Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bunny Workshop: Day 1

Today, the class learned all about rabbits!  We talked about the different characteristics of rabbits, their behavior, and how they differ from hares.  The class learned how rabbits build their nests.  I told them how each of my Netherland Dwarf does pulled their fur at the end of their pregnancies to make nice warm fur-lined nests!  Baby rabbits, or kits, are born completely helpless.  Their eyes are closed for the first 10 days of their lives.  Because of their fragility at this age, I planned for our bunnies to be born a few weeks before this workshop began.  I snapped pictures of the babies at different stages along the way, and then the class was able to see how they have grown into the healthy, happy, hoppy little kits they are today!  We will be learning much more about rabbits in the upcoming weeks!

In our discussion, the kids learned that rabbits are prey animals, and that they are constantly on alert and on the lookout for danger.  We talked about how they dart instead of running in a straight line, how they like to stay close to the ground, and how being grabbed and picked up by a sweet child feels a lot like being grabbed and picked up in a dog's mouth!  Because we began this class with our lesson, the kids weren't just told to keep quiet, not move quickly, or not to grab at the bunnies when they met them.... they understood WHY!  During "Bunny School", the children all sat in a circle, with their legs making a "fence".  In Bunny School, the bunnies are in charge!  They can come up to you, sniff you, or hop on you, but you are only allowed to observe them... not touch!  This allowed the kids to see the bunnies behave in a relaxed manner.  They nibbled on grass, stood on their back legs, stretched... it was excellent!  The children will eventually be able to touch/hold a bunny in our workshop, but I am emphasizing the need for bunnies to gain your trust.

Next, the class grabbed their snacks and settled in for a story: "Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Gift".  We talked about thoughtful giving, and how amazing illustration can just MAKE a children's book!  Afterward, we all hit the outdoors to get our wiggles out!

Easter is this weekend, so I wanted to teach the kids how to do the Bunny Hope Line Dance!  They listened, watched, practiced, and learned it in no time!  We hopped our way around the room... or until we all collapsed!

Instead of a rabbit themed art project, I decided to adopt one that our art teacher for my older students' class brought in this week.  She had the students make Easter hats... from newspaper!  I absolutely LOVED the project, so today, that's what we did!  The kids each designed and created their awesome hats, and wore them home today!

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