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Butterfly Math (K-2 Science)

While teaching a unit on the butterfly lifecycle, have the students create original artwork showing floral scenes. Laminate and use these small butterfly gardens as fun work mats.

Unifix cubes or small counters can be used as butterflies. Challenge students to solve addition or subtraction problems, such as: If seven Yellow Sulpher butterflies flew into the garden and four Blue Azure Butterflies joined them, how many butterflies would be in the garden? If twelve caterpillars were eating leaves on the plant, four took a nap, how many were still eating? If there were fourteen eggs on one leaf and three hatched into larva, how many were left?

List and classify words on the board that students identify as the clues that helped them know whether to add or subtract.

— Rose Jewett, Ridgeview Elementary, Yakima WA

My Personal Symbol (K-2 Social Studies)

Have the class make a wall chart or “personal data sheet” that lists 10-15 categories which relate to the students’ lives. Examples of categories could include color of eyes or hair, whether they live in a city/town or in a rural area, whether they live next to a river, pond, etc… The students should then draw a small symbol which represents them, and then reproduce that symbol for every category they belong under. A discussion could follow about what it feels like to be part of a group, and if there are certain stereotypes that come from being within one group and why.

— Rusty Schumacher, Clague Middle School, Ann Arbor MI

Pond Journal (K-2 Language Arts)

Have the class go to a pond every few months to make observations of a fresh water managed habitat. When at the pond, discuss what the kids are seeing, observing wildlife, natural featues and changes in all of these things since their last trip. Photos or video tap can be taken of each trip. Back in the classroom, record observations in the student’s own words in their writing journals.

Use the photo journals as research data to determine what changes are happening at the pond. Have the student confference with the teacher to edit their writing to book spellings. As an extension to this activity, have the kids send their writings as e-mail to other first graders at another school. Together the classes at both schools learn about water habitats and practice their reading and writing skills. Students can also e-mail schools in other countries to learn about water habitats there.

Have the children generate questions based on the observations that they made, and give them a chance to ask these questions of a local community expert. The answers to their questions can become powerful lessons on the dynamics of life at managed pond habitats and the issues that come up about human and wildlife interactions. Have them e-mail their questions and responses to another school.

— Kristi Rennebohm-Franz, Sunnyside Elementary, Pullman WA

Wetland Animal Hats (K-2 Fine Arts)

Shape newspaper around the student’s head and secure the size of the hat by wrapping tape around the head and newspaper. Mold desired shape of hat by folding newspaper and stapling. Brush with half glue and half water mixture in order to mold the hat and then let itdry overnight.

When dry, paint with tempura paint and let dry again overnight. Decorate with feathers, plastic eyes, sequins to represent any wetland animal. Wear and enjoy!

— Maggie Meyer, Lakes Elementary, Lacey WA

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