Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Reading Week 3: Underground Animals

I had a hard time finding good read-alouds and suitable crafts for this one!
Story Times
What We Read:

Diary of a Worm: Diary Series, Book 2     Yucky Worms (Read and Wonder Series)
It was hot, the kids were wiggly (like worms!), we only made it through two! We talked about animals that live underground, and I showed them our worm farm made from a 2 liter bottle (dozens of instructions in the internet).
What we made:
Worm art! Use the worms (yarn) to make pictures, or do it in abstract and sell it for a thousand dollars.
Table Set-Up:
Total fail in picture taking. Very simple, though: each seat had a piece of paper, glue, and scissors, then I scattered different colored balls of yarn.
Kinder/1st Grade
What We Read:
Diary of a Wombat     Two Bad Ants     Hunwick's Egg
What We Made:
Ants at a picnic scene!
Table Set-Up:

I also had wet wipes at the front to wipe with after using the stamp pads. Some of the 5-year-olds who came with a local camp got a little over-enthusiastic, pressing their whole hands in, so this turned out a little bit messier than intended.
2nd Grade and Up
What We Read:
Wombat Goes Walkabout     No Place Like Home   Hunwick's Egg
What We Made:
Yes, I know, moles are not purple and pink. But they should be.
Table Set-Up:
Because we just didn't make enough mess with the dirt last week. This went with MUCH instruction involving keeping the sand contained (and with a very realistic understanding that it would not happen). We had different underground animal shapes spread out up front, to choose from. The popsicle sticks are for spreading glue evenly. I also had large baggies available to take the pictures home in, and kids could leave them on the table to dry while they went to lunch.


Tween Activity - Origami Animals
Great turnout!
Thursday Afternoon Movie
The Ant Bully (2006) Poster
Teen Cafe - Reptile Show
This turned out to be more of a multi-age program, presented by one of my former students, Joshua Haynes and some of his friends. They brought a dizzying number of reptiles, mostly snakes, and shared all sorts of fascinating information about how they live both in the wild and in captivity. I HIGHLY recommend him to any teachers looking for a classroom program!
Mike, here, refused to speak, he just held and demonstrated:)

Now, that's a striking scarf! A bit heavy for summer, though (about 12 pounds).

I didn't think she was going to give him back!

Josh describing how big Spike, held by Mike, can get.

Don't worry, much hand sanitizer was used over the course of the evening.

Explaining the difference between different phases of the same type of snake.

I HAD to hold this one! 8 feet long, about 24 pounds. There was a contest to guess her weight (and, really, people who guessed 300 pounds or more? Do I LOOK like a body builder?!)

Friday Family Event
This was just one of those good weeks where everything scheduled worked together with the theme. The Asombro Institute for Natural Science is based in Las Cruces, part of the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Preserve. They offer programs throughout the year, with groups coming out to the preserve, as well as presentations they give at other locations.
She started off with the story, "The Three Little Javelinas". There were just a few audience members at first, but the room was packed by the end of the story.

She showed all sorts of animal skulls, skins, etc. and explained how their bodies helped them adapt to our desert environment. She included a lot of audience participation by having the kids pant like a coyote, etc., and misted the audience with a spray bottle to demonstrate how sweat helps us cool down.

There were two live animals, a spadefoot toad and a tortoise, then everyone got to feel the snakeskins and ask more questions.

Another highly recommended program, if you are in southern NM!

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