Discovering the Mojave & Sahara Deserts

We had a very busy week as we "traveled" across the world to visit both deserts! The students love learning about different parts of their world. And now that they have mastered the continent song, they are eager to know which continent we are talking about when we "travel". We use our Mother Goose Time world map poster to identify the different continents as we sing. Just last week I over heard a discussion between two of the preschoolers as to where China was. They concluded it HAD to be where the image of the long wall was, since we had discussed that part of the map for Chinese New Year. I LOVE the visuality ( I think I just made that word up, but I like it!) we get with MGT.

As for this week, we started in North America, where we learned about the Mojave Desert. This is where we live in Southern Utah! The kids thought it super neat to learn about our own home environment!

We learned about the unique geography in the Mojave desert, as well as its history. We talked about the gold rush and how many traveled out west in search of their fortune. Mother Goose Time provided one of my favorite activities yet for this year--mining for gold! We used some rocks that MGT sent us, as well as some very unique rocks I picked up from a natural geyser and painted them gold. We discussed how most of the natural gold that was found were tiny flecks, much like the tiny pebbles we were painting. Many of our tiny rocks got stuck in our giant paint brushes and the students used their little pincer skills like pros to find all of them so we could put them in our "river".

We then mined for gold by dipping our pans into the water and sand, swishing them around until the pan held just the rocks, and then searching for our pieces of gold!

We also played Desert Bingo where we worked on self-control, picture identification, listening, and math skills. They each had a handful of fruit loops to use as bingo markers and utilized self-control quite well as they waited to eat their snack until they got a BINGO! We also had fun learning to identify if each picture belonged to the Sahara of Mojave desert. Something that always warms my heart is seeing how much they care about each other. They were good to point out to their neighbors if they missed a bingo. We discussed straight lines and perfected counting to 3 :) as we each worked towards our bingo!

We know our brains and our bodies are very much connected and that the more active our bodies are, the more active our brains are. Therefore, we take a lot of movement breaks during the day. Here they are slithering like snakes on their stomachs! A great "S" alliteration!

In the latter part of the week, we moved on to the Sahara desert where we learned about camels and pyramids. We used pyramids to identify shapes and the number of shapes. After discussing how the ancient pyramids were built, we built our own by using foam rectangles and paint to stamp bricks onto our paper triangles. We then did what every preschooler loves to do--messy art! We showered our painted pyramids in beautiful, glittering, bronzed sand. As a creative preschool, we pride ourselves on encouraging our students to explore creative processes. MGT gives us this opportunity by providing a variety of art projects and mediums.

We also learned about hieroglyphics and how ancient Egyptians used them to tell stories. We then created our own hieroglyphics during snack time!

We ended our day by learning the "Sally the Camel" song. We weave music and dance into every part of our curriculum and MGT offered a song poster and math activity for our day in the Sahara. We picked up number cards and used them to identify numerals. We then sang the song according to the chosen number, "Sally the Camel has 14 humps, Sally the Camel has 14 humps, so go Sally, go...boom, boom, boom!", and moved our hips back and forth. Miss Brenda was getting into it and the kids were having a great time following her lead!

In closing, I'd like to share some of my favorite moments from the week:

Our butterflies emerged! We have 10 healthy, beautiful painted lady butterflies that we will release next week!

That concentration!

Students identifying emotions with items from the cool down bin.

Parents and students loving the butterfly habitat!

Our newest addition--Miss Brenda!!

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