Tag Archives: April

Earth Day 2020

Earth Day Stories:

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Tumblebooks: (username= tumble735, password = books)

What happens when one small boy picks up one small piece of litter? He doesn’t know it, but his tiny act has big consequences. From the miniscule to the universal, What Matters sensitively explores nature’s connections and traces the ripple effects of one child’s good deed to show how we can all make a big difference.

You Are Stardust begins by introducing the idea that every tiny atom in our bodies came from a star that exploded long before we were born. From its opening pages, the book suggests that we are intimately connected to the natural world; it compares the way we learn to speak to the way baby birds learn to sing, and the growth of human bodies to the growth of forests. This innovative picture book aims to reintroduce children to their innate relationship with the world around them by sharing many of the surprising ways that we are all connected to the natural world.

Wild Ideas looks deep into the forests, skies and oceans to explore how animals solve problems. Whether it’s weaving a safe place to rest and reflect, blowing a fine net of bubbles to trap fish, or leaping boldly into a new situation, the animals featured (including the orangutan, humpback whale and gibbon) can teach us a lot about creative problem solving tools and strategies. Wild Ideas encourages an inquiry-based approach to learning, inviting readers to indulge their sense of wonder and curiosity by observing the natural world, engaging with big ideas and asking questions.

Articles  and Activity Ideas from CBC Kids:

 

 

 

National Poetry Month 2020

 

From the League of Canadian Poets:

“We hope that this theme will inspire conversations, poems, and dialogues about the many ways poetry is expressed and honoured around the world, as well as the cultural impacts of poetry in different regions. We encourage poets from around the world to speak and write about what poetry means for their life experiences, perspectives and identity as well as the roots of poetry in their culture or country.

“What will you read this National Poetry Month? Will you start your own poetry writing project? Will you write your first poem? Will you share your poetry on stage for the first time?

  1. Tumblebooks has some fun poetry video books to read online:  (username: tumble735, password: books)

Cat Named HaikuA Cat Named Haiku: Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry. Haiku is also a little cat who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. “A Cat Named Haiku” tells the story of the day in the life of a mischievous little cat, as he learns a valuable lesson on love told completely in haiku. After disobeying his owner, Haiku discovers at the end of the day even if someone is mad at you it doesn’t mean they don’t still love you. From climbing the curtains to trying to eat the pet goldfish, all of Haiku’s antics are chronicled in the three line poetry of his namesake in this 40 page children’s book intended for ages 6 and up.

Ook the BookOok the Book

Ook the Book seems like it’s been around forever, dog-eared from decades of readings and rereadings. It could be the jaunty Seussian rhythms at play, but it has a classic quirkiness all its own–a blend of Calef Brown’s Polkabats and Octopus Slacks and the good Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat. With poem titles from “Ug the Bug” to “Eep the Sheep,” you can see that the rhyme is not exactly subtle. Therein lies its charm. While its simple rhymes make it perfect for building early reading skills, Shannon McNeill’s action-packed illustrations (awash in a delicious color palette) give readers of all ages plenty to snicker over. In “Ake the Snake,” for example, the snake has a cake, because he can bake. The snake, coiled by the lake (sporting a cupcake chef’s hat) is surrounded by baking ingredients and two tiny green traumatized bugs, who have indeed tried to take the snake cake, and therefore are being flung screaming into the lake, much to the dismay of another bug hiding behind a sack of what might be flour. We think it’s gutsy to write a poem as simple as “I am At, / At the cat. / Do you see Pat? / He is my rat. / I sat on Pat, / so he is flat.” And we like it. (Pat the flat rat doesn’t look too happy about it, however.) A wonderful primer for wee ones just starting to have fun with words. (Ages 2 to 5) –Karin Snelson —

2. Selections from: Tea and Bannock Stories: First Nations Community of Poetic Voices (Simon Fraser University, First Nations Studies. Compiled by annie ross, Brandon Bob, Eve Chuang and the Chuang Family, Steve Davis, Robert Pictou)

 

3. Selections from Poetry Foundation: Poetry for Children

Ideas for Teachers: (from the League of Canadian Poets)

Poetry Play Stations

Poetry play stations use different techniques to encourage young readers to craft poems. Here are some great stations to include:

Erasure poetry: Using a page of existing text, use a black marker to complete cross out sections of the text — the words or phrases that remain can be strung together to form an original poem! Part of the beauty of erasure poem is how the entire page looks when completed, blacked-out sections and all.  Try it with a newspaper article!

