The Children's School at Stephens College

Because big dreams start early.

Good Food Detectives

This afternoon we were very fortunate to have Corrina Smith (Ms. Vonder Haar’s sister) from the Columbia Farmer’s Market come talk to our class for our study of Nutrition. She is the manager for the local Farmer’s Market here in Columbia, Missouri. She started by having all of our students draw a picture of what they thought a farmer’s market is. After sharing the importance of buying our food locally, we were able to join the Good Food Detective Club. Every Saturday morning at the market, children can participate in this club, completing activities that allow them to earn Munch Money. This is real money that children can use to buy certain foods from the market. Our students earned two dollars of Munch Money today for joining the club!

Dream Up!

Character Survey

The Lion and The Mouse was used to explore the idea of kind deeds and helping others.  As a group, we compared and analyzed the characters, identified cause and effect in character development and identified story elements. We took a class survey to see if the lion or the mouse was most favorite. We compared totals by counting the tally marks together.

Preschool had the opportunity to then create their own survey. We decided to brainstorm characters together due to the huge collection.  After surveys were labeled, they instantly started to ask survey questions and recorded responses.

Josey is showing Madeline how many people favorited the mouse over the lion.


The preschoolers were eager to take ALL the different surveys.

Miles sharing that Thumbelina has more votes than Rapunzel.

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We Are What We Eat!

img_0769 This was our lesson for the day; visually being able to see what we are made up of  based on the things we eat.

Students traced each other, then got to coloring and drawing the foods they typically eat inside their traced bodies. Some of us were a little surprised just how much pizza we enjoy! Others realized they eat foods from all food groups.

Afterwards, we reflected on the varieties of food we eat on a daily basis.

Let’s Build a Straw House!

During our fairy tale unit, students showed a strong interest in the story of the Three Little Pigs. After reading this story and several variations of the text, students worked together to make straw pieces to construct their own house made of straw. Using tape and teamwork, students were able to build their own straw house and take turns acting out the role of the wolf blowing down the house.



The Ugly Duckling and Baby Animals

Preschoolers listened to The Ugly Duckling and learned baby ducks are called ducklings. Following the book and discussion, students charted other baby animals they knew.



Next, students listened to Baby Farm Animals by Garth Williams. After the story we charted what other baby animals we learned. 

Next, students were given the opportunity to look at images of animals and sort the babies from the adults.


Finally, students began to find other baby animals and taught their peers the differences between adult animals and baby animals.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Last week we promoted a number of hands-on learning experiences to go with AESOP’s fable, The Tortoise and The Hare. The preschoolers experienced activities involving movement, a variety of instruments, crafting, open-ended discussions, endangered vs. extinct animals, tortoise invention, identification of opposites and the investigation of the world’s largest tortoise.


During our morning circle we learned about a tortoise from the Galapagos Islands. He weighed 919 lbs and we measured the length, width and height by taping an outline on the floor. After viewing pictures of Goliath, the students were asked the question, “How many preschoolers can fit in Goliath, the largest tortoise?”imageAfter recording everyone’s estimation we were able to test their estimates by adding preschoolers into the middle until they decided it was filled.



We counted eight preschoolers which was everyone due to the snowy morning we had!


While looking at the illustrations of the wordless version of The Tortoise and The Hare the students dictated the story by playing musical instruments. They played soft and slow to represent the tortoise and fast and loud for the hare.


After reading the classic story we discussed the characteristics of a tortoise. Jackson shaped the turtle’s shell with molding clay and explained that it was used for protection/home.


Creative Arts to Inspire Writing

Welcome to our Creative Arts Brainstorming Station! This is a new place in our classroom during Literacy where students can be inspired, brainstorm, collaborate and get ideas for their writing. Last week we had jewelry making and bridge building. This week students used storytelling dice and small beads to create stories and pictures.

Fashion Collaboration


Last week,  we had the privilege to work with one of the top 50 fashion schools in the world. The Stephens College Fashion Department is preparing for their Spring Exhibit. In preparation, they invited our students to take some time to sketch some of the featured garments. After sketching, we took out our draft books and began writing stories about the garments. Using their imagination and the clothing for inspiration students wrote poems, plays and stories that will later be a part of the displays for the Spring Exhibit.

The Three Little Pigs and Science

The preschoolers listened to The Three Little Pigs and then listened to The True Story of The Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka. After we compared and contrasted different types of houses each story used, we used various materials in the classroom to build our own houses. After students constructed their house they then tested to see if it was sturdy enough to not be blown down.


Violet worked hard on constructing her house.


Elliot and Chris made their houses out of blocks, play dough and straws.

Chris said “Play dough makes the blocks stick together.”

Elliot and Chris tried to blow down their houses and then each  others.

Elliot noticed that depending on how strong breath was, that the house may or may not fall down.


Mack and Elliot tested their houses. Both are sturdy enough! The Big Bad Wolf could not blow them down!

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