"It all started as small as a pin-head and it expanded --- getting bigger, bigger, bigger, and...pop! Then the stars started to appear and wind came about."
The children listened and watched the balloon which Auntie Latifah blew up, while enduring the darkness and heat in the room. We tried to simulate the condition before the Big Bang, only switching on the fan when it started to have wind after the Big Bang (well, after the Balloon burst), which was the start of the Universe. Meanwhile, Auntie Shirin also played the mp3 sound of what was supposed to be heard right after the Big Bang.
Wow, what a great effort all Aunties had put in, ensuring the kids get all the right stimulation to learn about the Big Bang Theory (Visual, Auditory, Thermic senses are all covered here).
We did the Big Bang craft the following week (see collage below), didn't expect the children found it hard to break an egg.
Picture below: Children throwing eggshells filled with various colours on black paper to create a burst effect (The Big Bang theory)
The Black Timeline
Well, lots of things happened after the Big Bang. To give the children an overview, we used the Black ribbon to represent the Eras before human appeared on Earth. With the short little red ribbon at the end of the timeline (represents the time Human Beings exist) as compared to the long black ribbon -- It was a very good visual representation of how little time we as Human Beings have existed.
In order to let the children get the idea of the various Eras (from the Azoic "Black" era, to the Mesozoic "Dinosaurs" era, to the Cenozoic "Ice Age" era), the story needed to be told well. The narrator role fell on Auntie Chaz Yee, the Drama Queen. The children listened so attentively that, one of the 4-year-olds (Bong Yi) even shivered when A. Chaz Yee talked about the Ice Age. He looked cold despite us not even switching on the air-conditioner!
Pictures below: Children holding the black ribbon, which represents the Black Timeline after Big Bang and before the Human Beings exist. The Black ribbon was unrolled as the story was told.
We repeated this exercise the next day, and to our surprise a 2.5-year-old (Ze Ming) responded with the most accurate answer "Jellyfish started to appear" for the era when ocean was formed!
WOW, this is so amazing. Once again, we take our hats off Dr. Maria Montessori. She really knows the children so well that the children still benefit greatly from her learning plan after more than 100 years!