During December we focused our learning on the country of India. I have to start by expressing my gratitude to the amazing parents we have in the Lila community. So many were eager to lend their support any way they could to bring this theme to life for the kids. We started by reviewing the continents of the globe, which one we live on, and which one contains India. You may have heard your children singing the Continent song. To help something as abstract as a whole continent seem relevant to someone of their age, we read a story that follows a young girl as she travels to India to visit family. The book had great pictures of everyday life in India. The children became quite enamored by this book and spoke of the girl as though she was a person they knew. One aspect of Indian culture we highlighted was Indian cultural music. Apsara (Suveer's mom) made a mixed tape for the class that included traditional, modern, and even a fun kid song. We often had this music playing as background music to our work time. A number of times I found that children had independently gathered around the CD player while this music was playing to listen to the sitar and to sing with the kids' song. Children used a color-mixing work in which children mixed paint to paint the green and orange stripes on an Indian flag. There was a spice grinding work in the Practical Life area. We also had a cooking project during which we made some everyday Indian food. Vinni (Meera's mom) came in one day to make Naan bread. The children enjoyed stretching out the dough as well as eating it. Chakrapani and Jyothsna (Samarth's parents) also offered to come in to share a bit about Indian Culture and Heritage. Unfortunately, this was prevented first by illness, and then by snow :( In addition to all of this, we also be learned a bit about elephants (where they live, what they eat, etc.)
Coming up in January we will be focusing on the layers of the earth and volcanoes. One parent has already generously offered a model volcano with which we can emulate an eruption. There will be some fun art as well as opportunities for language and handwriting development by having children make their own books about volcanoes.