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King School

An independent day school educating students PreK-Grade 12

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Exploring Horses in the Lower School
PreK Horse Art
PreK Horse Riding

It was a chilly October morning when Prekindergarten teacher Jen Agro saw horses at King for the first time. Her students were way ahead of her, galloping around the schoolyard on cushions, bucking and neighing to each other. 

Over the next several days, stables sprouted up in the PreK classroom and horses were present throughout the school day. Within the week, Agro could see a course of study come into focus. 


For the next several weeks, the students studied horses. They explored different types of horses, and watched their behavior, parsing how they move, play, and eat. They also discovered the numerous jobs horses can have, as well as the sports they are used for. Students built a stable in their dress-up area. Some even made hobby horses, named them, and built stalls, which they decorated with nameplates. 

“We focused on process art, life drawing, and storytelling to explore the unit's content,” said Agro. “These experiences and materials support our learning goals such as story recall and sequencing, empathy, one-to-one correspondence, number sense, critical thinking, representational art and drawing, and fine and gross motor development.”  

In an inquiry-based environment that lets students lead the learning process, curriculum is borne out of moments like that one in October, when a watchful teacher plans activities and lessons based on student’s interests. The King Lower School Reggio Emilia program puts kids’ natural development front and center.

“I am always surprised at how much children learn and how capable they are in being protagonists for their growth when we listen to their interests and let the curriculum follow suit,” said Agro. “This unit reflects our Reggio-inspired and play-based approach because it came from carefully watching the students play and catering the curriculum to match their interests.”

Horse Toys

The culmination of the research is now on display throughout the Lower School where artwork lines the walls reflecting the many skills the children cultivated throughout the course. Through observational line drawings and three-dimensional paper-mache art pieces, students learned horse anatomy and developed fine motor skills. They made horse heads and practiced braiding, twisting, and decorating as they explored the different features and hairstyles horses have. 

Students also collaborated on a musical composition, writing a chorus about horses. Once the chorus was in place, each child wrote a verse, which they also illustrated. Agro recorded the chorus and the solos and assembled them into a digital piece that is available by following this link.

PreK Horse Art
Horse Art
Horse play
Horse Riding