Welcome to the summer term. We are looking forward to finding out about some amazing animals and creatures. To help us learn, we will share a book each week about animals and creatures and their environment.
As we enter the summer term, we have our fingers crossed for better weather! So we're starting off by reading 'Jasper's Beanstalk' to learn what plants need to thrive, including warmth from the sun. The children will then plant their own broad beans and eventually take them home to care for them.
We are currently developing our garden area, including growing herbs for the children to use in our new 'mud kitchen', so the children will be experiencing and learning about the care of plants over the duration of the term.
Flip Flap Jungle
The week beginning 23rd April, we will begin our theme of amazing animals and creatures. One of the books we will share is 'Flip Flap Jungle.' It will help us name a variety of wild animals and begin to talk about their features. We will set up a jungle 'small world' and sort which animals belong there.
The following week, we will continue to learn about animals and creatures whose natural habitat is the jungle or rainforest. In the story 'Monkey Puzzle,' baby monkey is looking for his mummy with the help of butterfly. This turns out to be trickier than might imagine as monkey describes his mummy to the butterfly and butterfly leads him to the 'mummy' he describes...
We will also be listening to the sounds of the jungle. Can we begin to identify some of the calls of the creatures we have learnt about? We will have fun trying to move like them as well.
Elmer the Elephant
The following week we will enjoy 'Elmer.' Elmer will support us think about similarities and differences in appearances and likes and dislikes. Also for our mathematical development, Elmer will help us compare animals and objects by size and weight.
Wendy the Wide-Mouthed Frog
We will learn from Wendy that we need to be considerate when talking to others as unkind words do not endear us to others! We will also have an oppportunity to make our own animal sock puppets and put on character voices to act out scenes together.
Sharing a Shell
As we find out about sea creatures and their habitats, this story also supports our Personal Social Emotional Development as it explains how friends helping each other and sharing makes everyone feel happier.
During the week we will also investigate our own pretend rock pool and closely observe real fish and crabs.
As the term progresses, in early July, we will read 'Dear Zoo.' What is the role of a zoo? What is the job of a zoo keeper? We will make our own role play zoo to help care for the animals and, to support our mathematical development, we will 'pay' with coins for the entrance fee.
How You can Support at Home...
It will support your child's learning if you share the above stories or those with a similar theme, with your child at home. An ideal time is bedtime. Encourage your child to name the characters and describe the story events. What will happen next? Can your child predict the ending or even make up a new ending? As you read, give your characters different voices and encourage your child to join with the repeated phrases. You may find that you don't even need a copy of the story, sometimes it is good practise for your child to be told the story as it helps develop listening skills.
You could watch TV footage of wild animals in their natural environment and discuss what you can see.
Finally, try drawing an animal alongside your child. Talk about the features they need to include so that it looks real, e.g. does it have a tail? Does it have a beak? Fur? Stripes?