Found poetry: Found poetry is very similar to erasure poetry — well, erasure poetry is a kind of found poetry — but with a little more freedom. Again using an existing text, participants select words or phrases from the text that they think will make a great poem: using the found words and phrases, they can play with line breaks, stanzas, and other ways of construction an original poem from the found text!

Book spine poetry: This is a great poetic experiment that takes over Twitter every April — using as few as three or as many as… well, as many as you can stack, create a poem using the titles of books as they appear on the spines. These make excellent photos and are great for sharing!

Magnet poetry: A classic! Choosing words from a pile of individual words to string together an original poem. This could be from a magnetic poetry set, but you could also simply prepare an assortment of words for participants to choose from.” (Source: League of Canadian Poets)

 

Home Learning Resources: Curio

There are many digital resources being released free of charge. This week, we are featuring some spring nature videos published by Curio.  

We might not be able to go outside as much as we like, but these adventures might inspire you to look and listen to the nature in your own backyard.

Nature Mystery:

“The Case of the Quiet Diggers”

Nature Movement Song:

“Frogs”

Nature DIY ideas:

Daisy and the Gumboot Kids: Daisy the mouse loves nature! In each episode she guides children through the creation of a new and exciting nature craft. Daisy brings wonder and imagination to the craft table and encourages children to explore the world outside!

Daisy & The Gumboot Kids

 

 

National Poetry Month

 

From the League of Canadian Poets:

Celebrate nature with poetry this April!

“The League of Canadian Poets invites you to celebrate the 21st annual National Poetry Month in April with nature – whether it’s mountain ranges, deserts, forests, oceans, or plains; whether it’s a cityscape or a landscape. Read, write, and share poetry that translates the emotional, practical, and reciprocal relationships we build – as individuals and communities – to the natural world onto the page.”

“What will you read this National Poetry Month? What events will you organize, attend? Will you start your own poetry writing project? Will you write your first poem? Will you share your poetry on stage for the first time?

Ideas for Teachers:

And now, let’s make a poetry party!

Poetry-palooza

Organize a poetry-palooza for a group of young readers to engage them with the many sides to poetry. Participants can read a poem aloud — original or not — to the others, or they could distribute their favourite written poem–again, original or not. But there’s more to poetry than the poems! Encourage young readers to write fanmail to their favourite poets, or take the fun even farther away from poetry and hide poems around the room (book spine poetry, anyone?), or have other poetry game stations for participants to engage with.

Poetry Play Stations

Poetry play stations use different techniques to encourage young readers to craft poems. Here are some great stations to include:

Erasure poetry: Using a page of existing text, use a black marker to complete cross out sections of the text — the words or phrases that remain can be strung together to form an original poem! Part of the beauty of erasure poem is how the entire page looks when completed, blacked-out sections and all.

Found poetry: Found poetry is very similar to erasure poetry — well, erasure poetry is a kind of found poetry — but with a little more freedom. Again using an existing text, participants select words or phrases from the text that they think will make a great poem: using the found words and phrases, they can play with line breaks, stanzas, and other ways of construction an original poem from the found text!

Book spine poetry: This is a great poetic experiment that takes over Twitter every April — using as few as three or as many as… well, as many as you can stack, create a poem using the titles of books as they appear on the spines. These make excellent photos and are great for sharing on social media!

Magnet poetry: A classic! Choosing words from a pile of individual words to string together an original poem. This could be from a magnetic poetry set, but you could also simply prepare an assortment of words for participants to choose from.” (Source: League of Canadian Poets)

Songs and Poems for Elementary Students (Source: CanTeach)

What’s Growing This Spring?

