The past two weeks, my class has been gearing up for Earth Day. We have been having a blast each afternoon as we learn more and more about the world we live in. To introduce the unit, I purchased a sandpaper globe to help my students explore the different areas of the globe. This was a great way to hit the standard that our earth is made up of land and water. My students loved exploring the globe and did a great job explaining to their friends that the land was “rough” and that the water was “smooth.” Throughout this sensory experience, they were able to determine that there was more water than land on our planet.
We also have been singing this song:
After exploring the globe and singing our song a few times, my students also created their own sensory globes using play dough and a work mat that I created. I laminated each work mat and gave each child a bowl full of blue play dough. They worked hard to cover all the water on the globe using their blue play dough!
I created a control of error on the work mats by shading the water areas gray so that my students could place the play dough in the correct areas of their mats. I also created work mats that were 100% white that I will bring out after my students are confident in where the water belongs.
This was not only a great way for the students to understand our world but it also helped develop my students’ fine motor skills!
After these lessons, we moved on to understanding the different animals, landforms, and objects that belong in the water, air, and land.
My students worked together to sort the picture cards into the appropriate columns.
They did a great job talking through why they were placing each picture in each column.
The next day, this activity became a center! At the center my students created their own columns and sorted not only pictures but also figurines into the appropriate categories. They absolutely LOVED this work!
This week we also painted pots to get ready to grow cucumber seeds! This year I chose a vegetable that my students could not only observe growing, but one that they would also like to eat! My friend who is a master gardener said that cucumbers only take 3 days to sprout! This will be so exciting for my young learners!
Once their beautiful pots dry, we will venture outside to plant our seeds!
Next week we will continue our study about the Earth with a few more science experiments and activities. If you would like to use any of these, they are all found in my “Land, Air, Water” Science pack that can be found HERE in my store. I hope that you can use some of these ideas!
(I bought the plastic animals at Hobby Lobby!)