Thursday, June 30, 2016

DisneySchool ~ The Little Mermaid ~

     This was my favorite movie when I was Marley's age.  It was no surprise to me that she wanted to learn all about it.

HISTORY (Myth/Legend)

Marley wanted so badly to find out if mermaids exist. We looked up lots of claims and hoaxes, which was fun and interesting.  We read about the origin of the myth and stories of sightings by sailors.  It was a perfect way to practice theorizing and research.  If they did exist, where in the ocean would they live? Would they be able to breathe regular air? What would you say to a mermaid if you could communicate for 1 minute? These were fun questions to ponder and write about in Marley's Learning Journal.  Discussion questions are always vital to enhancing critical thinking skills. Ultimately, we found that no one had found conclusive evidence of mermaids. But no one had been able to prove they don't exist, so you never know. ;)

After watching the movie, Marley requested to go to the aquarium and study sea creatures.  The aquarium is a bit pricey this time of year, and we don't have the funds.  Instead, I planned a trip to the tide pools with the kids.  They were so excited and happy to explore and play on the beach.  They asked loads of questions about the hermit crabs they found, like what they eat and if they have families.
You can go so many ways with Ocean Life studies.  You can talk about tide patterns, waves, sea creatures, ocean plants.  There are plenty of possibilities!
We talked about how Flounder looks nothing like an actual Flounder.  While looking at a tropical fish chart, Marley said he resembles an Angelfish more than a Flounder.  
And thanks to Sebastian, my kids now know what a crustacean is.  Haha.  Easy transition into marine life education.  The girl enjoyed running in the waves, playing with seaweed and digging sand ditches.  They even laid on the sand and pretended to be mermaids.  It was loads of fun for the whole family, ad we ended up learning a lot together!

Is there a moral to The Little Mermaid?  The one thing that I notice is that Ariel shouldn't have trusted the sea witch.  This gave me a good Segway into talking with my kids about stranger danger; about always being cautious of temptation and knowing that mom and dad are here to help them, even though our rules may sometimes seem harsh.  We set rules because we love them and want to protect them.


We were able to pick up the classic Little Mermaid story by Hans Christian Anderson at the library.  This was a good opportunity to practice compare and contrast.  Marley easily picked up on many differences, and the similarities were fun to point out too.  I had never read the original story before, so it was interesting for all of us to hear.


Water colors.  We love water colors!  I challenged my kids to create their own scene "Under the Sea."  Is it really betta down where it's wetter? One thing I like to do during art time is turn on music.  Listening to the movie soundtrack created a perfect mood for painting the underwater scene.


I bought a bag of seashells from the craft store and let my kids sift through the shells.  They poked and prodded and sorted.  We talked about what types of creatures could live in them.  And I asked them which shell was their favorite and why.

Just getting kids to examine and think and make decisions encourages independent thinking.


We had a blast with this theme!
And remember... "Children have got to be free to lead their own life." - Sebastian

Fun memories from Little Mermaid Dress Up Day at Disneyland... produced by Disney CopyKids