Our most recent continent exploration was the beautiful continent of Asia. The introduction to Asia included locating Asia on the continent globe, information about the continent, terrain, climate, people, and customs. As part of this study, we took a closer look at three countries within Asia: Japan, India and China.
A few highlights from our study of Japan included learning the story of Sadako Sasaki and the 1,000 paper cranes (this story can be found here: http://www.peacecraft.cc/story_of_sadako.html). The children learned to count to 10 in Japanese and some even made number books, integrating the Montessori bead bars as a reference. We talked about Zen Gardens and creating peace and inner-calmness. The children enjoyed using our miniature Zen Garden as an extension of this lesson:
After Japan we ventured into India and had a blast exploring the sense of smell with work choices centered around Indian spices. These works included painting with spices, smelling jars, and using a mortar and pestle:
We learned a game played by children in India, “Tiger in the Village,” in which the teacher would call out a number and children had to get into groups corresponding to the number in order to “hide” from the tiger. We also talked about how traditional clothing is different from Western clothing and explored the art of henna. Children were even able to create their own henna designs as a work choice:
In addition, the children were able to explore some artifacts from India, including a teapot. A kindergartener noticed that it looked old and worn and suggested turning this into a polishing work:
We finished off our Asia study with China. This may have been the highlight of our Asia unit (ask the children) because it included food and beverages from China! A parent graciously volunteered to bring in lettuce wraps for the class to have for snack and it was a huge hit! We learned about the Chinese New Year celebration and ended the week with our own celebration. We read stories about Chinese New Year, had a tea ceremony with Chinese tea, and played Chinese drums while listening to drum music.