Friday, May 17, 2013

ISM Spotlight–Volcanoes, Rock Museums & Precious Stones

This year I am the luckiest teacher in the world. I get to teach at the best school ever – International School of Morocco, with some of the best, most creative, teachers ever. Each time I walk into someone else’s classroom, I get inspired and we just seem to spiral great teaching ideas off of each other. It’s a wonderful place to teach, and since we are all collaborating, it’s a wonderful place for our kids to learn – a teacher’s dream, right? I have tried and tried to convince the other teachers to create blogs of their own to spotlight and share some of their amazing ideas, but everyone is super busy. Instead, they have each agreed to let me spotlight some of their ideas right here on Raki’s Rad Resources. So, each Friday night, I will be posting an ISM Spotlight.

Today we’re going to take a look at our “Kindergarten” class.  Since we are a British school, the proper name for this class is Reception and Year 1.  In the US, we would say Pre-K and Kindergarten.  Regardless of the terminology, this is a group of 4, 5 and 6 year olds who imageLOVE to learn about the world around them.  Lucky for them, they have a teacher who is willing to do fun, creative activities to help them explore this world.  Olivia Gunning is our Kindergarten teacher, and also an amazing travel writer.  (Check our her writing here.)  For her Land to Hand unit, Ms. Gunning helped her students learn how people take rocks from the earth and use them to make jewelry, art and other useful items.

First, the kids learned about rocks that are formed deep in volcanoes.  They created volcano collage murals with pieces of colored paper, newspaper and magazine.  Ms. Gunning drew the volcano on a large piece of butcher paper, and then the kids glued colored paper to make the layers of lava, rock and grass.  The students even labeled the parts of the volcano.

Making rocks and volcano crafts in the kindergarten class at the International School of Morocco.

Making rocks and volcano crafts in the kindergarten class at the International School of MoroccoThe kids also made volcano hats with green paper hats, and yellow and red crinkled paper lava.  Then, the kids had a great time pretending to be volcanoes and erupting.  They started quiet and dormant, then made small hissing sounds until they erupted loudly.  It was a wonderful drama integration!

 

 

Thanks to the internet, Ms. Gunning was able to connect her class in Morocco with her sister in England, who makes jewelry with precious stones.  The class talked to Ms. Gunning’s sister via Skype.

Photo: As part of their unit on rocks ISM students here in Casablanca learned about colorful and shiny semi-precious stones from a jewelry maker in England by interacting live via Skype.

Making rocks and volcano crafts in the kindergarten class at the International School of MoroccoThen, they made paper mache balls to create their own precious stones. 

To do this, make a paper mache paste of flour and water, dip in ripped up newspaper, and use the web newspaper to make balls.  Let them dry for at least 24 hours, and then paint.

 

They also created sand art by making designs with watered down glue on colored paper and then spreading sand over the top of their design.  After the glue driMaking rocks and volcano crafts in the kindergarten class at the International School of Moroccoed, the students sprinkled off the excess.

 

All through out their unit, the kids collected rocks and used their rocks to create a rock museum.

Making rocks and volcano crafts in the kindergarten class at the International School of Morocco

For their final project, Ms. Gunning collected pebbles, which the kids turned into pebble people with googley eyes.  Then, they put pictures of their pebble people into Puppet Pals and used them to create a puppet show.

Making rocks and volcano crafts in the kindergarten class at the International School of Morocco

Stop by next week to find out what else is going on at ISM.

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources