Saturday, December 15, 2018

Montessori-Inspired Inuit Activities Using Free Printables

By Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now 

We loved our previous Arctic animals unit. There are so many areas to explore in the Arctic. Today, I'm sharing a new Arctic unit with Montessori-inspired Inuit activities using free printables. I also have a new Montessori-inspired Inuit pack (subscriber freebie) for you today! 

You'll find many activities for preschoolers through first graders throughout the year along with presentation ideas in my previous posts at PreK + K Sharing. You'll also find ideas for using free printables to create activity trays here: How to Use Printables to Create Montessori-Inspired Activities

At Living Montessori Now, I have a post with resource links of Free Printables for Montessori Homeschools and Preschools. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you).

Montessori Shelves with Inuit Themed Activities

Montessori Shelves with Inuit Themed Activities 

You’ll  find Montessori-inspired Inuit themed numbers, letters, and and more (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)

I always have related books available throughout a unit. I have a number of Inuit books this unit, including Living in the Arctic (Rookie Read-About Geography) and The Inuit (True Books: American History). The open book is Maps, the favorite map book of my 5-year-old granddaughter, Zoey.  

Zoey also loves our globe. It's a combined world globe and a constellation light globe and nightlight. We use this globe when we want to do a more detailed study of a country or region. 

On another shelf (shown in the photo below with Zoey), you'll see The Top and Bottom of the World (Rookie Read-About Science), The Polar Bear Son: An Inuit Tale, and Over in the Arctic Where the Cold Winds Blow (a fun sing-a-long book). We're enjoying all the books for our Inuit unit. 

On the top shelf here, I also have a basket of free printable Arctic vocabulary word  cards, including Inuit words by LaMonica Smith at Teachers Pay Teachers. We'll use them for reading and scavenger hunt activities using some of our Safari Ltd. and Schleich Arctic figures. 

You could mix your Inuit-themed activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special Inuit-themed area something like the one pictured. My shelves have a mixture of skill levels. Many of the activities can be adapted for a variety of levels. If you’re a homeschooler, just choose the activities that work for your child’s interests and ability levels. If you don’t have room for all the activities you’d like to do, simply rotate them.

Salt Writing Tray with I for Igloo and oo Phonogram in Igloo

Salt Writing Tray with I for Igloo and oo Phonogram in Igloo

Free Printables: I for Igloo in manuscript, D'Nealian, or Cursive and "oo" igloo font cards  for igloo salt writing tray (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

For the tray, I used the wooden tray from the Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Shapes. You can use whatever tray or container work best for you, though. Since salt looks somewhat like snow, I just used plain salt for this month's writing tray. 

I have a variety of writing trays and ways to introduce phonetic sounds in my unit studies. Check out my other unit studies for lots of ideas for presenting phonics activities using my subscriber freebies. 

If you would like help with introducing phonetic sounds, introducing objects with sounds, or beginning phonics in general, check out my DIY Beginning Montessori Phonics with Preschoolers

I have a post and video on how to introduce words with phonograms, even with very young children.

Safari Ltd Arctic Figures with Montessori 3-Part Cards

Safari Ltd Arctic Figures with Montessori 3-Part Cards Free Printable: Arctic 3-Part Cards  (to match Safari Ltd. Arctic TOOB) by MontessoriSoul 

This is an easy activity to prepare if you have the Safari Ltd. Arctic TOOB.  It used to have 12 figures, but now it has 10, so I used the 10 figures along with the matching 3-part cards from MontessoriSoul. I placed everything on a Multicraft tray

You could use these materials in a variety of ways. I previously used them in an Arctic sensory bin.

Inuit Pin Poking and Design Activity

Inuit Pin Poking and Design Activity Free Printable: Multicultural Coloring Page - Inuit from 

Free Printable: Inuit Pattern from Pattern Universe 

Pin poking is a great activity for preschoolers ... wonderful for both fine-motor coordination and concentration. And kids tend to love it, too! I simply printed out both printables and added the Wood-Handled Puncher from Montessori Services (Read the push pin warning and why I recommend using the wood-handled puncher.) 

I also used the Felt Pad from Montessori Services. (Note: The Montessori Services felt pads are now black so they don’t get dirty as easily.) 

You could have the child color the Inuit coloring page from and then punch out and design the clothing and face for the Inuit image on the right.

Inukshuk Paper Craft and Rock Design

Inukshuk Paper Craft and Rock Design Free Printable: Inukshuk Paper Craft from DLTK's Crafts for Kids (This includes a page of colored paper rocks to fit the outlines.) 

The inukshuk stone sculptures are fascinating to study, and this work is a great extension. There's a short description on the paper craft itself, although you can read more online about an inukshuk

The craft is a simple cut-and-paste craft. You could add to the activity by going on a nature walk to find flat rocks that would work for making and remaking an inukshuk. We had some flat polished rocks that Zoey loves, so I added some to the tray in similar shapes to the paper craft image.

Arctic Yoga Cards 

Arctic Yoga Cards Free Printable: Iqaluit, Nunavut Arctic Animal Yoga Poses by Megan's Creative Classroom at Teachers Pay Teachers 

This is super easy to prepare! I just printed out the cards and placed them in a Montessori Services basket. I love that the cards not only show the yoga pose but also tell a bit about the Arctic animal, place, or object.

Static and Dynamic Addition Game Using Inuit Number Cards and Montessori Golden Beads

Free Printables: Spinner and Inuit Doll Numbers (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

You can read about other work Zoey and I have done with static and dynamic addition here. For many of our themed addition activities, we've done simple addition counting objects or using matching Montessori bead bars. 

