Kwanzaa was the theme for our Fine Motor and Sensory groups this week. Our Language group is on the letter M.
Cara’s book helped us learn more about this special holiday and we used the voice output device to wish each other “Happy Kwanzaa”!
Our first box was filled with some of the symbols of Kwanzaa. First, we put in some straw for the woven mats that are used and often made from straw. We also added some plastic fruits and vegetables, some ribbon printed with fruit, a metal cup, red and green blocks, and a little happy family.
In addition to looking at the symbols, our students were able to explore the differing properties of the various materials (a science access point).
Such lovely soft textures in our next box!
Red, black, and green pompoms—Kwanzaa colors.
We also added huge fat chenille stems (found at Joann Fabrics) in the same colors.
The differing shapes and colors but similar textures enabled us to discuss the concepts of same and different which are math access points.
In Cara’s book, we learned about the 7 candles of the Kinara. Since we are not allowed to bring candles to school, we used Wikki Stix (available from a variety of catalogs). It was interesting to watch the different reactions of our students.
Their waxy feel is a very interesting texture and they will also stick to themselves. We again used the colors of Kwanzaa which allowed for some sorting opportunities.
we couldn’t decide which we preferred so we used
(one of the fruits of the harvest).
Fine Motor Group—Kwanzaa
We read Cara’s book to learn about Kwanzaa, our students especially enjoyed the pages discussing the different foods! Then we began our activity.
On the untrimmed side a green cutting line was drawn.
to cut along the line.
Squeezing the glue (as usual, we colored our own with food coloring to make it easier for our students to see) works on hand strengthening and eye hand coordination.
and rolled it to the other end.
Next, we tore pieces of tissue paper (a nice pre-scissor activity). They were crumpled into balls—or an approximation of a ball 🙂 These were then dipped into glue and affixed to our creation. Have you guessed what we are making?
Kwanzaa harvest 🙂
On Thursday, after reading “Happy Kwanzaa” again, we proceeded to make a woven mat which is one of the symbols of Kwanzaa.
We found some fabric ribbon at a thrift store. There were a variety of fruits printed on it which went along with our Kwanzaa harvest theme. We pre-wove most of the ribbon and let our students finish pulling the strands through which they really enjoyed.
Grasping the ribbon helps work on pincer grasp skills and following the ribbon as it is pulled through addresses visual tracking. We also discussed the rectangle shape of the placemat and number of ribbons addressing math access points.
we trimmed the edges using our adaptive
We then used double stick tape to secure
Language Group—letter M
Pushing the car to friends encourages
social skills and is so much fun 🙂
Tongs are useful for working on graded motor control and eye hand coordination.
bananas to pick up. This addresses math
skills in addition to practicing making
choices out of group of 3.
For our students with motor issues, we adapted a softie by hot gluing a shower curtain ring to its back and velcro to its mouth. We added velcro to some of the bananas. It works really well!
We our so proud of this student,
who used to avoid handling all
writing utensils. Now look at
One of our students got quite creative and cut his in half to Make More—if only it could be that easy 🙂
sound game and looking at some of the
M words we found.
Please join us again next week with more fun Group by Group!