IMG_7153This week we learned about some of the countries on the continent of Africa. This also complements the Unique Curriculum unit for some of our students this month.

One of our volunteers, Ali, planned our sensory boxes and each represented a different country. The fine motor groups practiced their cutting and painting skills while making their colorful art projects. The language group made a yummy African dish with our guest chef Barry.

Lets visit Africa!





IMG_7131IMG_6902Red, green, and yellow are the colors found on many flags including the countries of Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, Ethiopia, and Mali! This box was filled with colorful pompoms for our students to sort.

IMG_7261Match objects with similar observable properties such as size, shape, color, or texture is a science access point.




IMG_7292IMG_7115There were more opportunities for sorting with this box filled with colorful beads. People of the Maasaai tribe in Kenya wear lots colorful beads and we filled this box with an assortment of them. Of course, they are also great for wearing, draping, and shaking 🙂

The science access point identify objects by one observable property, such as size or color can be addressed here.





IMG_6862IMG_7091There were some pyramids, a sphinx, and a mummy to find in our Egyptian box. We also included a funnel and scoop for sifting those desert sands! For the most determined explorers there was a picture of the Egyptian flag to find at the bottom of the box.

IMG_7290The social studies access point associate an object, picture, or symbol with a location is addressed here.

The science access point track objects in motion is also addressed.





IMG_7104IMG_7279Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia. We filled this box with actual coffee beans—-wow what an aroma! The students loved sifting through these beans which feel lighter than the usual legumes we use, it was a really fun tactile experience. There were 3 upper and 1 lower case letter A’s to find in this box.

The science access point recognize common objects as the same and the science access point recognize and respond to different types of sensory stimuli are addressed here.





IMG_6888IMG_7173Our students didn’t need to visit Rwanda to hang out with a gorilla—-we brought one to the group! Ok, so perhaps it wasn’t exactly a REAL one but this big guy certainly entertained our students and got lots of hugs to boot 🙂

IMG_7251Recognize a model of a real object is a science access point.

IMG_6906IMG_7272Our students had so much fun with him we had to include a couple more photos.

That gorilla was really cute—–almost as cute as our students 🙂









IMG_7129IMG_7285There were more animals to spot on our Tanzania safari. In our mix of straw and green paper shred there were some native animals including lions, zebras, and elephants. Some had buttons for additional sound effects! We also included some things you might need while on safari—-such as a backpack, sunglasses and some binoculars.

IMG_7249Again, the science access point recognize a model of a real object is addressed.





IMG_6871IMG_7098The Nile River which is the longest in the world is found in Africa. Our water basin was a tad bit smaller BUT there was a little nile crocodile to find! The 2 different size scoops provided additional fun for our students.

Recognize differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids (capacity) is a math access point.







IMG_7186IMG_7312Our scent this week was BANANA. Bananas are a major crop in Uganda! We used bubble bath from Walmart in our water and lotion purchased at World Market. The lotion really smelled like bananas—-very yummy! Of course, our students had to watch out for that gorilla after rubbing it on their arms 🙂

Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is a science access point.







On Tuesday our students made the Nigerian flag—-Nigeria is a country is Africa.

IMG_6942First we discussed the color of our paper and the students used communication symbols to identify it.

Identify an object by one observable property such as color is a science access point.








IMG_6959IMG_6965Then the students used a paper cutter to cut 1 square into 2 rectangles! The students really like using the paper cutter and once the paper is in place they are pretty independent. While it is not technically an adaptive scissors, it works perfectly for us.

The science access point recognize a change in an object and the math access point recognize an object with a 2 dimensional shape are addressed here.

The math access point recognize parts of whole objects can also be addressed.




IMG_6961The students glued their 2 rectangles onto a larger white rectangle. Learning to flip the paper after the glue is applied is a tricky skill and our students are getting better and better at it!

Recognize a movement that reflects a spatial relationship is a math access point.








IMG_6975IMG_6968Ta DA

IMG_6957              The Nigerian Flag!





On Wednesday our students made a cheetah mask.

IMG_7189We used yellow paper plates as the base of our mask so we started by asking the students to identify the color yellow using communication symbols.

Identify an object by one observable property such as color is a science access point.







IMG_7200Then the students stamped brown spots onto their plates. We made our “spot stamper” by using a rubber band to attach bubble wrap to a plastic cup. The students were encouraged to stamp UP and DOWN.

Recognize a movement that reflects a spatial relationship is a math access point.






IMG_7210Next the students glued a snout onto their mask. The snouts were pre-made using this: cheetah template










IMG_7198IMG_7214Ta  Da

IMG_7206                                                                      GRRRRRRRRR!!!!






We had a very special and unique language group this week.  Our very own Mr. Barry, who is from Nigeria, came in to help us cook a Nigerian dish——coconut rice.

IMG_7375He started out showing our students the different ingredients that he would be using, like tomatoes, red bell pepper, and onions.









IMG_7392 (1)IMG_7407Once the vegetables were chopped up, we placed them in a blender.  Our students got to activate a switch to turn the blender on so that we could liquify the ingredients.








IMG_7358Mr. Barry then passed around the dried crayfish that he had brought.  They had a nice smokey aroma.  We passed them around so our students could smell them.

Since they weren’t yet ground up, we got to use a coffee grinder for the first time.  We compared the sound of the blender to the sound of the coffee grinder and found that the coffee grinder was much quieter!








IMG_7420We also looked at how the crayfish changed after it had been ground——-it sure looked different!

Recognize a change in an object is a science access point.








IMG_7434IMG_7449Mr. Barry got the rice that had been started a little earlier and poured some of the water out of it.  When he opened the coconut milk he passed it around for our students to see and smell.  He talked about how times have changed from when he had to get actual coconuts in order to get the milk!

IMG_7448He also passed around some of the spices he used for the students to smell.Some of them liked the aroma—–others not so much 🙂





IMG_7494IMG_7499We added all of the ingredients into the pot of rice and let it cook some more.  The aroma as it was cooking was AMAZING!  We were so excited to taste the dish and ALL of our students loved it!!

IMG_7508                                                           Some even asked for seconds 🙂




IMG_6832Hope you enjoyed learning about Africa with us this week. Join us again next time for more fun and learning Group by Group!

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