Earth Day Activities to Teach your Kids About the Environment

There are lots of ways parents can motivate kids into caring for our planet.

Earth Day activities teach kids how to reduce their carbon footprint, appreciate everything the earth gives us and take steps towards protecting the environment.

When we share information in a manner that is both fun and enlightening, it will inspire kids to do more to make our world a healthier place for future generations.

1. Connect with nature

Wouldn’t it be fun to take a walk through a local park? The first and best way to celebrate Earth Day is getting outside and exploring nature.

As they explore, kids can birdwatch and observe wildlife in natural habitats found throughout city parks and conservation areas.

There are countless ways to show kids how nature wakes up. In the spring, newly forming buds appear on trees. Birds chirp more often as the weather warms up. As they observe nature, kids just might develop a love for nature and our planet.

As you walk, be sure to remind kids about the golden rule of nature exploring: “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”

2. Organize an Earth Day scavenger hunt

While kids are exploring nature, have them catalog what they find!

There are lots of ways to observe and record nature that don’t involve disturbing the environment or taking things out of it. Create a list of things for them to do and spot as they walk, including:

  • Drawing pictures of flowers and plants
  • Spotting birds (and identifying them if they can)
  • Writing down or taking pictures of any wildlife they spot
  • Collecting litter and recycling — with the proper equipment, of course

3. Hang birdseed ornaments

Celebrate Earth Day and feed the birds with the help of birdseed ornaments made from supplies you can find in the kitchen!

Great for kids of all ages, birdseed ornaments give feathered friends a snack and let kids see the birds that come to visit when you hang them outside the classroom or kitchen window.

What you need:

  • Straw
  • Twine
  • Birdseed
  • Corn syrup
  • Cookie cutters
  • Parchment paper
  • 2 packets of gelatin
  • Cold and boiling water

What to do:

  1. Mix the gelatin with ½ cup of cold water until it dissolves the powder.
  2. Have an adult add ½ cup of boiling water to the gelatin so it dissolves.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of corn syrup and mix well.
  4. Add birdseed to the gelatin mixture.
  5. Spoon the birdseed mixture into cookie cutters and use parchment paper to pat the seeds into the cookie cutter.
  6. Keep filling and pressing down the birdseed mixture. Be sure to leave a hole to thread twine through the ornament.
  7. Place the filled cookie cutters in the fridge overnight.
  8. The next day, give the birdseed ornaments a gentle push to let them fall out of the cookie-cutter mold.

Pull the twine through the holes and hang it outside for birds to enjoy!

4. Build an insect hotel

Your kids can build an adorable hotel for bugs using basic materials you’ll find around the home — and recycle some trash in the process!

What you need: 

  • Tree bark
  • Pinecones
  • A large plastic bottle
  • Fallen sticks and twigs
  • Any other earthly elements your kids may want to add

What to do:

  1. Cut the bottle into two pieces to form separated cylinders. Remove the top and bottom pieces, as we will not be using them.
  2. Push holes in the top of the bottle pieces and thread twine to hang when the hotel is completed.
  3. Put twigs, branches and pine cone pieces inside each bottle. You may need to snap the twigs to shorten them. Fill the bottles.

Hang outside to allow bugs to enjoy their new home.

5. Grow a love for plants with seed jars

KIds love science experiments! Involve kids in making seed jars to honor Earth Day. They’ll be able to watch seeds sprout and grow into a flower or vegetable, then plant it in a garden once it’s ready.

What you need:

  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • A clear large jar
  • Seeds (nasturtium, sunflowers, peas, and beans germinate quickly)

What to do:

  1. Fold paper towels and place them inside jars. Allow your students to push the paper towels down into the jar.
  2. Add water slowly into the jar but do not overfill it.
  3. Put seeds on the wet paper towels near the edges of the glass so kids can watch their experiments grow before their eyes!

6. Build a cardboard tube bird feeder

Here’s a delightful DIY project for parents  to try with kids. These cute feeders are completed in record time for birds to enjoy right away.

What you need:

  • String
  • Scissors
  • Birdseed
  • Butter knife
  • Peanut butter
  • Bamboo skewer
  • Toilet paper roll or another cardboard tube

What to do:

  1. Cut two holes at the top and bottom of the cardboard tube.
  2. Push the bamboo skewer through the bottom holes as a perch for birds to stand on.
  3. Spread peanut butter throughout the outside of the tube.
  4. Pour birdseed onto a plate and roll the tube in the seeds until it is completely covered.
  5. Thread twine into the top holes and hang outside.

