A Group of 12 children from age three to five years

The aim of the task: to get the children to understand that the seasons effect on their clothing qualities and why the qualities are important.

The necessary equipment: the mascot (in this case a teddy bear), a letter and a postcard in an envelope, suitcase, different types of clothing and accessories

The process: At first I prepared the room. I put the empty suitcase in the middle of the room and different kinds of clothes and accessories around it. When the room was prepared I got the children together and read a letter from Maija the teddy bear. The children were familiar with the teddy bear.

“Hello children! I have something exiting to tell you. I´m leaving on a holiday with my parents. I can even pack my own suitcase because I´m a big girl. But I have a problem. You see, I have never packed my own suitcase before. That’s why I´m wondering, can you help me? From Maija”

Step 1. The children started to pack the suitcase.

Step 2. When the children were ready the mascot came to check up the progress. The mascot was not pleased with the result (shaking it´s head). I asked from the mascot what was wrong and is there something wrong with the suitcase (shaking it´s head). The children started to guess what was wrong with the suitcase. Then the mascot remembers something and started to point at the envelope (where the letter was). I went to look and there were a postcard.

“Hello children! I forgot to tell you were I´m going on a holiday! We´re going to Lapland to my grandparents’ cottage for a week. You can see a picture of Lapland on the other side of this postcard. Hopefully this will help you! From Maija”

The children started to go true the clothing. The packing ends when both children and the mascot are happy with the result.

Step 3. I guided the children to the games. “I wonder.. can you sort the clothing by different kinds of qualities?” I gave the first quality and the children started sorting. The children thought up the rest of the sorting qualities (size, color, season, material, use).

When the children didn´t thought up any more qualities, I told them about another game we´re going to play. The game was My friends. I told the rules (the children chose one clothing from the suitcase, the teacher starts telling different qualities “My friends are those who´s clothing is/has ..”, if the children´s clothing has this quality can he/she come to the teacher, the teacher tells the way how to come for example jumping or clapping).

When the game stopped I wondered if the mascot is going to remember what to pack next time she´s going and what kinds of clothes does she need. The children weren´t sure. I asked how could we help the mascot? The children said some ideas and one of them was to make a list. The children draw a list on paper and the teacher dis the same on the board with real pictures. When the list is ready the children put the letter in an envelope and gave it to the mascot.

Comments: the hole task was really difficult to the children because the method isn´t familiar. I had to guide more than I had anticipated or wanted. Every time there was a time that the children should have understood something or started doing something I had to give them some guidance. Like for example I had to ask after the first packing “what could be wrong in the suitcase” and after that “what if you give Maija some options of what you think is wrong in the suitcase”. Also after the postcard I had to ask “does Maija need all this with her?”. The children liked the games and the list making was quite easy. If the method would have been familiar to the children I think that then the lesson could have worked and been a success.


# Jaakko Kuusinen 2014-12-03 10:15
I liked the idea of packing the suitcase for Maija. I'm sure that the children were excited! It's important to approach children with something they are familiar with as you did with Maija the bear. As we all know, children love packing and especially unpacking, and also the idea of a postcard was good.
Maybe the task would have worked better if you had given the children more information before they started packing. The bear could have shown children the picture of Lapland and then you could have talked with them about the weather in Lapland and the clothes you need there. Then the children could have started packing and choosing the right clothes. In your version the children did exactly what the bear wanted (packed the suitcase) but the bear was not pleased. I would use a more positive and gratifying approach.
As a next step you could ask the children what to do with all the clothes lying around, the clothes that are not in the suitcase going to Lapland. The children could sort them out into different groups and then put away for later use. If there still was enough time, you could ask the children what Maija the bear should pack in her suitcase when she travels to South, for example to Spain.
+1 # Justina Lyhde 2014-12-04 14:31
That´s true about the information. I could have given the children more but I wanted to see if the children would understand the problem and get a solution for it. But because the method was new to the children it would have been better to give them more information and guidance.
That’s a good idea to sort the rest of the clothing with the children. Some of the children were interested about them but I went along my original plan.
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