Tuesday, April 8, 2008

lead up to Earth Day lesson

  • Tuesday April,08/08
  • Every lesson starts by singing a hello song with sign language.(I found a wonderful site on sign language called ASL Browser)
  • Next we take attendance using a pen with an animal on it.When I call their name they say the sound of the animal rather than "Here" or "Present".I found this really brings the kids out of their shells.Today was a cow.
  • Calendar-This is an activity which is encouraged to be reinforced at home.The "helping hand" for the day,gets to choose a sticker(one which is relevant to the theme ;Farm animals today)and place it on the appropriate day.All other days leading up to today are filled in ahead of class.Then we all count the stickers and name the days of the week, then the month and year.
  • Read a small book on farm animals.
  • Refer to bulletin board display sing 'Old MacDonald' then 'The cows give us milk' etc. to the 'Farmer in the Dell'(I think I heard it on Baby Einstein first)
  • Talk about foods which come from farmers and how these foods start as tiny seeds and that they could not grow without soil,water,clean air and sunshine.Talk about litter and pollution and ask if they think the seed would grow well in poor conditions.Then relate the same ideas to them.Eg. If they breathed in smokey air and ate junk food would they grow well?Expand into healthy foods vs. sometimes foods.(Please note-due to different cultural beliefs definitions of "healthy" will vary.)
  • Have the children pretend to be seeds,then slowly start to grow and close their eyes and pretend to feel the warm sunshine then have them spread their leaves or branches or whatever,and then sway making wind sounds.At this time while they are swaying with their eyes closed use a plant mister and mist the air above them so that they feel the rain then praise them for having such amazing imaginations that you could feel the rain!
  • We then move on to find "Miss Tamara's lost item."Every week I "lose" something and hide it all over the classroom.This week I lost my apples and bananas(re-used from previous "A and B" lessons)and was unable make any fruit salad unless my fruit was found.When the items are returned they are sorted into proper categories. This is an important part of the game they are not allowed to just throw the items and run off, they must categorize.Sometimes this includes color or letter recognition/matching skills.

This game is a weekly favorite! The kids are always so proud to have helped "Poor Miss Tamara who is always losing things!"They just come to life when they hear it is time help!

  • After I have thanked them for finding my fruit.We then talk about the air we breathe out being the air the plants breathe in and vice versa and how we need each other to survive.
  • I segue into saying we need something plants do not need, exercise! From here we do an obstacle course over mountains, through tunnels etc.Which always ends in a craft.
  • Todays craft was first seen on naturemoms.com.We used toilet paper tubes,with the bottoms cut and folded ,(a great pre-school do it yourself activity) and filled them with soil misted the soil, then planted our very own marigold seeds.(Marigolds grow quickly.)

I brought out markers for the kids to write their names and quickly realized that the kids felt the tubes should have been decorated first!I saw a Mom taking pictures during this activity,if I get ahold of one, I will be sure to post it!

  • I expanded the option to the parents to create their own mini -greenhouse using a clear water bottle: cut off the bottom,leave the lid on ,slice small slits for air vents around the middle or lower so as not to lose as many droplets of water via evaporation.I also explained that this makes it easier to care for the plant.Less need for watering due to the natural water cycle.
  • Free play
  • Story time-Today we read "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!" I explained why public transport and ride sharing was important,to lessen pollution.The book doesn't address this issue at all,I just really wanted to read it because I thought it would be fun! And it was !:){Great book for teaching little ones to say no against peer pressure though,predictably my accomodating little one allowed the pigeon to drive after the pigeon's first "Please?"Ah well it was cute!}
  • Goodbye song using sign language.

Please let me know if this was useful to you.


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