7. Clean up a science experiment

The words “science experiment” conjures up thoughts of cool and exciting things to try at school or with parents at home.

Involve your mad scientists in an oil spill and clean up experiment to enhance their awareness of environmental accidents.

What you need:

  • Water
  • Spoon
  • Dish soap
  • Cooking oil
  • Paper towel
  • Cotton balls
  • Two tin pans
  • Medicine dropper

Oil Spill and Clean-up Science Experiment:

  1. Fill the pan halfway with water.
  2. Squirt some oil in the water.
  3. Now comes the fun part! Experiment with ways to clean up the oil spill using cotton balls or trying to suck up the oil with a medicine dropper or paper towel.
  4. Drop dish soap on the oil to see how the two elements react. The soap helps the oil to break apart so that cleaning up becomes an easier task.

Kids will gain a better sense of how oil spills poison marine life and birds.

8. Teach kids to recycle

It’s important to get kids interested in saving our planet at an early age. A valuable technique for instilling good recycling habits is to show kids how to sort recyclables.

This is a perfect Earth Day activity for preschoolers or kindergarteners, since it’s a skill they’ll use for the rest of their lives.
Show kids how to separate plastics, metals, cardboard and glass. Ask them to place each type of recyclable into separate bins.

Reinforce these skills throughout the year at lunchtime, or whenever students have recyclables.

9. Learn how to compost

Be sure to help kids develop good environmental habits like composting. They’ll learn how to reuse plant waste and make gardens abundant and healthy.

What you need:

  • Soil
  • An old rug
  • Compost bin with lid
  • Plant waste such as leaves and weeds
  • Kitchen waste from fruits and vegetables

What to do:

  1. Put the bin outdoors on top of soil under the sun. Top up with kitchen waste.
  2. Kitchen waste with a layer of soil.
  3. Cover with a lid and the old rug.
  4. Continue to add kitchen waste to the compost.

From time to time, be sure to turn over the compost with a shovel as it decomposes.

10. Make a bee and butterfly garden

Bees and other pollinators play an essential role in our food supply. Their decreasing numbers could affect the availability of produce at grocery stores.

Set up a new project for kids with basic instructions on how to plan and build a home garden that attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Give them handouts that contain a list of various plants and shrubs to get them started.

For kids who live in apartments, container gardens are a great space-saving alternative.

11.  Make an Earth Day handprint keepsake

Source: Teach Me Mommy

Wouldn’t it be fun to make a beautiful Earth Day keepsake using salt dough and food coloring?

Here’s what you need:

  • String
  • Child’s photo
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • Kids’ hands and a big smile!
  • Blue and green food coloring
  • Round non-stick cookie sheet
  • Salt dough (1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 cups of salt and 3/4 cup of water)

Now, for the fun part!

  1. Use two separate bowls to make blue and green salt dough.
  2. Drop pieces of blue and green salt down onto the cookie sheet and blend the edges. Smoothen out so that the dough is flat.
  3. Allow your child to put their handprint in the middle of the cookie sheet.
  4. Use the cookie cutter to cut out the palm section.
  5. Poke two holes at the top.
  6. Bake for 3 hours at 200 F. Let cool overnight.

12. Make a coffee filter Earth

Watch kids’ amazement as they drop green and blue food coloring on coffee filters to create their own unique artwork of planet Earth! Here’s how:

What you’ll need:

  • Newspaper
  • Coffee filters
  • Eye droppers or spoons
  • Blue and green food coloring

What to do:

  1. Take the supplies outdoors under the sun to maximize drying time.
  2. Lay out newspaper on a table or walkway.
  3. Put coffee filters on top of newspapers to catch excess water.
  4. Use eye droppers or spoons to apply drops of food coloring on coffee filters. You can also use blue and green markers for the same effect!
  5. Add a bit of water with a spray bottle to blur the lines between the blue and green, and watch as the Earth takes shape.

13. Create bottled hanging gardens

Share your love of gardening with your students by offering this fun tutorial on how to reuse a plastic bottle to construct a cute hanging garden.

