Celebrating Earth Day 2017 at The International Preschools

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Our youngest students learned about Earth Day via planting activities.
Our youngest students learned about Earth Day via planting activities.

Earth Day is every day at The International Preschools!  Of course, during the month of April, celebrating Earth Day becomes a focused portion of our play-based learning curriculum.  Every year the teachers and students at IPS commemorate this day with a rich, impressive, and varied curriculum.

Many classes embarked on their Earth Day-related units by planting.  Lima beans and grass seeds were popular plants among the classrooms, and are great choices:  both sprout quickly, allowing for the children to witness the growth process.  Children learned about the parts of a plant (i.e. stems, leaves, roots) and what is needed for seeds to grow (sunlight, water, soil).  Then, via hands-on activities (daily plant watering, placement of plants on the windowsill for adequate light), students assist the plants by giving them what they need!

A whole group Earth project, using green paint to represent land.
A whole group Earth project, using green paint to represent land.
Repurposing recycled water bottles as...paint stampers!
Repurposing recycled water bottles as…paint stampers!

Other classes employed the spring season to teach children about the Earth.  Here, children observe outdoor changes, from warmer (and rainy) weather to an increasing amount of the color green in their environment.  When learning about the Earth in preschool, the colors of green and blue are an important identifying mark when recognizing the Earth in a photograph or drawing.  Green signifies the land; blue represents the water (oceans).  Teachers further reinforced this knowledge by providing green and blue painting activities, and collage projects using only green and blue materials.

The three Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle – were a common theme throughout IPS classrooms in April.  Students learned about ways that they can help keep the Earth clean, such as using both sides of drawing paper and by throwing trash into a garbage can instead of the ground or into bodies of water.  At our 86th Street location, an Earth Day celebration was held in the gym, featuring games and activities that were created with recycled materials…another poignant example of play-based learning!

Observing caterpillars
Observing caterpillars
Events at 86th Street's Earth Day Celebration!
Events at 86th Street’s Earth Day Celebration!

Taking care of animals was another focus within many classrooms.  Each classroom will begin a unit on life cycles, in conjunction with our Earth unit.  Children will observe the different stages, for example, of a caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly.  Other classrooms have witnessed the hatching of tadpole eggs, and still others will view the emergence of baby chicks from eggs in an incubator!  It’s an exciting time to be a growing  student at The International Preschools!

Interested in our school?  Read a letter from our director, Donna Cohen, by clicking here.

 


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