Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Day

Tomorrow is Earth Day. This morning I'm going to share just a couple things we'll be doing.

Yesterday we had our 4H club meeting, and the topic was weather. Two (from here on out all children will be referred to as a number, based on birth order :)) was VERY interested in this meeting, and learned a lot, as well as really sparked her interest. She decided upon coming home that she wanted to do her first 4H project on weather because she really wanted to learn more. So...I'm going to tie that into our Earth Day study.

Today we're going to make a rain gauge. There are many good links if you simply google make a rain gauge. Here is the one we are specifically doing: http://www.ciese.org/curriculum/weatherproj2/en/docs/raingauge.shtml
We'll make this gauge and place it on our back porch for one month to monitor the rain fall, then she will present it at our next 4H club meeting for show and tell. So, since we'll be learning about and monitoring rain fall...we're going to talk about acid rain. I have a book I picked up somewhere called Looking at the Environment by David Suzuki. It has some good info about acid rain in it. We'll be reading about that, and then talking about filtering water. There is a great project in the book where you filter dirty water. We live on a pond, so finding some muddy water will be an easy task. You simply filter it through a coffee filter (I knew there was a reason I ALWAYS have those on hand...even though no on in my house drinks coffee!). You add a layer of sand, crushed charcoal, sand to the filter, and slowly filter the water through. You should be able to see a big difference in the cleanliness of the water.

We'll also be talking about pH, and testing some common things as well as our pond water, and later our rain sample. Here is a link I'm using: http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/education/experiments.html

We'll also cover the water cycle. I'm using this page to make a matching game/activity. I'll cut off the paper where it has the "answers" to what the letters are and make it so that the girls have to match the appropriate term with the appropriate picture, using velcro dots. :) http://www.kidzone.ws/water/cactivity1.htm

On each individual page there is an activity. We will do those as well. We've done this set of activities repeatedly over the years....from back when I was doing science classes here in our house (so...Two wasn't even 5 yet, and she's 9 now). But, I think kids learn a little more each time, even from the same activity.

We have a great book titled You Can Save the Planet: 50 Ways You Can Make a Difference. I'm going to have the girls look through the book and see what they can find that we already do to make a difference, and find some new things we can do to make a difference. I'll keep you posted on what they decide.

Acrostic poem, we'll do another acrostic poem on Earth Day as well, because I enjoyed them so much last year. :) I'm not sure the kids did...but hey, part of the perks of being the teacher is they do some of the things *I* want, right???
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