Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Exploring nature

We continued our conversation about why we need to take care of Earth today. Many students said we needed to take care of Earth so it wouldn't be sad, would be happy and healthy! Before we talk about ways in which we can take care of Earth, I wanted the kids to explore the various beauties of mother nature!

Before venturing outside, we talked about what Earth is-we talked about how it's a planet in space and lots of people and other things live on it. O.B instantly made a connection to other planets from Star Wars! I passed around a globe and pointed out where we lived on it!

 Looking at the globe spurred a lot of other questions especially about what other items on the globe were. Many asked about the line going across the globe-the Equator! It was wonderful to see the spark of interest in geography---we will be doing more with geography since so many students showed great interest!

Armed with our clipboards, we took our classroom outdoors to sketch, explore and observe the variety of beautiful things that come from nature. Ask your child tonight, what things he/she found in nature! I absolutely loved how after our outdoor excursion, the students came in using the word "nature" frequently.
D.K and G.S talk about their sketches
O.B, G.A, A.R and J.A sketch their natural surroundings
Looking closely at the trees, dandelions and grass
G.P sketches the dandelions
We stopped by the rock garden to look closely at the rocks, D.K said there's "sparkles" in the rocks
G.A sketching a rock
A.K picked up a branch to sketch
our outdoor classroom
T.S and G.S were talking about how these leaves feel like "rubber"
K.W quietly sketches nature
The sketches will be extremely useful for our next activity which is creating nature boxes! I went to a local Payless Shoe store on Central Ave and they generously donated tons of shoe boxes for our classroom. We'll be painting the boxes, creating a backdrop of nature and adding 3 dimensional details we'll be collecting from outdoors and creating with beautiful junk.

We did some interactive writing today and created a list together of the things we saw! During interactive writing, we all stretch out the word together and take turns coming up to the paper to write the letter that correlated with the sound. Sometimes with quiet sounds (like the y in butterfly), I help the students out but otherwise this writing is completely theirs!

Tomorrow, we will begin our nature boxes! :)