RIC-20967 Early years Places - The Circus

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<strong>Places</strong><br />

<strong>The</strong> circus<br />

A complete unit of lessons and activities

<strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong><br />

Published by R.I.C. Publications ® 2010<br />

Copyright © R.I.C. Publications ® 2010<br />

<strong>RIC</strong>– <strong>20967</strong><br />

Titles in this series:<br />

<strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong><br />

<strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—People<br />

<strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—Animals<br />

<strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—Science<br />

<strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—Fantasy<br />

<strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—Fairytales<br />

<strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—Special days and celebrations<br />

Accompanying resources available:<br />

<strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong> Posters (set of 5)<br />

<strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong> Stickers (set of 5)<br />

<strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes Interactive CD (<strong>Places</strong>, People,<br />

Animals, Science)<br />

<strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes Interactive CD (Fantasy, Fairytales,<br />

Special days and celebrations)<br />

This master may only be reproduced by the<br />

original purchaser for use with their class(es). <strong>The</strong><br />

publisher prohibits the loaning or onselling of this<br />

master for the purposes of reproduction.<br />

Copyright Information<br />

Only the blackline masters contained within this<br />

publication may only be reproduced by the original<br />

purchaser for use with their class(es). <strong>The</strong> publisher<br />

prohibits the loaning or onselling of these blackline<br />

masters for purposes of reproduction. No other part of<br />

this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any<br />

means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying<br />

or recording, or by any information storage and retrieval<br />

system, without written permission from the publisher.<br />

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the publisher has no control over any subsequent changes which may be made to webpages. It is strongly recommended that the class<br />

