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Squirrels News - 19th March 2021

This week our topic book was The Word Collector by Peter H.Reynolds. This is a story about a little boy called Jerome who doesn’t collect ‘normal’ objects like stamps or coins. Instead he collects words; words that stand out in conversation and words tat he sees written down. When Jerome’s words get into a mess he realises that they can be very powerful and chooses to share them with the world. The story celebrates the magic of words and helps emphasise the power of finding your own words -- and the impact you can have when you share them with the world.

Our aim at Oaktree is to expose the children to as much new and varied vocabulary and language through every one of the activities we offer. The children’s imaginative play is a great place to extend their vocabulary and this week while playing with the cars outside we discussed the sustainability of cars. A few of the children piled the cars up into a heap explaining that they were old and broken. We asked the Squirrels what should be done with the cars we no longer wish to use and there were replies of “put them in the bin”, “fix them” and finally “recycle them”. The children were encouraged to think about what the effects would be of having old cars piled up everywhere and what we could change to be more sustainable in the future. 

In light of or conversation about cars and after seeing the children’s interest in them, we decided to take our collection of toy cars with with us on our Outdoor Learning Day. The children were asked what cars need and the immediate response was “roads!” They were encouraged to work together using the natural resources around them to build a road for the cars to drive on. We used sticks to construct a road with lampposts, traffic lights, barriers and used the trees as roundabouts. When everyone was happy with the infrastructure and had decided that our track was ready we got the cars out and continued our play, driving around before parking up ready for snack time. 

Following on from our Spring Scavenger Hunt last week the children were encouraged to draw a landscape picture using oil pastels. The children chose to focus on the daffodils, trees and blossom, taking time to observe, select a colour and replicate their surroundings on paper. As usual there was time for tree climbing, puddle jumping and worm searching along with a pirate role play where golden leaves were the treasure!

The cars were very dirty after playing with them outside so what better activity to set up the next day but a car wash! The children's sustained concentration on the activity meant it was a hit as they sprayed, scrubbed, wiped and buffed the cars until they were shining and sparkling like new.

Our Literacy and Art tied in closely with our topic book this week. In Art the children were asked to think of their favourite words which they then made a collage of. It was interesting to hear the range of words that sprang to mind ranging from 'love', 'star' and 'mud' to 'giraffe', 'rainbow' and 'sinking'. The children used squares of coloured and patterned paper as well as newspapers to make their collage, carefully sticking them within the lines. In Literacy the children learnt a few new words. We had a collection of strange and wonderful words with their definitions on which we discussed as a group. We first talked about what words meant and what other words they were similar to. We then worked together to use our new vocabulary in a poem, creating a sentence using each new word and combining them to form our very own poem. 

It has been a wonderful week filled with fun, new words and outdoor adventures. We can't wait to welcome the Squirrels back on Monday!


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