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Friday, June 7, 2013


Adopt a Tree
Let the children “adopt” a special tree on the playground.  Vote on a name for your tree and then take photos of it in different seasons.  Read stories or sing songs in the shade of your tree.
*Draw pictures of your tree or write descriptions.  (Great for informative writing.)
*Have children hug a tree, close their eyes, and listen.

Check out a tree identification book from the library.  Walk around your playground as you engage the children in identifying different trees and plants.  
What characteristics (bark, leaves, fruit) do biologists use to classify trees?

Have children brainstorm (large group or small group) all the products that come from trees.

Nature Walks
The world is full of wonderful things just waiting to be discovered by young children.  Practice using your senses as you take different walks on your playground or at a nearby park.  
*Use your sense of hearing as you take a "listening" walk.  When you return to the classroom have children recall all the sounds they heard.
*Give children clipboards and pencils to take on a "sight" walk.  Encourage them to write words, draw pictures, or write sentences of things they see.
*On a "touch" walk you could ask children to find different objects and describe how they feel.  Can they find something soft?  Rough?  Hard?  Sticky?  Bumpy?  Smooth?  Prickly?
*How about a "Nose Knows" walk where children hunt for different aromas?

Take children outside in the morning.  Point where is the sun coming up with your right hand.  That direction is north.  Point to the opposite direction with your left hand.  That direction is west.  Your face is north and your back is south.  Here’s a song to help you remember!
(Tune:  “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”)
The sun is rising in the east, uh-huh, uh-huh.  (Point with right hand.)
The sun is setting in the west, uh-huh, uh-huh. (Point with left hand.)
My nose is north.  (Point in front of you.)
My tail is south.    (Point behind you.)
And so I turn myself around  (Turn around.)
And the sun keeps rising in the east.
Uh-huh, uh-huh.

Human Sun Dial
Have one child face north at 9:00 in the morning.  Mark where they are standing and draw their shadow with chalk.  Have the child stand in the same spot and record their shadow at various times in the school day.

Hiker’s Necklace
Using a hammer and nail, make a hole in the bottom of a film container and in the lid.  (An adult will need to do this.)  Cut a piece of cord or string that can easily go over the child’s head and thread it through the holes.  Decorate with stickers and markers.  Put a band-aid, the child’s name and address, a piece of gum, etc. inside.  These would also be handy for a nature walk or a field trip.
Hint!  You can still find film containers where they develop photographs.