Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Grow As We Grow

Matching baby animals to adults

Grow As We Grow

Children explore the life cycles of familiar wildlife and understand that living things grow and change.

This unit has many wonderful activities for us to use here at school. We have changed many of our centers and work to connect to nature, animals and life cycles. Most centers have literature present so your child can view photographs of a simple or complete metamorphosis. Here is some background and a few activities you can review at home.

Quick Facts

All living things grow and change during their lifetimes. Every plant and animal begins life, matures and dies in a series of stages called a life cycle.

In many animals-including fish, mammals, reptiles and birds-the young are born or hatch with all of their limbs and often look like miniature versions of the adults. Examples include bass, humans, turtles and chickens.

Other animals look significantly different when they are young compared to when they are adults. Amphibians such as frogs and newts are examples of animals that undergo a big change, or metamorphosis, during their life. 

Insects are another group of animals that go through metamorphosis. Most insects have life cycles with four distinct and unique stages-egg, larva, pupa and adult. Examples include butterfly, ladybugs, bees, ants and flies. Some insects have three stages of development-egg, nymph (or larva) and adult. Examples include grasshoppers and dragonflies.


On the hunt for young and adult creatures

Take Me Outside: On the Lookout for Life Cycles

Let's take a walk outside to look for baby and adult animals. When we find an animal, let's see if we can tell whether it's a baby or an adult (or other life stage). Where might we look for animals? A good place to look for birds and squirrels is in and around trees. For butterflies and ladybugs, we can look amoung shrubs, checking on the undersides of leaves for any eggs. For grasshoppers, we can walk in areas with lots of different grasses and fields. For frogs, turtles and fish we can check a nearby pond or vernal pool. What do you notice about the animals we see? Did we find more babies or more adults?


Music

Can we find frog eggs down here?
Growing Kids (To the tune of "Frere Jacques")
We were babies. We were babies.
Yes, we were. Yes, we were.
We grew so quickly-
Crawling, walking, talking.
We grew fast. We grew fast.

We are growing. We are growing.
Yes, we are. Yes, we are.
We are getting taller,
And we're getting stronger.
Look at us. Look at us.

We'll keep growing. We'll keep growing.
Yes, we will. Yes, we will.
Someday we'll be grown-ups.
We'll have jobs and families.
One day soon. One day soon.


Detour-We ended up in the garden instead. Let's pick carrots!

Home Connections

Baby Pictures: Find some pictures of when you were a baby (or when your child's sibling, other person, or pet was a baby). Look at the pictures together. How can you tell who it is? What changes do you see? 



Living Life Cycles

A friend gave CSNL two mallard ducklings to watch grow and change. The children will care for and raise these small animals from duckling to adulthood so we can watch its development. We will also be discussing and learning about pet responsibilities. After about 10 weeks we will be looking for a home that has a body of water for Mack and Quack. If you're interested, please let me know.

Observing the ducklings
Our new addition to the CSNL family-DUCKLINGS!



Planting Seeds

Gardening

We will also observe a plant's life cycle. Children have planted vegetable and herb seeds this week so that we can discover how a plant grows from seed to fruit and back to seed again. Chesterbrook School of Natural Learning will be selling their plants to the community this spring so spread the word to family and friends.

Planting our seeds
Caring for our seeds


Snack

Monday-Grapes, Peppers, hummus, mixed nuts
Tuesday- Green Apples, local raw honey, Skippy all-natural chunky peanut butter, crackers
Wednesday-

Extras

This is what our friends do when one of us gets hurt!


Learning about numbers and their order with friends

Today this was our hospital. Doctors cared for sick people and animals.


Strengthening our fine motor skills with color matching work