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  • Leigh Pappalardo

Going Global in PreK

This year in the PreKindergarten class we have set off on an imaginative journey throughout our wonderful wide world! Our goal is to "visit" each of the 7 continents by year's end. With the help of our class mascot, Pierre the Polar Bear, we set off on weekly learning treks around the globe!

Each month we choose a continent to study. Every Friday of the month, we spend time learning through play as we build centers filled with information from around the world.

We spent a marvelous month this fall learning about Australia. We read picture books, created wildlife alphabet journals of the native koalas, kangaroos, and kookaburras, and even had a visit from a parent who shared travel photographs and a real boomerang!

This gorgeous picture book was donated to our class by a class parent who traveled to Sydney, Australia for a work assignment. We used the book as inspiration for our own cover artwork for our Australian animal journals.

When the children learned of the devastating bush fires that were threatening the koala and kangaroo populations, they wanted to do something to help. Together we decided that we could make a small difference by collecting coins and sending our money to a wildlife organization in New South Wales Australia.

Each day for a week, the children brought in coins from their piggy banks to add to the collection.

One sweet girl even offered up Christmas money to the jar.

A lemonade stand popped up on an unseasonably warm January day led by a Polar Bear student in hopes of collecting even more money to donate to the Koalas.

Once the collection ended, there were endless opportunities for hands on learning in the classroom during our coin sorting activity. Fine motor skills, identifying attributes, classifying data, and teamwork were all on display!

The dramatic play center housed an emergency wildlife rescue center where our friends continued to build social skills, learned to negotiate, to understand social cues, and even regulate their emotions.

The Polar Bears will continue to absorb the wonder of the world we live in and the important role that they play as human beings. May they grow up to continue to be so kind-hearted and aware of our great big world!

"When children pretend, they’re using their imaginations to move beyond the bounds of reality. A stick can be a magic wand. A sock can be a puppet. A small child can be a superhero."

Fred Rogers American children’s television host 1928–2003

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