Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd every year, but at The International Preschools, we believe that Earth Day is every day! Although a special curriculum focus is placed upon taking care of the Earth throughout the month of April, the skills learned by the children are meant to be used every day of the year. Topics such as plant and animal life cycles, recycling, gardening, and keeping the Earth clean are touched upon inside of our classrooms during this time. Continue reading to learn more about the concepts that IPS students are exploring throughout the spring months!
Spring: The changing of the seasons provides a tangible topic for classroom learning. The children discuss the differences in weather and clothing, as well as what trees look like during this time (i.e. leaves, buds, etc). The end of hibernation for some animals and the return of birds from migrating south also provide continuation for a subject that many classrooms learn about during the winter months.
- Gardening: Planting is a popular activity during this time of year! In previous years, the 45th Street location cultivated a rooftop garden, established by Junior Kindergarten teacher Ms. Robyn, where parents, children, and teachers took part in growing flowers, herbs, and other plants. At 76th Street, Mr. Henry, a member of our maintenance staff, helped create a garden on the school playground. During Earth Week, each classroom visits the backyard and assists in planting bulbs for the outdoor space.
- Life Cycles: The life cycles of both plants and animals are studied at all three locations. In addition to
planting, the students bear witness to the life cycles of ladybugs and caterpillars in particular. Once the larvae have evolved into ladybugs and butterflies, the children set the animals free to live outdoors in their natural habitat. In the late winter, all three locations housed eggs, which ultimately hatched baby chicks, providing another examination of an animal life cycle.
- Earth Day: Earth Day celebrations are held at each IPS location; some events are stretched out throughout the entire week. Topics such as litter, saving energy, and recycling are touched upon. The children take part in sorting items for recycling, reusing items such as cardboard tubes and plastic containers for art projects, turning off the lights to save energy, and
turning off the faucet to save water. All of these activities provide school-to-home connections; that is, children can take the practices learned at school and use them at home, and vice versa.
- Growth: The topics of life cycles and new beginnings serves as a springboard for our end-of-year units on “saying goodbye.” Classrooms will focus on how much the children have grown since the beginning of the school year; many children will bring in photos of themselves as babies to compare to what they look like now. The students compare and contrast things that they can do now, that they couldn’t do as babies. These activities help build confidence and self-esteem, allowing for a smoother transition into leaving their familiar classrooms for summer camp and ultimately new classes and/or schools for September.
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