“He does it with his hands, by experience, first in play and then through work. The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.” ~ Dr. Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind
The Phoenixville Primary classroom was busy traveling around the world during the month of February. First, we worked with all the puzzle maps from the world map, continent map, and USA map. We learned about each country’s unique culture, traditions, and landmarks.
The children explored the famous landmarks from each continent. These landmarks have inspired them to travel to see the landmarks in person. We also read Dr. Seuss’s book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”.
We discussed the constructions of some of these landmarks. For example, how the Machu Picchu was built without mortar and the Roman Arch construction of the Colosseum. The children also excitedly explored the animals that originate from each continent.
On February 12th, we celebrated not only Valentine’s Day, but also the Chinese Lunar New Year.
In the Chinese culture so much of the New Year explains many of the symbols prevalent in China. For instance, New Year provides for good fortune, health, and happiness while the beautiful and symbolic “lion” dance portrays power, wisdom, and superiority providing prosperity and good luck for the next year. Conversely, the symbolic “dragon” dance wards off evil spirits or bad luck.
This year I brought in oranges to the classroom, which offer fullness and wealth. We taught the children the importance of family and how Chinese families celebrate with food by preparing and eating the seven symbolic foods (fish, dumplings, spring rolls, rice balls, oranges, rice cakes and noodles). I also told the story of The Chinese 12 Animal Race that depicts the Chinese 12 years cycle calendar and teaches the lesson of teamwork and focusing to finish your race.
We ended the day by exchanging Valentine’s gifts and talking about what it means to love, respect, and honor others regardless of our differences.