What you need:

  • Pencil
  • Craft knife
  • Length of string
  • Thoroughly washed plastic bottle
  1. Grab the plastic bottle and the craft knife to slice a long line from 1 to 2″ from the mouth of the bottle down toward the bottom. Cut out a rectangle. (A teacher or parent should do this.)
  2. Poke a hole at each end of the bottle.
  3. Push yarn through each hole with a pencil. Tie a few knots.
  4. Fill the bottle with soil and plant seeds.

14. Take an Earth Day pledge

Since kids love to draw and doodle, put those talents to good use by creating an Earth Day pledge.

Make a list of the things kids would like to do to maintain the health of our environment:

  1. Plant trees
  2. Go paperless
  3. Turn off lights that don’t need to be on
  4. Use cloth grocery bags instead of plastic ones
  5. Try shampoo bars instead of the bottled variety
  6. Make cleaning products using lemon and vinegar
  7. Stick to the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
  8. Lower your carbon footprint by reducing trash output
  9. Spend more time outside than playing video games indoors
  10. Use energy-efficient LED bulbs — they last much longer than traditional bulbs

15. Take a virtual holiday

Since we can’t take vacations to explore faraway places, take a virtual day-trip with your family from the comfort of your living room.

Consider places you’ve always wanted to visit that showcase some of the most beautiful scenes Earth has to offer.

  1. Climb Mt. Everest
  2. Swim through a coral reef
  3. Visit Yellowstone National Park 
  4. Explore the Antarctic landscape
  5. Find the secrets of ancient ruins
  6. Try and spot the Northern Lights

Virtual holidays are a great way to enjoy the scenery without the environmental cost of flying. We can teach kids that this is a viable way to reduce their carbon footprint and still have fun, too.

16. Build a vegetable garden with your family

Get back to basics by starting a vegetable garden with the entire family. Make family time feel more significant by showing kids how to grow and care for their vegetable gardens.

Like we mentioned above, it’s important to stress creating “bee” gardens filled with lots of snacks for our favorite pollinators.

17. Go paperless!

The best way to show kids to go green is by teaching them clever ways to go as paperless as possible. We need trees to give us oxygen, so it makes sense to spare them from being pressed into magazines and other paper goods.

Some ideas include:

  • Try going printer-free for 30 days
  • Consider sending digital greeting cards instead of mailing them
  • Buy digital magazines to keep on your computers or tablets and out of landfill sites

There are several ways we can go paperless to help preserve our planet’s health — how many more can your kids think of?

18.Make Earth Day salt dough ornaments

Get creative with your family by making up a batch of salt dough!

  1. Begin by forming a ball with your hands and flattening it
  2. Put a small hole near the top so that you can thread a piece of yarn or twine to hang it up
  3. Use green acrylic or craft paint to brush on the continents
  4. Fill in the remaining areas with blue paint

Voila — you have the world in your hands!

19. Upcycle plastic and metal

What plastic and metal items do you have at home that you want to throw away? There are endless possibilities for reusing those pieces for something that you need.

For example, we can use small plastic tomato boxes as a pencil cup or hold colored markers for craft projects.

Did you know metal tins are easily reused as pieces of art?

20. Eat tasty dirt cup treats

No celebration is truly complete without dessert, so bake a delicious treat and include kids in Earth Day festivities. All you need are a few simple ingredients and your taste buds are celebrating, too!


  • Milk
  • Small cups
  • Oreo cookies
  • Gummy worms
  • One package of Jell-O instant chocolate pudding


  1. Make the mud by mixing chocolate pudding with three cups of milk.
  2. Evenly distribute the chocolate mixture in plastic or ceramic cups.
  3. Crush Oreos with your hands or in a sandwich bag to create “dirt”.
  4. Spread the crushed cookies on top of the pudding.
  5. Add the gummy worms on top to make a fun and delicious treat!


A Very Tessa February

February is the shortest month of the year, but not the least eventful! Here is what we have been up to recently.

Black History Month

Throughout the month of February, our classes emphasized the achievements of African-American figures, and African- American culture in their activities. Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. To observe Black History Month, our students have been reading or listening to books such as Dream Big or Black is a Rainbow Color, they have been doing craft activities related to African-American culture, learning about its History.