teacher checks all URLs before allowing students to access them.<br />

View all pages online<br />

PO Box 332 Greenwood Western Australia 6924<br />

Website: www.ricpublications.com.au<br />

Email: mail@ricgroup.com.au

Cross-curricular activities<br />

English<br />

• Look at words which give the names of circus performers;<br />

e.g. ‘clown’, ‘acrobat’, ‘ringmaster’, ‘tightrope walker’.<br />

Use the initial letter to help match the word to a picture<br />

of the performer. (Pictures can also be labelled with the<br />

name to further assist children to match the word label to<br />

the correct picture from sets in the literacy centre. Refer to<br />

blacklines on pages 29 and 30. (Language)<br />

• Circle game. Children take turns fi nishing the sentence:<br />

’I’d like to be a ... in the circus’. Extension activity: ‘If I<br />

was a ... in a circus, I would ...’. (Language, Literacy)<br />

• Instead of ‘Mother, may I?’, play ‘Ringmaster, may<br />

I?’ (A megaphone made in visual arts could be used.<br />

See page 25.) Teacher should demonstrate how to be<br />

ringmaster fi rst before children have a turn. Ringmaster<br />

stands about six metres away from a line of four to six<br />

children. Ringmaster chooses a child at random, or in<br />

order, and gives an instruction such as: ‘Mia, take three<br />

tiny tightrope steps forwards/backwards’. Mia replies,<br />

‘Ringmaster, may I?’ Ringmaster answers yes or no. If<br />

child forgets to ask ‘May I?’ and moves before asking, he<br />

or she must go back to the starting line. First one to touch<br />

the ringmaster takes over that position. (Literacy)<br />

• Instead of ‘Simon says’, play ‘Ringmaster says’. Teacher<br />

should demonstrate how to be ringmaster fi rst before<br />

children have a turn. (A megaphone made in visual arts<br />

could be used. See page 25.) Instructions given could<br />

relate to the circus; e.g. ‘Ringmaster says: Balance like a<br />

tightrope walker’. (Literacy)<br />

• Play a game to recognise own and other children’s names.<br />

In a ring, teacher and children chant: ‘We have a clown.<br />

His/Her name is ...’ (Teacher holds up fl ashcard with a<br />

child’s name.) All continue: ‘Watch (name of child) do a<br />

funny trick inside the circus ring’. That child does a ‘trick’<br />

and others watch (or copy). (Literacy)<br />

• Compile a list of boy, girl or neutral clown’s names<br />

beginning with ‘C’; e.g. Cuddles, Coco, Clarence, Curly,<br />

Clarissa. Children can use one of these names or another<br />

of their choice for the teacher or themselves to label a<br />

clown children have created in visual arts (see page 25).<br />

(Language)<br />

• After children have become familiar with characters and<br />

objects that relate to a circus, present them with a variety<br />

of pictures to sort into those which could be found at a<br />

circus and those which would not. (Literacy)<br />

• Match coloured fl ashcards with a colour name to the<br />

correct colour on an illustration or picture/chart of a<br />

clown’s costume, big top etc. (Language)<br />

• Place fl ashcards of circus words with or without a picture<br />

clue (depending on children’s ability) into an oversize<br />

clown’s shoe, clown’s hat, ringmaster’s hat etc. Children<br />

pull out a card and see if they can read it. Refer to<br />

blacklines on pages 29 and 30. (Language)<br />

• Discuss stories, DVDs and poems they have read, viewed<br />

or learnt about the circus. (Literature)<br />

• Using pictures or actual objects as visual aids, children<br />

give examples of words to describe a clown’s or a<br />

ringmaster’s costume, the big top, the circus ring etc.<br />

(Literacy)<br />

• Use a picture of a circus scene (the poster supplied with<br />

this kit could be used) to match the names of circus<br />

performers; identify (orally or in written form) the initial<br />

letter of objects or performers; identify ‘doing’ words<br />

(verbs); name items (nouns) etc. (Language)<br />

• Compile a class book based on the story: Brown bear,<br />

brown bear, what do you see? by Bill Martin, substituting<br />

the word ‘ringmaster’ for ‘brown bear’. Children draw<br />

a picture of a circus character or worker on a sheet of<br />

paper. Teacher writes or assists children to complete a<br />

sentence under each picture to answer the question on<br />

the title page: ‘Ringmaster, ringmaster, what do you see?’<br />

(‘I see a ... looking at me.’) (Literature)<br />

22 <strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong>—<strong>The</strong> circus www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®<br />

ISBN 978-1-74126-966-6

<strong>The</strong> circus – 1<br />

Mathematics<br />

• Make a class pictograph on a display board or chart<br />

of their favourite circus act. Refer to blackline on page<br />

29 for pictures. Discuss the results. (Statistics and<br />

Probability)<br />

• Sort a collection of defl ated balloons by colour. Use<br />

one-to-one correspondence to count the numbers of<br />

balloons in each pile. (Number and Algebra)<br />

• Construct a clown’s face using different-sized and<br />

different-coloured attribute blocks or shapes made from<br />

coloured card. (Measurement and Geometry)<br />

• Give children different-sized pictures of circus performers<br />

or objects associated with the theme. <strong>The</strong>y sort them<br />

according to size. Encourage comparative language<br />

such as ‘tall’, ‘taller’, ‘tallest’; ‘large’, ‘larger’, ‘largest’.<br />

Pictures could also be measured using informal units<br />

such as counters or unit cubes. Refer to the blackline<br />

on page 35. (Measurement and Geometry)<br />

• Follow a dotted line or simple maze to match the circus<br />

performer to his or her equipment; e.g. strong man<br />

to weights, clown to oversize shoes, ringmaster to<br />

megaphone. (Measurement and Geometry)<br />

• Identify and write the number of items a clown is<br />

holding or has on his costume. Refer to the blackline<br />

on page 34. (Number and Algebra)<br />

• Use pictures of circus performers in counting and<br />

patterning activities. Examples: Lay out three<br />

ringmasters so children can use one-to-one<br />

correspondence to touch and count each to fi nd total.<br />

Lay strongman pictures in a pattern of upright, upsidedown<br />

and so on. Children continue the pattern. Refer<br />

to blackline on page 29 for pictures. (Number and<br />

Algebra)<br />

• Blow up a balloon. Children count how many times one<br />

child can tap it before it touches the ground. Repeat the<br />

activity with other children. (Number and Algebra)<br />

• Children help to create a life-size clown or other circus<br />

character. Attach to the wall alongside a tape measure.<br />

Children can measure and compare their height against<br />

it. (Measurement and Geometry)<br />

• Use the poster available with this book to ask children<br />

mathematical questions dealing with positional<br />

language and number, such as: ‘Who is next to the<br />

ringmaster?’ ‘How many clowns are in the ring?’ ‘Who<br />

is standing below the trapeze?’ (Number and Algebra,<br />

Measurement and Geometry)<br />

• Ask students<br />

questions about<br />

the likelihood of<br />

events occurring at<br />

the circus. <strong>The</strong>y can<br />

answer ‘likely’ or<br />

‘unlikely’. Examples:<br />

‘Would it be likely or<br />

unlikely to see ...<br />

– a juggler juggling<br />

fi sh at the circus?’<br />

– a clown on a<br />

unicycle at the<br />

circus?’<br />

– the big top falling<br />

down at the circus?’<br />

– the audience clapping<br />

at the circus?’<br />

(Statistics and Probability)<br />

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au <strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong>—<strong>The</strong> circus 23<br />

ISBN 978-1-74126-966-6

Cross-curricular activities<br />

Science<br />

• Introduce the concept of static electricity by rubbing a<br />

blown up balloon over a child’s head or woollen jumper<br />

and then seeing if the balloon will stick to the wall. Children<br />

can then try this with each other.<br />

• Blow up a balloon but do not tie the end. Ask children what<br />

they think will happen if you let it go. (<strong>The</strong> escaping air will<br />

