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Preschoolers and Octopi

Whether you choose to call more than one octopi or octopuses (both are accepted!), when combined with an energetic preschool class, adept teachers, and dedicated parents, the result is a memorable learning experience.

One of the students in preschool this year has been captivated by octopuses and his interest sparked curiosity among his preschool peers. Recognizing their inquisitiveness as a teaching opportunity, teachers in the classroom crafted learning lessons around the burgeoning deep sea fascination . First, the class watched a video of a giant Pacific octopus named Freya who lives at the New England Aquarium. One of many interesting facts the class discovered about Freya is that she can open latches on puzzle boxes! The class also made octopus tentacles at the maker table with sticks and yarn and then moved around the room like octopuses. They also read books (including The Octopus’s Garden by Mark Norman) about octopuses and the teachers projected underwater sea scenes on the wall while the preschoolers acted out being sea creatures, and divers feeding the sea animals.  To complete their deep dive into all things sea creatures, parent Todd Harrington visited the preschool classroom with a saltwater tank full of a variety of sea life including fish, shrimp, snails, coral and starfish. He also changed the lighting to simulate both day and night time so students could see how creatures might react depending on the light. Todd also answer many of the preschoolers questions about deep sea life. One of beauties of a Lesley Ellis education is the creative and skillful ability of teachers to respond to the interests of their students in real time. The result? Vibrant and memorable learning experiences.