Fruit and The Loose Parts Theory

The Hungry Caterpillar

The children have been taking turns bringing books in, and The Hungry Caterpillar seems to be a book that continues to show up often.  Because of the student’s interest in this book, the teachers have been working with the children on projects that relate to their interest in The Hungry Caterpillar book. As the teacher was reading The Hungry Caterpillar to the children, she noticed that they confused a plumb with a pineapple. After discussing with the children the different characteristics between the plum and the pineapple, the teachers did a series of fruit projects with the children. The children made strawberries, oranges, apples, plumbs, pineapples, and other fruits. They were shown photos and drew their observations. They identified color and shape. They also concentrated on controlled coloring with the marker.

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              As the children have been working on the fruit project, the teachers have noticed the children’s confusion with pineapples and plumbs. The teachers brought in a pineapple and plumbs for the children to observe. The children were then asked, “What do you think is inside?” The children collaborated and came up with multiple possibilities of what may be inside the fruits.

              With their interest in the pineapples and the plumbs, the children were invited to observe interior and exterior of both fruits, and taste them.  We cut pineapples open on different days in the class to taste and discuss what it tasted like.

We even made pineapple mint water, using mint from our garden.  It was very refreshing for the children as they played outside…..

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Capturing Silent Moments 

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The Loose Parts Theory

Throughout the weeks, the children work on many specific projects with the teacher. Not only do the children work on specific projects, there are many magical silent moments constantly occurring in the classroom that are significant in a child’s learning process. Every day, aside from the specific projects that the children are working on, the teachers provide the children with many different loose materials. With loose parts, the children have the ability to express their creativity and use their imagination. The Loose Parts Theory explains the importance of allowing the children access to loose parts in order to create anything they want with no other influence other than their own. These silent moments that are often overlooked are so special. After the child finishes their piece, they are encouraged to tell the teacher about what he or she created and the story behind it. The teacher then has the child work on their letter recognition and writing skills based off of what the student created.

Here is a sample of some of our children’s work…..

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“Airplane flying in the sky.”

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