This week we feature leopards in our free weekly activity. In the accompanying Dear Colleague letter, we talk about ways you and your children can discuss the interconnectedness of Planet Earth. In the past we have looped paper strips to create a chain of vegetation and animals to illustrate our dependence on one another.
As you can see, the strips do not always lend themselves to drawing pictures and may be more appropriate for older students.
An age-appropriate activity is to act out a food chain. This can be helpful, especially when you are working with English Language Learners (ELLs). This type of comprehensible input is important for their understanding. As always, using clear nouns and verbs will especially be helpful to newcomers or those in the “Silent Phase.”
There are other visual activities to help all children understand our connected world. For example, if you are changing your school over to Earth-friendly reusable coffee mugs, put the old Styrofoam cups to good use. They can serve as a way to show the food chain in a different manner. Take a look at our visual:
You can ask children to color just one plant or animal and then work with a group to figure out how these all “stack up” in the food chain or one child can make his or her own food chain cups.
We have shown the food chain for a leopard to align with our activity, but here are a few other ideas:
Of course, you will want to ask children for ideas about your local animals and how these creatures fit into a community food chain.
You will see that we always like to integrate fine motor skills into activities. Coloring, cutting, and pasting encourage future writing skills.
NAEYC –2.G.02 & 2.G.08.
Head Start -XI.B.1 & 2.