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"Design and Make Peranakan Slippers" •
Star Learners @ Choa Chu Kang Sports Centre
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Background of the Activity


We believe in inspiring children through the power of stories. Our curriculum adopts a literature based approach to activities, where activities for the children are planned and implemented based on stories which they have read or heard. 

Design and Make Peranakan Slippers


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In this activity, we read the book entitled, ‘There was a Peranakan Woman who lived in a Shoe’ by Gwen Lee, to our K1 children in Term 1. This book depicts Singapore’s heritage through rhymes and poems.

One of the poems in this book, namely ‘There was a Peranakan Woman who lived in a Shoe’ led to this activity, ‘Make and Design Peranakan Slippers’. This activity provided an authentic context for children to see how patterning is involved in their daily lives through designing and making their own Peranakan slippers. 

Objectives


Through this activity, the children were given opportunities to:
  • Recognise and describe the patterns in beaded slipper designs
  • Create simple patterns to decorate their slipper flaps
  • Strengthen their eye-hand coordination while performing fine motor skills e.g. cutting, pasting and colouring
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Examples of the children's final creations of their Peranakan slippers


Introduction


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Children discussing the poem and Peranakan attire

After reading the poem, the children grew interested in Peranakan beaded slippers. The teacher then facilitated a discussion about the beaded Peranakan slippers and traditional Peranakan attire. 

Tapping on the children’s interest, the teacher made use of this opportunity to reinforce what they have previously learnt about patterning in N2. 
The teacher revisited the concept of patterning by inviting the children to look more closely at the design on the Peranakan beaded slippers in the book. The teacher explained to children that there are different patterns on the Peranakan beaded slippers and encouraged the children to describe the patterns on the slippers.

Main activity


Next, to provide children with the opportunity to apply their understanding of patterning, the teacher invited the children to design their own Peranakan slippers. The teacher encouraged the children to think of and describe their intended patterns.
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Teacher facilitating children's understanding of patterns

The children then used small objects (e.g. beans and sequins) to create their patterns on the slippers. This allowed them to practise their fine motor skills such as the pincer grip and control of small objects. As the children were creating different patterns on their slippers, the teacher went around the class and invited the children to talk about the patterns they created. 
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These are examples of what the children said:
Child A: "I can create AB pattern - red bean, green bean, red bean, green bean, red bean, green bean".
Child B: "I can see many patterns on my slippers".
Child C: "I am going to use the sequins to make, pink sequin, blue sequin, pink sequin, blue sequin, pink sequin, blue sequin".


Creating their patterns using materials provided

Closure of activity


Once children have completed their work, the teacher invited the children to describe the patterns on their slipper flaps. They described their patterns in terms of colour, size, position or kind of objects used. 
This provided an opportunity for the children to build their confidence as they talked about their work. To prompt the children’s sharing, the teacher asked a range of questions, such as “What pattern did you create?”, and “How is your pattern different from your friend’s?”. The teacher was able to elicit the children’s responses by intentionally asking different questions. The children’s responses also demonstrated their understanding of the pre-numeracy concept of patterning.
6.png“Teacher, I make AB pattern – green bean, red bean, green bean, red bean.”    Child A

Conclusion


The activity provided an authentic context for children to find out more and apply their understanding of the concept of patterning. At the same time, children were also developing their fine motor skills as they manipulated small objects to create simple patterns on their Peranakan slippers. The children enjoyed the activity and were proud to share their creations with their friends. 7.jpg
Sharing about the patterns on their slippers

Contributed by:
Leong Yim Ling, Senior Teacher
Yasmira Johan, Principal
Star Learners @ Choa Chu Kang Sports Centre