Who says learning can’t be tasty and fun? Not our Senior Infant class, that’s for sure. Any class that involves tasting cream, cheese, chocolate, home-made scones and ice-cream is sure to remain in the minds for a long time.
Modern teaching practices extol the virtue and indeed necessity of hands on tactile experiences to the young learner, but it was Maria Montessori at the turn of the last century who recognised involvement of the senses as the essential learning tool of the child. Throughout the Montessori curriculum we see the engagement and refinement of the child’s senses to organise and classify the world around them.
Beginning with the sensorial materials, the child’s senses are honed to distinguish fine variations in texture, weight, length, width, temperature, colour, sound and taste. Once these foundation blocks are in place the child can use them to frame their learning in all areas. The “sensorial” learning style is evident in maths, language, culture and science.
Our Senior Infants embarked on a project to discover the place of dairy products in our diet. Beginning with a study on the dairy cow, they labelled the parts of the cow and created a wall display.
They practiced their handwriting cutting and drawing skills through various handwriting samples on the theme.
The budding scientists then collated and classified various food packaging to produce another display of dairy products commonly found in our diet.
But by far the highlight of the Dairy Food Project was the tasting morning.
Using their senses of smell, taste and touch the children sampled various dairy foods and classified them according to sweet, savoury, bitter, hard, soft, cold and warm.
Discussing their experiences of the foods in the group added to their vocabulary store, allowing the students to learn new ways of communicating the food experience to each other.
They then filled in their “likes and dislikes” to record the morning’s activity.
We all know which dairy food our friend “Lots’o Huggin Bear” liked!
Lots’o Thanks from Senior Infants for reading all about their project.