Valentine’s Day

Love was is the air around February 14! We invited parents to come into the classrooms to organize activities, children and teachers dressed in pink, white and red, love letter boxes filled up. Our parent organization also held two dances. It was a big success, and a lot of fun. It is so important to teach children to spread love around them!💗

Vacation Care

During the February Break, the school stayed open for Vacation Care. Vacation Care is offered to Tessa parents when school is not in session for breaks such as Winter Break or Spring Break and more. Vacation Care is in English and runs from 8.30AM to 6PM. The day involves structured play, arts and crafts, story-time, outside play, free-play, lunch, and is designed to be fun for our students!

In-Service Days

At the end of the February break there are days built into the academic calendar for teachers and staff members to have the opportunity to grow professionally by learning new things. Teachers explore emerging trends, best practices, and strategies to improve student outcomes. On the last day, we had a very interesting presentation by one of our nursery teachers on how to explore the topic of cultural origin in early childhood education. Our teachers are talented and dedicated individuals with various passions, centers of interest and talents. We all have a lot to learn from each other!

Composting with Tessa’s Lomi

In the hallways of Tessa, you can see a strange-looking machine. This is our new Lomi!

A Lomi is an appliance turning waste into dirt in a faster and cleaner way. We strongly believe change starts with children, and by teaching them good habits that can last a lifetime.

So starting on a voluntary basis, our classrooms are collecting food scraps from their lunches, and proceeding to compost them. Composting is an excellent hands-on science activity for kids. By composting, they will learn about the three environmental Rs (reduce, recycle, and reuse), what items are biodegradable, the importance of worms & insects, and much more.

We hope you liked this glimpse of the life at Tessa. And there is so much more happening! If you would like to know our school better, we invite you to come visit us!

Navigating School Safety During COVID-19

Navigating School Safety During COVID-19

As we move closer to our 7th month of school during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are settled in (as much as can be expected) to a new set of health and safety protocols that were introduced at the start of the school year. Now, with vaccinations beginning to roll out, our school communities have begun wondering how these safety protocols may be changing or what they can do to continue keeping families safe as we continue to navigate through this pandemic. As a refresher, let’s take a look at some of the best ways to maintain student and school safety during COVID-19.

COVID-19 School Safety

By now, we’ve all become accustomed to the school safety requirements that have come about over the course of the past year. We have become pros at hand-washing, mask wearing, coughing in our elbows, social distancing, and vigilantly keeping an eye on our health symptoms. We know to keep ourselves, and our family members, home from work or school if we show any signs of possible infection such as:

  • Fever
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Coughing and/or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Body Aches
  • Sore throat

Following the recommended safety guidelines and knowing the symptoms to watch for are the best ways to arm ourselves and our families against infection. But now that we are seeing vaccinations being rolled out, have the guidelines changed? Should we be practicing different safety protocols now?

Maintaining Safe Health Protocols

While we may be tempted to begin loosening our safety protocols as vaccinations become more dispersed, it’s important to understand we need to continue our same level of precautionary measures until they have been updated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and any additional local/school guidelines. In short, keep doing what you’ve been doing for the past several months in order to help us navigate through the pandemic.

Here at Tessa International, this means our staff and students/families will continue to follow our rigorous guidelines to keep everyone safe. This means, we will continue to:

  • Utilize staggered drop offs, pickups, and recess times for students
  • Limit building access to staff and students whenever possible
  • Daily temperature checks
  • Proper hand-washing and sanitizing at regular intervals and as needed
  • Mask wearing required for kindergarten and up, strongly encouraged for nursery and pre-k
  • Keep using indoor shoes or slippers
  • Toy and play items regularly disinfected as needed throughout the day
  • Daily professional deep cleaning of all areas
  • Use designated play areas only – non-Tessa-owned play equipment will not be used

Student Safety through the End of the Pandemic

We are extremely proud of our students, staff, and community members who have all pulled together to help navigate this health pandemic. Everyone has done a wonderful job putting health and safety first and limiting the risks of being exposed to COVID-19. We will continue to update you as we progress through the year and new developments come about. Keep up the good work, Tessa families!

Eating Healthy for a Better Immune System

The human body’s immune system is its best defense against disease. It does a remarkable job of keeping us healthy. But sometimes it fails: A germ invades successfully and makes you sick. Is it possible to intervene in this process and boost your immune system? What if you improve your diet? 

