Teaching in a Place where Termite Mounds Abound...

Last year, as it was my first year living and teaching in a different country, I got very caught up in focusing on what resources I DON'T have, searching endlessly on Pinterest for alternatives with no avail. But, this year, something just CLICKED! I realize what I don't have, but I can't change it. I choose to focus on finding my own alternatives! Today's not-so-normal material of choice...Termite Mound Dirt!

If you're not sure what a termite mound is, see exhibit A:
source: http://www.thomsonsafaris.com/blog/termites-tanzanian-treat/
The history curriculum my school uses is called Mystery of History. It incorporates the Bible timeline with the historical timeline, and it's really cool because it loops! There are four (I think!) books in the series and the teachers teach from wherever the class is at! It was hard to wrap my mind around trying to teach my Kinders from this book, because it's meant for older grades. But, I take one lesson per week and use it as our theme. I look online for supplements as well. This particular theme was Stonehenge. So, a fellow missionary recommended we make a clay from termite mound dirt to create stonehenge models!

It might sound a bit weird, if you think about what you're working with. But if you don't think about it, it's just like normal dirt! We broke the mound into small pieces of dirt and added water to make a clay/mud. Then, we tried to make Stonehenge on our paper plates like what we've seen pictures of!

Some turned out better than others, but my kindergartners had fun playing with the mud and trying their hand at sculpture! It's definitely a great sensory experience!

I recommend doing this activity OUTSIDE because it is MESSY! But, the neat thing is, once you're done building your sculpture, and you let it sit in the sun for a day, it becomes as hard as a rock! Quite the interesting material, huh?! ;)

My students really enjoyed the hands-on experience of making these Stonehenge models! It's a cheap, easy alternative that is a little wacky, but works! What wacky materials have you used recently?

One of the plans I have for my blog is to have lots of these "alternative materials" ideas for those who don't have access to all kinds of materials! So, if you're a teacher living in a developing country like me, subscribe and keep reading!

Much Love, Allie

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