The teacher Alex helped the Pre-K children to create an activity to bring more to life their budding interest in ninjas. He wrote the following as part of the Weekly Recap in the Golden Gate Classroom’s online forum in C5’s private secure website, Connections. His preschool Learning Group calls themselves The Venus Flytraps. They are: Deven, Sofia, Sienna, Nadav, Alexi, Milo, and Riley.
On Monday, we began the week by learning a short and brief history about Ninjas. I introduced the children to the idea that ninjas could be compared to secret agents of ancient Japan, who were hired to sneak into a town to gain information for another feuding town.
We talked about different characteristics of what they think ninjas are, and they were fascinated about the weaponry and the martial arts aspect of ninjas. That gave me an idea to play a memory game with the group. I showed the group different moves after a command, and the idea is for them to repeat it from memory after I demonstrate it.
The name of the moves that we came up with were: ‘Defend,’ ‘I’m Ready,’ ‘Be Still,’ ‘Be Quiet,’ ‘Be Sneaky’, and ‘Hide’. The children had a lot of fun repeating the moves, especially during the hide command, where they would hide and try their hardest not to be found by me.
I also gave the children a challenge to keep a secret, since one of the ninja quality is to be secretive. The secret is that we are planning on making a ninja movie. I’m curious to know if they were able to hold it in and not tell any of you. They were very good at not telling their friends and the teachers about it. Milo and Sofia commented the next day about telling their parents everything else we did, but not the secret.
On Tuesday, the children began coloring the paper that they will use for their ninja star origami prop. I challenged them to color the whole paper, front and back, which made a few of them hesitant to do it, because they automatically began to think how hard it is. I told them about how ninjas put in a lot of effort and passion in creating the weapons that they use, and that we should give it a try to make their ninja stars a little more special. This gave the group motivation to do the activity, as well as being innovative on how they can cover the whole paper with color. The children figured out that if they hold a crayon horizontally, it results in coloring the paper faster. Another method that they used is coloring with multiple crayons at a time. The children who were able to finish early ended up helping some of the group members who were still coloring.
On Wednesday, the children played a ninja obstacle course using caution tape. I strategically taped it on classroom furniture for the children to crawl on and skip over. The objective of the game was for them to avoid making contact with the caution tape. I divided them into groups of two and presented them with three different challenges. First, was to crawl under the caution tape. Second, was to skip over the tape, and third was to crawl under the tape while holding their partner’s hand. The groups began with 10 points in each round, which decreased every time they made` contact with the caution tape. We all made subtractions together after each group completed a round and deducted the number of contacts they made from 10. Here are the results:
"The Punchers" – Milo and Nadav: 9+7+7=23
"The Super Nimble" – Sienna and Riley: 9+3+8 = 20
"The Ninja Forces" – Deven and Sydney: 10+3+10 = 23
"The Powers" – Alexi and Sofia: 8+2+9 = 19
We added the results afterwards, and the children were able to figure out that there was a tie, which made them excited and happy about the results, because two groups won, instead of one.
On Thursday, the children made costumes using some left over fabric from last year’s Festival of Learning. I made them pick two marker colors that best represents their ninja character. A majority of them made masks, as well as a shirt. Sofia made a scarf with her left over fabric because she wants to be an adorable ninja. We will be using these costumes for our upcoming ninja movie project.
On Friday, we had two families present their Winter Cultural Highlights. We will resume our Ninja Project next Monday.