we pretended that the pattern blocks were eggs. I hid the blocks in a box of paper shreds and other odds and ends I had in the preschool room. The students took turns trying to find the “egg”. They loved getting to search for shapes. Since we are learning about hexagons this month, the students that found a hexagon would place it carefully in a separate bowl. After each hexagon that was found, we would count the sides and corners. By the end of the activity, the students were able to tell me the name of the shape and that hexagons have 6 sides.
This activity was a fun way for students to learn about the topic “eggs” and learn about a new shape, hexagon.
As I was thinking about each step in the learning process for this activity, I feel that each section was important to the student learning about hexagons. We discussed where to hide eggs, then pretended the shapes were eggs. This helped keep the students engaged and interested in the activity. We explored the shapes, which is important in helping keep their focus for the play section. I have skipped explore before and went straight into the activity. The students get distracted with the manipulatives that we use because they are new to them and they want to play with them. We identified hexagons and talked about distinguishing characteristics of a hexagon. I feel like this lesson was a success.
** I receive curriculum from Mother Goose Time for honest and authentic stories resulting from my daily experiences using the curriculum. This is my 2nd year using Mother Goose Time, and I am pleased to promote quality educational learning experiences through play with Mother Goose Time!