propel the balloon.) After discussion, let the balloon go<br />

and talk about what happened.<br />

• Let children discover the difference in weight between a<br />

balloon blown up by a helium gas cylinder and one blown<br />

up with exhaled air from our lungs. (Helium gas is lighter;<br />

hence it will fl oat/ascend.)<br />

• Experience the sensation of cooking and eating<br />

popcorn. Children use their senses to guess<br />

what is cooking (using a microwave or popcorn<br />

maker behind a screen) by hearing the ‘pops’ and<br />

smelling the popcorn. <strong>The</strong>y also describe the taste,<br />

feel and look of the cooked popcorn<br />

and compare with uncooked<br />

samples. Words they<br />

used to describe their<br />

sensations could be<br />

placed in or around<br />

a popcorn bucket to<br />

practise identifying<br />

and reading.<br />

Drama<br />

• In small groups, use fi nger puppets<br />

to practise oral language skills and<br />

make up a ‘circus performance’ with<br />

circus characters. Refer to blackline<br />

on page 32.<br />

• Enlist parent helpers/older children to help face paint children to look<br />

like clowns. Individually and in pairs, role-play tricks and acts clowns<br />

do; e.g. opening a door that has a bucket of water balanced to fall when<br />

opened, getting a clown to smell a bunch of fl owers that has a hidden<br />

water squirter in it, trying to move when another clown has put super glue<br />

on the soles of their shoes. (See page 36 for face-painting recipe.)<br />

• Teacher makes own face show an expression a clown might make. Children copy. Ask them to describe the emotion and an<br />

explanation as to why a clown might make that face.<br />

• Provide a variety of clown hats, large clown shoes, baggy clown pants<br />

and shirts, clown bow ties, wigs, tutus, acrobats’ and trapeze artists’<br />

costumes, strongman ‘weights’, skipping ropes for children to become<br />

‘tightrope walkers’, ringmasters’ megaphones and other dressing-up<br />

props. (See Visual arts, page 25 for some ideas.) Children dress up and<br />

make up mini circus dramas.<br />

• Teacher and children think of words to describe actions (verbs) at the<br />

circus and role-play each action word; eating (popcorn), cheering/<br />

clapping/laughing (audience), balancing (tightrope walker), announcing/<br />

shouting (ringmaster), stretching (acrobats), swinging (trapeze).<br />

Individual children could also act out a word for others to guess what is<br />

happening.<br />

• Hold a circus-theme classroom party or a clown dress-up day.<br />

• After the popcorn experience (see Science activities), children pretend to be a corn kernel in a<br />

packet, get ‘poured’ into a container, get warmer in a popcorn machine/microwave, begin to ‘pop’ by jumping up and<br />

down.<br />

24 <strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong>—<strong>The</strong> circus www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®<br />

ISBN 978-1-74126-966-6

<strong>The</strong> circus – 2<br />

Visual arts<br />

• Balloons are popular at circuses. Put 3 to 4 teaspoons<br />

of different coloured tempera paint into lids or pie tins.<br />

Blow up balloons, one per child, until they fi t into<br />

children’s palms. Children dip their balloon into the<br />

paint and press fi rmly on art paper to make patterns.<br />

Separate or combined colours can be used.<br />

• Ringmaster megaphone. Trim one end of a large<br />

coloured square of construction paper. Children<br />

decorate the paper with chalk, paint, stickers etc. Roll<br />

up into a funnel shape and staple.<br />

• Create a big top circus tent and decorate using various<br />

techniques such as weaving and twisting strips of<br />

paper. Refer to blackline on page 33.<br />

• Children decorate an outline of a popcorn bucket made<br />

from construction paper by gluing red and white strips<br />

of paper onto it. Real popcorn or popcorn made from<br />

crumpled crepe can be glued on top.<br />

• Children paint dots, stripes, add stickers or<br />

make sponge prints on a large square<br />

of construction paper. Form into a<br />

cone and staple to make a clown’s<br />

hat. Glue a coloured circle or a<br />

pompom on top.<br />

• Make tightrope walkers from<br />

clothes pegs by painting faces,<br />

adding fabric clothes and twisting pipe-cleaners around<br />

the head of each clothes peg for arms. Put the tightrope<br />

walkers on a piece of string or thin rope and watch<br />

them perform!<br />

• Make a strongman’s weights. Wrap aluminium foil<br />

around two polystyrene balls or beachballs. Do the<br />

same with a cardboard wrapping paper roll. Join<br />

the three items with tape to make<br />

‘weights’.<br />

• Make ‘fairy fl oss’ by gluing white, pink<br />

or blue cottonwool balls onto threequarters<br />

of a paper towel tube.<br />

• Make a clown face using a paper<br />

plate, craft stick, balloon, googly eyes,<br />

crayons, stickers, wool and odd pieces<br />

of wrapping paper. Assist children to glue<br />

the craft stick to the back of the paper plate. Attach<br />

a semi-infl ated balloon for the nose. Children draw or<br />

use other materials to decorate the face with hair, eyes,<br />

mouth, bow tie etc.<br />

• Cut a hole in each of two shoebox lids. Make them big enough but not too big for children’s feet to slip out of. Assist children<br />

to tape each lid to its box. <strong>The</strong>y then paint, use markers, add stickers etc. for decoration. Children slide feet into the boxes<br />

and act like a clown.<br />

• Ask children to bring an oversized white T-shirt to make into a clown costume. Children use fabric paint to sponge-paint<br />

shapes such as triangles and circles on the shirt. (Puff paint would also be effective to make spots and stripes for decoration.)<br />

