Sweet potatoes and pumpkins

It was another beautiful sunny day today following on from our wonderful day out on Friday. Many of us tried our sweet potatoes over the weekend and we have one recipe so far. Our teachers are waiting on more recipes so that we can make a book a take it home for our families. At school today we didn’t eat sweet potatoes but we learnt about them and did an activity with them in Shelley, Nanako and Liezel’s class. We all stood around the table and looked at a tray filled with sweet potatoes. Some were big and some were small; some were fat and some were thin; some were straight and some were squiggly; some had roots attached to them and some didn’t…….but, they were all sweet potatoes.

 The roots are the long squiggly things that hold the sweet potatoes in the dirt. Eva called it the dirt and Shelley called it the earth or the soil. It is through the roots that the sweet potatoes get their food and this is how they grow; just like we do. They are attached to vines and the man who owns the farm, twisted some vines for us into the shape of a circle. We know about the shape called “circle” because every day we sing a song “Let’s hold hands in a circle”. Our teachers had cut out shapes in the sweet potatoes and we used green and brown paint and did stamping onto a large piece of white paper. The shapes we stamped were long shapes like the vines; flower shapes like the cosmos flowers we saw and leaf shapes as leaves are an integral part of nature and plants. Our teachers encouraged us to move around the paper and stamp the shapes all over, rather than stand in one spot which is what we tended to do. We will work on this project over the coming week and do some collage and pasting on it.

In our classroom we now have a really big pumpkin that is a light. We sang two songs about pumpkins today viz. “One little, two little, three little pumpkins” and the second one was “Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground”. We loved looking at the pumpkin and touching it. We were able to differentiate between which pumpkins were big and which were small. We read “Goodnight Moon”, “Tigger” and “At the beach”. We love it when our teachers read the same book to us over and over however we think that sometimes they would prefer us to bring them a different one each time.

Upstairs we went straight into Halloween and did some activities in connection with it. In the library, we read a book that explained to us what the most popular symbols of Halloween are: Jack-o-lantern, black cat, spiders, witches and skeletons. We played a game where we had to guess what was on our head. We couldn’t see what it was but had to feel. It was either a toy spider or a ghost. At the one activity table, we decorated a small pumpkin using stickers. The stickers were in the shape of eyes, nose and mouth just like a Jack-o-lantern. Today we also thought about how we are going to decorate our classroom for the Halloween party on Wednesday. We had the option to make a spider, bat or cat. We used folded black paper, googly eyes and pipe cleaners for this activity. We cut out the shape and decorated them and will hang them in the classroom.

 We finished making our paper clay today. The paper has been soaking in water for about a week now. We scooped a bowl of paper and water into the blender and added one colour to it. The colours that we had to choose from were blue, red, green and a grey brown. Once each mixture was fully blended, we poured it onto a net and squeezed as much of the cold water out, as possible. We have lovely homemade paper clay which we will use to make 3D models.

Outside in the park we had fun in the sun, playing with the wagons and our friends and teachers. Shoko filled her wagon up with gravel and some utensils and walked around the park telling us that she had one cup of rice in her wagon. We were so happy to welcome Margo back from being sick and staying with her grandma in Chiba; Jamie and Jennifer who had both been sick too and Tokutaro who had a whirlwind trip to the USA. We look forward to celebrating Halloween on Wednesday with all our friends and their families at Ohana.

We are looking forward to another full week of fun, dressing up, partying, feasting, learning and playing.

Love always Shelley, Darren, Ayaka, Nanako, Sabine, Goh, Liezl and Christine.