We’ve been thinking about the different animals we might encounter in the bush this week. We started off with kangaroos or roos as we colloquially call them here in Australia. We started our mat session by pooling our already extensive knowledge of kangaroos. I asked the children what sound they thought Kangaroo started with and what letter might make that sound. Someone suggested a /k/ sound and the letter k. I then wrote Kangaroo on the board and we had a look at how many letters were in kangaroo (8) and we noticed that it contained 2 o’s and two a’s so we underlined them. The aim is to increase their awareness of print.
I told the class I’d like them to think about what they know about kangaroos and that I was going to list everything we know. I told them when I make lists I put dot points and start each idea with a dot. I’m trying to introduce them to different writing structures. I then scribed their thoughts as they presented them to me. I included everything they thought they knew whether it was correct or not and we discussed each point to see whether anyone disagreed with the idea presented. I found that often one person’s idea would prompt another person’s idea. For example, person A may say “Kangaroos have tails” and then person B might say “Yes, the tails help them bounce.”
After our discussion about kangaroos we went to the activity table to make a torn paper kangaroo. We started off by painting the head, limbs and tail separately. This was a difficult concept for some of the children. We had a few that just painted a whole kangaroo or some of the bits joined up. Once they were dry we cut them out and then drew in facial features and claws.
The stomachs of the kangaroos were created by the tearing of brown paper into smaller pieces and then scrunching it up. This provided some much needed fine motor skill practice and fine muscle strengthening. We put the scrunched up balls of paper into a clear plastic sandwich bag. Once it was full we tied the bag up and then attached the limbs, head and tail with a stapler. The end result was very cute indeed. Most of the kangaroos went home but we kept 5 or so to add to an Australian Bush scene we are making to go behind the campsite we have set up in our dramatic play corner.