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EARLY CHILDHOOD NEWSLETTER

Volume 4, Issue 7
April 11, 2006


THIS ISSUE'S EARLY CHILDHOOD NEWSLETTER THEME:

Earth Day


WELCOME! to Education World's Early Childhood Newsletter. Every other week, I'll share some ideas on a familiar teaching theme. Hopefully you will find a new activity idea or two -- or a new twist on one of your old favorites! Since I know you are very busy, I'll be short and sweet -- like most of activities I suggest.

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A WORD ABOUT THIS ISSUE'S THEME

Teach children this Earth Day chant to help your class celebrate our wonderful world.

It's Earth Day, Hooray!
Say it loud and clear.
It's Earth Day, Hooray!
A great time of year.

Let's keep our land green.
And work to keep it clean.
Our world's a special place
For all the human race!



ACTIVITY IDEAS

EARTH'S FOSSILS
Let children make fossils to help them understand that Earth's resources have been around a long time and should be protected. Mix together well:
--- 1 cup used coffee grounds
--- ½ cup cold coffee
--- 1 cup flour
--- ½ cup of salt
Knead the mixture and flatten it out onto waxed paper. Use a coffee can to cut out circles of the fossil dough and give a section to each child. Let children press small objects (shells, buttons, and so on) into the dough to make impressions. Bake the dough at 350 degrees until it hardens. Display children's rocks and see of others can identify the "fossilized" impressions that are in them.

RECYCLED CRAYONS
Help children see how recycling works. Invite children to gather and peel the paper off all your old crayons. Place the crayons in an old saucepan and melt them on low heat. Spread out old cookie cutters or candy molds on a sheet of aluminum foil. Pour the melted crayon mixture into the molds. When the wax is hard and cool, pop out the molded crayons for coloring fun!

LET'S PLANT!
Gather egg cartons and remove the lids. Invite each child to fill a pocket of the egg carton with planting soil. Each child can then plant a bean seed in his or her pocket. Place the egg carton(s) in a sunny spot and have children water the seeds regularly. Chart each plant's growth. Follow up by having children draw pictures of their mature plants.

GO ON A SCAVENGER HUNT
Tell children they are going on an outdoor scavenger hunt to learn about nature's gifts.
Prepare a list of items for students to look for: something wet, something green, something a bird would eat, something soft, something hard, something slippery, and so on. Let children work in pairs to find items. As each pair finds an item, encourage them to draw a picture of it. Be sure students have enough paper for their drawings. When the hunt is complete, ask What is the favorite thing you found? Why?

MAKE A PROMISE TREE
Discuss with students the purpose of Earth Day and invite them to share any experiences they have with helping the environment. Give each child a green construction paper leaf. Have each child recite something he or she could do to help Earth and record it on his or her leaf. Hang a brown tree shape (trunk and branches) on a bulletin board and attach children's "promise leaves" to it.



ON THE WEB

Check out the following Web sites for additional background and activities.

Dottie's Garden
Children will enjoy sharing this online story.
http://www.primarygames.com/storybooks/plant/start.htm

Earth 911: Conservation Songs
Try celebrating with some of these songs.
http://www.earth911.org/usa/master.asp?s=kids&a=kids/songs/songs.asp

Earth 911: Environmental Tips
One for each letter of the alphabet.
http://www.earth911.org/usa/master.asp?s=kids&a=kids/AtoZ/default.asp

Happy Earth Day Coloring and Activities Book
Print out this free booklet.
http://www.epa.gov/region5/publications/happy/happyearth_sept05.pdf

Earth Day: What a Wonderful World!!!
Check out this lesson plan complete with Earth Day songs.
http://www.angelfire.com/la/kinderthemes/earth.html