Grades K-2: Sustainability

“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.  (more…)