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South Africa

April 21, 2021 | Bridget O'Dowd

After learning about maps, the kindergarten has decided to “travel” to South Africa! We began first by exploring and playing with animal figurines. After reading a little about the animals that live in South Africa we were eager to dive deeper! The children researched by looking through books and the Kruger Park’s (located in South Africa) website.


Each child decided what animal they would like to learn more about and sculpt!


Some children have begun sculpting their animals.


Some children have done research on their animal in books, Seesaw activities, and specially selected videos.


They recorded their findings and will use their research to write a nonfiction book about their animal.

Children have been bringing in objects and pictures from South Africa to share with the class. Our museum shelf is starting to fill up!

On Friday, we will go on a walking trip to observe what animals are living in our city and then we will compare them to the animals we’ve learned about and think about a South African city and if any of the animals we researched would live in a city.

On Monday, we will Zoom with a former MSS teacher, Ms. Zandi Sutton. Ms. Sutton is a South African native. In past years she has taught the kindergarten South African folk tales, songs, dances, and games. We are so glad that we will be able to learn from and ask questions of Ms. Sutton over Zoom!

Here are some things we’ve been wondering about South Africa:


Is it sunny there?

What kind of plants are there?

Does it rain or is it windy in South Africa?

Are there owls in South Africa and how do they eat the cactus juice?

Is there a species of bat called a megabat that lives in South Africa?

Do rhinos eat anything besides grass?

What people live in South Africa?

How do the people in South Africa cook their food?

Are there cavemen in South Africa?

How far is South Africa to Hoboken?

How do you get there?

Why do cheetahs live in South Africa?

How do so many animals live in South Africa?

Is there enough food for all the animals?

Is it just animals that live in South Africa?



We will start to learn about the different types of lands are animals live in. Then we’ll learn more about the culture, the people, and the cities in South Africa. We will compare our city to Johannesburg.

Bridget O'Dowd

Ms. O’Dowd came to Mustard Seed in 2017, after moving to Hoboken in 2016. She found a school and a community all in one package at Mustard Seed! Having taught kindergarten in Illinois before moving to New Jersey, Ms. O’Dowd has a passion for five-year-olds. She’s delighted to be a part of the kindergarten team and loves to read and share in story with students. Her favorite moment of the day is during a good read aloud, when she looks out and sees the faces of children showing empathy and emotion in response to the story. Ms. O’Dowd’s hobbies include exploring new neighborhoods, watching BBC documentaries, traveling to visit family, and eating her way through New York City.

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