teaching to learn, means learning to teach

The fun of “Scary”

We’ve been learning about bodies this week. Discussing what we know, introducing toys and puzzles to enhance our understanding and seeking out what different parts of our bodies are for. I’m really looking forward to the discussions we’ll have, invariably some of the cutest answers come out of Kindy Kids mouths and the sneakiest chuckles when we talk about bottoms!
One of the puzzles we have out is set in layers. The first layer, the base, is the skeleton of a little boy, the next is his internal organs. After that is a layer of muscle, then skin and finally clothes. What I love about this puzzle, is that it reminds me of the old encyclopaedias we had as kids, the ones with the clear pages that layered over each other. I used to sit looking at those layers of people and frogs for ages!
Well Quinn has decided he LOVES this puzzle. He’ll sit there and pull it apart, carefully putting in pieces until he gets to the muscles layer. As he stared intently at the picture before him and intones “Scary”, he also has a smudge of a smile playing at his lips. It surprises me when kids show this sort of understanding of the thrill of being scared. I guess it shouldn’t really – I do seem to spend many an afternoon chasing them into giggles with “What’s the time, Mr Wolf?” and the snappy turtle game!
(where I *threaten* to pinch their bottoms if they keep following me. Which somehow always ends with a huge following of just-out-of-reach giggling gerties who are waiting for the tickle to end all tickles!)
I diverge. With Quinn’s interest in this puzzle, and a class that’s filled with a vivid array of skin colours and cultures, I decided now was the time to break out the face paints. Instead of painting butterflies and superheroes, I painted bones and muscles and tendons along their forearms! We talked about how the colour of our skin may be different, but on the inside we’re all made of the same stuff. We practised fists and wiggling fingers to see how our wrists made the ‘muscles’ jump.
The kids couldn’t get enough of the painting, so we flipped their hands over and painted on all the bones that help their fingers move and showed how that joined up to the bones painted on the other side. It was really exciting to see how much the kids appeared to be understanding what I was talking about. I may not be able to remember the words to the “Dem Bones” but I know how to make the skeleton come to life! 🙂

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