Octopus day was great. I really, really enjoy teaching the older kids this year! They can do so much more than the 3 year olds! Here's the break down from octopus day:
First, Lou and I tracked down some octopuses to take to school. We found them at the international food market in town. They were in a bag or 12 or so and were frozen. They thawed out nicely overnight. Bee and Lou had a good look at them before school.
Lou was not afraid to touch, but Bee preferred to keep her hands safely away from any grossness.
They are a bit rubbery. The tentacles and little suction cups on the tentacles are really neat. I knew my kiddos at school would like them too.
Our leader came dressed as Shrek, an Ogar. His mom had to explain it to us!
We read these two great non fiction stories Octopuses by Carol Lindeen and Octopuses by Judith Jango-Cohen. I think the Pebble book (green one) was the one I was able to read entirely. With the other one, we just looked at some pictures.
We talked about the suckers on their tentacles.
We looked at what their bodies look like. They have a funny little siphon on their bodies that shoots out the ink and spits out hard shells from crabs they eat.
The inking is really cool. The ink even smells like an octopus. This really fools those moray eels.
The kids thought it was neat how they laid their eggs in chains hanging from the roof of the den.
Of course, changing colors is neat too. They change for camouflage and mood.
We looked at some fun octopus pictures to talk about their size. I also brought my laptop in and showed three clips from youtube. This is the first time I've done that and it worked out really nicely. I emailed the youtube files to my email so I didn't have to open youtube at school. You never know what you'll get. I showed this one of an octopus swimming, this one of one inking, and this one of it crawling on rocks.
Then we played this octopus game. I had one of the girls on staff at the church use the churches big risseograph machine to copy these octopuses on larger paper. The kids used those bluish gems to cover the letter when I called them.
Here is the demonstration version I used. I programmed some old cannning lids with letters upper and lower case letters a-o. When I read off the letter, I covered it on the blue poster.This let those that needed to see where the letter was or what a j was. Several are struggling with Jj.
Right before we washed hands for snack, I gave the kids a chance to touch the octopus. Most did choose to.
Some just used popsicle sticks to push them around. We did it in the hallway since they smelled pretty strong.
It was great to be able to see the parts we had talked about up close.
Then we scrubbed our hands. Some scrubbed again, the smell was hard to get off.
Here was the snack that our leader brought. They are chocolate octopuses. The brownie head is made from brownie bites (from the grocery) iced to an oreo. The arms are twizler laces. The eyes are cut sections of gum drops and M&Ms. He also brought gold fish and oranges. I'm sure some of our kids aren't hungry at lunch!
I try to pass on the snack, but I did enjoy one of these!
After snack, we danced around the room to some underwater music. I made up a yarn octopus finger puppet for each child to wear on their finger while we danced them around. The boys pretended that they were getting inked. At the end of the day, a few kids wanted to put one on each finger.
They made up in about 10 minutes each. After 4 or 5 I thought, "yeah, no problem." After 10, I though... "why did I start this?" By then I too far in to turn back.
We danced our little octopuses to Underwater Land by pat Dailey and Shel Silverstein.
This silly one wanted to check out Bee's fish tank! The pattern is from Sheep Dog's Fleece.
Here was the craft. Letter O as an octopus. Lou's looks more like a spider. Some kids drew on circles for suction cups.
For our short time at the end of the day right before dismissal, the kids poked a page.
They lay on the carpet and tap a toothpick over the letters, poking holes in the page. They love how the finished piece feels on the back and how you can see the light through it. It's a favorite, and a quiet activity.
I shared our 'car talk' clipboard last time, but here's a more 'normal' one. It talks about what we did briefly and anything upcoming. It helps the parents direct conversation on the way home. It tends to bring on better conversations than just: "What did you do at school today?" "Played."
Here's our paperwork. I photographed it to see if you have any idea what animal that little mouse-like creature is. Does he start with an O?
The inside of the paperwork ended up looking a lot like my game, but was for tracing the letters. I'm not sure what the resource is for all the paperwork. I suspect they are old.