Our unit for this week and last centers on rain, the weather, and colors. As always, I added my own modifications which included videos on what meteorology is and what a meteorologist does, as well as charting the forecast for the week and then checking temperatures daily and comparing them.
When we made our chart, we looked at an 8-day forcast and made it into a bar chart. But then, Elizabeth was sick part of the week, so when we got back to it, we had to chart three days worth of temps. After that, we missed the weekend days, so had to do another three days. Following that, the same happened… You get the picture. And finding a forecast is easy enough, but would you believe how hard it is to find the high temps for previous days? I have found that finding a high temp for more than one day ago requires quite a bit of searching…
So, we weren’t so good at being consistent about graphing the daily temperatures, but it got done, and luckily, the girl is only in pre-k, so we have many years ahead of us to touch on this information again The important thing is having a little experience with the charting, with analyzing the data, and that she now knows what a forecast is, so we are way ahead all ready.
For the service learning aspect of this unit, I wanted to focus on the services that water provide for humans and why it’s important to protect our water systems, as well as how everyday citizens (aka Elizabeth) can do that. We have a little book that Elizabeth choose off of the Red Bookshelves that the have around town titled Putting Water To Work (by Hunter Green), and contemplated using this book though it mostly just talks about hydroelectricity, but then decided to search online for a more broad list of services water provides. I had in mind something detailing agriculture, drinking water, water for bathing, electricity, cleansing the environment, and recreation, among other things. There was nothing – nothing – that summed up what I was looking for. I found lots of sites on all the ways industry pollutes water and why we should conserve water, but nothing that talked about all the good things water does for us not-so-humble human beings. Thus, we used the book I all ready had, and I made my own list of services which we discussed.
I did find a list at the EPA webpage of how we can protect our water sources that included ways that everyday citizens can help at home. We also talked about the suggestions made for agriculture, since Chepe works on a farm, we live across a farm, and I have not kept it hidden that we can’t play in our stream because it is polluted by said farm. Demonstrating her amazing powers of retention and comprehension, though Elizabeth acted disinterested and couldn’t sit still during our discussion, when I asked her how she can help protect our waters, she told me that we should choose cleaning products without phosphates, and plant an organic garden. I look forward to continuing our schooling over the years with a child who is environmentally conscious and interested to see how it affects our daily life/spending choices/family activities.
Lastly, this unit had much emphasis on colors, as the book depicts scenes of the rain falling on objects in a rainbow of colors. The Moving Beyond The Page materials also brought a bunch of cut-outs with which we practiced adding and subtracting, then numbered, colored, and made into a poster depicting the scenes from the book. I had expected this activity to be done in a day or two, but instead, Elizabeth really had a blast detailing the cut-outs and so the fun was drawn out over a few days. I was taken aback by her interest in the materials, as other times the cut-outs have just kind of been like, ‘blah.’ It does make me quake a little about next year, since I won’t have pre-packaged cut-outs for activities with the Global Village School curriculum, but I could use printables from some place such as enchantedlearning.com, or use pictures cut from magazines, or even make my own as I have done this year. I also remind myself that rather than using paper cut-outs to represent things, we can be even more creative and use real toys!
Share your thoughts: When was a time you went on a mad goose chase looking for some kind of information that didn’t turn up? Or have you ever gone from a boxed curriculum to putting your own together and being nervous about not having the materials pre-organized?