Tree planting is the most popular Earth Day event and one of the most common activities people associate with helping the Earth. Before starting this activity, we took a walk around the front yard and took of tour of the different trees.
Each student was asked a series of questions. What is your favorite tree? Why do you like trees? How do trees help us? How can we help the world by planting trees? After that we planted to small saplings into a planter. Students each took a turn, digging a small hole. They then worked together to place the tree inside the hole, and finished up the job by covering it with earth.
For preschoolers, daily life IS learning. Research indicates that all children can learn about anything and should have the opportunity to become scientifically literate as early as possible. Effective science learning requires hands-on contact with materials, time to investigate and manipulate those materials and time to contemplate the results.
Researchers also note that active, hands-on learning provides the most meaningful and relevant learning experiences for children. It is for this reason that your child was given the opportunity to observe and manipulate the various parts of a tree. To begin with, we read a short book about the various components of a tree.
Your child learned about the trunk (located underground), the vascular tissue (which carries water from the roots to the leaves), the bark (which protects the inside of the tree), and the leaves. Your child then examined a piece of bark with a magnifying glass, using words to describe it.
Some students regarded it as bumpy, scratchy, hard, and rubbery. Following this, your child felt both the bark on a real tree, and the vascular tissue underneath.
Students used words to descibe the vascular tissue as well. Some words they used for this feature was soft, smooth, shiny, and wet.
Recent trends in education have focused on an integrated curriculum. Children learn best when subject matter is meaningful and useful, and literature brings meaning to science. Education that is organized in such a way that it cuts across subject-matter lines, bringing together various aspects of the curriculum into meaningful association, provides children with a better understanding of the subject. It views learning and teaching in a holistic way and reflects the real world, which is interactive.
Since we have been learning all about trees this week, we decided to expand upon this theme with the book, Chicka Chicka 1,2,3. Chicka Chick 1,2,3 is a counting story book that first counts 1-20 as the numbers climb the apple tree.
After numbers 1-20 are in the apple tree the story then counts by tens, eventually reaching 100. We initially read this book during snack, and then your little ones built their very own trees with playdoh and cookie cutter numbers.
This activity served several developmental purposes. First, it demystified the concept of a large number to, it encouraged counting and one-to-one correspondence, and strengthened students’ fine motor skills as the manipulated the playdoh.
Southern California’s four national forests (Los Padres, Angeles, San Bernardino, and Cleveland) boast some of the nation’s most popular places to hike, camp, picnic, fish and hunt, bird-watch, rock-climb, mountain bike, horseback ride, stargaze, and indulge in a host of other nature-based activities.
These are known as Mediterranean forests. Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub ecoregions are characterized by hot and dry summers, while winters tend to be cool and moist.
Most precipitation arrives during these months. To incorporate this type of woodland into our theme, we created an artificial environment of these trees.
When children create an artificial environment, they bring three-dimensional reality to any concept.
Though your little ones are aware of what a forest is, they may not fully comprehend what they look like, how they support life, and how important they are to our planet.
To help our budding arborists connect to this idea, we decided to create our very own mediterrean forest!
The severe seasonal droughts that help define this forest type have led to some unusual animal adaptations among certain amphibians and insects such as estivation, a summer-long sleep similar to hibernation.
Other animals show increased mobility as they seek out distant water holes and creek beds to wait out the scorching heat until the rains return.
To help us understand the dynamics of this fascinating biome, we created our very own tropical dry forests with wine cork trees, rocks, wood shavings, and animals.
Your little ones initially learned about where these forests are located.
They tend were shown a globe to see specifically what regions of the globe house these amazing wonders. Lastly, they created their own!