“The frog does not drink up the pond in which it lives” – Indian Proverb
Science – How do Plants Help Soil?
Take two large baking pans (about 12 x 6 in.). Place bare soil in one pan and line the other with grass sod. Place the pans at a 20 – 25 degree slant in front of the class. Have a hand-held hair dryer and a watering can or spray bottle ready. First take the hair dryer and blow air from the hair dryer on the dry soil and then on the soil with grass. Discuss the reasons for what is happening. Using the same pans, pour/spray water on the soil and grass. Have students look for differences in the two pans. Ask what would happen if it rained hard all day on the two pans. again, discuss the reasons for what is happening. Do other types of plants help soil? Is it important to have plants growing on soil.
Have the class walk around the school grounds looking for evidence of erosion and plant soil relationships. What happens outside in areas where there is dirt with no plants growing on it? Where does the dirt go when it is carried away by wind and water? LIFE
Mathematics (& Science) – Sun Heat and Drink
You need several, clean, empty pop cans, 5-6 kitchen thermometers, some aluminum foil and a few different colored acrylic paints. Paint the cans a variety of colors (black, white, red, green . . .). Leave one unpainted and cover another with aluminum foil. Fill the cans with equal amounts of cold water and set in full sun, either in a window, or in a sheltered place outside. Take the temperature of water and record on a chart as a class, or individually. Take the temperature of each vessel every hour and record on the chart until the end of the day. Students can practice using and reading thermometers if appropriate. Compare the differences between each can. Which color heated fastest? Which was warmest?
Make sun tea! Show your class how tea can be made using the sun. Put tea and water in a jar with lid outside in the sun. Cool overnight. Add sweetener and serve. EFY I
Social Studies – How Far Did Your Food Travel?
Many types of food we eat and clothes we wear were produced in different parts of the world . Have students bring into class food and other items with labels telling where each was grown. While looking at maps of your state, country and the world, locate the different areas that each product is from. What are some reasons for buying products from other countries? Is more energy needed to transport products from foreign countries than your own? Do we buy some products from other parts of the world that are produced closer to us? EFY I
Read THE WUMP WORLD by Bill Peet or JUST A DREAM by Chris Van Allsberg. Have students discuss, write or draw about how the different actions of the characters polluted or helped their environments. EC
Visual Arts – Recycled/Found Art
Ask children to collect items from home that could be used again before being recycled or thrown away (egg cartons, bottle tops, toilet paper centers, paper bags, pieces of string, broken toys,…). Create “found art” sculptures or collages from the students collected objects. Use glue to connect pieces. Add paint if you would like a little color. AWW