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EARLY CHILDHOOD NEWSLETTER

Volume 6, Issue 98
April 28, 2008


A WORD ABOUT THIS ISSUE'S THEME

As we welcome the warmth of spring, we look to the outdoors and all the ways it can help us teach science concepts. In this issue we feature turtles, knowing the fascination these animals hold for your children. From turtle eggs to turtle games, our activities are sure to make your turtle theme unit …turtle-ific!

Susan LaBella
Editor, Early Childhood Education Newsletter


ACTIVITY IDEAS

WATCH ME HATCH
Read to children One Tiny Turtle by Nicola Davies. Explore the way in which turtles hatch from eggs. Discuss the remarkable story of sea turtles that return to the same beach where they were hatched years before to lay their own eggs. Then use this movement game to have children pretend to be tiny sea turtles who are about to hatch. Have each child roll himself/herself into a ball. This is the egg. Tap one child on the shoulder. This child pretends to push out of the egg and move like a baby turtle. That child also moves to another "egg" and touches it. Another child "hatches" and moves on to touch another "egg" and so on. Designate one area in your room as the sea. When all the babies have hatched, they should all rush to get safely into the sea.

MAKE A TURTLE
Give each child a paper bowl. Have children turn it upside down and glue the edges onto a piece of construction paper. Invite children to use tempera paint on the bowl to create the look of a turtle shell. Next have children paint legs, a head, and a tail onto the construction paper in the correct places. Finally, help children glue googly eyes onto the head. Children might also wish to paint or color on the paper an appropriate habitat for the turtle - for example, a pond, the grass, or the beach…

DIGGING FOR TURTLE EGGS
Write on a ping pong ball a number you wish to reinforce. On another ping pong ball show a matching number of dots. Include as many numbers and dots as you wish to teach. Bury the balls in your sand box or sand table. Invite children to dig for "turtle eggs," matching the numbered eggs to the eggs with the correct number of dots.

USE A DIAGRAM
Read picture books about turtles, sea turtles, and tortoises.
--- Create a large Venn diagram on an easel pad. With children compare turtles to another animal with four legs. Record similarities and differences in the diagram and read them aloud to students.
--- Draw a circle on an easel pad and glue a picture of turtle in it. Have children say the word turtle aloud, listening for the beginning /t/ sound. Ask students to think of words that begin with the /t/ sound. Record the words around the circle, making a web diagram. Read the words aloud together.

TASTY TURTLES
During your unit on turtles, or water animals, try serving this simple snack. Given the supplies needed, most children can create it themselves.
--- Give each child a Ritz cracker.
--- Let children use plastic knives to spread peanut butter or cream cheese on one side of the cracker.
--- Invite students to break pieces of pretzel sticks and place into the peanut butter for legs and a tail.
--- Place a jelly bean or gum drop onto the peanut butter for the head. Yum!

WHAT DO YOU SEE?
Write on the board:

Turtle, turtle, what do you see?
I see a __________ looking at me.

Give each child a piece of drawing paper. On the paper have students copy the second sentence and draw a picture of something the turtle sees. (Encourage creativity.) Let children share their drawings with the rest of the class. Then bind pictures together into a class booklet titled "Turtle, Turtle, What Do You See?"

 


ON THE WEB

Reptiles: Turtle & Tortoise
Here your students can learn the differences between turtles and tortoises.
http://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/turtle-tortoise

Noggin: Franklin's Friends and Family
Your children will enjoy watching a story about Franklin's friends as you read the text aloud.
http://www.noggin.com/games/franklin/friends/

Pond Animal Theme Cards
Check out these pond animal picture cards. Print out, laminate, and use in pocket charts, matching games, and more.
http://www.prekinders.com/pdf/PondCards.pdf

Sea Turtles
Get great info on sea turtles and some coloring pages to print.
http://www.akidsheart.com/animals/sea/seaturtles.htm

Desert Tortoise
Sea turtles aren't the only ones! You'll find some good information and a diagram of the desert tortoise here.
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/turtle/Destortprintout.shtml

Turtle Math
Print out this coloring page to reinforce the concept of ordinal numbers.
http://www.kidzone.ws/math/k-turtlerace.htm