MANY The Diversity of Life on Earth, by Nicola Davies

So many kinds of life on earth, more than we can count.  N. Davies shows the reader how every one of them, including humans, is a part of a big and beautiful pattern.  This is a lovely book to help children learn the importance of taking care of our planet and the diversity of living creatures on earth.

Materials

  • Alive/Not Alive cards
  • Microscope for children or powerful magnifying glass/es
  • Dice
  • Copy of number cards per child
  • Magazines with pictures of animals
  • Things to build habitat in Sand & Water table. Insect habitat=sticks, leaves, grass. Forest habitat=bark, sand, moss, rocks to build a cave or to have the animals stand on, and short branches/sticks to be trees. Pond Habitat=sand, moss, pieces of bark to float frog and turtle manipulatives on.
  • Globe or map of the world

Vocabulary

  • Diversity (Variety)
  • Microbes (living things that are SO small you have to have a special micro-scope, magnifier to see them
  • Living (an animal, plant or person; things that require air, water, food/energy, and shelter).

Before Reading the Story

Explain to the children that the story today is about living things and how important they are to the earth.  Ask the children if they know it means to be alive? Give a simple definition. Hold up the Alive/Not alive cards one at a time and ask the children if this is something that is alive, or not alive? If they get it wrong, ask them why they think that and then remind them of the definition. Tape the alive cards to one side of your board/wall and the not alive cards to the other side of your board/wall.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, living things, and processes.

Reading the Story

Make sure to include some of the italicized words on the page as they give extra information and clarification.

After Reading the Story

Ask the children to recall some of the animals they saw in the story.  Play I’m thinking of an animal…. Use clues that includes where it lives, what it eats, and special features that it might have. (I am thinking of an animal that eats insects and/or fruit. It lives often in caves or under eaves and flies out at night. Bat).

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, living things, and processes. AND Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing abilities to classify, compare, and contrast objects, events, and experiences.

Discovery

If you have a microscope or good magnifier, put it out today with things like a feather, dead beetle, shell, rock, leaves.  Let the children look at things up close.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods/ begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

If you have time and you are adventuresome making some sort of animal habitat is easy and interesting. You will have to make it for the children and teach them how to observe the animal or insect without hurting it. Try pillbugs, worms, or an ant farm. https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&ei=0eAgXb_jE8Gp_QaBrov4Cg&q=how+to+make+an+ant+habitat&oq=how+to+make+an+ant+&gs_l=psy-ab.1.1.0j0i20i263j0l8.49852.54248..57071…0.0..0.118.564.6j1……0….1..gws-wiz…….0i71j35i39j0i67.T4-zW8CGpZk#kpvalbx=1

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods/ begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

Music and Movement

Teach the children the song Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZB7gSQRIuM

Help Woodsy spread the word, never be a dirty bird.

No matter where you go, you can let some people know

Give a hoot, don’t pollute, never be a dirty bird.

In the city or in the woods, help keep America looking good!

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.

Put on the song If Animals Danced and do the movements with the children. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30ePPeUbwSs

Creative Arts/Movement; expresses through movement and dancing what is felt and heard in various musical tempos and styles.

Blocks

Put out any and all rubber animals that you have into the center today and encourage the children to build an animal city.

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; approaches tasks and activities with increased flexibility, imagination, and inventiveness.

Art

Bring in magazines that have pictures of animals (ask a librarian for old magazines that they would otherwise be throwing away. Ask parents to send in any old magazines, cards, or calendars that they might have with animals). Let the children cut out the animals and glue them to a large paper circle as a group project.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads, and using scissors.

Sand and Water

Turn your water table into an animal habitat. Add any small animal manipulatives that you might have. See resources for several examples.

Creative Arts/Dramatic PLay; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations.

Library and Writing

Bring in a globe or map of the world.  Show the children where you are located on the globe/map.  Point out any geographical points of interest near you.  (See this blue, that is the ocean.  Look we are close to the ocean. )  Bring in books or pictures that depict animals and birds that are commonly found in your state.  Talk to the children about what the animal is, where it lives, what it eats, have they ever seen one like it?  Look up state bird, animal, flower, etc. to get ideas and pictures.

Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; begins to express and understand concepts and language of geography in the contexts of the classroom, home, and community.