Diet is one of the most important factors to a healthy immune system.  Feeding your body certain foods helps keep your immune system strong. It is very important to teach children from a young age about a good and healthy nutrition, its benefits and functioning.  At Tessa, we try to implement these notions to our students during lunch, snacks and special activities. Parents can also help by developing healthy eating habits for themselves and their household.

No food or supplement can prevent illness but you may help support your immune system by including these nutrients in your eating plan on a regular basis:

Protein plays a role in the body’s immune system, especially for healing and recovery. 

Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system and protect against infections by keeping skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system healthy. 

Vitamin C supports the immune system by stimulating the formation of antibodies. 

Vitamin E works as an antioxidant and may support immune function. 

Zinc helps the immune system work properly and may help wounds heal.

Here are some examples of foods that contain those nutrients. But most importantly, variety is the key to proper nutrition. 

1. Citrus fruits


Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C.  Because your body doesn’t produce or store it, you need daily vitamin C for continued health. Popular citrus fruits include:

  • grapefruit
  • oranges
  • tangerines
  • lemons
  • limes
  • clementines

Other fruits loaded in vitamin C are kiwis and Papaya. 

2. Red bell peppers

red bell pepper

Surprisingly, bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus. They’re also a rich source of beta carotene. 

3. Broccoli


Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as many other antioxidants and fiber, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your table. The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible — or better yet, not at all.

4. Garlic


Garlic adds a little zing to food and it’s a must-have for your health. Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections.

5. Ginger


Ginger is another ingredient many turn to after getting sick. Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may also help decrease nausea.

6. Spinach


Spinach is rich in vitamin C and also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients. However, light cooking enhances its vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid.

7. Yogurt


Yogurts are a great source of vitamin D, so try to select brands fortified with vitamin D and plain yogurts. 

8. Almonds


When it comes to preventing and fighting off colds, vitamin E tends to take a backseat to vitamin C. However, vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system. Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats. A half-cup serving provides nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E. Other foods with high amounts of vitamin E include avocados and dark leafy greens.

9. Green tea

green tea

Both green and black teas are packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Where green tea really excels is in its levels of epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, another powerful antioxidant. EGCG has been shown to enhance immune function. Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T-cells.

10. Poultry


When you’re sick, chicken soup is more than just a feel-good food with a placebo effect. It helps improve symptoms of a cold and also helps protect you from getting sick in the first place. Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is high in vitamin B-6. Vitamin B-6 is an important player in many of the chemical reactions that happen in the body. 

11. Sunflower seeds

sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are full of nutrients, including phosphorousmagnesium, and vitamin B-6. They’re also incredibly high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.

12. Shellfish


Shellfish isn’t what jumps to mind for many who are trying to boost their immune system, but some types of shellfish are packed with zinc.

Zinc doesn’t get as much attention as many other vitamins and minerals, but our bodies need it so that our immune cells can function as intended.

Varieties of shellfish that are high in zinc include:

  • crab
  • clams
  • lobster
  • mussels


Coronavirus: Measures taken and Health reminders

At Tessa, The safety of our community is our top priority. While the number of disclosed cases in the area is still small, the situation is evolving rapidly. Knowledge is the most important key to avoid viruses to spread, we are therefore committed to regularly sending updates and relevant information.

Health Practices

Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends individuals and families follow the following everyday preventive measures:

  • Stay home when you are sick with respiratory disease symptoms. At the present time, these symptoms are more likely due to influenza or other respiratory viruses than to COVID-19-related virus. Faculty, staff and students should not return to school until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without medication.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.
  • Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces and objects

How to talk to your children about the virus

News of the coronavirus COVID-19 is everywhere, from the front page of all the papers to the playground at school. Don’t be afraid to discuss the coronavirus. Most children will have already heard about the virus or seen people wearing face masks, so parents shouldn’t avoid talking about it. 

Here are a few resources that can help: 

Here is a short institutional video we use to teach our students how to wash their hands.

What measures do we take at Tessa?

We ensure that every necessary measures are taken and closely follow the guidance of health experts across the CDC and WHO. 

