Caring for the Earth

Earth Day is on April 22nd each year, so we spend that week learning about how to care for the earth. Our first activity was to make earth necklaces out of potting soil and glue. It was a very messy job!

We also read the Dr. Seuss book, The Lorax. The kindergartners made Lorax mustaches to go with a writing activity. They used marbles to paint blue and green backgrounds for their Lorax pictures.

We learned about recycling, through a Magic School Bus video. We also learned about litter while playing a cleanup game. The kindergartners had a pond full of litter that needed to be cleaned out. The team who clean out their pond first was the winner. The catch in the game was that if a person landed on a raccoon, a piece of litter had to be put back in the pond.

Animals Fun!

Before spring break, we completed a couple of science units about animals. The first unit discussed animals and their needs. The students made animal log books by completing pages on living and non-living things, animal needs, habitats, and a few other topics.

We read the book Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type and performed a reader’s theater version of the book for the pre-k class. The kindergartner chose a farm animal and wrote letters to Farmer Brown as that animal. They also made paper plate animals to go with the letters.

We played a game called, Omnivore, Carnivore, Herbivore. Students were given a shirt identifying the type of animal they were. Then the running began as some of the “animals” tried to keep from being caught (eaten) and some tried to catch their food. It was a fun, but exhausting game.

The unit included an animal research project. The kindergartners made flip books and presented their projects to the class.

We ended the unit with a pet showcase day where the students were allowed to bring pets from home. We had several dogs and a cat visit the class. The students that couldn’t bring their pets brought pictures instead.

St. Patrick’s Day Fun

We always have fun celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in kindergarten. It begins the day before when the kindergartners get to present the leprechaun traps they made at home. The traps get set up at the end of the day with high hopes that a leprechaun will be caught. As in the past, this year was much the same. The kindergartners arrived to a very messy classroom and messy traps as well. The meant the first thing on the agenda was to clean up the green footprints and put everything back in order. We then spent the day doing St. Patrick’s Day themed activities which ended with a scavenger hunt that lead to a yummy snack!

Mt. Rushmore Presidents

We recently completed a unit about Mt. Rushmore’s Presidents. We began with George Washington – our country’s first president. We read several books about his life and made a tri-corner hat that included facts about his life. We also read the book, George Washington’s Teeth, which told the tale of his teeth and the trouble that he had with them. We learned that when he became president he only had two teeth left. He wore false teeth made from a combination of human teeth, animal teeth, and ivory.

Next, we learned about America’s third president – Thomas Jefferson. He was an avid reader and donated thousands of books to the Library of Congress. He was a brilliant man who designed his own house and invented a number of things. He was the writer of the Declaration of Independence. The kindergartners used quill pens and “ink” to trace over some of the famous words from this important document. Jefferson also spent five years in France and returned home to introduce several new foods to America – French fries, macaroni and cheese, tomatoes, and ice cream. We had our own Jefferson feast!

Abraham Lincoln was the next president that we talked about. He was born in a log cabin and helped his dad build one as well. He loved to read and would walk several miles just to borrow a book. He was known for his honesty, which earned him the nickname Honest Abe. He wore a tall, black hat where he put important papers and letters. We also read the book, Mr. Lincoln’s Whiskers, which is the story of a young girl who wrote to President Lincoln suggesting that he grow whiskers. In the book there are copies of the letters they exchanged. The kindergartners crafted Lincoln’s face and added paper-torn whiskers. They gave him a tall, black hat with a letter inside.

Theodore Roosevelt was the final president we discussed. During the Spanish-American war, he organized a volunteer calvary called the Rough Riders. He was also instrumental in making National parks around the country. The kindergartners used colored pencils and watercolor paints to complete a picture of Roosevelt as a Rough Rider. Then to remind them of his role in setting aside land, they painted forest scenes using paint brushes and their fingertips.

We also learned that the teddy bear was named after Theodore Roosevelt. To celebrate that fact, we had an indoor teddy bear picnic. The kindergartners brought teddy bears to school and we ate bear shaped sandwiches, a forest of vegetables, pretzel sticks, “bear”ies, and ice ream made to look like a bear’s face.

The kindergartners researched one of the four presidents and wrote about his life. They presented the reports to the class and then made paper dolls to go with them.

Celebrating Dr. Seuss!

We spent the day celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday. We began by dressing up as Things and taking class pictures with The Cat in the Hat.

We read the book, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut and made some fun “reading glasses.”

We read the tongue twisting book, Fox in Socks and played a rhyming game using socks.

Wacky Wednesday was the next book out our list. The kindergartners came back from p.e. to find twenty wacky things in the classroom. They explored the room trying find all the things wrong.

We read about all the exciting “fun” with Thing 1 and Thing 2 in The Cat in the Hat book. Afterwards, we played an entertaining game called, I Can Do That.

We listened to the book, Bartholomew and the Oobleck. We had some messy fun playing with the oobleck we made in class.

We ended the day watching an old version of Horton Hears a Who and making a Cat in the Hat snack out of bagels, cream cheese, pretzels, raisins, strawberries and bananas. Yum!

American Symbols

During our earlier continent unit, we talked about one of the American Symbols – The Statue of Liberty – while learning about North American. Recently, we began learning more about the symbols that represent this great country. We began our focus on the flag. We talked about its colors, nicknames, and what the stars and stripes represent. The kindergartners made a construction paper flag and wrote a description about it.

We learned that the National bird is the bald eagle. Benjamin Franklin wanted the wild turkey, but we’re glad the bald eagle was chosen. We discovered that bald eagles are only found in North America, have incredible eyesight, and represent strength and freedom. Last year’s class made a life-sized bald eagle. The kindergartners enjoyed seeing how they measured up to these majestic birds. They also made bald eagles with their foot and handprints.

We discussed The White House next. We learned that George Washington picked the place to build the famous house, but he never lived in it. It took eight years to build and has 132 rooms and 32 bathrooms.

Seasons and Weather

We spent a couple of weeks learning about seasons and weather. We learned how the tilt of the earth – as it orbits the sun – affects the seasons. Each kindergartner made a sun by squishing red, yellow, and orange paint under plastic wrap.

Each season is unique and has special things about them. We talked about how we dress, animal behavior and seasonal affect on trees. The kindergartners made pictures showing the same tree during each season. They painted backgrounds and used their fingers to “paint” snow, flowers, leaves, and animals on the pictures.