Saturday, March 31, 2012

Plants in different environments

As part of our plant unit, and since we live in the desert, I wanted to show the students the difference between desert plants and plants in another environment.  I read the fabulous book Cactus Hotel one day and then The Great Kapok Tree the next day.  Then yesterday we pretended we were cactus in the desert.  The kiddos spread out all over the room and held up their arms like cactus arms.  Then we talked about how because of the little rain in the desert, sometimes plants need lots of room to spread their roots.  Then we pretended we were trees in the rain forest.  I asked them what they should do differently and they all got back on the carpet and stood close together.  Then we made a human double bubble map comparing and contrasting the desert and the rainforest.  I gave one student a plate with the word "desert" on it and one student a plate with the word "rainforest" on it.  They stood apart from each other with space in the middle and on the outside.  If a student knew something that the two environments had in common they came to the middle, touched each child's shoulder and said the similarity.  If a student knew something that just the desert had, he/she came and stood to the side of the desert, touched that child's shoulder, and said the fact.  The same for the rainforest.  The kiddos had a lot of fun with this human double bubble map and they were able to tell a lot of similarities and differences!  Great fun!

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