Saturday, April 28, 2012

Earth Day, Kamikatsu, and Making Wishes

Earth Day has come and gone.  I meant to post about our activities but life happened and I have been super busy at school and at home.  I also lost the pictures I had of their little project.  I asked families to turn in small items that they normally recycle, such as plastic lids, empty toilet paper rolls, empty paper towel rolls, cereal boxes, empty plastic fruit cups, etc.  Out of these we made "litterbugs".  They really turned out cute.  I also had a read and write the room activity for them to use during Work on Words.  They had to search the classroom for pictures&words on their chart and then categorize their findings into reduce, reuse, or recycle. We read lots of non-fiction books about recycling and why we want to recycle.  It sparked lots of conversation about how kids recycle at home and there are a lot of families who compost.  Amazing!  One of my kiddos even found an article about a town in Japan that has NO garbage at all.  They recycle over 30 kinds of trash.  He wrote about this article as part of his global awareness project. 

"In Kamikatsu, there’s no such thing as trash. You won’t find a single garbage bin in any of the town’s homes, and there’s not a dump anywhere within driving distance. Instead, the resourceful residents must compost all waste from their food, and sort other trash into 34 separate categories, with sections for plastic bottles, razor blades, Styrofoam, and various other paraphernalia.
The crazy part? Most locals actually seem to like the extreme recycling process. Kikue Nii, one resident, claims that the town’s no-waste policy makes her more mindful of what she’s using, and helps her to take advantage of every last scrap. “I think I produce less waste because I have to compost it,” she told BBC News.
“When I can’t use the whole vegetable or meat, I try to cook it again with wine and so on. It makes a very good soup. Everyone should have a composter if they can.”  Read more here...

Since Spring has sprung, we used what most people dread in their yards... dandelions and wrote about them.  Really they are just weeds and Mr. Smith and I pay professionals to come and get rid of them but kids love them.  They blossom into these puffy white things and when you blow them, you can make a wish.  This is exactly what we did!  I love a good crafty project because we don't get to do much of it anymore, so I made a writing lesson out of it too.  We brainstormed ideas of what to wish for, made a rough draft of a poem, and then made our final copy.  Once that was done, we made our craft yesterday for Fun Friday.  It is a silhouette of them blowing a dandelion and making a wish.

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