We began our class singing “Ahoy” to each member and practicing our salutes. We’re getting better each week! Then we talked about different kinds of boats – sailboats and rowboats.
We listened to the sounds that water makes while lapping at the sides of the boats – schlup, schlup. And we learned how to move our arms with the oars – to make those boats move through the water. “Row, row, a-fishing we’ll go, how many big fish will be caught?” became our chant. Some of us rowed by ourselves, some with moms, one with his dad.
Then we switched to sailboats, singing “Come Sailing with Me”. We ran into some big waves that tossed us all out into the water and we sang “Come Splashing with Me” instead! It was a beautiful day to be out on the water!
We came back to the shore, landing in Dublin and hearing about “sweet Molly Malone” and singing “Cockles and Mussels, a-live, a-live oh!” The clackers and jingle bells were a bit hit with the children, especially our youngest ones. It’s hard to decide which one you want to hold, so why not try both?
Then we had a visit with a crab and counted how many legs he had: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10! Ten legs! And we learned a new song – “The Crab” – that sounded different from all the other songs we’ve sung. Hearing new and different modalities of music is helpful to develop our listening skills.
Our next activity was the most exciting event for the entire class! Miss Merri brought out a super-big blue sheet that, with the help of some of her excellent student assistants, was spread out over the entire floor. We practiced making waves go up and then down, up and then down. Then, with the music from “Over the Waves”, we brought the ocean right there into the house on Davis Street!
And, suddenly, there was a beachball! Right there!! Floating on the water!!
Then every child got to toss another ball “into the water” and we laughed and watched the balls dance over the water and skip over the sea! Squeals, giggles, and laughter was the music of language there at that moment. We had so much fun that we had to do it all over again!
After that, some of the children wanted to “dance over the water” themselves as well as “roll over the water” and “fly over the water”. So our ocean was enjoyed immensely!
Sitting on our beachball blanket, we enjoyed “Beach Day” at storytime, watching the children in the story doing some of our own activities as well as some others that we have practiced, including building sandcastles and digging in the sand. Pictures of picnics there on the sand reminded us of our own snacktime and we moved into the kitchen to enjoy our own “fish”.
Fish sandwiches filled with orange marmalade, strawberry jam, or grape jam, or, for a change, cream cheeses flavored with strawberries, blueberries, or brown sugar and cinnamon were a very *big* hit with both children *and* parents! Raisins were added for “fishy” eyeballs. YUM! We slaked our thirst with fruit punch and then adjourned back over to our blanket to make our own “Creatures at the Ocean” visors.
Our first decision was picking out just the right visor in just the right color. Then there was much examination and oohing and aahing over all the creatures in our bucket – lobsters, crabs, angelfish, starfish, octupi, whales, and more!
After minutes of laughter, peeling of paper, figuring out just where to put our creatures, masterworks of creative design were modeled with much pride!
It’s been a lot of fun and joy to watch how our youngest classmates have become more involved in the class structure. The first week was spent roaming the room, seemingly uninterested in what was going on unless it involved beachballs or shakers. The second week they were became more interested, although they watched more from the fringes of the circle. This week became the week they joined in with full participation, sitting right in the middle of the circle at gathering time, bouncing up and down with “ooh-ooh-ooh’s” to indicate they wanted more singing and music. “Don’t stop!” they seemed to say. And during craft time, even our youngest made a masterpiece of ocean fun for her visor!
We followed this by shaking our seashell castanets to “Mary Ann” while wearing our visors and then danced to our “Sailors Jig” to finish our classtime. As we sang “Goodbye Now, Mates” and waved to each other, it was obvious to see that today was a good day at the beach!
See ya next week!