The Enormous Turnip
Our story of the Week is the traditional tale ‘The Enormous Turnip’. It has a simple cumulative, repetitive text structure which children find easy to remember. We will be re-telling the story using the language from the text in lots of different ways over the next two weeks as the children learn to identify characters, setting and the sequence of events.
“Vegetables are good! They make you healthy and strong!”
We began our week by talking about where vegetables come from and how they are grown. We had some real turnips to look at although they were disappointingly very tiny and not enormous at all! The children were very interested in the colour of them. We looked at lots of different vegetables and them used leeks, carrots, swede and parsnip to make Golden Vegetable Soup.
All of the children helped to chop up the vegetables understanding how to use the knives safely and carefully. We had so many vegetables that we had to visit the school kitchen to ask our school cook if she could lend us a bigger pot. of course, the children chose an enormous one!
Artists in the making!
The children enjoyed using the watercolour palettes so much last week that we used them again to paint some turnips – this time experimenting with mixing colours to make the lovely purple shading at the top of the turnip and then a lovely creamy yellow at the bottom. Such careful work again.
We have been learning to identify the ‘characters’ in a story. The children are now able to remember all of the characters from The Enormous Turnip. We had lots of fun acting out the story – especially the part where everyone falls over at the end! We have also been learning the word ‘illustrations’ to talk about the pictures in a book and learning how they help us to understand and see what is happening in the story. Some children each chose a character to draw and paint. As the adult worked alongside them, talking about the process of the drawing, the shapes she was using in her own drawing and talking with the children about their own ideas, some fantastic art work again emerged. The children chose to use the watercolour palette and the adult modelled how to water down some of our poster paint for deeper, brighter shades which the children asked for. They were so proud of their amazing work.
This week we have also started ‘Helicopter Story’ sessions. This is a process in which children create and tell their own story to an adult who scribes it for them. The adult then reads the story aloud whilst the children act it out. This is already encouraging children to make their own little story books and to begin to use emergent writing to ‘write’ their own stories which they can then ‘read’ to their audience. Why not try making up stories together at home?
Developing a sense of number
In our Maths groups we have been working on accurately counting out objects from a larger group. One group has been mastering reciting numbers in sequence to five and learning to apply this to counting objects. Two groups have been matching the correct number of objects up to four. Another group has been working with numbers up to seven. Their challenge this week was to find different ways of making seven using only two sets of objects. Your home maths challenge this week is to find numerals all around you – try looking at door numbers, signs and vehicle registration numbers on the way to school. What numbers can you spot?
A calm and peaceful moment
Our children have been practising mindfulness and relaxation since starting Nursery. After lunch we all lie down with a cosy blanket and relax for ten minutes. We listen to the quiet music and meditations on our Relax Kids CD which help us to focus on being still and having quiet minds. Many of our children are now very competent at closing their eyes and relaxing their bodies. Some of them are so good that they have been falling asleep! It is lovely to see them so relaxed and peaceful in the middle of their very busy days. If you would like to know more about Mindfulness and Relaxation for children please ask a member of staff. You can also visit the Relax Kids web-site at https://www.relaxkids.com for more information.
Next week we will be continuing to read The Enormous Turnip. We will be doing some story sequencing and mapping to help us to re-tell the story. We will also be ‘writing’ some speech and thought bubbles for the characters as we think about what they might be saying or thinking!