Dramatic Play

Bring in any supplies you have that the children can use to play Veterinarian.    Small stuffed animals, doctor kit, disposable masks and gloves, shoe boxes to hold the pets, etc..

Creative Arts/Dramatic PLay; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations. AND Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; develops growing awareness of jobs and what is required to perform them.

Math and Manipulatives

Give each child a number card or a dotted card.  Show the children how to cover the page with another piece of paper except for one row. Take turns having the children roll the dice and then find that number within the row.  Color the square that correlates with the number rolled.   Each paper holds 6 rolls.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; demonstrates increasing interest and awareness of numbers and counting as a means for solving problems and determining quantities.

Outdoor Play

On the playground look for living things. Bring out paper and markers and have the children record by list or drawings all the living things they found. (grass, trees, dandelion, worm, ant, pillbug, butterfly etc.).

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; develops growing abilities to collect, describe, and record information through a variety of means, including discussion, drawings, maps, and charts.

Transitions

Play Bigger than-Smaller than with the children. Ask a child to name something bigger than a ______(elephant, flower, mouse). Ask another child to name something smaller than a _________(elephant, flower, mouse). Continue until everyone has had a turn. If the children name their something correctly they can move onto the next activity.

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem.

Resources

toilet tubes for habitat
magic beads add interest to habitat

ocean habitat
blocks of ice to arctic habitat

A Tree is Nice, by Janice May Udry

This simple story tells why trees are nice to have.  It helps children become aware that there are many uses for trees.

Materials

  • 10-20 sticks of varying lengths
  • Evergreen branches to use as paintbrush
  • Variety of tree leaves
  • Pictures of things that come from trees

Vocabulary

  • Trunk (the tall body of the tree)
  • Limb (another name for branch, usually a thick branch)
  • Hoe (a tool that you use in the garden for scraping weeds)

Before Reading the Story

Ask the children if they know why trees are very important? Tell them that we get many things from trees.  Put up one picture at a time of items that come from trees.  Ask a child to help name the item and then have everyone repeat, “Thank you tree for  ______”.  Before reading the story, ask the children if they can think of any other reason why trees are important?  Explain that the story today is about some nice things that trees do, introduce the story.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

Reading the Story

As you read, allow the children to comment upon the pictures and words.  After any comment say to the children, “a tree is really nice don’t you think”? 

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes. AND Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, feelings, opinions, needs, questions; and for other varied purposes.

After Reading the Story

In the story the author states that apples come from trees.  Ask the children if they can think of any other foods that come from trees? (nuts, lemons, oranges, apricots, pears, oranges, coconuts). Make a list, ‘Foods we get from Trees’.

Literacy/Writing;develops understanding that writing is a way of communicating for a variety of purposes.

Discovery

Bring in parts of a tree for the children to look at through a magnifying glass.  Include; bark, stick, leaf, flower. pinecone, branch, etc..

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to use senses and a varied of tolls and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

Music and Movement

Teach the children the chorus to the song song, Trees, Trees, Trees. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7dKRBZVLvI Add musical instruments. Are any made from wood? Point this out to the children.

Creative Arts/Music; participates with increasing interest and enjoyment in a variety of music activities, including listening, singing, finger plays, games, and performances.

Pretend to be trees.  Tell the children that their feet are the roots that go deep into the ground and do not allow them to move.  The wind begins to gently blow and the leaves rustle (wiggle fingers).  Now the wind blows a little stronger, it’s breezy and the branches begin to move back and forth. (Move arms around)  Suddenly a strong storm is coming and the wind is very blustery making the tree bend and sway.  Good thing your tree roots are buried deep in the ground to keep you from falling over. (Move bodies all about without moving feet).  Now have the wind die back down to blustery, then breezy, gently blowing, to standing tall with roots/feet firmly planted in the ground.

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; approaches tasks and activities with increased flexibility, imagination, and inventiveness.

Blocks

Tell the children that your wooden blocks and cardboard blocks are made from trees,  Thank you trees for the blocks!  Build and enjoy playing with parts from a tree today.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing patterns and shapes, stringing beads, and using scissors.

Art

Bring in evergreen branches and tie several together to make a paint brush.  Put these at the easel today for the children to experiment with.  Add several sticks as another way to apply paint to the paper.

