Term 3 Week 6 – Malta Part 7 – Boats

This week our attention turned to the marvelous Maltese shoreline. Besides the beautiful sea and the hills beyond we can also sea boats dotting our bays.

The children became aware that there are various types of boats: rowing boats, sailing boats, paddle boat, speed boats, ships, cargo ships and last but not least cruise liners.  They have a particular shape all starting with a pointy front part called the bow.

This has this shape to help the boat move forward in the water.  The back part is called the stern.  They saw all the above types of boats in the informative book called Brilliant Boats.  This book was written by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker.


We also discussed what distinguishes each one example the rowing boats needs the oars to be rowed along, the sailing boat needs its sails so the wind blows through them and its ropes for its direction to be changed.

They realised that there were common factors between all such as all need some type of anchor, a safety jacket, ropes etc.

However one particular boat did not feature in this book our traditional Maltese luzzu. The children became aware of the 7 different vibrant colours which characterize this vessel mainly blue, yellow, red, orange, green, white and brown.

From the video clips they watched they noticed that each luzzu boat has an eye painted on the bow side.  This dates back to the time of the Phoenician and is believed to protect the fisherman from other seafarers with bad intentions such as stealing the fish or from the rough seas they might encounter.  Each boat is also given a name.

The luzzu is used by fisherman for their work where they go out at seas to catch fish and then sell them at one of the typical Maltese villages called Marsaxlokk.  This is not an easy life to lead as they send days on end out at sea at times in rough weather and seas.

These are the videos they watched to understand how a typical Maltese luzzu looks like and what our shore line might look like.


Last but not least they clapped and created a beat to the traditional Maltese song called Lanca Gejja which refers to the trips done by the boats from one part of the island to the other.

Lanca Gejja song –

 

The craft we thought of this week was a fun boat craft which the children played with after they finished it since they could swivel it from side to side like a rowing boat.  As you will see from the pictures the children are now able to follow more complex instructions and their fine motor skills have developed further in that they can grab very small items whilst putting together their little creations.

 


Last but not least they also understood that boats are not only used for work but also to relax in by going on a trip round our shores or crossing over to Gozo on one of the big Gozo Channel ships.


Other people actually live on boats such as Cosmo the Cat in the story below.

Cosmo the Boat Cat:

 

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Term 3 Week 5 – Malta Part 7 The Maltese Wall Lizard

The second creature we spoke about this week was the Maltese wall lizard.

To help the children understand more about this creature we saw various pictures of lizards living around the world.

They were fascinated by the largest lizard in existence called the Komodo Dragon. They also saw the difference in size between this and the Maltese Lizard.

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Lizard Facts

  • Lizards are cold-blooded reptiles.
  • They lay eggs and the Maltese lizard hides its eggs in the rock crevices around it or buried in soil.
  • Lizard eggs have soft shells.
  • Their skin is scaly.
  • They have long tongues which they rapidly extend from their mouth, too fast for human eyes to see properly.
  • They camouflage to their surroundings.
  • Most lizards have like suckers in their little feet so they attach themselves to the walls.
  • The male is green and the female is brown.

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I also related the Maltese legend of the Maltese lizards having 2 tales.  The children got to know that lizards shed their tail in battle or when they are accidentally hurt.  They usually grow their tail back.

At times the first tail does not detach itself completely from the body. So it appears that the lizard might have 2 tails.  Usually the two tails fuse together.

These are the video clips we watched in class.

The Komodo Dragon video clip –


The Maltese Wall Lizard –


Lizard eggs hatching –


The lizard song –


Our lizard topic work ended with a cute lizard craft.  We are very proud of the children because they managed to follow several instructions to put the lizard together.

Here are some photos whilst they are creating their little lizard craft.  Later on in the day they also attempted at creating a lizard using playdough.

At the end their imagination took the better of them and they made many other things as well.

 

 

Term 3 Week 5 – Malta – Part 6 Goats

As you might recall from previous blogs we have spoken about a few animals which are endemic to the Maltese islands such as the hedgehog and the Maltese dog.

This week it was the turn of 2 other animals one of which is the goat.  First they became aware that there are different kinds of goats.

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We took a closer look at the Dutch goats known as the Dutch Landrace Goats, the Lake District goats and a few others all of which have very long wool and large horns.  The wool is sheared just like sheep’s wool to make clothes.  These sheep use their horns to protect themselves from other animals.

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The Maltese goat on the other hand is much smaller in size.  Its colour is usually white with a black head.  It has droopy ears which turn outwards at the tip.  Each goat, whether Maltese or from another country has a stamp on one of its ears or its back to identify it from the rest since a herd of goats would look all the same.

