Friday, April 25, 2014

Springing Into Science! + FREEBIE

I love Earth day!  Even more, I love to keep the idea that we are responsible for our Earth alive and healthy all year long.  Part of taking care of the Earth is learning about the world around us. 
I've joined up with an amazing group of bloggers to bring you a ton of ideas about using science in the classroom or home.
 Every year, I ask my own children what we can do to take care of the world.  This year my son said, "Pick up trash and keep the world clean."  My daughter said, "Don't eat the worms".  We compost and just planted our own garden, so I am assuming that had something to do with her answer :)

I decided that I really wanted to bring home the idea of how each single person in the world really impacts our Earth.  To do this, we decided to draw a picture of our world.  I put a large piece of butcher paper on the ground and we all drew what we see in "our world" around us.  There was a school, houses, trees, playground, road, flowers, a pond.  We looked outside and really focused on remembering details of the world around us.  We then placed little people toys all over the "world".

When using this in the classroom, I would have each student put a "person" (some sort of toy or picture) on the map to represent themselves.
 To really show the impact that each person has on the world, we placed one piece of litter for each person on the world.  The kids noticed very quickly that the ground was becoming covered in trash.
To demonstrate that people have the ability to make a huge positive influence on the world, I had each "person" pick up one piece of trash. Kids quickly see that they can have both a positive and negative effect on the world around them. I love using the map, "people" and trash, because it is a really concrete activity and kids are able to see the impact that every person can have on the world.
 The students then sorted the litter into the correct bin: recycle, compost, or trash.  The sorting mats that I used were from KTeacherTiff's Earth Day Love Pack.
Here is all the "real" litter, after we sorted.

Here are the kids with their thumbs up!  They cleaned up the world!
Here is another way that you can complete the same activity.  In my Take Care Of the Earth pack, I have sorting mats and litter cards for trash, recycling, and compost.
I had the kids do the same thing as they did with the real litter, except this time it was with litter cards.  We really focused on looking at how "yucky" their playground would be, if everyone dropped trash.  We talked about our own playground and how we could make a difference there.
Here are some anchor charts from my "Take Care of the Earth" pack.  Students can refer to the posters/anchor charts to find out what to do with different types of litter. They turned out to be really helpful as a reference material.
 Sorting the litter cards onto the sorting mats was so much fun!
It was just as much fun as the real trash and less dirty :)
Here is a freebie that I would love to share with you from my Take Care Of The Earth pack.  Students will "color, count, tally or graph" the types litter.  Click here to get your freebie.
Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter to win the Take Care Of The Earth pack. 

Don't forget to hop on over to The Research Based Classroom for some more amazing science ideas!
Thanks for stopping by and hopping along!
While I have your attention, have you seen this GREAT Educents bundle that is 75% off?! 
It has two of my products in the bundle!  Monster Munch and Fill Up My Bucket!
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  1. Love your activity with little ones Laura! What a great and meaningful way to teach children about littering and cleaning up the earth. I'm sure you've made a huge impact!!
    Elyse :)
    Proud to be Primary

  2. This looks like so much fun!!! We like the activity of showing the children how litter can be harmful and how to recycle! Great job!
    Kelly and Kim’s Kindergarten Kreations

    1. Thanks so much! It's easy to set up and was a lot of fun!!

  3. Looks like your students had so much fun!

    1. It was a ton of fun! What is better than playing with trash?!?! :)

  4. What a great, powerful idea! Your kiddos are so lucky! :)

  5. We do a similar activity using the book 'Just A Gum Wrapper' by Mercer Mayer! The kids each chew a piece of gum and then throw the wrapper on the floor! We see what a mess it makes so clean it up, one by one! Each child then creates a park scene and glues his/her wrapper to the paper. They then write about one way to keep the Earth clean! Love the mural idea- and sorting the different types of trash! Great ideas as always!

    1. I am definitely going to have to check out "Just a Gum Wrapper"! Never even heard of it before. Sounds like a great way to make a huge impact on kids. :)


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