Practices that we are enforcing in our classrooms include:

  • Using masks for children or teachers who are coughing 
  • Disinfecting door knobs, tabletops, counters, light switches, and toys several times a day
  • Revisiting hand-washing and coughing/sneezing lessons in each classroom and building on them to be even more thorough
  • Keeping children who show symptoms away from other children, and call parents to pick them up
  • Stocking up on sanitizers, gloves and masks to make sure not to run out

Travel To and From China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran

  • At Tessa, all employees and students are prohibited from traveling to  China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran until further notice. Both countries have been classified as “Level 3, Avoid Non Essential Travel” by CDC. Please note that travel restrictions include connections through these countries.
  • If allowed entry by U.S. authorities, any community member currently in China, including students, will only be allowed back to school or the dormitory if they return with a parent or other authorized guardian.  They must also stay out of school for 14 days or get the proper medical test that shows as negative for coronavirus conducted by an American physician and share that documentation with the Tessa leadership team.  Alternative assignments will be available if this guidance prevents students from attending school. 

Travel to Other International Locations

  • Other countries may be added to the restricted travel list as the WHO, CDC, and State Department update their travel warnings and other guidance. 
  • If any Tessa community member or anyone in their immediate household travels to other countries bordering China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran or countries with travel warnings, please contact our leadership team immediately so we can determine next steps. 

Contingency Planning

Tessa International school is committed to ensuring any potential closure of school be as least disruptive to student learning as possible.There are no plans to close school at this time, and the decision to close school and next steps forward will be in collaboration with public health experts. For Kindergarten and Primary classes, we are working on a distance learning plan in case the school was to be closed.

For more information and updates about COVID-19, please consult the following resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC)

World Health Organization (WHO)

New Jersey also has a 24-7 hotline devoted to your questions about the virus: 1-800-222-1222.

Black History Month Celebration at Tessa

At Tessa International School we value people whose achievements have changed the World in a positive way! The month of February has given us the opportunity to celebrate Black History. Each class celebrated their way.

Grade 1 students learned about  African-American women and men who fought to ban slavery, segregation and discrimination.  They discussed the importance of the implication of these changes have brought in the life of individuals.  One group of students appreciated how Frederick Douglass secretly learned to read and then taught the other African-Americans to read.  They found him so knowledgeable and caring.

Another group decided to discuss Sojourner Truth, a true caring woman who tried to find jobs for freed slaves.  

A third  group of students chose Mildred and Richard Loving, an interracial couple who successfully challenged Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage in the 1960’s. They were inspired by the couple’s love story, perseverance, and open-mindedness.  

A fourth group has chosen the risk-taker Harriet Tubman who helped slaves escape to freedom.

The last group worked on Viola Desmond, a Canadian anti-segregation activist, and Nelson Mandela, the late activist and leader of South Africa.

Yoa Meikle

Learning French is fun with TessaPrep!

Tessa International School’ offers Tessaprep After School French on Wednesdays and Fridays. TessaPrep classes include Spanish, French and Mandarin immersion classes offered by Tessa’s own team. They take place for 1.5 hours twice a week which we believe is the exposure necessary to give students a meaningful foundation in the language.

Here is what our After School Teacher, Ms. Aline, has to say about a recent lesson. 

At the after-school French program, we started our most recent lesson with a free-inquiry activity on the tables. Students chose from puzzles, drawings, geometry, and arts. Then, we had Circle Time about the lesson of the week. We had already studied the french alphabet, and now we are learning about fruits and vegetables. We are making sure that all the children are engaged in the lesson by making them participate by introducing themselves, describing the weather, counting, learning the names of colors, and also talking about their feelings. For each theme, a game is used to facilitate the learning process of the children.  Then, a logical thinking activity or art activity is proposed to the children of the program. We end the lessons with some French songs to keep them engaged.

Tessaprep is a fun way to learn French!

