Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Five in a Row: A New Coat for Anna

Today was the first day of a homeschool co-op our family is participating in this year.  My job is to teach the preschool literature based program Five in a Row.  (By the way, if you have a preschooler and haven't already, I would definitely look into this curriculum if only for the children's book recommendations)

This week's book is A New Coat for Anna, a sweet story about a girl in post- WWII Europe who needs a new coat.  The stores are empty and no one has any money, but Anna's mother is full of cheerful resourcefulness and trades things from around her house to obtain the materials and labor for having a coat made.
For our activity I had the children practice bartering with one another.  We printed off pictures of resources from the computer (wood, glass, milk, etc), laminated them with packing tape, and glued them on to popsicle sticks.  Each child received four resources which they were allowed to trade with one another.  At the end of the trading time each child got to practice being resourceful and tried to think of things they could make for their family using the resources that they ended up with. (They drew pictures of the things they decided to make).

The activity went fairly well, but  the children didn't get as into the trading as I had hoped (I don't think the kids were completely comfortable with each other on the first day).   I love that A New Coat for Anna helps children see the work and processes that go into things that are easy to take for granted and felt that this activity helped them to ponder those things a bit more.

Are you part of a preschool homeschool co-op?  As a newbie co-op teacher I would love to hear about the kinds of things you do with your preschoolers, and any tips you have found to make things go more smoothly.

1 comment:

Rena said...

This sounds like a great activity for my K-2 co-op class I'm teaching.  Where did you get the pictures you used?