The children were fascinated when they got to know some of the following goat facts:

  • Goats can jump high and climb trees especially the Moroccan goats.
  • Goats love to eat nearly everything even clothes.
  • It is these animals that might have discovered the coffee beans growing on a plant. After the goats ate the beans the farmers noted a change in their behaviour and started using the beans too.
  • Goat milk is good to drink. In some countries selling goat milk and their wool is a source of income.  Some Maltese farmers keep goats for this purpose.  Their milk is used to produce ricotta cheese.

Here are the video clips that we watched in class and which the children asked me ‘please miss can you put them on the blog so we can also watch them at home?’

Goat Fun Facts

 


Goats Climbing Trees

 


The children heard a story which has goats as its main characters.  This was the classic fairy tale of, The Three Billy Goats Gruff.  Here is an online version –


Discussion and question time took a different form when instead of the usual questions we played a different version of the telephone game. Each child said a piece of the story they had just watched and heard following what the previous child said.

At the end we ended with a different story altogether.  This showed the children that we are able to create our own stories.

We then watched the story again to see how different or similar our story was to the original one.  The goat topic work ended by each child creating their own goat face.  They first painted a paper plate, after drying up they glued 2 googly eyes, 2 ears, 2 horns and a cotton ball for a beard.

These little creatures now form part of the bulletin board outside our classroom.

Here are the photos of our little artists painting away    🙂

 

 

Term 3 Week 4 – Malta – Part 5 Oranges

Topic work for this week started off with a story called No Norman, A Goldfish Story written by Kelly Bennett.

This story talks about a boy who got a gold fish as a birthday present.  The boy wanted a different kind of pet and in this book we see why.

However as the story unfolds he starts realizing that having a goldfish as a pet is not half as bad and he discovers the positive qualities of owning a fish.


After the story we moved on to question time as well as exploring the advantages and the disadvantages of having different animals as pets.  We then looked at the particular colour that the goldfish has – orange.

I then linked this to the Malta theme by posing the question “what other things do we find which are orange in Malta?  The children replied oranges.  We then moved onto different kinds of fruit which are oranges in colour.  This is what all the class came up with.

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The children learnt that farmers grow most of these crops on the Maltese Islands.  They even sell some of these to foreign countries.  Such a fruit is the orange.

Although to us they may look the same there are different varieties of this fruit such as the ordinary round orange, the large oval orange, the Malta egg orange, the Malta egg-blood orange, the Bahia or navel orange, and the vanilla orange which is a sweet type of orange.

These oranges grow at different parts of the year.  Orange fruits form part of the citrus family.

They watched a video about orange picking.  Video Clip – Sun & Citrus: Harvesting Oranges In Malta’s Countryside –


They then proceeded to create their own orange fruit craft.  Through this craft they became aware that oranges have different segments inside and that these grow out of seeds like all fruit. Our oranges are hanging outside our classroom.

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As you can guess one of the letters for this week is o for orange.  More information can be found in the literacy section.

 

Term 3 Week 3 – Malta – Part 4 – Dog (The Maltese)

After flying kites our focus turned on Maltese animals, precisely dogs or rather The Maltese.

The children learnt that although there are many dogs in existence we actually have a dog which originated on the Maltese Islands many thousands of years ago way back in the times of the Romans and Egyptians.

These people took these cute tiny creatures to other countries and that is how the Maltese is so popular all over the world till this day.  The children learnt many facts about these dogs.

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The Maltese can fit in a large teacup.

  • It is a family dog which is very friendly, lovable and playful.
  • It does not have fur like other dogs but hair which can grow very long. It needs to be brushed every day.
  • From time to time this dog needs to go to the groomer for a haircut.

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  • The Maltese is a popular pet with wealthy people. Ladies used to have dresses with wide sleeves made so they could hold their Maltese dog where ever they went.

 

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  • These dogs are also used a therapy dogs because they love cuddling up and can easily be put in the lap of a bedridden person.

Here are some links which you can access with your children and which can also be a point of discussion.

 


http://mentalfloss.com/article/69697/11-spunky-facts-about-maltese

The children decorated their own Maltese dog.  All dogs are happily hanging outside our classroom.

You have surely guessed to which letter this topic leads us to  🙂  d – dog (The Maltese). More information can be found under the literacy blog.

 

Term 3 Week 3 – Malta – Kites

One of the letters for this week was letter k.  What came to mind whilst brainstorming for topics which start with this letter were kites.

In fact kite flying is a popular hobby on the Maltese islands since it does get windy especially during spring time when the weather is perfect for such a hobby.  The children could themselves take it up as their own pastime.

