Tortoises and Desert Nights

This was our last week discovering the desert. We have learned so much! One of our most memorable lessons this month was learning about tortoises. My friend, and co-teacher, happens to have a pet tortoise. She was excited to bring him in and share him with the class. By the end of the lesson, the students understood what the differences were between tortoises and turtles. We made a tortoise race game that I’ll talk about next. A few of the moms shared with me that their child had corrected siblings who called the tortoise pieces from the game turtles. All of the students knew the differences and could explain to their families what those differences were between a tortoise and a turtle. I think that having the live turtle as a visual made the lesson more meaningful.

The students made a tortoise game. They had to cut out their own game pieces. They picked green and yellow colors from the bag and raced the green and yellow tortoises to the finish line. This was such a fun game. And the students loved that they got to cut out the game pieces themselves. I loved this game because it was a game the students could play with themselves. They loved the mystery of what color they were going to pull out of their bag. They also tried to guess which tortoise they thought was going to win. Since they were playing with themselves, they weren’t competing against another child to be the winner. Those games (competing games) are important for students to learn how to take turns, learn how to win, and learn how to be okay loosing. But, those games also often end in tears at this age. It was nice to take a break from those games and just play a fun game with ourselves.

For our literacy game for tortoise day, I used tape to write the letters of the month on the ground. I had tubes that we pretended were tortoises. The students moved the tubes slowly across the taped letters. I had pom-poms that we pretended was food that the students put at the end of the path for the tortoises to munch on. The students practiced saying the letter as they traced it. This activity from Mother Goose Time felt like playtime but, we were getting in the practice we needed to learn the letters of the month.

Another memorable day this month was when we learned about desert nights. We turned off all the lights and covered all the windows. The students got flashlights. We played a game where we went around the room looking for something. When we found it, we would shine the flashlight on it. For the picture below, we searched around the room for a star. Once a star was found they shined their light on it.

For our art activity, the students drew a desert scene with crayon. We turned our desert scene into a night scene by painting over it with black and blue water colors. The pictures turned out so cute! I love how creative they can be when I let them imagine their own scene instead of telling them what to draw.

Learning about the desert has been so fun! There were so many memorable lessons. Plus, it was fun learning about the place we live.

Next month we are learning about Bees and Butterflies!

** I receive curriculum from Mother Goose Time for honest and authentic stories resulting from my daily experiences using the curriculum. This is my 3rd year using Mother Goose Time, and I am pleased to promote quality educational learning experiences through play with Mother Goose Time!


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