Sunday, April 24, 2011

Life Cycle of A Frog

Wahoo!!  I have been on spring break since Friday and I don't have to go back to school until the 2nd of May!!  

Anyway, I am sure you're starting to catch a pattern in my posts.  Can you tell I LOVE science, project based learning and nature???  I promise it's not all I teach, just my favorite to blog about right now.  Our math curriculum is Saxon and reading is Houghton Mifflin and even though I add fun extra ideas to those lessons, science is where I really get to be creative in my teaching.  

Part of second grade core in Utah is life cycles. I know the life cycle of a frog is very popular to teach. Since I already have several animals that I take care of and was not willing to take on another this is what I did.  

I bought these cute little life cycle sets from Oriental Trading.  You get the frog and the butterfly set for only $5.99.  Click here to order them.        

Then as a class we read this book.  I put it up on the projector with my Elmo document camera and we read it together as a class.  Click on the picture to order it from Amazon.  

Then as a class we made an extra desk in our class look like a pond.  We used paper, some fabric that looks like water, rubber frogs, fake flowers, and a plastic bowl.  This was the first day. My students kept adding to it for the next couple of weeks.  They really loved creating this habitat.

So then over the next week and a half to two weeks I switch out the life cycle pieces so the students can see it change. The life cycle set from Oriental Trading doesn't come with a frog egg so I just use a marble.  It's a lot bigger then an actual frog egg but it's what I had laying on my desk.   They loved it and can you believe it Mrs. Matsuda had no idea that they were switched.  They were actually growing and changing.  I was just as surprised as they were!!!  ;)

There you have it folks.  Our adult frog.  He has come out of the water.  My kiddos were so surprised when they came back from lunch one day to find the pond empty and an adult frog on the edge of the water.  

Is this something you might try in your classroom?  What other fun activities do you do with the frog life cycle?  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Earth Day Bulletin Board Idea Featuring The Lorax!

Happy Earth Day week everyone!  Here is a bulletin board idea. Read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.  Talk about all the mistakes the Once-Ler made and how it effected the environment.  

*This is a great story to show cause and effect.

I used blue butcher paper for the sky, green for the rolling hills.  I used brown butcher paper for the trunks and red, purple and orange for the tufts of the truffula trees.  In each truffula tree I put a tip on how to be green.  

You can download the green tips for free here.

Then I made the Lorax out of construction paper.

We talked about the three r's.  Reduce, reuse and recycle!  We listed examples of each "r".  Then we used Rachelle's Lorax worksheet from here is the link for the earth day unit that has the Lorax writing sheet.  Thanks Rachelle!

At the top of the display I have a poster that I bought from last year.  

You can make your own banner though.  It has the famous quote from The Lorax:

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better it's not!"

On Friday I am going to give each student a walnut.  I will tell them that it is a truffula tree seed.  (In the end of the Lorax the Once-Ler gives the little boy the last truffula tree seed.) The walnut will symbolize their dedication to being green.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rain Forest

Wow, the last few weeks have been CRAZY BUSY!!!  Here are some pictures of the "rainforest" we created in our classroom.  We watched this video...

We also love this book.  Click here to order it.


...and then made this rain forest complete with rubber frogs, ants and flies:

Can you see the flies dangling in the air?  I hot glued fishing line to the wings and then tied them to the branches.  It's just the perfect touch!

Then my students filled out this writing extension that I made and want to share with you!  Just let me know if you download it :)