Glue pompom ‘buttons’ to the front. Add a collar made from pleated paper stapled to the rim of a paper plate that has had<br />

the interior cut out of.<br />

Music<br />

• Children pretend they are in<br />

a circus band. Give them<br />

simple musical instruments<br />

such as triangles and<br />

maracas. Play a CD of<br />

music suitable for a circus<br />

while they march and play<br />

their instruments.<br />

• Listen to music suited to different circus<br />

acts; e.g. drum roll before an exciting part<br />

of an act, funny clown music, entry to<br />

big top, electronic music for rides. When<br />

familiar with the music, children can move<br />

accordingly and act the part.<br />

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au <strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong>—<strong>The</strong> circus 25<br />

ISBN 978-1-74126-966-6

Cross-curricular activities<br />

Health and physical education<br />

• Be a juggler and juggle beanbags. Start with one. When<br />

mastered, increase to two. <strong>The</strong>n try small balls that are<br />

easy to catch.<br />

• Develop movement skills using hoops. Children can hop<br />

or jump in them with the hoop(s) on the ground, use<br />

them as hula hoops or run under them while they are<br />

moving.<br />

• Practise the correct technique for acrobatic moves such<br />

as forward rolls, handstands and cartwheels.<br />

• Reinforce letters of the alphabet by children becoming<br />

‘acrobats’ and using their bodies to form the shape of a<br />

specifi ed letter. Some letters will be formed individually,<br />

while others will require two or more children.<br />

• After children have had practice with the circus-related<br />

physical educational activities, hold mini competitions.<br />

Examples could include: balancing competitions such as<br />

egg and spoon races (with hardboiled or plastic eggs)<br />

or bean bags on heads, walking/running with feet in<br />

shoeboxes like a clown, relay races using a ringmaster’s<br />

megaphone as a baton, running like a strongman<br />

showing his muscles, swapping clown clothes before<br />

next runner takes off in a relay, acrobatic tunnel races<br />

where children crawl through a plastic tunnel or tunnel of<br />

children’s legs.<br />

• Using thick card or plasterboard, decorate and cut out a<br />

large clown face with a hole for the mouth. Children are<br />

given three beanbags to try to toss through the hole.<br />

• After a variety of circus-related movement skills have been<br />

safely and correctly mastered, set up a circus obstacle<br />

course for children to follow. Examples: balance along a<br />

line like a tightrope walker, do two handstands, hop then<br />

jump into four hoops on the ground, swing on bars on the<br />

adventure playground like a trapeze. (Children will need<br />

to be carefully monitored.)<br />

• Play ‘Pin the nose on the clown’. Make a large clown face<br />

or life-size clown (minus the nose). Blindfold children in<br />

turns. Give each child a circle of red felt or a pompom<br />

with double-sided tape so they can see who is closest<br />

to placing the nose in the correct position. (Don’t spin<br />

very young children around before they attempt this as<br />

they can become disorientated.) Can be done indoors or<br />

outdoors.<br />

• Practise trying to balance a paper plate on a fi nger.<br />

Attempt to spin it like a juggler.<br />

• Place a rope or a row of masking tape on the fl oor or the grass so children can be<br />

tightrope walkers. Demonstrate how to walk heel to toe with one foot slowly placed<br />

in front of the other, using arms to balance.<br />

• Sort the foods we might eat or want to eat at the circus into healthy or unhealthy.<br />

• Talk about how much practice it would take for a performer to be good enough to<br />

perform in a circus.<br />

• Discuss the purpose of a safety net at a circus.<br />

26 <strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong>—<strong>The</strong> circus www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®<br />

ISBN 978-1-74126-966-6

<strong>The</strong> circus – 3<br />

Society and environment<br />

• Discuss other ways tents are used; e.g. camping, as shelters from rain or the sun at<br />

parties, protection from sun and wind at beach, at fairs.<br />

• Talk about the jobs of various people and performers at a circus; e.g. ringmaster,<br />

people who set up the tents and seating (‘roustabouts’), jugglers, clowns, acrobats,<br />

trapeze artists, ticket sellers, people who sell food at stalls or carry a selection on a tray<br />

with a strap over their shoulder to sell direct to the audience.<br />

• Explain to the children how many circuses today do not have animals performing and<br />

the reasons why this has become the norm.<br />

• Children help to suggest how to make a simple pictorial fl ow chart with minimal<br />

labelling to explain a circus act; tightrope walker puts on costume – gets introduced by<br />

ringmaster – climbs up ladder to tightrope – completes balancing tricks on tightrope –<br />

gets to other side – audience claps and he or she bows.<br />

• On an outline of a circus tent or big top, draw and label items or people children<br />

suggest they would fi nd inside and outside the tent. <strong>The</strong>se could be hung as a mobile<br />

