EAVP Studies Castles and Clouds

By Lawre Goodnow, EAVP


The month of April provided lots of opportunities for the children to observe weather of all kinds. It was hard to imagine spring until much later in the month. While we were waiting, we used our observation of clouds and the water cycle to jump start a folktale study of Jack and the Beanstalk, that captured the imaginations of the children. After reading the story several times, it was decided that the loft should be turned into a castle.

Teachers and children took on roles and acted out the story many times. Beans were hung in the window in a plastic bag with a little bit of water and a paper towel. The Bean Journal was created to record the children’s observations of the beans over time. They drew pictures and talked about what they noticed for the journal. They often took their parents by the hand to show them the exciting appearance of roots, stems, and leaves. As the beans continued to grow, so did our exploration of castle life and classic fairy tales.

The children were very insistent that our castle should have a drawbridge and a moat. When asked, “What do we need?” They responded with, “something to hold it up-chains!,” and “something to stand on-wood so we can walk on it!”

Many books from the Andover libraries were poured over by the children. In our study, we learned that at feasts in the castle, people ate off  pieces of wood and that there were no forks! We adapted our pretend kitchen to reflect our new knowledge. We created flags and shields. We became costumed kings, queens, knights, princes, and princesses. One morning, Amy was greeted by heralds and a royal anthem!

We have enjoyed acting out The Princess and the Pea and The Paper Bag Princess. The nursery rhyme Sing a Song of Sixpence provided more fun baking birds into our pies for the King, and even having a hunt outside on the playground for the King’s money. The children counted and sorted the money. The children are all enchanted with dragons, so there remains more for us explore and imagine.

We are excited to share all of our learning and play through our new website: eavpkids.org. Thank you to parent and Co-Chair, Jess Cloutier for sharing her web expertise with us to create and launch this new site.

We are having two family hikes in May. All current families and alumni are invited to join us on Sunday, May 7 and Saturday, May 20. Hikes begin at 9 AM.

Parent, Kim Drouin has selected and scouted out our routes. On Sunday, May 7, we will hike Sunset Hill in Newbury and on Saturday, May 20, we will hike Welton Hill via Manning Trail in Alexandria. For more information, call the school at 735-5105.

We are also holding an Open House on Thursday, May 4, at 5:30 PM for prospective families to come visit the school. Teachers and Board members will be on hand to answer questions and show families around the space.

Lastly, we would like to thank Jill Grotnes and her Proctor students for doing some much appreciated spring cleaning at the school.  Happy Spring!