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Friday, February 15, 2013

Field Trip Friday

Today I had my homeschool program - Field Trip Friday.  We've been studying habitats once a month.  Today was Ponds, Rivers, - Fresh Water Habitat
Here's the booklist we used:
Jo MacDonald Saw a Pond by Mary Quattlebaum, illustrated by Laura J. Bryant. Nevada City, Calif. : Dawn Publications, 2011.
Life in a Pond by Carmelita Klipple Robinson. New York, Golden Press [1967]
One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root, illustrated by Jane Chapman. Cambridge, MA : Candlewick Press, c1998.
Pond & River by Steve Parker. London ; New York : DK, 2005. (eyewitness, DK)
Pond Babies by Cathryn Falwell.  Cambridge, MA : Candlewick Press, c1998.
Pond Walk by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. New York : Marshall Cavendish Children, c2011.
Wetland Food Chains by  Bobbie Kalman. New York, NY : Crabtree, c2007.

Introduce making a pond replica.  Cardboard for pond, color or cut out paper for water, other materials provided: pom poms, pipecleaners, tissue paper, construction paper, glue, glue stick, tape, stapler, google eyes, scissors, markers, crayons, paper plates, cardstock paper, copy paper.  This group is for Kindergarten to 5th grade, but the students I have right now are about 3rd grade level, generally.
Show the picture from the online source idea:

Totally Tots
Then let the kids have at it.  I also passed out patterns from a mailbox mag that had pond animals, but encouraged them to make their own.  I am happy to say that the kids in this group made all their own animals, they didn't use the patterns provided!  I see that as a huge creative victory.  
Here is an example.

They were really creative and had fun.  While they made their ponds, I showed the books in the above list, and pointed out different plants, animals, and insects.  In the library world this is booktalking. Since we live in Indiana, each of students had already walked trails or been to a pond nearby.  They were able to draw on lots of background information and we discussed many different animals, insects, and plants.  Using the three informational texts from the booklist, I pointed out several new names that I didn't recognize and drew on the children's knowledge too.
I really like to get the kids making something so they are engaged, busy, talking, listening, and learning all at once.  They learn from each other, from me, and I learn from them.  This is a small group, 4 kids, so this format works great.  If the group was much bigger - like up to 10 it may not be the best way to format this program. 

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