It’s spring and a time of plant growth and development.  What’s growing around your school or in your school garden?

Here’s some inspiration – look for these books in your school library:

Winner of First Nation Communities Read:

(Books below are recommended by Adrienne Gear)

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Flip, Float, Fly: Seeds on the Move

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Teachers:

Visit the Environmental Learning page on Curriculum Connections for a wealth of planting resources, shared by Dewdney Elementary School.

EarthPLAY for Earth Day

Click on the links below to find resources from the EarthPLAY Toolkit or visit the Earth Day Canada website.

Earth Day Reading:

Visit your school library to borrow books about the Earth and protecting it. Some books to look for are:

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For Teachers/Principals/Parents:

Action Ideas from Earth Day Canada:

This Earth Day, take all of that learning and hold an extra or extended recess. Or go all out – host an Adventure Play Day!

Hold an extra or extended recess: Demonstrate your school’s commitment to outdoor free play. Support accessible and inclusive play by bringing out loose parts. Consider setting up a temporary mud kitchen!

Host an Adventure Play Day: Provide an opportunity for students to connect to nature through outdoor play by hosting an Adventure Play Day! Provide a variety of natural and upcycled materials (loose parts), and transform your schoolyard into an adventure playground where all sorts of neat and unexpected things can be created, constructed, and organized.

How to host an Adventure Play Day

Set up a play day team

Gather a core group of five to six staff to facilitate this fun day! Put together a team of play champions: two teachers, an administrator, a couple of parents, and maybe a caretaker to lead the collection and organization of loose parts and event delivery.

Announce the day

Let the whole school know! Spread the word via student-made posters, social media, newsletters, and morning announcements.

Start a loose parts collection

Four loose parts per child will likely ensure you will have enough loose parts for everyone. They should be easy-to-source, free, or reusable materials that can ideally be recycled after the day.

Plan to cycle between 60-100 children through 60-90-minute play sessions

Play should not be rushed. The reality of recess and lunch hours will hopefully not have to apply to your play day. Depending on the size of your school, we also recommend mixing age groups!

Assess the space you will use for this event

It’s helpful to designate an adventure play section in the playground – about a baseball diamond size space (excluding the outfield), preferably including sand/mud, and not too far from a water source. Supervision won’t be spread out too far and the rest of the playground will be available for other children during the day. Identify the perimeter of the play area and where loose parts will be placed (e.g. a cardboard tube placed near a sandpit will often become a tool for digging and exploration).

On the big day, consider how you will lay out the loose parts 

Avoid creating obvious play stations but spread out loose parts with hints as to how they might be used. Not all of the loose parts need be laid out on the site initially. Try introducing new parts as some things become too worn for play.

Supervising play on your big day

When given the freedom to play with loose parts, students will surprise you with new and creative ways to play! This can be a challenge to supervise, and requires that you balance the opportunity for students to direct their own play with the rules of the playground and risk of injury. Rather than over-policing play, focus on three simple rules: stay within the boundaries, everyone helps clean up, and have fun!

Tidy up

Be sure to include tidy up time in your schedule. Have students re-organize the play field for the next group. Make sure supervisors have transition time between groups to rest and regroup. At the end of the day, sort the waste from the stuff you need to return or store. Be extra nice to your caretakers as they will have the extra work of making sure that waste is properly recycled or disposed. Thank them!

 

 

 

 

Pacific Underwater Calendar: Spring

Did you spot any sea life over spring break?

Here is a link to an interesting article about what sea life is like along the Pacific coast in the spring.

Pacific Underwater Calendar:  Spring is in the air and the water.

What you can do to help protect sea life (from the David Suzuki Foundation):

  • Monitor marine mammal populations with a digital app, such as Whale mAPP.

Want to learn about the ocean all year round? Visit the Pacific Underwater Calendar!

Featured Image: Credit to L. Lane, Parksville, BC for this great shot of sea lions with very full bellies after feasting on migrating herring!