This week we covered South African History Stories – there seem to be very few South African story books suitable for preschoolers that cover true stories so I had to do some research and then tell her the stories in African folklore style (ie orally)

On Monday we did the story of Wolraad Woltemade, a dairyman and zookeeper who saved 14 people from a shipwreck by riding his horse, Vonk, into the stormy sea off Table Bay to save them in 1773. He was drowned on his eighth trip into the sea when six people attempted to cling to the already tired horse.

After hearing the story L wanted to swim so she rode her pool noodle as a horse and rescued some toy people from an improvised boat. I also did skip counting in twos with her – (numbers are from here using cards with different occupations on them (from here)so we briefly discussed different occupations and also the type of occupations that might have occurred when Wolraad Woltemade was alive.

counting in 2s

To link with this story we discussed the rescue of the people from the Oceanos in 1991 and how this differed from the story of Wolraad Woltemade so we discussed that previously people had not had cars or helicopters and that they couldn’t take photos.

On Tuesday we covered the story of Huberta the wandering hippo. I showed L a map of South Africa and she stuck stickers on it to show some of the places we had been talking about. We also made a hippo painting using dried spaghetti and then painting over it in grey. She also practiced floating around in the pool like a hippopotamus.

map stickers
spaghetti hippo
paint hippo
L decided that spaghetti could work well as hippo tusks during her art work.

We looked up hippos on The National Geographic site and learnt a little about them. We also discovered that another hippo had started making a journey south in 2008 surfing in the beaches of Kwazulu Natal so I showed L pictures of this hippo in the water.

On Wednesday I told her about Just Nuisance – a Great Dane who served in the Navy in Simonstown during the Second World War. L practised writing D’s and also made a dog out of a toilet roll and printables.


L has been using nursery rhymes to increase her reading fluency so I introduced Old Mother Hubbard with the dog theme and she read it quite well. The photo below is of the other nursery rhymes she has been reading in the past two weeks. She particularly likes to read them standing up as if putting on a show.

nursery rhymes

On Thursday we covered South African geography – I showed her a map of Africa and where South Africa was situated and we looked at The Usborne Picture Atlas – this is the first time I have taken this book out for her and she spent a long time looking at it and reading all the labels of the animals. She also painted a South African flag and I read her the story of The Monkey’s Fiddle which is a South African folk tale.


For phonics this week we did the “ai” sound. L also chose and read The Little Red Hen to me without any prompting and without any help. Together we are reading A Big Ball of String.
For Math we played an addition game – I gave her cards with addition sums on them and she stacked blocks to work out the answer and then popped the cards into a numbered envelope. I think she liked all the fiddly bits with this game and wanted to carry on for quite some time.
She also did an entire workbook called Starting to Read and Write by herself this week with no prompting and no help from me – it was a little easy for her, but she seemed to enjoy all the bright pictures. She also wasn’t too keen to look at the camera while she was busy.


Preschool Teacher