This week we kicked off the topic relating to Christmas with a book called Mr Willowby’s Christmas tree by Robert Barry.
It is a lovely book that quickly captured the imagination of the children. Mr Willowby buys a Christmas tree that is too large for his parlour. His Butler cuts off the top bit so that it can stand upright and gives the chopped off bit to his upstairs maid. She too cuts off a bit and the story continues in this way until a tiny piece of the tree ends up in a mouse’s house. The one Christmas tree bought by Mr Willowby actually ends up decorating the rooms of 7 people/woodland creatures. Needless to say, by the end of the story, the children was all eager to tell each other what Christmas decorations they had brought out at home and where they had put them and this was a great opportunity to help them develop their speaking skills.
Using the Christmas tree, we could also make links to several mathematical topics. First of all, we worked on size, lining up all the Christmas trees in the story in order of size. We counted the branches on each tree and saw how the biggest tree had the most branches and the smallest had the least.
We also used the baubles on the Christmas tree to count up to 9. Our animal number 9 is r Zebra who can be seen below and is written following the rhyme below:
On another day, we looked at oval baubles to integrate the properties of an oval into the theme. We defined an oval as a circle that has been stretched and I showed the children how to do this using play dough. The children looked for oval shapes in the classroom and this is what they found:
You can help your children by encouraging them to look for oval shapes around your house too. Oval starts with the sound o, o and this led us to our literacy link for the week. We also saw that o is for on and off and related this to lights on a Christmas tree going on and off. Letter o is a caterpillar letter and is written like this: “Make a curve, then go all the way round.”
Songs and games relating to the letter o can be found on the e learning site by clicking here – http://prejuniorareading.wikispaces.com/Letter+o