I have today started teaching a new group of 4 to 6 year old children, many of whom I have had as students in previous years, though in different classes. Today's newcomer was the sibling of one of the girls, who has just turned four. We revised and learned the names of some jungle animals in English, as a preparation for the song the children will be singing on the final presentation day. Because they cannot write yet (Diogo being the exception as he is slightly older) I had them identify and circle the animals I called out in sheets of paper where they had their sketches.
I then had them get some toy animals out of a bag with their eyes closed (so as not to select the animals) and say their names out loud. If they got their names right they'd keep them otherwise they'd have to be put back into the bag.
One of the three "missing" children showed up during the break and I was told one would no longer come, whilst the other would only be coming the following day, but I wasn't too worried as they'd have plenty of time to prepare the song.
They were then given different types of animal related artistic pieces to either colour with pencils or felt tip brushes, fill in with little mosaics or dress with colourful stickers. They were obviously dependent on the degree of difficulty as in accordance with their ages (4, 5 or 6) and artistic skills.
By the end of the morning three of them had completed two works each - animal shaped bookmarkers and dressed up animals. Pedro and Teresinha who happened to have completed them earlier still had time to do a puzzle with animals on it.
It was quite a "peaceful" morning and the more I work with children of various ages the more I am beginning to appreciate the natural inquisitiveness of the youngest, as well as their excitement to learn new things. I'll definitely be looking forward to tomorrow and what it will bring.
(To be continued)