Friday, April 20, 2012

Curriculum Review: Earth Day (Week) Activities

Just a note: I am so behind in a steady curriculum with Abigail. I was going along pretty decently and then life happened. Although I was "teaching" her through activities and discussions, we were behind on worksheets, coloring, practice writing letters, etc. So when I noticed she was having a hard time remembering and identifying certain letters and numbers, I got back on the ball...just in time for summer break. This review is about what we did this week. 

It's Earth Day...well, Earth Week. Technically Earth Day isn't until April 22nd, but because that falls on a Sunday this year, a lot of schools and businesses are doing Earth Day stuff this week. In light of that, I wanted to make Abigail's curriculum this week about the Earth. I wanted some curriculum that would focus on plants, the planet, and our role as Christians in how we are to take care of the planet. Lucky for us, my garden is actually doing a pretty decent job, so I was able to incorporate that into the lesson plans. Look at my little girl helping me water the plants!
If you are looking at that blue milk jug and asking, "What in the world is that?!" See here

So when I do curriculum with Abigail, I have normally used Hubbard's Cupboard. I love this website. I seriously do. (See here, here, here, and here). But my older kids are getting...well...older, and I needed something that I can have this summer that will be a good fit for all of them. I have been playing around with "2 Teaching Mommies" online for a bit. I got some of the activities for the Holy Week Activities from this website, and I've used bits and pieces from them for other activities. I wanted to try out an entire unit, like I would this summer. I must say, I really like it.

Now, they didn't have anything specifically about Earth Day on their website, but they did have a few units that would fit. Here are some examples of what I found:

  1.  The Forest (for Tots) 
  2. The Forest 
  3. The Rain Forest
  4. Spring
  5. Space (when I searched "Planet") 
I used The Forest (for Tots). I knew I wasn't going to have a lot of time for something that was going to take a lot of time, so this seemed like it had enough activities that would reinforce what I am trying to teach my children: to take care of the Earth that God has given to us. (That's another thing about this website I really like. They include a Bible verse and devotion...for the mama, too!...if you wanted to include that in your lesson plans. So cool!) 

Abigail did a great job! Well...actually, let me get a little honest with you here...she struggled at first. Ugh! It was so frustrating. She knows her numbers, and yet she was having a hard time. I was getting frustrated. So after a very upsetting session (for me, not for her), I put it aside for a day and came back two days later. Meanwhile, we worked on talking about  plants and the garden. We also talked about taking care of our animals. When we came back, we tried again, and Abigail did much better...and so did I. :) God did a little work on my heart in the space between. 

So my final review? I really liked this website and the lessons they provided. Abigail seemed to enjoy the activities and she like writing the letter "F" (for Forest) over and over again. Here are some pictures of her doing some of the activities. 

Practicing writing "F", two puzzles for the Bible verse, a few "baggie" activities, one of which she is working on: a pattern activity. We did the bags on the first day, she pulled them out again after we finished our Bible verses and writing. 

After I put it all away (or displayed it), she insisted on playing this game again. Earlier in the week, she BOMBED this. Today, she did a MUCH BETTER job. Yay for learning! 

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