Thursday, April 26, 2012

Earth Day and a Trip to China

I cannot believe how fast time is moving towards the end of the year!  My kids have started a countdown and we have 28 days left (and I realize that's not all teaching days!  Ack!).

This week, we celebrated Earth Day on Tuesday.  Inspired by several Pinterest posts, my students created an Earth Day Promise poster.  They really enjoyed doing the handprint (anything that involves paint!), which I told them helped seal their promise for taking care of the Earth, wrote their Earth Day promise, and created an Acrostic about how people should take care of our Earth.  We preceded this activity by looking at our wiki Ecology page.  The kids enjoyed watching how a plastic milk jug was turned into a fence post, and of course, the rapping worm (you have to check it out!).  This really inspired some good conversation in my room about the Earth and how "Earth Day is Everyday."

I meant for us to celebrate Earth Day on Monday (closer to the Sunday calendar day), but a trip to China got in the way.  (Yeah, imagine THAT field trip!).  Well, we DID go on a field trip....just via Google Earth.  Several years ago, I learned how to create a virtual field trip using Google Earth (mine is a pretty basic version) and created trips to China, Egypt, and Famous American homes.  My students were so excited to "fly through the air and across the ocean" (as they said) to Asia, where we explored China.  You can find the field trip here on our China wiki page (it's a download which will open your Google Earth program automatically.  It does start at my former elementary school, but you can skip that part!).  If you've never used Google Earth, it's a GREAT teaching tool and is a free download!  

So, with our trip to China, we got a basic overview of the ancient culture to begin our unit.  We then read the story "Chinatown" by William Low and created our own New Year's dragon!  The kids did such a great job adding detail to their dragons (a template from Brain Pop Jr.) that we ran out of time!

More to post later on China and since this is such a lengthy post, prefixes/suffixes are going to be pushed out of the way till this weekend.  I'm excited to share with you some of the things we've done this week and last (and somehow, is getting pushed into next week).  I never thought I'd say I have really enjoyed teaching this concept! :)


Jill said...

I love the Earth day project, so very cute and the handprint is genuis (the spelling doesn't look right, but it's Friday).

I love google earth, some days we can get it to work some not so much.

Hope your weekend is wonderful

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