Dear Parents and Caregivers,
February was a very culturally-oriented month with our annual visit by the First Nations tutor from Ngutana-Lui Aboriginal and Straight Torres Islander Cultural Studies Centre, and the Chinese New Year week right after. A warm thank you again to all the parents who came to present China, its culture and traditions!
Monet Class: In the beginning of the month we observed Aboriginal Heritage by bringing in a didgeridoo and boomerang to show the class. Throughout the week we made a poster with pictures of Aboriginal children and elders, their communities, celebration and instruments. We presented the poster to the Aboriginal tutor as a thank you for sharing his culture with us. The following week we celebrated the Chinese New Year, so we learnt about colour red, a symbol of good fortune for Chinese people. We made Chinese lanterns and observed various photos of the celebrations. Then we joined Michelangelo Class to see the presentation of Chinese culture presented by Sophia’s mum. In the second half of the month we followed the children’s interest in sand play. Each day we had a different theme of sensory play with sand. We made a forest with wild animals, a building/construction setting, treasure hunting and cake baking with sand. To conclude the month, we observed World Wildlife Day which this year was celebrated with the theme ‘Big cats: predators under threat’, so we focused on three animals; Lion, Tiger and Jaguar. Children had a group activity where they pasted photos of the felines on a special poster. We also learned about big cats’ patterns and had many musical games where children “roared” like the big cats. Fun!
Michelangelo Class: The first week we learnt about sizes big and small through the sensorial materials called the pink tower, brown stairs, knobbless cylinders and more. We then proceeded learning about the Chinese New Year: we learnt about the Chinese flag, food, how to use chopsticks, traditional dress (qipao for girls, tangzhuang for boys) and made lanterns for art. We had a barbecue one the afternoon and the following week we learnt about colours in different ways: colour sorting, building a colour pattern tower with coloured pipe cleaners, wet sand and colourful beads, using colourful Legos to fill each hole of the bricks, etc. In the end we learnt about the numbers 1 to 3 through numbers and counters with pom poms, number writing sand tray game, number sensory play, number puzzles, counting our friends and so on. Most new children were settled and a few from Monet Class joined our room.
Mozart Class had a great month learning about different cultures, enhancing their knowledge and identity relating to Australian and Aboriginal cultures, and Lunar New Year. All children had a special time learning first hand about Aboriginal culture and authentic artifacts introduced by Mr Robert from the Cultural Studies Centre, in particular an authentic boomerang, kangaroo skin, dancing clap-sticks made from bamboo and emu feathers, a turtle shell, didgeridoo and dot painting of Bunya mountain. They listened to Aboriginal chanting and dream time stories. The week after we had a BBQ and a cooking class where we made Vietnamese rice-paper rolls. A few parents brought things from China to show and teach our children about such as books, traditional clothes and red envelopes. Ms Tina brought in sticky rice cakes and taught us children’s games from Vietnam.
It was a truly interesting month and we will continue with cultural awareness in March due to the upcoming Harmony Day. We hope you’re enjoying the beginning of Autumn!
- Montessori Early Education Taringa Team