Monday, April 21, 2008

Lead up to Earth Day lesson 2

  • Hello song with sign language
  • Attendance-monkey pen (instead of saying "here" child,makes a monkey sound.
  • Calendar-helping hand puts a sticker on appropriate day all children count together,then make note of day,month,year
  • Tell the story of "Little Seed's Journey" do actions eg. pretend to be the wind etc. (story attached below)
  • Find lost item-This week I repurposed old calendars,by cutting out the large month by month pics,then the smaller matching pics on the back cover.I hid the small versions all around the room and had the kids bring back then find the appropiate match which was laid out on the floor in front of me.
  • Obstacle course- kids go through course and answer questions throughout.Eg a pic of a child brushing teeth and leaving the water running..."What's wrong with this picture?" each correct answer(which may need to be coached) leads the ch8ild to the next obstacle.
  • Have children pretend to be popcorn.Curled up in a ball on their feet,bouncing until they cannot stand the pressure any longer then they explode into popcorn!(at this time they should be standing in a star position.)This is a good lead up to craft.
  • CRAFT!Earth's amazing power! Volcano!

-Supplies needed

-Collect clear plastic film canisters.Or go to a local developer and ask for their cast offs. Ensure they are the kind in which the lid fits firmly inside the canister regular black canisters will not work for this but if you do acquire some, hang onto them for other crafts.

-Toilet paper

-Baking soda

-Vinegar in a small squeeze dispenser

-Baby spoon or small spoon

Give each child a square of TP and have them scoop a small amount of baking soda into the center of the square.Help them fold the square tightly to hold in powder. Squeeze vinegar into canister about 1/4 full.Have the child drop folded tissue into the vinegar filled canister the n have an ADULT, QUICKLY push the lid on firmly, then back up!

The result is a loud and powerful POP!When the lid flies off! Be warned,This is a messy craft!:)

But the kids LOVE it!

  • Free time (or what happened in my class was that they all just wanted to keep making volcanoes)
  • Goodbye song with signs.

Little Seed’s Journey

(As you tell this story,have the children act out what is happening eg. pretend to be blowing wind and a growing seed etc)