In class we read the book Kite Flying written by Grace Lin.  In this book we saw a simple way of making a kite.  Here is an online version of it.


It is important to make a list before starting and shop for the items needed.

We also spoke about how important lists are in our everyday life because they help us stay organized.  We brainstormed what lists we might need in our everyday life.  This is what the children came up with.  Grocery list, book list, before coming to school list, school bag list, what we do every day list, colour pencil list, going to the beach list etc.

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Children can also make their own list even if they do not know how to write.  They can draw or find pictures of the objects they need.

Children love to know what they are going to do next.  It gives them a sense of security as well as satisfying their curious little minds. You can prepare general lists together; laminate them and each day mark what applies to the family or for the child on that particular day.

Back to our kite

Even we prepared our own list of items needed for making our own kites in class.  This is a photo of the items I drew on the board after a brainstorming session together.  They mentioned

  • Coloured paper in the shape of a diamond and other paper shapes for the base
  • Straws and sticks
  • Tape
  • Colours to decorate the kite with
  • Different shaped/sized coloured paper to stick onto he kite
  • Glue stick
  • Ribbon/string for the tail as well as for holding the kite from.
  • Glitter
  • Stickers of various characters such as princesses and star wars
  • Paint and paint brush
  • Wind so they can fly the kite

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The children created their own kite using some of the items mentioned above and they actually flew their kites during one of their physical education sessions.  It was great fun.   🙂

 
All the above work had been started last week.  In fact if you recall I already posted some of the literacy material we covered for revision purposes.  This week we finished all the work pertaining to this letter even in the literacy section by practicing writing it on our workbooks and working a mixed page).  I am posting the rest of the work here and not in the literacy blog for this week only.

The kite Flying Song –

 

 

Term 3 Week 2 – Malta – Part 2

Our third week has flown by too.

During the beginning of the week we turned our focus on animals which live on the Maltese islands.  The children got to know that there are particular animals which live in a particular country because the environment there is best for them to live in.

The polar bear for instance lives in the Arctic because the temperatures there are very low.  We could not imagine a polar bear living in Malta with its thick fur coat.

Likewise there are particular animals which live mainly on or originate from the Maltese Islands.  Some of these creatures are the Blue Rock Thrush, the Maltese Ruby Tiger Moth, the Maltese wall lizard, the Maltese freshwater crab, the indigenous Maltese goat, the Maltese dog and last but not least the hedgehog.

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It was the turn of the last in the list to keep us company.  The children heard the story of Herald the Hedgehog.  They even learnt a lesson where we should be happy and appreciate what we have rather than always wishing for what the others might have.  This can be a point of discussion at home after you enjoy viewing the story together.  Link below:

Harold the Hedgehog by Jack Connolly and Rhianna Lewis


We also saw some interesting facts about these sweet little creatures, such as there are 17 different kinds of hedgehog families living around the world. Mummy hedgehogs have around 6 babies at one go.  The babies are called hoglets. They have a very good sense of smell.  They love living on the ground but know how to climb and swim.  Some of these fun facts are found in the clip below.

The Nature´s Amazing! Series Hedgehog Facts for Kids


Since hedgehogs are nocturnal animals they often try to cross the road in the dark.  Unfortunately they are not seen by the drivers being so small and they end up dead.

Thus campaigns take place from time to time to help everybody become aware of this fact.  We have to look out for signs like the ones below when travelling in our countryside.

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We extended the lesson to how we should cross the road.  We practiced crossing the road in class. (I also mentioned that even if we learn to cross the road we still hold our mummies, daddy’s hand or any other adult we happen to be with).  We watched these video clips about this topic.

Think, Hedgehog Road Safety-King of the Road

Song – Think! Hedgehog Road Safety-King of the Road

Stop, Look and Listen songs 

 


As we do for every letter we created a craft for this letter too.  A cute little hedgehog made out of a paper plate which the children painted brown.


We then added a fringe for spikes and added the nose and the googly eyes. Here is how the hedgehog looked like.

hedgehog
The work done on the literacy workbook can be found under the literacy section.

 

 

Term 3 Week 1 – Malta – Part 1

The topic the pre-junior teachers have chosen for most part of the last term is Malta.  Even our sports day is based on traditions and culture which pertain to Malta too.

We started off the week by first welcoming the children and asking them if they enjoyed their holidays.  We mentioned some of the major events happening during this third term:  Sports day, Open Day and Graduation Day.

The children are very excited to start adding up, read cvc words and go on outings.  I then explained the idea of show and tell based on an activity they did during their Easter Holidays.  Below you will find the photo of the children who spoke about their Easter experience.