from the tent. Examples: seats, turnstile, popcorn, fairy fl oss, clowns, ringmaster,<br />

tightrope, acrobat, strongman, trapeze, people, fl ags, ring, streamers, balloons, tent<br />

pegs, poles, wires.<br />

Technology (and design)<br />

• In pairs or small groups, use a variety of recycled boxes,<br />

cardboard shapes, building blocks and other commercial<br />

construction materials to plan and design the layout for a<br />

circus ground. Include the big top, food stalls, caravans<br />

for performers and workers, merry-go-round etc.<br />

• View pictures of various clown faces on the internet and<br />

compare the similarities and differences in their makeup.<br />

• Investigate ‘balance’ by using MAB material to build<br />

towers. Find out who can build the tallest, widest etc.<br />

tower from MAB blocks the teacher specifi es.<br />

• Design and make an invitation inviting friends to a<br />

birthday party at the circus. Teacher can assist with<br />

wording. Words can be typed on a computer and printed<br />

out.<br />

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au <strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong>—<strong>The</strong> circus 27<br />

ISBN 978-1-74126-966-6

Teacher background information<br />

A circus is most commonly defi ned as a travelling show with a company of performers that<br />

may include clowns, acrobats, tightrope walkers and other stunt artists, and trained animals<br />

performing tricks (now not so common).<br />

<strong>Circus</strong>es are traditionally held in a circular or oval arena surrounded by tiers of seats for ease of<br />

viewing by the audience. <strong>The</strong> word ‘circus’ comes from the Greek word ‘kirkos’ meaning ‘ring’.<br />

A large tent, called the ‘big top’, is set up in a suitable area. <strong>The</strong> acts are usually accompanied<br />

by music and introduced by a ‘ringmaster’.<br />

<strong>The</strong> circus has its origins in Ancient Rome. Huge amphitheatres were built to accommodate<br />

tens of thousands of people who fl ocked to watch events such as chariot racing, combat<br />

between gladiators and animals and other blood sports.<br />

From these beginnings, the modern-day circus gradually evolved as small and then larger<br />

troupes of jugglers, acrobats, trained animals and the like performed around Europe, Asia and<br />

Africa.<br />

<strong>Circus</strong> acts commonly include gymnastic and acrobatic performances involving tumbling,<br />

juggling, pyramid building with people, contortion, trampoline and balancing on tightropes<br />

suspended in the air. <strong>The</strong> aerial act of the fl ying trapeze is always a highlight. Clowns are a<br />

major attraction, often combining their comical performance with classic circus skills such as<br />

tumbling and juggling. Some circuses involve daredevil and sideshow acts such as sword<br />

swallowing, fi re eating, human cannonball, magic tricks, ventriloquism and strongman.<br />

<strong>The</strong> fi rst animals used in modern-day circuses were included for the purpose of displaying exotic animals. Later, animals such as<br />

elephants and big cats were trained to perform tricks. Dancing ponies and bareback riders on horses performing balancing acts<br />

also became popular.<br />

Due to worldwide organisations such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) bringing the treatment of animals to<br />

the public’s attention, contemporary circuses have become largely animal-free. <strong>The</strong> trend is for a circus to emphasise humans’<br />

acrobatic skill and daring and not animals’. <strong>The</strong> hugely popular Cirque du Soleil is one example of this. (Note: While some of the<br />

literature resources on page 39 include circus animals, the remainder of activities in this unit do not.)<br />

While the intended purpose of clowns is to entertain, teachers should be aware that some young children fi nd clowns (especially<br />

their faces) frightening.<br />

Concepts to be developed<br />

• A circus is a show that travels from place to place.<br />

• A modern-day circus includes people performing clever acrobatic and gymnastic tricks.<br />

• A circus is often held in a big tent called a ‘big top’.<br />

• Spectators at a circus sit in rows of seats that get higher and higher towards the back<br />

so everyone can see.<br />

• A ringmaster is in charge of the circus acts. He or she often uses a megaphone so the<br />

spectators can hear him or her.<br />

• Some of the performers at a circus can include clowns, acrobats, tightrope walkers,<br />

strongmen, fl ying trapeze artists, jugglers and stilt walkers.<br />

• Clowns wear funny costumes and paint their faces.<br />

• Other circus performers wear special costumes.<br />

• Most circus performers use special equipment in their act.<br />

28 <strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong>—<strong>The</strong> circus www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®<br />

ISBN 978-1-74126-966-6

<strong>Circus</strong> act pictures<br />

Instructions: Can be enlarged to A3. Colour, laminate (optional) and cut out the pictures. Use in maths activities on page 23; matching labels on page 30; duplicate for counting<br />

activities or card games such as ‘Concentration’, ‘Snap’ or ‘Fish’.<br />

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au <strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong>—<strong>The</strong> circus 29<br />

ISBN 978-1-74126-966-6

<strong>Circus</strong> act labels<br />

ringmaster<br />

strongman<br />

trapeze artist<br />

juggler<br />

acrobat<br />

clown<br />

tightrope walker<br />

stilt walker<br />

30 <strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong>—<strong>The</strong> circus www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®<br />

ISBN 978-1-74126-966-6<br />

Instructions: Can be enlarged to A3. Use with or without the picture clues to label circus acts on page 29 or for the children to trace and copy at the writing centre.

