Let the digging begin! Our summer Story time will be all based on the 2013 Collaborative Summer Library Program theme Dig into Reading. This week we started with a lesson about dirt & mud.
To begin our day we played with play dough. Then to transition into our reading we did an experiment with some regular garden dirt and a large jar of water. We talked about what dirt is made of, what can be found in dirt (grass, leaves, rocks, bugs etc.) then we added some of the dirt to the clean jar of water and shook it up. We talked about how the particles of dirt were suspended in the water but since they are heavier than water would fall to the bottom. So we sat that aside and read Mud Puddle by Robert Munsch, Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle, Pigs in the Mud in the Middle of the Rud by Lynn Plourde and Duck in the Truck by Jez Alborough. Two of these stories featured trucks getting stuck in the mud so we talked about roads that are made of dirt. In one class this led to the side topic of driving a Jeep in Moab, which is where I just came back from vacation and several children had been there at some point or another...anyway once we got back on topic we checked our jar of water and found that a lot of the dirt had indeed settled out. We could see some sand and pebbles at the bottom (actually quite a bit since the dirt came from my garden and it is located where my children's sandbox used to be) a fine layer of dark brown silt and some floating organic matter. I have to admit that I swept up some dead ants from the patio so I could add some bugs just for interest. After all it is just plain cool to see ants floating in your science experiment.
We played a game of Ring around the Puddle, using a brown blanket as our "puddle" we would all jump in at the end of the rhyme. "Ring around the puddle, pocket full of mud oh!, squish squash, squish squash, we all jump in!" We did a finger rhyme/ flannel board activity using the 5 little monkeys format, but used 5 little piggies rolling in the mud, along came Mr. farmer and put one in the tub!
We then made a craft using the little blue truck story as our inspiration. I had printed a simple outline of a truck onto card stock. The children colored the truck blue, added an eye (the truck in the story has eyes), and then we used a mixture of brown washable paint, flour and water to make mud paint. Some trucks were covered top to bottom with "mud" others just had muddy wheels and some made muddy roads under the truck. They turned out very cute and it was a nice simple craft.
Next week: Gardens/Plants & Seeds