Sunday, April 6, 2014

Celebrating Earth Day (and LOTS of TPT freebies)!

Hi! I'm Carolyn from Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together.  I love getting ready for Earth Day with my class.  There are so many fun things to learn and to do to help celebrate our world.  The best part is that you can do little bits here and there, and before you know it, your kids have learned a lot!  This is the time of year that I like to teach about trees, clouds, weather, and making the earth a better place.  Here are some of my favorite things to do...

My Earth Day Prezi  is available at my TPT store for free!  We love using parts of this each day. 
 
 
 
I have put together Earth Day  songs, games, activities, some nice clips from Sid the Science Kid about trees, as well as The Lorax movie by Dr. Seuss.  I hope you enjoy it!

Each year for Earth Day, my class goes outside with another class to "make the world more beautiful" by picking  up trash around our school. 

We have nice trails behind our school, and in the spring, they can use a good cleaning.  Each year I  think, "Oh I hope there is enough garbage for everyone to be able to pick some up."  Unfortunately I never have to worry- there is plenty!  :(

Each child has a glove on one hand and a bag in the other. They know our rules well:  Only touch garbage with the gloved hand. Never pick up glass. Stay with a buddy. Always be able to see  me... And, we always have a wonderful time! 
 
When we go on this adventure, I always like to have another class with us, so that we have two adults.  The kids are so well behaved because they love going outside, feeling grown-up, and realizing that they can make a difference. I still have children come back from years past and tell me that they remember our Earth Day Garbage Pick Up! 

We finish up by putting all of our small bags into huge bags to see what we have collected.
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Another fun outside activity for Earth Day is studying trees.

I love studying trees with my class.  I have a special place in my heart for trees, because growing up, my dad owned a sawmill.  He always knew everything about every tree, and we loved playing in the sawdust pile and visiting the mill.  When my children were small, one of my favorite memories is hiking in the woods with my parents, while my dad taught my kids all about different trees.  

These are some of my favorite books to read for our tree unit:
 
 
 
Here is a great freebie from Teach With Laughter to go with A Tree is Nice .
Earth Day - A Tree is Nice in All Seasons {Freebie}
It is a mini book  where students will print the name of one of the four seasons on each page, write about what they like about a tree during the season, and illustrate the pages. 
 
  
After we read The Giving Tree and talk about it, the children finish this picture and design a tree house in the tree. 

 
 
I just made a new version of this paper, as well as some other tree related papers.  If you would like  copy, just click on the picture below.
 
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw4BuVZdT_UxdGo1TGU0di1tVTA/edit?usp=sharing
My FAVORITE tree book  is:
 

 
In case you aren't familiar with the book, it is a wonderful story about an oak tree that falls in the woods and becomes a log. Animals and plants move in until the log decays and a new tree starts to grow.  It is another one of our FAVORITE circle stories!  :)
 
Right after we read and discuss this book, we go outside and look for our own log hotels.  We find lots of them! It is amazing once you start looking for something, how many you find.  We find the insects, holes, fungi- everything the book talked about.  (Except the snake, thank goodness!)
 
 
We also collect some interesting things to take inside to our investigation trays to study with our magnifying glasses.  Last year, we were lucky to find a slice of a small tree trunk, so we could really study the lines and even try to count them.
  
Another similar book that has beautiful illustrations is A Log's Life by Wendy Pfeffer. This is a fun follow-up book to read to review those log hotels. 
 
I have always loved the saying, "The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now."  We talk about what this saying means.   I try to explain to the children that they can't go back and plant a tree twenty years ago, so it is a good size today, but if they plant a tree this year, when they grow up, the tree will be grown up, too. (This is another paper in the little packet that I remade.) Here are some illustrations of this saying.
 
I like the tiny little sprout she drew in the lower left corner to show it starting to grow. 
 
 
I like how he drew the water cycle in this one.   Look at that evaporation going up! 

  
I love the simplicity of this one where she is just dropping her tree seed, but yet she added so much detail in her hat. This one just made me smile. 
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Another favorite activity for spring to help the children enjoy our earth is our Nature Treasure Hunt.  Since I live in Upstate NY, I usually wait to do our Nature Treasure Hunt until May, when the weather is nicer. 

