The other day we made veggie burritos with corn, beans, tortillas, cheese, and spinach. The veggie burrito was a compilation of learning opportunities. We gave the children the Spanish and English term for every item placed on a plate. As the children placed each ingredient on their wheat tortilla we went over colors.
The main reason why we chose a burrito style exploration was to see if the children could roll up their tortilla once all the ingredients were placed as they practiced their fine motor skills. They also practiced serving themselves from plates and in turn serving each other, that was a nice surprise!
Incorporating Spanish in our exploration developed emergent literacy by building vocabulary. Use of language strengthens problem-solving skills and the ability to use symbolic thought. Learning new vocabulary in a group is motivational and engaging for the children. In a social environment communication is essential and it encourages children to share and exchange ideas with vocabulary. As a result our provocation welcomed learning and applying new words and the importance of communicating effectively. Just as if you’re in a different environment and you need to communicate with others in a language different from one’s own –the children will have the skills to be quick on their feet to adapt and communicate with others in the future. Language skills also facilitate the children to understand the meaning of sharing and taking turns.
In this provocation by sharing a meal the children learned social and health etiquette. The children demonstrated their thoughtfulness by serving each other food and their understanding of courtesy. This was significant because we did not suggest the children to do this, it happened organically. These skills will help the toddlers to be socially attentive when they are older, such expressions of gratitude and courtesy will help them to be more empathetic towards others. According to etiquette consultant Jill Evans Kryston, manners shape character and are an integral part of success, “Experts believe children who posses good manners are more apt to have better reading and listening skills.” By displaying politeness to others, this was a beautiful example of how the toddlers make Little Wonders even more special day by day.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
-Aesop, The Lion and The Mouse