Two clown tricks<br />

Instructions: Can be enlarged to A3. Colour, laminate and cut out each set of cards. Children can sequence the cards and orally tell what is happening.<br />

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au <strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong>—<strong>The</strong> circus 31<br />

ISBN 978-1-74126-966-6

<strong>Circus</strong> fi nger puppets<br />

32 <strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong>—<strong>The</strong> circus www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®<br />

ISBN 978-1-74126-966-6<br />

Instructions: Photocopy onto white construction paper. Colour and cut out sets of puppets for children to practise oral language skills in small groups and develop a circus ‘performance’.<br />

(Note: Children’s fi ngers become the ‘legs’ of the circus performer.

Big top<br />

Instructions: Enlarge to A3. Photocopy onto white construction paper. Assist children to cut out and decorate by using a coloured spot for tent top; glue thin, twisted strips of coloured crepe paper for tent<br />

roof; weave thin strips of coloured paper on tent fl aps, glue cellophane rectangle behind opening and use crayons to colour other parts.<br />

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au <strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong>—<strong>The</strong> circus 33<br />

ISBN 978-1-74126-966-6

How many?<br />

Instructions: Children identify the shape or item to be counted on each clown and write the correct number in the box. (Display the numbers 2 to 7 for children to refer to.)<br />

34 <strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong>—<strong>The</strong> circus www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®<br />

ISBN 978-1-74126-966-6

<strong>Circus</strong> measuring<br />

Instructions: Can be enlarged to A3. Colour, cut out and laminate sets of cards for use in maths centre. Children can also be given a set to colour, cut out and glue in order of size on a sheet of paper.<br />

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au <strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong>—<strong>The</strong> circus 35<br />

ISBN 978-1-74126-966-6

Recipes<br />

<strong>Circus</strong> mix snack<br />

Ingredients<br />

• small cracker biscuits • raisins and a selection of other chopped dried fruit • popcorn<br />

Instructions<br />

• Place different ingredients in bowls. Give students a plastic spoon and a plastic cup or patty case to take spoonfuls of<br />

favoured ingredients.<br />

Ice-cream clown<br />

Ingredients<br />

• vanilla ice-cream<br />

• ice-cream cone<br />

• M&Ms , Smarties , raisins, licorice, jelly beans, cherries<br />

Instructions<br />

• Place one scoop of ice-cream in a patty case. Place an upside<br />

down cone for a clown’s hat. Use the other ingredients for eyes,<br />

nose, mouth and top of clown’s hat.<br />

Fruity clown faces<br />

Ingredients and instructions<br />

• Use a variety of sliced, chopped, grated and whole fruits, either fresh or tinned.<br />

Children choose, or teacher directs the fruits to use. Arrange on a small paper plate.<br />

Another suggestion: Use a tinned peach half for the face, half a glacé cherry for the<br />

nose, raisins for the eyes and the mouth, a crescent of apple for the collar and tint some<br />

coconut with orange food colouring for the hair.<br />

Ingredients<br />

• 1 tsp cornfl our • 1<br />

/ 2<br />

tsp thick moisturiser (cold cream)<br />

• 1<br />

/ 2<br />

tsp water • food colouring<br />

Instructions<br />

• Use small containers such as baby food jars to<br />

mix the paint. In each container, blend cornfl our<br />

and moisturiser until well mixed. Add water and<br />

stir. Add food colouring, one drop at a time,<br />

until desired colour is achieved. Before painting<br />

children’s faces, use a baby wipe or similar to<br />

remove any dirt. Paint designs on face using a<br />

small paintbrush for each colour. Remove the paint<br />

with soap and water.<br />

Face-painting recipe<br />

36 <strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong>—<strong>The</strong> circus www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®<br />

