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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Earth Day

Yesterday was Earth Day and as we talked about honoring the Earth and taking care of the Earth,
we also talked about how the Earth is part of a large universe and it is one of our planets in the solar system.   
I like combining the importance of taking care of the Earth coupled with discussions of
of the Solar System because I think it gives greater importance to the idea of the Earth being our home and how essential it is that we do our part to keep it a nice home to live on.
We talked about what litter is, what recyclables are, and how it is "doing our part" to make sure garbage and recyclables are placed in the right place.  

Our project for the day was making our own versions of the planet Earth as seen from pictures in outer space.
One of our favorite process art experiments is to make our colors "melt" into each other.
The children were set up with trays, a thick homemade paper (paper towel and coffee filters also work well, but the kids LOVE using water and eye droppers, so this thicker paper choice holds the ink and water better so that all the colors do not get washed out,) and washable markers in blue, green and brown.
They colored in their circles and then used eye-droppers and pipettes to make the colors melt.

I love how they came out!

As I said we also talked about the solar system and I was surprised by how many of
the planets the children already knew.  When we looked at this picture the children where shouting
out "Where is Mars?"  "Which one is Pluto?"  Which I had to tell them was not in the picture.  One of our friends also informed us that, "There are Aliens in outer space."  When another child asked, "what are aliens?"  He responded: "They have five eyes and they live in their spaceship."

I asked the children if they wanted to paint stars, planets, or the moon on their paper while their Earth's dried.  We used Q-tips dipped into a mixture of white paint and glue.  Many then had glitter added to their marks for a little extra shine.

A completed picture with moon and stars

Another Earth with shooting stars.

I really love the finished project, but mostly I loved talking with the children about the Earth and doing things to take care of her.

One of the songs we regularly sing at Circle Time, and sang on this day is:
The Earth is Our Mother, We Must Take Care of Her
It is a lovely little song, and singing it on this day I hope held a little more meaning for the children.

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