Literacy experience plan: It’s windy under here!

In this sensory based experience, a chant is combined with waving a blanket to create ‘wind’ for children to feel.

It captures children’s attention whilst providing language learning opportunities.

This experience should be differentiated depending on the individual child/group level.

This learning experience plan relates to:

  • interacting with others
  • early communicators (0 – 18 months)
  • learning foci: making meaning and expressing ideas through communication, concept development and vocabulary
  • teaching practice: play.

Collect information

What information has been gathered as evidence to inform this experience?

Links to VEYLDF

Outcome 5: communication

Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes

  • engage in enjoyable reciprocal interactions using verbal and non-verbal language
  • attend and give cultural cues that they are listening to and understanding what is said to them.

Children engage with a range of texts and get meaning from these texts

  • Sing chant rhymes, jingles and songs.

Victorian curriculum levels F-2: literature

  • Replicate the rhythms and sound patterns in stories, rhymes, songs and poems from a range of cultures.

Learning intentions

  • For children to use non-verbal language such as gesture, eye contact and facial expressions to communicate with others.
  • For children to understand and use single words and phrases.
  • For children to listen and jointly attend to the experience.
  • For children to produce words.

Assessment of learning

Learning is demonstrated when children:

  • use eye gaze, facial expression or gesture to indicate shared enjoyment or request that the experience continues
  • respond to and use vocabulary throughout the experience (for example; “one, two, three…go”)
  • listen and attend throughout the experience
  • imitate words modelled by the educator or spontaneously produce words.

Resources

  • Blanket/picnic rug/parachute or foil sheet.

Note: the larger the blanket, the more children can be included in the experience.

Group size

Small group (two-five children).

Differentiation

Differentiation for this experience should be based on prior assessment of the child/children’s language abilities. Examples of differentiation:

  • for a child who is using non-verbal communication educators may focus on encouraging intentional communication through gesture; for another child who is using single words, the focus may be on developing use of repetitive phrases.
  • reducing/increasing the scaffolding given to each child based on child’s abilities and strengths. For example, using expectant looks and pauses to encourage children to initiate verbal communication.

Experience process

  1. Introduce the experience:
    • ask the children who would like to take a turn first, and then ask these children to lie down on the floor side by side. In the interest of safety, it’s best to keep children a slight distance from each other and keep children’s feet at the same end.
    • we are going to play a game, it’s called Windy under here, you can join in and feel the wind as we go.” “Are you ready, it’s going to get windy?”
  2. Implementing the experience:
    • with another educator, hold the blanket on either side, about waist height above the children.
    • sing the chant: “It’s windy under here, it’s windy under here, one, two, three and whooooosh” varying the volume and pitch as appropriate to maintain children’s engagement.
    • as the chant is sung, wave the blanket over the children up and down to create the ‘wind’.
    • after the first round, retrieve the blanket and wait for the children to ‘request’ more. For the children who are using only non-verbal communication, tune into gestures such as pointing, eye gaze or facial expression to indicate they want another turn.
    • model the appropriate language using self and parallel talk. For example, “You want to sing it again?”
    • maintain eye contact and positive affect such as laughter and enthusiasm throughout.
    • provide specific praise as children are observed listening, joining in with gesture, facial expressions, singing and talking as appropriate.
  3. To consolidate the learning, you may choose to explain this experience to parents so they can try it at home.

Going further

  • This experience can be modified to incorporate concepts such as fast, slow, strong, light. For example strong winds.
  • Educators can place objects on top of the blanket that create sounds (for example egg shakers) and talk about these sounds with the children. For example “do they sound like wind or rain?”
  • In hot weather educators can use spray misters to create rain and change the wording of the chant, replacing ‘windy’ with ‘rainy’.

Reflect/review

Reflective questions for educators may include:

  • What learning has occurred? How do you know?
  • What have you realised about the child’s interests, knowledge, and capabilities?
  • In discussion with colleagues, what would you plan next to consolidate or extend children’s learning?

Additional/alternate resources for this learning experience

Related learning experience plans

Links to sections