Woodworking at Tessa

Tessa International School has partnered with Kidbilt to provide an engaging afters-chool program devoted to woodworking.  Here is what they have to say about it:

In our after school woodshop class, kids as young as 4 years old are learning how to work with real tools building projects out of wood.  We take the kids through he entire woodworking process from start to finish.  We learn about where wood and lumber comes from and how it’s made.  The different species of wood look and feel different as well as have different properties.  Cherry wood is harder than pine. 
Students learn how to use the measuring tools such as rulers, squares, measuring tape and angle measure.  We measure and mark desired lengths of the project pieces before cutting them with a hand saw.  Students use a small hand pull saw one on one with the teacher.  We teach them the importance of using a woodworking clamp by attaching the piece we are working with securely to the table before using a saw so that the free hand can be at a safe distance away from the blade.  Students learn various joinery techniques – we use a drill to make pilot holes to attach pieces by using screws, nails or dowels.  In the process students are practicing hand eye coordination when using a hammer, a pincer grasp and fine motor skills when turning the screw in with a screwdriver.  Students are also taught various finishing techniques such as sanding with different grit paper, using mineral oil or using wax.  
Projects during the semester include, toy car/ vehicles, sail boat, airplane, bird feeder, tool box, step stool.  We try to make sure students are excited about the projects and ask for their input on what they would prefer building. 

A Celebration of Learning

At Tessa International School, for the End of Unit Celebration, students have been demonstrating different arts and crafts they have created related to the Unit of Inquiry, performing songs and dances,  or making short speeches about what they have learned. 

The Celebration of Learning is a part of the IB PYP curriculum framework and a  great way to develop a partnership between parents and schools. 

It is such a powerful opportunity for students to make their learning public and gain confidence by presenting it to an authentic audience.

Through this process, students can embrace the different learner profiles to reflect on their learning by communicating what they now know and what they are inquiring about. 

Are your children enthusiastic and proud to show you what they have inquired about? Are they able to explain it? Can they use some vocabulary of the targeted language ( French or Spanish)

Parents (and teachers) have on the other hand to show respect, curiosity, confidence and appreciation in the progress during the Celebration.

Do we show pride when we see our students accomplishing their goals? Do we empower them and give them ownership by  being curious and asking questions?

Indeed, “the PYP is a transformative experience for students, teachers and the whole school community. PYP students learn how to take control of their learning, teachers collaborate to deepen student- learning and increase their confidence and self-motivation. The whole school community, including parents, are viewed as partners in learning, and actively contribute to a holistic educational experience” 

For those reasons, we have to embrace every kind of progress as it is a demonstration of skills (socially and academically) they have acquired through the learning.

In the PYP, there is no standard way to do a celebration of learning as it is a reflection of the students work and progress. 

For that reason, teachers and students can choose the format but the most important thing is that celebrating your children’s learning is a way to realize an effective assessment which is profitable not only for teachers but also for students and parents.

Indeed, effective assessments allow students to:

  • share their learning and understanding with others;
  • demonstrate a range of knowledge, conceptual understanding and skills;
  • use a variety of learning styles, multiple intelligences and abilities to express their understanding;
  • know and understand in advance the criteria for producing a quality product or performance;
  • participate in reflection, self- and peer-assessment;
  • base their learning on real-life experiences that can lead to further inquiries;
  • express different points of view and interpretations;
  • analyze their learning and understand what needs to be improved.

And it allows parents to:

  • see evidence of student learning and development;
  • develop an understanding of the student’s progress;  
  • provide opportunities to support and celebrate student learning.

That being said, we had a wonderful Celebration of Learning last week!!!!

Elodie Sylvestre.

Tessa’s Chinese New Year Celebration

On February 1st, 2020 Tessa International School is excited to host its first Chinese New Year festival!

Chinese New Year (春节) is the Chinese festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. Observances traditionally take place from the evening preceding the first day of the year to the Lantern Festival, held on the 15th day of the year. 

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Lantern Festival

Chinese New Year is associated with several myths and customs. The evening preceding Chinese New Year’s Day is frequently regarded as an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. 

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Reunion Dinner

For the northern regions of China, dumplings are featured prominently in meals celebrating the festival(Dumpling Making, Blue Classroom). 

It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly clean their house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for incoming good luck. The lion dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune to family and business(Lion Dance, Purple Classroom). 

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Lion Dance

Another custom is watching performances with family members (Chinese Opera Mask Making, Green Classroom). 

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Chinese Opera

Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes to young generations (get a red envelope at the end of the activity at Purple Classroom).

During the week, our students prepared decorations for the celebration. You can find some of them below!

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Tessa International School

Office: (201) 755-5585 | Location: 720 Monroe St. Hoboken, NJ 07030