Creative Arts/Art; gains ability in using different art media and materials in a variety of ways for creative expression and representation.

Sand and Water

Add water to the table today and a variety of tree leaves. Do the leaves float or sink? Does the water change the way the leaves look? Does a wet leaf smell different from a dry leaf?

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to use senses and a varied of tolls and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

Library and Writing

Bring in a book of trees or a variety of pictures of trees that the children can look at and compare the likes and differences.  Talk to them about the parts of the tree. Challenge the children to draw a tree with all of it’s part. Help the children to label the tree parts (roots, trunk, branch, bough, leaf, needle, flower, fruit, etc.).

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; develops growing abilities to collect, describe, na drecord information through a variety of means, including discussion, drawings, maps, and charts.

Dramatic Play

Math and Manipulatives

Bring in sticks of varying lengths and challenge the children to put them in order from shortest to longest.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows increasing abilities to match, sort, put in a series, and regroup objects according to one or two attributes such as size or shape.

Outdoor Play

Go outside and listen quietly.  Can you hear the wind whisper through the trees? 

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to use senses and a varied of tolls and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

Or…Go outside and rake and then jump in the leaves. 

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; participates actively in games, outdoor play, and other forms of exercise that enhance physical fitness.

Find a stick on the playground and let the children use it to practice writing their name.

Literacy/Early Writing; experiments with a growing variety of writing tools and materials, such as pencils, crayons, and computers.

Transitions

Remind the children that your story today was, A Tree is Nice and gave so many reasons that a tree is especially nice.  Ask the children if they can recall reasons or is they have any reasons of their own.  Write their responses onto a piece of paper and hang it on the wall.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.

Resources

loofas
piano
picnic table
Christmas tree
Houses
Play yards
mulch
gum
cork board
nuts
chocolate
paper to draw and write on
books
planters
cardboard
toilet paper
pencils

Good Morning Garden, by Barbara Brenner

Everyone starts their day off a little different. In this story a little girl starts off her day by greeting all the things she finds in her garden.

Materials

  • Silk flowers. If you have the ‘heads’ only, pipe cleaners work well for the stems. Just cut them down to an appropriate length.
  • 1 paper plate for every 3 children in classroom and one extra.
  • Pipe cleaners cut into various lengths for both sand/water play and manipulatives.

Vocabulary

  • Plant (flowers, vegetables, trees, and shrubs that mainly grow in the ground)
  • Dew (droplets of water that form on plants and other objects through condensation)
  • Neighborhood (a place where several or many families live)
  • Living (alive)
  • Inanimate (not alive)

Introducing the Story

Begin a discussion on morning rituals.   Ask the children how they start their morning. What do you do first, next, and last. (My Daddy wakes me up and then I get dressed because I have to come to school). Let the children talk about all the things they do. As a child introduces a new activity, ask the other children if they do this too. (How many of you brush your teeth in the morning like Roger?). Tell the children that today you are going to read a story about a little girl who likes to start her day in a different way. Open up the book so the children can see the front and back covers and ask them if they can guess how this girl likes to start her day?

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem-Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem.

Reading the Story

Read the first page and state that the girl likes to go for a walk and say good morning to the things in her yard. Now as you go through the pages, ask the children if they can name some of the things in the yard. Use your finger to point out the items the young girl is saying good morning to.  Read slowly and allow the children to enjoy the pictures and add any discussion that is appropriate to the story. (Once I saw a bumblebee in my yard and I ran away cause it was gonna sting me).

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

After Reading the Story

Open the book to any page and tell the children to look carefully at how the illustrator made the pictures. Explain to them Denise Ortakales is the illustrator and artist who cut all these little shapes of paper and glued them together to make these pictures. This technique is called paper sculpting. It takes a lot of practice to be able to cut this good; Denise Ortakales is a real artist.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; progresses in learning how to handle care for books; knowing to view one page at a time in sequence from front to back; and understanding that a book has a title, author, and illustrator.

Music and Movement

Sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider climbed up the waterspout.         (make hands pretend to crawl up)
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.          (wiggle fingers to make rain motion)
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain                    (put hands over head fingers to fingers/thumb to thumb)
And the Itsy Bitsy spider, went up the spout again.    (make hands pretend to crawl up)

Change the Itsy Bitsy spider to the Teeny Tiny spider and sing it in a squeaky little voice doing tiny actions. Then sing it to the Humongous spider voice and do great big spider voice and actions.

