Learning through the Senses

Ellie the chicken

Last week in Mission Friends I was reminded how preschoolers learn through their senses. The mission story for that night told how Mr. and Mrs. McIntosh teach people how to raise chickens for the eggs and plant seeds for food. Robin McCall, preschool resources editor, raises chickens and planned to take one to church for her Mission Friends to see. Earlier in the day, we worked out a time that I could call on FaceTime so my Mission Friends group could see the chicken, also.

Even though they watched on my small phone screen, my Mission Friends enjoyed seeing the chicken, named Ellie. I had some still pictures of chickens, but being able to see the real chicken moving around was even better. They also used their sense of hearing when the chicken began to cluck. When my preschoolers heard the chicken clucking, they all began to cluck too! Later in the session, one of the boys came up to me clucking like a chicken.

I am sure that Robin’s Mission Friends learned even more about chickens because along with seeing and hearing Ellie, they used more of their senses in their experience. They touched her feathers and experienced the smells of Ellie and her pen. I’m told that some of the preschoolers wanted to kiss the chicken. Oh, my, that may have been sensory overload!

Barnyard animals is the theme of the weekday preschool class that shares my Mission Friends classroom. They have several places in the room where there are pictures of farm animals. After seeing Ellie the chicken, my preschoolers starting pointing out the chicken pictures they found around the room. They did this on their own, without any prompting from us as teachers.

After we finished our FaceTime with Ellie, we then went to activities. We adjusted the activity suggestion so that instead of painting with feathers, we simply glued craft feathers to our papers. This allowed our preschoolers to use their sense of touch as they glued the soft feathers. During this time we talked about Mr. and Mrs. McIntosh, and how they teach people to raise chickens so they can have the eggs for food. These conversations helped our preschoolers make connections between the fun activities and missions learning.

Preschoolers learn through their senses. The activities that we do in Mission Friends helps preschoolers learn about missions by using their senses. The more of the senses they use in an activity, the more they will learn. I am glad we were able to see and hear Ellie the chicken, and learn about missions as we clucked through the session

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