This past week we have been gearing up for Earth Day. We have been learning all about plants and our world. To make what we have been learning hands-on, we have done so many fun activities. I hope that you can use some of them!
To help us learn all about the root and vein system of plants, we completed an easy science experiment. For this, all you need are mason jars, food coloring, and celery stalks!
I had my students mix their favorite colors and then place the stalks into the mason jars. We then made predictions and wrote about what we thought would happen.
My students observed the jars and stalks with great intensity.
Then they drew detailed pictures and wrote about what they observed.
The next day, when they walked into the classroom they were IN AWE! They observed that the veins carried the food coloring up to the leaves. The conversations at this point were amazing.
My students were drawn to the celery stalks all week observing even the smallest changes in color. They wrote about them, drew them, and talked about plants all week!
Later in the week, we collected smooth stones to get ready for wet felting Earths. I had seen a video on youtube and a few blog posts that solidified the fact that I wanted to do this activity with my students.
To wet felt you need: rocks, wool, dish soap, buckets, warm water, panty hose (boy did they get a kick out of that term!!), and a good 30 minutes.
I ordered my wool from the fabulous Jo at Indigo Inspirations. She hand paints all of her wool and it is so stunning! I purchased it from her Etsy store and she was so fun to work with. My students were as smitten with the wool as I was. They kept saying that it was so beautiful and soft! They loved the whole experience.
First, they helped me pull the wool into the correct lengths. (My boys were happy to help lend their muscles for this!) We worked together and sorted the colors on a few trays.
Then, each child was given the task to make a nest for their rock. To do this they used two colors: a green and a blue and criss crossed three layers of wool.
Next, they added their rock to the center of their nest.
Then, with help, they wrapped the wool all around the rock so that none of the rock was exposed.
We then placed the rock and wool in the knee high panty hose.
Then the fun began! In buckets of warm soapy water, my students dunked their rock and squeezed out the excess water. The warm soapy water was a blast to play in. I’m truly amazed to say that we didn’t have one spill and the floor stayed relatively dry! (I had towels on hand just in case!)
The kids joyfully dunked and squeezed their rocks for about 10 minutes.
Since I did this during our center rotations, after about 12 minutes it was time to rotate. This was perfect because the kids needed a bit of a break. They happily went to their next center and looked forward to returning to finish the process. I made this activity TWO centers so that they would come back to finish the process. When they rotated back to me, it was time for the next step. This step, once again, involved dunking their rocks in water but instead of squeezing, this time they rubbed their hands together. I told them to pretend that they were washing their hands with the rock.
After 8-12 minutes of this, the rocks were ready! When we took them out the kids were SO amazed and impressed with their hard work! “They look like Earths!!!!” They exclaimed with GLEE!
They LOVED this and it was so much fun! In case you would like to do this activity, here is the video I watched to teach me how to wet felt. I loved the process and ended with with a ton of wool left over. I shared it with the other teachers in my hall because they LOVED how they came out! I am also going to wet felt bars of soap as gifts.
We also had a blast with a few other activities but I will save them for the next blog post! Stay tuned!! I hope you are having a GREAT week!!