Other children will be doing their little presentation next week.

Besides show and tell we started talking about the topic Malta.  The children got to know that the country they presently live in is an island surrounded by a beautiful sea.


This linked us to one of the games we will be show casing during sports day – Off to the Beach for some sun and sea!  In fact we spoke about the beauty of such lovely places such as Ghadira, Golden Bay, Ramla Bay and Blue Lagoon.

However we have to take care of these beaches and not throw rubbish after having visited one of them for a swim or a barbeque.  It is also important to protect ourselves from the sun whilst at the beach by wearing a cap and applying sunblock at all times.

Back to the Malta topic –

Malta actually forms part of a group of 3 islands – Malta, Gozo and Comino.  They got a taste of the countries’ culture by looking at a power point about Malta.  They got to know that Valletta is the capital city of Malta whilst that of Gozo is Rabat.  The land is made out of hills and valleys.

In fact each country has its own specific characteristics. Each country has its own national plant.  That of Malta is called The Maltese Centaury.  Each country has its national animal. The Blue Rock Thrush Bird is the Maltese national bird living on the Dingli Cliffs.

We also looked at the flag of Malta.  They learnt that the flag of Malta is white and red with the George Cross on the white part.  In fact each country has its own flag.  They got an idea of how a flag looks like by observing a couple of videos of the different countries of the world.  This is the one they loved the most.


The colours on a flag are important.  We will go in further detail next week.  Flags linked us to the literacy lesson.  More information can be found under the literacy section.

The children created two flags.  The first flag was inspired from the above video clip where the children used their imagination to invent a new flag.  The second flag was that of Malta.

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Maltese Flag

This is only some of the information the children got to know about.  More interesting facts will be shared with the children next week.

Malta PowerPoint

 

Term 2 – In the Garden – Part 8

During this week we continued adding more creatures which can be found in our garden. Our new addition is the mouse.  We read the story, The Lion and the Mouse.  The children got to know that such a story is called a fable and that it is a story which teaches us a lesson.  Here is the online version of our story.

The Lion and the Mouse – Aesop’s Fable


The children got to know some interesting facts about these creatures.  Some of which were the following.  Mice belong to the family of rodents and there are 30 different species.  They are usually nocturnal animals.

They have poor eyesight but very good hearing and smell.  Their tails can grow as long as their bodies.  Mice use their whiskers to sense changes in temperature and to help feel the surface they are walking along.

Animated rodent characters have been used for a good number of children’s films such as in Stuart Little, Flushed Away, Ratatouille, and of course the Tom and Jerry and Mickey Mouse series.

If you have the time you might show one of the above to the children during the Easter holidays    🙂

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We also created a mouse craft.  All the mice are currently climbing one of our walls near our classroom.  They look similar to the mice below.

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Information about this letter is found under the literacy blog.

 

 

Term 2 Week 11 – In the Garden – Part 7

During this week we added another little cuddly creature to our garden – a rabbit which is also synonymous with spring time and Easter.

Besides having a cute little soft toy in class whom we called Peter the children followed several stories evolving around character of Peter Rabbit.

The main story we discussed however was the classic Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.


The story was animated with the use of soft toys in class which the children really enjoyed.  Questions time followed were the children had to put on their thinking hats and remember the various details in the story when the interactive whiteboard spinning wheel chose their name.

They really enjoyed this part and they all ended answering a question or two.  The next step was sequencing the pictures representing the story into the correct order.  They were all attentive as they tried to think and see which picture came next.

We also discussed the moral behind the story.  In fact the children came up with many ideas of how Peter Rabbit should have behaved.  They were aware that not following certain basic rules could lead us into trouble just like what happened to Peter.

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During the week the children got to know some facts about rabbits such as where do rabbits live? What are the male, female and little rabbits called. (The words are buck, doe and chick respectively).

The children got to know that rabbits in the wild live in holes they dig underground called burrows.  They learnt that these cute little creatures have many babies at one go.  We took a look at what rabbits like to eat.  We compared these facts with information in the Tale of Peter Rabbit.

The children created their own little rabbit using the rice and the sock you so kindly sent in.  Before filling in the sock the children weighed rice using their hands and small cups.  They could see that it is very difficult to count rice but we are able to feel how heavy and light it is or to see if there is more or less by weighing it.

 

During the week the children watched this other story from The Peter Rabbit series


This is another very sweet animated version of the classic story Peter Rabbit which I found after we did the topic in class


As you can imagine letter r is the first letter which we spoke about this week.  But further details are found under the literacy section.