Dynamic Addition Work Using Inuit Number Cards and Montessori Golden Beads

This time, Zoey just used the golden beads. I had her count the units and then exchange them for a ten when they reached 10. Zoey and I love these little Inuit male and female doll number cards! They add interest to addition practice.  
Of course, you can use the number cards for a wide variety of activities, depending on your child's age and ability level. Again, just look at my previous themed posts for lots of ideas.

Nunavut Territory Study and Booklet Making

Free Printables: Nunavut map, flag, official bird, and official flower printables from KidZone 

I'll be rotating the shelves to add this activity soon. I love the KidZone activities for helping the child learn about the Nunavut Territory in Canada. When the child is finished with the pages, you can easily put them together into a book using a binder ring or ribbon.

Free Inuit Printables for Preschoolers-First Graders

Montessori-Inspired Inuit Pack

Montessori-Inspired Inuit Pack for DIY Cards and Counters, Number or Letter Matching, Number or Letter Basket, Bead Bar Work, Hands-on Math Operations, Number or Letter Salt/Sand Writing Tray, Letter Tracing, Phonogram Work, DIY Movable Alphabet, and Creative Writing (subscriber freebie, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password – or check your inbox if you’re already a subscriber)

...and get free geography album, Mom Bloggers eBook, and monthly subscriber freebie! I respect your privacy

More Free Inuit Printables

Go to my post at Living Montessori Now for links to free Inuit printables from around the blogosphere: Free Inuit Printables and Montessori-Inspired Inuit Activities. And be sure to subscribe to my email list if you'd like to get an exclusive free printable each month (plus two more awesome freebies right away): Free Printables.

All My Arctic and Antarctic Activities and Resources

If you'd like to focus on manners with children, please check out my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy! It's written for anyone who'd like to feel comfortable teaching manners to children ages 2-12. I'm also one of the coauthors of the book Learn with Play – 150+ Activities for Year-round Fun & Learning

Happy winter!
 Deb - Siganture
Deb Chitwood
Deb Chitwood is a certified Montessori teacher with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Deb taught in Montessori schools in Iowa and Arizona before becoming owner/director/teacher of her own Montessori school in South Dakota. Later, she homeschooled her two children through high school. Deb is now a Montessori writer who lives in San Diego with her husband of 43 years (and lives in the city where her kids, kids-in-law, and grandkids live). She blogs at Living Montessori Now.

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Christmas Story and Dance Activity


Here is a lively holiday activity for you!  I have written a story about a little snowflake, and I have also created a movement activity for children three to six years old to go along with the story.

I hope you enjoy reading Sparkle the Snowflake, and then dancing the story with your little ones!

Sparkle the Snowflake

by Connie Bergstein Dow

Everyone knows that no two snowflakes are alike, but Sparkle was extra special.  She shone and shimmered a little brighter than all of the other snowflakes that lived in her cluster of clouds.

Sparkle and her snowflake friends had an important job to do.  They were to fall to earth on Christmas Eve. They would cover the hills and trees, and especially the rooftops of the houses, so that Santa and his reindeer would leave their footprints on the rooftops for children to see on Christmas morning.

The snowflakes were busy the day before Christmas.  They carefully planned their journey from the clouds. They practiced floating and staying together so they could create a beautiful snowfall that evening. 

Sparkle and all of the other snowflakes snuggled deep into the billowy clouds to get some rest before the busy night.  Soon, Sparkle woke up and looked around in alarm.  It was almost midnight!  “Wake up!” Sparkle called. Then she soared from cloud to cloud, making sure that every snowflake was ready.

Just in the nick of time, they slipped from the puffy clouds and began to twirl and dance in the chilly night air.  The snowflakes landed gently, and waited silently.  When the sun peeked over the hill, the snowflakes heard children laughing as they ran from their houses and saw the glistening snow.  Little did the children know that the snow that had greeted them this Christmas morning was all thanks to Sparkle, the shiny little snowflake.     

Here is a lively and playful creative movement activity for 3-6-year-olds 

*If available, play some holiday or other music for background as the children dance. 

*Optional props: "snowflakes" --  shower scrubbies or netting strips tied together

Dance the Story of Sparkle the Snowflake

Imagine you are a little snowflake.  What shape are you?  Now try a different one. And now one more.  Which do you like best?

Now think of what it would be like to practice your snowfall,  floating softly through the sky.

Snuggle deep into your cloud.  Pretend to drift off to sleep, thinking of something you like about the holidays, and imagine your are dreaming.  Wake up quickly, sit up, and show what your face looks like when you think you have overslept. Hop out of your billowy cloud as fast as you can!

Soar from cloud to cloud, waking up all of your snowflake friends. Now, imagine you are ready to fall to the ground.  Slip out of your cloud.  Dance in the cold night air!  Twirl, swirl, tumble slowly and quickly, get blown by the wind from side to side, up and down, around and around. Finally, you float gently to the ground.

Now imagine you are one of the children in the story.  Run out of your house, see the snow, and jump up and down.  Play in the snow! 

Have an imaginary snowball fight!  (Use optional snowflake props here). Make footprints in the snow.  Now, imagine you are sledding down a steep hill.  Fall out of your sled at the bottom of the hill and land in the soft snow.

 Roll snowballs and make a giant snow person.  What does it look like?  Now, imagine you are the snow person.  Make yourself into a snow person shape.  Uh-oh -- the sun comes out!  What happens?  Slowly melt to the ground.

The activity ends with a free dance to music.  Prompt the children to dance about ideas from the Sparkle the Snowflake story, the imaginary playtime in the snow, and anything else they like about winter. Use the props again if you have them.  Ask the children to throw them up in the air all together at the end of the dance to make a "blizzard."

Keep on dancin', and enjoy the holidays,




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