Exploring A Crocodile

We have an enclosed area in our classroom that we are now using for light exploration, and sensory play.  We put different types of bubble wrap and projected a picture of a crocodile on the wall.  For the longest time, the crocodile was ignored.  The children were more interested in jumping on the bubble wrap and yelling, “bubble, bubble bubble”!

When all of a sudden, on of the girls in our class came to the picuture and said, “aligator”!  This encouraged a few of the other children to come and see what she was talking about……

She said, “alligator bite you!” She would show us her arm and tell us again, “arm”, “bite arm!”

She is showing everyone his sharp teeth!

Mrs. Maryam came in the area with the children and began talking with the children about his teeth.  This lead to the children counting the crocodile’s teeth. The children counted with her and followed her lead.  They were careful to point to each tooth as they made their way down his mouth.

Then, “J” came along and showed us exactly how the counting should be done :0)  He said, “seven, two, fourteen”…….”four, four, four”!

Again…………………”Seven, two, fourteen”…………………..”four, four, four”…………

Others followed his lead……

In order to give the children another “language” to express themselves about the crocodile, we offered them paper and markers.  These two children jumped at the opportunity, sat down next to each other and began to draw the crocodile.

Others joined in…………

One of our students was so excited about drawing the crocodile he started drawing right on top of the projected picture!  Rather than get upset and have him stop since he was actually drawing on the wall, we followed his lead and quickly ran to get a BIG piece of white paper to place under the crocodile picture.

What determination!

We quickly taped up a large sheet of paper on top of the project to help the children continue their exploration!

The students started off with slow and very intricate marks as if they were trying to draw each individual small tooth on the crocodile.

However, the more children that joined in on project, the more excitement and movement emerged from their scribbles!

What a beautiful display of energy and exploration!

While the children drew, we talked about the colors that they were using. We would ask the students, “what color do you have?” We heard shouts of “Blue, orange, and purple!”

It is so interesting to notice how the children’s scribble marks were erratic, spontaneous, and energetic. However, the majority of their movements were controlled enough to remain inside of the picture of the alligator. So, as uncontrolled as their marks may seem, there is intention behind them. They are drawing with a purpose and their purpose is to DRAW THE CROCODILE :)

Look at this masterpiece!

We especially love the attention that was taken around the eye of the crocodile! Not one line was placed inside the eye!  Nor, was there marks outside of the picture of the crocodile.

However, that quickly changed as one student decided that the eye needed a little orange!

Much more dynamic!

During this entire project, one of our students seemed to be more interested in how the teachers were using tape to put the paper up rather than drawing the crocodile with the class! The teachers offered the student her own piece of tape and she set off to try and figure out how she could place the tape on the paper and detach it from her fingers!

She did it!

Can I have some more please!

Another students noticed what she was doing and decided to try his hand at tape!

Hmmm… how can I get this tape off of my hands?

All the students were very involved in their individual activities when all of a sudden the entire project shifted! One of our students noticed a small hole made by one of the markers and began to pull on the paper!


Instead of stopping him, we decided to watch and see what his intentions were! What would he find under this paper?

The Crocodile!!!!!!!

He is still there!

The student’s excitement filled the room! They were excited to find the crocodile under the paper!

 They were also excited to find something new to explore on the floor… the paper!

After exploring the paper through sound and touch (they would crumble and throw the paper in the air) they all decided to try and lay down on the large sheets of paper!

Can we all fit?

Others found space on separate sheets around the room!

Then all of a sudden we heard one child say… “shhhh it’s time to sleep!”

One by one they closed their eyes and pretended to sleep.

Well, until the giggles started to come out!

After we had time to play in our “new beds” we all got up and noticed a BIG mess that we made! We all decided to clean up together!

Time to wipe the marker off of the walls!

One of our students was took control of monitoring the trash can to make sure all of the paper ended up in the right place!

Put your paper in here!

Great job!

Oops, we missed a spot!

More trash for the trash can!

What great team work!

After all was cleaned up and we were getting ready to go to lunch one of our students surprised us by finding a toy crocodile in one of the bins in class. She held it high above her head and yelled, “alligator!”

What a proud moment as an educator. To be able to help create moments in a child’s life that will educate and stimulate them in their life is amazing. The children had so much fun this morning, and during this entire exploration they worked on thier motor skills, indetification skills, colors, numbers, imaginative play, problem solving skills, and of course having fun!

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