ISBN 978-1-74126-966-6

Recipes<br />

Healthy clown face<br />

open sandwich<br />

Ingredients<br />

• Face: brown or white roll cut in half, brown or white slice of<br />

bread (1 per child)<br />

• Hair: grated cheese or carrot, shredded lettuce, cottage<br />

cheese<br />

• Eyes: egg slices, dried apricots, slices of cucumber or<br />

tomato<br />

• Mouth: wedge of tomato, slice of capsicum, row of<br />

sultanas<br />

• Nose: piece of celery or carrot stick, knob of cheese, cherry<br />

tomato<br />

• Spreads – margarine, cream or cottage cheese,<br />

mayonnaise<br />

Instructions<br />

• Spread one of the suggested spreads on the bun or bread<br />

slice. Choose and arrange ingredients to make a clown’s<br />

face. Take a photo before eating!<br />

Chicken on tightropes<br />

Ingredients<br />

• cubes of skinless chicken • soya sauce<br />

• honey<br />

• vegetable oil<br />

Instructions<br />

• Place the chicken and other ingredients in a bowl and mix<br />

well. (Add enough of the marinade ingredients to coat<br />

chicken.) Leave to marinate for a hour or two. Thread<br />

chicken onto ‘tightropes’ (skewers). Add oil to a pan and<br />

cook, turning as needed. Children carefully eat chicken on<br />

its tightrope.<br />

Strongman smoothie<br />

Ingredients<br />

• 1 1 / 2<br />

cups low fat milk<br />

• 1 tablespoon honey<br />

• 1 tablespoon skim milk powder • 1 banana<br />

• 1<br />

/ 2<br />

cup plain or fl avoured yoghurt<br />

• 6 strawberries (optional)<br />

Instructions<br />

• Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.<br />

Pour into plastic cups. Makes 4 to 6 small servings.<br />

Acrobat apple<br />

turnovers<br />

Ingredients<br />

• sheets of ready-to-cook puff pastry<br />

• 2 green apples<br />

• 2 tablespoons caster sugar<br />

• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon<br />

(This recipe serves 6 so alter to suit number of children.)<br />

Instructions<br />

• Roll each defrosted pastry<br />

sheet out thinly and cut into 6<br />

squares. Peel and core apples.<br />

Cut into quarters and slice<br />

thinly. Place a few slices of<br />

apple into a corner of each<br />

pastry. Sprinkle the apple with<br />

a half teaspoon sugar and a pinch cinnamon. Fold each<br />

pastry over to form a triangle. Press edges with a fork to<br />

seal. Prick a hole in the top. Sprinkle extra sugar over each<br />

‘turnover’. Place on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes<br />

at 190° C.<br />

Savoury circus ring<br />

Ingredients<br />

• 3 rashers bacon (remove rind) • 1 1 / 2<br />

cups cooked long-grain rice<br />

• 1 medium grated zucchini<br />

• 1 large grated carrot<br />

• 4 lightly beaten eggs<br />

• 1 1 / 2<br />

cups grated cheese<br />

Instructions<br />

• Grease a deep ring-shaped baking dish. Finely chop bacon. Put bacon, rice and<br />

vegetables into a bowl and mix well. Pour in eggs and grated cheese and combine.<br />

Press mixture into ring. Cover and cook in microwave on medium to high (depending<br />

on microwave strength) for 12 minutes. Stand for 5 minutes, then turn out and cut into<br />

‘circus ring’ slices.<br />

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au <strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong>—<strong>The</strong> circus 37<br />

ISBN 978-1-74126-966-6

Display ideas<br />

Classroom big top<br />

• Turn the classroom into a big top by stringing thick strips of coloured crepe paper<br />

streamers from the classroom ceiling and hanging balloons and twisted crepe<br />

paper from various sections.<br />

Colour names<br />

• Create a colourful clown juggling balls or holding balloons of different colours.<br />

Label each ball/balloon with its colour name. Incorporate the same colours on<br />

the clown’s costume for children to identify and match.<br />

Birthday chart<br />

• Use a similar picture to the suggestion above but have 12 balls or balloons to<br />

write the months of the year in and the names of children with a birthday in that<br />

month.<br />

Number charts<br />

• Make number charts with name, numeral and pictures based on the theme; e.g.<br />

1 one strongman, 2 two stilt walkers, 3 three big tops etc.<br />

<strong>Circus</strong> frieze<br />

• Children draw, colour, cut out and make circus performers and items to add to a circus frieze to display around the room. Add<br />

labels.<br />

purple<br />

yellow<br />

green<br />

blue<br />

red<br />

Spare parts classroom clown<br />

• Children can assist in making a large clown with movable parts. Paper<br />

plates, balloons or lids from ice-cream containers could be used for<br />

the head and body. Coloured cottonwool balls, crumpled crepe paper<br />

or wool can be the hair. Plastic or material gloves make the hands. A<br />

partly infl ated balloon makes the nose. An old pair of slippers or other<br />

shoes provide the feet. An upsidedown square box can be used for<br />

the hat and other features can be painted, drawn or made from scrap<br />

materials and stuck on. Parts can be connected together with string,<br />

wool or elastic. Children can label their new ‘classmate’ with a name.<br />

Big top learning centre<br />

• Purchase a tent similar to the one shown or make one<br />

using coloured sheets, tablecloths, quilt covers and<br />

material. Children can complete activities in their ‘big top’.<br />

A coloured parachute used in physical education lessons<br />

may also be borrowed and used for a time as a big top.<br />

<strong>Circus</strong> performer photo corner<br />

• Take photos of children dressed up as circus performers.<br />

Attach them to a display board or the wall. Children can<br />

make up a name for themselves which can be written on<br />

a card and pinned underneath. Other children and visitors<br />

can guess the real names of the children.<br />

38 <strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong>—<strong>The</strong> circus www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®<br />