I found some wonderful treasure hunts online to share with you!



This one is from The Bird Feed NYC.
Gwhizteacher shared this one.
I liked this one from No Wooden Spoons.
This one is from Playground Hunt.
This is our Nature Treasure Hunt that I remade.  Now that I have found some of these other ones, I may be using one of them this year!  If you would like a copy of mine, just click on the picture below.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw4BuVZdT_Uxd1lKNHgxYjM2M0k/edit?usp=sharing
I love the way Crafting-Crazy put the picture hunt right on the front of each bag with handles.  That way the children can put their treasures right into the bag.

One thing I always do is staple a line of stickers onto the Treasure Hunt paper for each child.  That way, the child can mark what was found with a sticker, and not have to keep track of a pencil.  I just staple all of it to a brown lunch bag.
 
I almost forgot the other essential item for this Treasure Hunt:
(After we meet back together and share our treasures, we like to enjoy a freeze pop.)
 
Before we head out, we meet on the rug in the classroom to read over what we will be looking for outside.  We discuss different things we could find for each treasure, and then hope we can find them!

I pair everyone up. We review our rules, and we are off.
 
Just what she hoped for, for "something soft!"
  
 
The were so focused on the goal- nobody even messed with those PUDDLES! YAY!
 
 Heading back to share!
 Treasure!
 
 
A more delicious "treasure!"
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I also love to introduce my children to Miss Rumphius right before  Earth Day.

This is such a thoughtfully written book that lets children begin thinking of different ways they can make the world more beautiful. After we read the story, I have the children retell it. We talk about the three things Alice wanted to do in her life : 1)  travel to far away places, 2) live by the sea, and 3) make the world more beautiful. We discuss why it is so important for each of us to do something to make the world more beautiful.  I found some good discussion questions here for the story.  (The questions are written for 8-11 year olds, but some are perfect for 'turn and talks' and class discussions. 

The children are always anxious to write about how they can each make the world more beautiful. I loved some of the answers!

 

(I will make heart shaped pools.)
 
  (Hunter LOVES the color melon pink- so he is going to paint all the roads! :)

 And finally...  How could that smile not make the world a better place? 
I put all of our pictures together to make a book for each child.  I put their colored picture on top, and then put the black and white copies of the other children's pictures underneath. 
 

 
Next we decorate our planting cups with lupines.  I show them how to make one dot, then two, three, four, and five.
 
Then, we plant our lupine seeds!
This year, we planted our lupine seeds in these little pots so they will be ready to give for Mother's Day.
We also made a poster for our room to help us remember what we need to do!
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I want to share a couple posts that I wrote at my blog with you.  Each one has TONS of ideas and freebies, and would be  great additions to Earth Day lessons!
 
 
"Weather"
Whether the weather be fine,
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Or whether the weather be hot,
We'll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not!
Author: unknown
 

I wrote a post at my blog ALLLLL about Clouds.  My children loved learning about clouds. This post has LOTS of TPT freebies and ideas to help teach children about clouds. 

Here are some of my favorite books about clouds:

 
 
I wrote another post about The Water Cycle.  
These are my favorite books to teach about the water cycle. 

This post goes right along with clouds. We love, love, love learning about the water cycle.  Maybe because I love, love, love this song:
 
 
I can't wait to have my children each make a marbled earth this year! I think they are so pretty.
 
Teaching with TLC shows how to make them.  They look easy to do- with only shaving cream and blue and green paint. 
  
Here are some FABULOUS Earth Day freebies that I found at TPT and wanted to share with you.  ENJOY!  (And leave some wonderful feedback if you download any of these items!)



Rachelle Smith shared a fabulous Earth Day Mini Unit!
Earth Day Mini-Unit {Freebie}Earth Day Mini-Unit {Freebie}Earth Day Mini-Unit {Freebie}
Kaleigh's Klassroom shared this great packet, with some fun True/False questions that make great conversation starters.

Earth Day Freebies!Earth Day Freebies!Earth Day Freebies!

