Stories and Soup

A curious student learns more than a student who only wants good grades. This is why I develop lesson plans for increasing curiosity, before worrying about increasing test scores. The key to curiosity is open exploration and adventure.  Sometimes Adventure Academy can’t explore the world around us due to weather, like today’s pre-fall rain, but we can still explore through stories and often go beyond the world around us.


cold rainy day outside = rainbow game inside

The importance of language and literacy reaches across all lands. This week Mother Goose Time shared such lessons (reading, writing, social studies…) through “International Folktales.” We read tales of long ago from our own lands and through Native American stories like “How the rainbow was made”(lots of color and shape fun), then we went across the ocean to read the African tale of “The black snake and the eggs. (lots of math and science fun).”


who’s snake is the biggest? who’s is the smallest?


big kids helping little kids


How can you measure it if it’s bigger than you?

We enjoyed another African tale about “Anansi and the pot of wisdom” and discussed how folktales and fables teach us important life lessons. One lesson I always re-learn while teaching is to listen to my students.  They often have great insight into meanings of stories and can tell of times they experienced similar situations.  They also often have great ideas for making up games that relate to the lesson, and come up with crafts to share what they took away from the lesson.  The pot of wisdom craft recommended painting the cut-outs, but the children decided they wanted to use chalk as “it looks cooler on black paper.”


chalk on black pots


stringing up both sides of our pots

We jumped across continents through other provided activities and found ourselves in China learning about the story of “The empty pot.”  We kinda combined the “design a flower” and “stamping art” project.  This folktale provided opportunity to teach a great lesson about telling the truth, about being someone of good character – someone honorable and kind and someone who would make a good king.  It provided opportunity for lessons about being proud of who you are, which we will discuss more next month while learning about “me, my friends and family.”


stamping art


design a flower

As with past stories we incorporated meals that went with the themes.  For example, with the stories from China we tried new Chinese dishes.   I am blessed with kids who will try anything! Although there are some sensory issues, I wouldn’t say they are picky eaters as they will try all sorts of dishes. Many of the kids I care for are not as willing, but I find having them help prepare meals encourages them to try new things. One kid was apprehensive to try “Stone soup,” and watched very carefully making sure there were no stones tossed in. The story of stone soup also leads way for the “me, my friends and family” curriculum and my boys can’t wait for new friends to join us as we make meals, create crafts, sing songs and love learning at Adventure Academy. (Click video below to watch a re-telling of the soup story.)


Reading “Stone Soup” and putting pieces in paper-bag pot


making / mixing up soup


enjoying our home made soup

As we end our summer studies and prepare for fall fun, Adventure Academy is extending program hours and inviting children to join us at our discovery daycare. We will now be open Monday-Thursday 7:30a-7:30p and Fridays 7:30a-5:30p.  We also have some weekend availability and will be packing our days with adventures and hands on curriculum activities from companies such as Mother Goose Time.  To learn more about Mother Goose time CLICK HERE. To learn more about ADVENTURE ACADEMY – CLICK HERE or email  Adventure Academy is a great option for toddlers, preschoolers, young 5s, kindergarten students, school age children, homeschool families… If you know families near Kingsley, Michigan looking for quality care please share this information.  If you don’t need child care, but would like updates on family fun and resources please subscribe above, find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc… Mi Families is everywhere families and those who work with families are.  Mi Families mission is “reaching out with resources” through our social media and through programs such as Adventure Academy.  CLICK HERE to learn about other programs Mi Families offers for parents and providers and comment below if you have ideas on programs you’d like to see offered or topics you’d like these articles to address.

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