Sunday, June 22, 2014

Nocturnal Animals at LVLC

Lately, we (myself and the amazing kiddos I have under my tutelage this year) have been studying nocturnal animals. Thanks to a book from Sonlight, a Teachers Pay Teachers packet, and a bit of “make my own” work to cover the nocturnal animals found around this part of the world, we’ve gone on a fun discovery! I even found a drawing tutorial for kids on YouTube to help include a bit of art.
We’ve had a fun time learning about hedgehogs and bushbabies, and I forced myself to teach about bats despite my great dislike for the creatures. I suppose I could have brought an example in from my house, or taken the kids on a field trip up to the attic of the school where these guys squeak away above our heads all day… but I opted for a video representation instead!

Thanks to local eucalyptus tree hedges, we even got
to smell a bit of Australia as we learned about koalas!
We took a brief turn from mammals to insects and I pulled out the crickets activity page. Apparently no one wants to draw crickets (no fun kid-sized tutorial available on YouTube) nor do they want to talk about them (no thanks to Nat Geo here!). But luckily on my way over to the school, I happened to notice said creature (something similar-looking) caught under a door, a bit immobilized, and easy to pick up and have my kids hold.

We drew him while listening to cricket sounds on YouTube, and tried to figure out if he was truly a cricket or one of his diurnal relatives. We learned later from my super-cool middle-school science teacher that it was actually a dying (hence the blah color) grasshopper... but at least we got to learn about the differences and similarities, and hold and draw something from real life with magnifying glasses!)

I decided at the last minute to include raccoons, since they're one animal my hailing-from-Michigan kiddos are bound to come across over furlough (or sometime in their lives). And, being kindergarteners, we can't leave our experience to paper and pen and YouTube videos of raccoons eating food off picnic tables at night! Rather, it's better to embrace the experience itself. (Which, btw, we limited to an inside activity after discussing the role-play thoroughly - no mask wearing outside since masks here have a whole different meaning...)

Because who DOESN'T want to wear a striped tail and a mask over their face... and pretend to wash and eat the math manipulatives FOOD left for you on the classroom floor, in the dark?

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