ISBN 978-1-74126-966-6

Literature resources – 1<br />

Stories<br />

• Spot goes to the circus by Eric Carle<br />

• Peter Spier’s circus by Peter Spier<br />

• See the circus (Lift the fl ap series) by H A Rey<br />

• <strong>The</strong> circus alphabet by Linda Bronson<br />

• <strong>Circus</strong> shapes (Mathstart 1) by Stuart J Murphy<br />

• Smarty pants by Joy Crowley<br />

• Last night I dreamed a circus by Maya Gottfried<br />

• Clifford at the circus by Norman Bridwell<br />

• You see a circus, I see ... by Mike Downs<br />

• All aboard the <strong>Circus</strong> McGurkus/<strong>Circus</strong> McGurkus 1, 2, 3/If I ran the circus by Dr Seuss<br />

Songs, action rhymes, fingerplays and poems<br />

Putting up the big top<br />

(Sung to the tune of ‘A,B,C’)<br />

Everybody circle round,<br />

Lift the canvas off the ground,<br />

Pull and pull and watch it rise,<br />

Big Top grows before our eyes.<br />

Everybody circle round,<br />

Lift the canvas off the ground.<br />

(Raise ‘tent’ while singing.)<br />

Funny clown<br />

(Sung to the tune of ‘Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground’)<br />

Funny clown, funny clown<br />

Spin around.<br />

Funny clown, funny clown<br />

Jump up and down.<br />

Funny clown, funny clown<br />

Touch your toes.<br />

Funny clown, funny clown<br />

Honk your nose.<br />

(Children do actions while singing.)<br />

We’re going to the circus<br />

(Sung to the tune of ‘Farmer in the dell’)<br />

We’re going to the circus<br />

We’re going to the circus<br />

On Monday afternoon (or another day/time)<br />

We’re going to the circus<br />

Other verses:<br />

We’ll laugh at funny clowns ...<br />

We’ll hear the ringmaster shout ...<br />

We’ll watch the acrobats ...<br />

We’ll clap the clever jugglers ...<br />

We’ll look up at the trapeze ...<br />

Did you ever see a clown?<br />

(Sung to the tune of: ‘Did you ever see a lassie?’)<br />

Did you ever see a clown<br />

Do this and do that?<br />

Do this and do that?<br />

Do this and do that?<br />

Did you ever see a clown<br />

Do this and do that?<br />

(Children stand in a circle, one in middle performing actions<br />

while others copy.)<br />

When the circus comes to town<br />

When the circus comes to town,<br />

I love to see the clown.<br />

Racing round the great big top,<br />

His trousers falling down.<br />

A very jolly person,<br />

Who makes me laugh and shout.<br />

I always feel so happy<br />

When the funny clown’s about.<br />

Chorus<br />

Ha ha ha ha<br />

Ha ha ha ha<br />

Oh oh oh oh oh<br />

Ha ha ha ha<br />

Ha ha ha<br />

<strong>The</strong> funny circus clown.<br />

Wearing baggy trousers<br />

And a very baggy hat,<br />

See his boots, they’re far too big,<br />

He trips up on the mat.<br />

A very jolly person<br />

Who makes me laugh and shout.<br />

I always feel so happy<br />

When the funny clown’s about.<br />

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au <strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong>—<strong>The</strong> circus 39<br />

ISBN 978-1-74126-966-6

Literature resources – 2<br />

Songs, action rhymes, fingerplays and poems<br />

<strong>The</strong> circus is in town<br />

Hey there! Ho there!<br />

<strong>The</strong> circus is in town!<br />

Have you seen the jugglers?<br />

Have you seen the clowns?<br />

Have you seen the ringmaster<br />

walking around the ring?<br />

Have you seen the trapeze artists<br />

on their lofty swing?<br />

Have you seen the acrobats<br />

tumbling all around?<br />

Hey there! Ho there!<br />

<strong>The</strong> circus is in town.<br />

This little clown<br />

This little clown likes to play (Hold up thumb.)<br />

This little clown does tricks all day (Hold up next fi nger.)<br />

This little clown is tall and strong (Hold up next fi nger.)<br />

This little clown is wee and small (Hold next fi nger.)<br />

This little clown can do anything at all (Hold up little fi nger.)<br />

Clowns<br />

I’ve been to many circuses<br />

But I have yet to see<br />

Clowns that are identical<br />

Or look the same to me.<br />

I’ve seen them bald, with curly hair<br />

And hats of every kind.<br />

I’ve seen them tall, I’ve seen them small<br />

And every shape you’ll fi nd.<br />

I’ve seen them sad, I’ve seen them glad<br />

I’ve seen them doing tricks<br />

Like juggling balls and tumbling round<br />

And walking high on sticks.<br />

And all their clothes have every stripe<br />

And every kind of spot<br />

And every pattern in the world<br />

But two the same, do not.<br />

Notes:<br />

40 <strong>Early</strong> <strong>years</strong> themes—<strong>Places</strong>—<strong>The</strong> circus www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®<br />

ISBN 978-1-74126-966-6

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