Danielle Mastandrea has a great Earth Day Writing Activity and Headband.
Earth Day Freebie- Includes Writing Printables & HeadbandEarth Day Freebie- Includes Writing Printables & HeadbandEarth Day Freebie- Includes Writing Printables & HeadbandEarth Day Freebie- Includes Writing Printables & Headband

Educational Creations has a packet that includes many cute activities in it for Earth Day, including a cute song, earth number cards, and coloring sheets!
Earth Day

I love Phyllis Sprangle's Earth Day Packet!  The children can design a T shirt and do several different writing activities.
Earth Day ActionsEarth Day Actions
Ashley Reed has a fun packet that includes a word search, ABC order activity, and a writing activity.
Earth Day Activity Pack FREEBIEEarth Day Activity Pack FREEBIEEarth Day Activity Pack FREEBIEEarth Day Activity Pack FREEBIE

Angelia Grimes Graeme has an adorable Earth Day Sight Word Game!
Earth Day Sight Word Game Freebie!Earth Day Sight Word Game Freebie!Earth Day Sight Word Game Freebie!Earth Day Sight Word Game Freebie!
Grade School Giggles has a cute Writing Craftivity!
Earth Day Writing "Craftivity"
Stephany Dillon has a cute Earth Day Sentence Editing Activity.

Earth Day Sentence Editing FreebieEarth Day Sentence Editing FreebieEarth Day Sentence Editing Freebie

These coloring pages from Mrs. Wheeler are a fun activity for Earth Day.
Earth Day Coloring PagesEarth Day Coloring PagesEarth Day Coloring Pages
 
The Daily Alphabet has a wonderful emergent reader for Earth Day.
Earth Day: The World We Live In Emergent ReaderEarth Day: The World We Live In Emergent Reader
 
Erin Royal Baloo has a color word emergent reader which features different colored recycle bins!
Earth Day Color BookletsEarth Day Color BookletsEarth Day Color Booklets
Over the MoonBow has a fun number sequencing game ,using numbers to thirty.
Earth Day Squeeze Number Game
 

Here is some ten frames practice with teen numbers from Amy Swan!
Earth Day Teen Frame (10 Frame) math center/station FREEBIE!!Earth Day Teen Frame (10 Frame) math center/station FREEBIE!!Earth Day Teen Frame (10 Frame) math center/station FREEBIE!!
 
Miss Balius has a wonderful Earth Day ELA and Math Packet.
Earth Day: Reduce-Reuse-Recycle Frog Math and Writing Fun!Earth Day: Reduce-Reuse-Recycle Frog Math and Writing Fun!Earth Day: Reduce-Reuse-Recycle Frog Math and Writing Fun!Earth Day: Reduce-Reuse-Recycle Frog Math and Writing Fun!
 
These Earth Day Certificates of Recognition from Growing Smart Readers will be a HUGE hit in my class!
Earth Day Certificate of Recognition-Free!Earth Day Certificate of Recognition-Free!Earth Day Certificate of Recognition-Free!

 Cassidy Kohler has a cute Earth Day Rhyming Word Families freebie.
Earth Day Rhyming Word Families
 
 
Low Cost Science shared an Earth Day Spot the Difference Activity. My kids will love this!

 Earth Day Spot the Differences
I love this Earth Day Easy Reader from Mrs. Sosa.
 
Earth Day Easy ReaderEarth Day Easy Reader
Little Miss Kindergarten has a sweet Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Poem at her TPT store.


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Poem
Lindsay Coffin shared a sweet Class Book: My Favorite Thing to Do Outside.
Class Book: My Favorite Thing to Do OutsideClass Book: My Favorite Thing to Do OutsideClass Book: My Favorite Thing to Do Outside

 

I hope you found some fun Earth Day activities to do with your children!  Spring is such a wonderful time to teach the children to love and take care of our earth. 

I would love you to stop by my blog, Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together, and follow my facebook page.  Also, all of my Prezis are free at my TPT Store!  I have  23 different ones.

Thank you for stopping by!


 

 







 

4 comments:

  1. Wow! What a wonderful resource! Thank you for taking the time to share.
    Julie

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    Replies
    1. I am so glad it is helpful for you, Julie! Thank you so much for writing! Enjoy!

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  2. Fabulous list of resources, Carolyn! Thanks! I pinned your post to my Kids' Earth Day Every Day Activities Board: http://www.pinterest.com/debchitwood/kids-earth-day-every-day-activities/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Deb! I appreciate that so much! :)

      Delete

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