Creative Arts/Music; participates with increasing interest and enjoyment in a variety if music activities, including listening, singing finger plays, games, and performances.

Put the paper plates on the floor and tell the children that they are going to pretend to be ants crawling about. When the music plays the children crawl about the room. Encourage them to crawl under the table, over the chair, beside the bookcase, walk on the blocks, jump over the stuffed animal, etc. When the music stops the children must quickly crawl to a paper plate (ant hole) where there is room for them. They must put one hand on the plate. When all the ants are in their ‘hole’, begin the music again.

Physical Health & Development/Large Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency, control, and balance walking, climbing, running, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.

Discovery

In this story, the girl said “good morning” to many living things. Ask the children if they can remember a few. Give the children magazines and scissors and ask them to cut out pictures of living things for you to put on a poster. If the children are cutting many living things pictures, you can change the directions to cut out inanimate objects (things that are not alive).   Depending on how involved the children get, you can glue their pictures to a poster board labeled, LIVING objects and/or INANIMATE objects.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; Grows in eye-hand coordination in building with blocks, putting puzzles together, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads, and using scissors.

Blocks

The last page of the story shows a neighborhood. Show this page to the children in the block center and challenge them to build a neighborhood. Explain that each builder will need a house and whatever else they choose to put into their neighborhood.

Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Community; begins to express and understand concepts and language of geography in contexts of classroom, home, and community.

Art

Cut several sheets of construction paper into ½ inch x 6 inch strips. Accordion some of the strips, curl some of the strips, and crease the ends ½” inch in on all of the strips at both ends. Use glue sticks and show the children how to apply the glue to the ½” creased ends of the strips and hold them while they count to 10 on a piece of black construction paper. This will make a 3-dimensional paper collage. Encourage the children to use many strips gluing them under and over each other. Remind them that will have to count to ten and hold the strip in place while the glue settles and sticks. When these are finished they are fun to hang from the wall as the paper sticks out off the wall.

Creative Arts/Art; begins to plan, work independently, and demonstrate care and persistence in a variety of art projects. AND Mathematics/Number & Operations; develops increasing ability to count in sequences to 10 and beyond.

Sand and Water

Add damp sand and plastic or silk flowers for planting. Add spoons and a watering can, and popsicle sticks for labeling what you are growing. If you have bean seeds or small puff balls, these can be used as ‘seeds’.

Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations.

Library and Writing

Cut out several 3-4 inch shapes from cardboard (a circle, a square, and a triangle). Show the children how to hold the shape onto a piece of paper and trace around it with a marker. Next give the children scissors so they can practice cutting out the shapes. They can either glue them to paper or put them into an envelope for another days art project.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.

Dramatic Play

The story was about one girl’s morning rituals. Encourage the children to play out their morning rituals. Some children can be parents and some children. As you check in with the center, ask them about their own morning rituals to help guide the play along.

Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; progresses in understanding similarities and respecting differences among people such as gender, race, special needs, culture, language, and family structures.

Math and Manipulaties

Give the children play dough and pipe cleaners today. Challenge them to make a spider or insect. Can they roll out a long snake?

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer

Outdoor Play

Prep your playground several days ahead of time. Lay a piece of cardboard down in a shady location (the coolness underneath attracts insects). Put out several small dishes of fruit pieces that may help attract ants. On the day of your walk, take out paper and pencil, and magnifying glasses. Go for a Living Things walk and record what they children see on the paper to share in the classroom later.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

Transitions

Play Categories with the children. Name a category such as fruits, insects and bugs, animals that live in trees, etc. Each child must try to name something from the category before lining up or going to the next activity. For younger children, keep the categories simpler. Name red objects, things that fly, or you name an object and ask them if it is alive or inanimate. (chair, bird, television, etc.)

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing abilities to classify, compare, and contrast objects, events, and experiences.

Dear Parents, today we read a book about all the wonderful living things out in a little girls neighborhood. Take your child for a walk about your yard or neighborhood and take time to see all the wonders of nature with your child.