1) Once upon a time, in a place not far form here, there was a tiny seed, which became tired of living in the country, so it caught a ride with the wind to find a new place to grow.
2) The wind was very fast and before the seed knew it, it had been blown into a city where there were many tall buildings, many cars, and many, many people.
3) The wind spiraled through the streets, under and over the cars and around the buildings until it came to the very center of the city, the busiest part of all.
4) "The time has come for you to land my seed friend", Whispered the wind, "I am trapped and cannot blow any farther." With that the wind spiraled one last time and disappeared, gently dropping its friend to the ground.
5) At first the ground seemed quiet, but hard and strange. It wasn’t long before the seed felt a great rumbling and a cool shadow hovering over it.
6) The shadow belonged to a dog; the kind that ladies like to carry in their purse. To people this dog would seem tiny, but to the seed it was HUGE!
7) The dog sniffed the ground (as dogs do), SNIFF, SNIFF, SNIFF, until it sniffed the seed right….up….its…. nose! "EWWWWWW!" cried the seed.
8) The seed didn’t want to grow up inside a dog’s nose! It wiggled and squirmed until, "AH AHH AHH CHOOO!" The dog sneezed the seed right into a crack in the sidewalk, next to a building.
9) The seed was happy it had found some soil. It did not like being on the hard sidewalk and it DID NOT like being up the dog’s nose!
10) "Wow, what a crazy day!" Thought the little seed. "I am tired and I don’t want that to happen again! YECCH!" So the seed nestled itself down into the soil, just like you snuggle into your blankets at night. "Ahhhh" said the seed, "this is nice!" And it went to sleep for 6 whole days!
11) When the seed awoke it felt …different…almost taller. It quickly realized that it was in fact taller! The seed had sprouted and was now a tiny plant!
12) Although the seed had grown, it was still so tiny that it seemed to remain undetected by all the passers-by.
13) "Look at me!" the little seed shouted, "look how big I am!" But no one noticed.
14) Weeks passed like that; hundreds of feet going by and never stopping to see the tiny new plant. With leaves stretched out, basking in the sun or drinking in the rain, the little plant passed the days by counting shoes. Black shoes, brown shoes, red shoes, shoes with spots, shoes with skulls, shoes with bugs (those made the plant the most nervous.)
15) One day, a pair of shiny black shoes stopped. The little plant became excited! "Look at me! Look how I’ve grown!" The shiny black shoes were acting very strange. They would shift from side to side but would never really go anywhere, once they even kicked the wall of the building next to the little plant!
16) The little plant became frightened and did not want to be noticed anymore. It trembled with every angry stomp of the shiny black shoes! The plant hoped the shoes would go away soon, but instead something even scarier happened! Out of the sky, ashes and smoke started to fall! A tiny spark landed on the little plant’s leaf burning a hole right through!
17) "Owwww!" Cried the frightened little plant. Suddenly a burning stick came crashing to the earth next to the plant! "COUGH! COUGH! I CAN’T BREATHE!" shouted the little plant. The heat from the fire was becoming unbearable for the little plant! Then another scary, but lucky thing happened, one of the shiny shoes lifted up and landed right on top of the burning stick with one last great THUD and a frightening twist, the fire was out!…
18) The plant was happy the fire was gone but it did not like the sound of the stick breaking apart under the crushing weight of the shiny black shoes. "What if I get stomped on?!" worried the little plant. "Oh I wish I could hide!"
19) Now, there is a saying that goes, "Be careful what you wish for." And in this case, the little plant wished, it had wished more carefully.
20) No sooner had the plant wished to hide, than a paper cup came crashing down, landing right on top of the little plant……
21) It was very dark and quiet inside the cup, and the air smelled strange.
22) "Hellooooo? Hellooooo?" called the little plant. "Doesn’t anyone know I am in here?" the little plant paused… " Doesn’t… anyone… care?" the little plant was so sad, it could no longer feel the warm sunshine, or taste the cool rains which often came with the breeze. The little plant could still hear shoes walking by and would call out. "HELP! HELP!" But no one ever stopped.
Many days passed that way until the plant gave up and stopped calling out.
23) The little plant was becoming pale without sunshine and fresh air, and could not grow under the weight of the cup. The little plant had lost all hope of being free again and instead it dreamed of the way things might have been if it had never left it’s home in the country. It dreamed of families playing and laughing. It dreamed of growing tall and waving its leaves in the wind and children waving back.
24) The little plant could almost hear the sound of little shoes running, pit-pat, pit-pat, pit-pat. This made the little plant feel happier. Then, strangely, the pitter- patter of little feet became louder. It realized that it was no longer dreaming but could actually hear little shoes! Pit- pat- pit –pat- pit- pat pit- pat pit- pat. The wilted little plant leaned up against the wall of the paper cup so it could hear more clearly. Pit –pat- pit -pat –pit- pat- PIT –PAT- PIT- PAT then silence.
25) "Where did they go?" wondered the little plant. It strained to hear the little shoes, but instead heard a little voice. "Mommy, look!" Then a bigger voice, "It’s just a cup, it’s garbage honey don’t touch it." Then suddenly and without warning, the cup was lifted and the little plant fell over where it was leaning. SPLAT!!!
26) "OHHH Mommy look! It’s a little plant!" said the little voice.
"It’s probably just a weed, honey," said the bigger voice.
"It looks so sad," said the little voice.
"It looks dead," said the big voice.
27) "Look Mommy, it has a burn hole on its leaf! What happened?"
"Someone probably dropped a cigarette, I suppose," answered the bigger voice.
"Awww, poor little thing! We can’t just leave it there! It needs some love, can we help it Mommy pleeeeee-ase?" the little voice quivered.
"Honey, this plant is sickly, it probably won’t make it."
"We have to try! We have to! It’s so small and it’s all alone!" the little voice sobbed
"SIGH! Alright sweetie," the bigger voice sighed, "we’ll dig it up and bring it home." Said the bigger voice softly. " But you have to know that this little plant is not very healthy, it may not grow."
28) The big voice came closer and showed that it belonged to a very kind face. Then the little voice came closer and showed that it too belonged to a kind face, one which looked just like the bigger one…only smaller. A mommy and her little girl!
29) Very slowly, and very gently the two kind people proceeded to dig up the little plant." We need to make sure we dig deep enough to bring all of the roots." Instructed the Mommy.
"Why?" asked the little girl.
"The roots are how the little plant stays in the ground, and doesn’t blow away with the wind. They also help to feed the little plant, kind of like how you drink through a straw." Answered the Mommy.
30) "Ok" said the mommy, "we’ve dug deep enough. Now, how are we going to get this little plant home?"
"The cup! The cup!," Exclaimed the little girl.
"Good idea!" replied the mommy.
The little plant felt ten tiny fingers gently lift its withered leaves from the sidewalk. Then ten larger fingers wrap around its roots.
31) "Ready? On three, count with me." Both voices counted, "ONE, TWO, THREE!" With that the little plant was lifted from its home on the sidewalk and was transplanted into the paper cup. The very thing, which had taken away hope, was now offering a second chance! The little plant felt itself being lifted higher and higher, but did not know where it was going, much like it felt when it rode the wind.
32)"Wake up little plant," whispered the girl. "We’re here! This is my flower box, these are the pansies," she introduced, "these are the marigolds and these are… well I don’t know what these are, but I like them anyway; kind of like you!" Giggled the little girl. "I hope you like it here." The little plant could hear the girl and her Mommy talking but did not know what they were doing.
33)"Ok, little plant, here we go," said the Mommy, "are you ready honey?"
"Yes!" answered the little girl excitedly.
"O.K. on three again," said the Mommy, "Ready? Count with me, one, two, THREE!" The little plant felt itself being turned upside down, then right side up again. This made the little plant dizzy!
34) When the plant felt everything had finally stopped spinning, it seemed as though its roots were back in the ground, and yet, were somewhere new. Its tiny leaves rested against the moist black soil and the sun beat down, and had never felt so good as it did right then!
35) "You know what?" said the Mommy.
"What?" asked the girl.
"I think your little plant looks like it’s feeling a bit better already!"
And it was!
36) Not many weeks later, the little plant had recovered beautifully, and once again spread out its leaves and had even found out that it too was a marigold! The little girl delighted in the shadow cast by the leaf with the hole, She said to her it looked like a hedge- hog!
37) The little plant was very happy in it’s flower box and learned that it lived on something called an ‘apartment patio’. Although the little plant, which was now a little flower, had not made it back to the country where it had begun its journey, it was very happy living in the apartment flower box, with all the other little plants and flowers and two special people, who cared enough to stop and notice a tiny little plant which just needed a little love and attention.
The End

By the way, the paper cup turned out to be one of those roll up the brim and win cups…and do you know what it said? "Please play again!"…of course.

Written by Tamara Seeley-Carpenter

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