Stories, songs, and crafts encouraging understanding of and appreciation for nature and our planet. (Includes creative non-fiction, an introduction to photosynthesis, inspiring biography, poetry, music and movement, sign language, and a song in multiple languages. Ages K+)
Played “Someone’s Gonna Use It After You” and “Family Tree” from Tom Chapin’s album “Family Tree” as kids arrived. (2016)
Read (Interactive Book): Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson (2014 – omitted 2016)
“Trees don’t grow by magic, does anyone know how they do grow? Anyone know the word “photosynthesis”?
Read (Creative Non-Fiction Book): Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm (572.46 BANG) --a splendid example of what I call “Uncommon Core” (sunlight converted by plant through photosynthesis breaking up water -- H20 -- breathing out oxygen for us to breathe in -- breathing in CO2 and building sugars (leaves, stems, juices, seeds, fruit) for us to eat -- we are living sunlight!) this creative and memorable explanation of photosynthesis will stick with kids for a long time."Now let's turn into the earth -- everyone stand up and act this out with me..."
Act Out (Interactive Book): Earth Dance by Joanne Ryder (811.54 RYD) – we acted out this poetic celebration of the earth as we read it (splendid language, imagination, poetry, images, kinesthetic learning.)
Sign Language Song: “Walk the World Now Children” from Tom Chapin’s Album Some Assembly Required. Find signs here: http://www.signingsavvy.com/
"Here's a story about a real person who made a big difference..." (brief discussion of “non-fiction” Living Sunlight (572.46 in the library) and true books about people = biography section)
Read (Non-Fiction Biography): Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa by Jeannette Winter (Inspiring true story of Wangari Maathai, courageous environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace prize, whose passion & determination inspired hundreds of thousands of women across Africa to reforest their continent.)
(Some classes) Book/Song: There Was a Tree by Rachel Isadora
2016 Read: Bloom by Doreen Cronin. (A mud fairy shows an extraordinary ordinary girl how she can save her crumbling kingdom of glass by making solid mud brick structures.) Booktalked: Sidewalk Flowers by (little girl in a black & white world, walks alongside oblivious dad with cellphone picking sidewalk flowers. As she gives them away, the neighborhood gradually goes full-color.)
2014 Read (Non Fiction Picture Book): Lucky Ducklings: A True Rescue Story by Eva Moore. (True story of people in a town on long island assisted in rescue of ducklings who had fallen into a grate – text to text connection: Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings (trivia note; McCloskey kept ducks in his Boston apartment while illustrating this story!)
(When there was time) Read: I Love Our Earth by Bill Martin Jr. (525 MAR) (Gorgeously photo-illustrated multi-cultural appreciation of our planet)
2014 Song: “Springtime Is Here” (multiple languages) original source unknown—contact me for tune or make one up:
Springtime is here! (2x)
Birds are singing (2x)
Springtime is here! (2x)
(Spanish) ¡Primavera aqui! (2x) Pajaritos cantan (2x) ¡Primavera aqui! (2x)
(German) Frühling ist da! (2x) Die Vögelein singen (2x) Frühling ist da! (2x)
(Japanese) Haru ga kita! (2x) Kotori ga naiteru (2x) Haru ga kita (2x)
(Zulu) Entwasahlobo! (2x) Inyoni ukucula (2x) Entwasahlobo (2x)
Sign Language: http://lifeprint.com/asl101/pages-signs/s/spring.htm http://lifeprint.com/asl101/pages-signs/h/here.htm http://lifeprint.com/asl101/pages-signs/b/bird.htm
2016 Book/Song: It’s a Wonderful World illustrated by Ashley Bryan – accompanied by CD of Louis Armstrong’s extraordinary vocals -- celebrating the wonderful world we live in and the plants, animals, and people of so many colors we share it with…
“Happy Earth Day” – kids can do their part to make and keep this world wonderful
Exit music: This Pretty Planet from Tom Chapin’s album with the same name.
Great book for teachers! Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden by Edith Pattou. (Every September the principal at Mrs. Spitzer’s school gives her a new packet of “seeds.” Mrs. Spitzer's "seeds" are duly planted and tenderly nurtured, and while some "grow quickly, pushing upward, eager, impatient," others "grow more slowly, unfolding themselves bit by bit." As the seasons progress, the little plants grow sturdier, until finally the school year comes to a close and Mrs. Spitzer's job is done in this tender metaphorical story.)
Bedm 4.14, 4.16
afterschool Adamsville w/craft 4.14 Craft: Recycle scraps of construction paper/magazine pages into cut or torn paper collage art celebrating the earth (materials: assorted scrap papers, scissors, glue sticks)
Music: play album This Pretty Planet (730 CHAP) while children working on crafts.
Bedminster K-2 2017:
Tidy by Emily Gravett (Pete the badger tries to tidy up the forest but finds concrete doesn’t make a good place for anyone to live) Mind-boggling math about how many leaves on a typical big tree: http://bedtimemath.org/fun-math-leaf-explosion/)
Earthday by Joanne Ryder (acted out this figurative poem about the earth)
Sing: “We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands”
Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm
Song (sign language): “Walk the World Now Children” (track #8 from Tom Chapin’s album Some Assembly Required)
Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa by Jeannette Winter (one woman’s campaign to bring back trees to Kenya despite government opposition)
I Love Our Earth by Bill Martin Jr. (beautiful photo-essay)
Sidewalk Flowers by Jon Arno Lawson (wordless)
Beautiful Hands by Kathryn Otashi (gorgeous pictures made from handprints accompany great figurative ideas of what hands can do (plant ideas, touch hearts, lift spirits, stretch imaginations, reach for love, peace, faith, truth, hope and dreams…) great art project idea.
Closed with Louis Armstrong singing “What a Wonderful World” (track #1 on album The Best of Louis Armstrong, showing pages from book illustrated by Ashley Bryan)
Links to Earth Day crown and other craft ideas: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2013/04/earth-day-preschool-storytime.html