"There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million." -Walter Streightiff

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

What's in the Pond?

We had plenty of good books and lots of play experiences to help us learn about the plants and animals that make up the ecosystem of the pond.

Around the Pond...Who's Been Here?
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had us looking for clues to introduce us to many pond inhabitants- turtles, raccoons, beavers, otters, ducks, fish and more. We also read In a Small, Small Pond
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to find out more. We sang a fun song about four little pond creatures:
There's a little yellow duck, sitting in the water;
a little yellow duck doing what he oughter.
He took a bite of a lily pad, flapped his wings and said, "I'm glad, that I'm a little yellow duck, sitting in the water, quack, quack, quack." 
There's a little green frog, sitting in the water; a little green frog doing what he oughter.
He jumped right off of the lily pad that the little duck bit and then he said, "I'm glad, that I'm a little green frog sitting in the water, ribbit, ribbit, ribbit."

There's a little black bug, floating in the water; a little black bug, doing what he oughter. 
He tickled the frog on the lily pad, that the little duck bit and then he said, "I'm glad, that I'm a little black bug, floating in the water, eek, eek, eek."

There's a little red snake, sliding through the water; a little red snake, doing what he oughter.
He frightened the duck and the frog, so bad, and then he ate the little bug and then he said, "I'm glad, that I'm a little red snake, sliding through the water, hiss-ss-ss."

Now there's nobody left, sitting in the water.
There's nobody left, doing what he oughter.
There's nothing left but the lily pad.
The duck and the frog ran away, I'm sad.
That there's nobody left, sitting in the water.
Boo! Hoo! Hoo!

It was fun to play in our pretend pond...

We read Tadpole to Frog, 
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Look Out for the Big Bad Fish,
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and then played "Life Cycle Hopscotch" to reinforce our knowledge of the life cycle of a frog.

After reading Jump, Frog, Jump!
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we used frog footprint stamps. We painted them the color of our choice and then "jumped" them on our paper. 

  We love to dramatize! We read and sang, Five Green and Speckled Frogs
 Five Green and Speckled Frogs: A Count-and-Sing Book
and then acted it out...over and over and over again!

Next, we made our own little speckled frogs with frog shapes and dot markers...

The Croaky Pokey 
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had us singing along as the frogs tried to use their long, sticky tongues to catch a pesky fly. 
We used "frog tongues" (party blowers) to try and catch some bugs. We got quite adept at aiming and getting our "tongues" right on target!

We read One Duck Stuck
where we met some other pond inhabitants, 
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and then we used little plastic ducks to dip in paint and stamp on paper. 

After reading and singing Five Little Ducks (a definite favorite around here:), 
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we put on a puppet show with a mommy duck and five little ducks. We each took a turn being the mommy duck. 

We absolutely loved the story of Mossy the Turtle who had moss, ferns, flowers and more growing on her back. She became such a phenomenon, she was placed in a museum for all to see. But, she was not happy- we weren't either. She belonged back at the pond with her turtle friend. 
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After reading it, and being happy with the outcome, we used materials like leaves, ferns, flowers and feathers to print on turtle shell shapes. The process was fun- we had to paint the material of our choice and then use a brayer to make a print on our turtle shell. 

The results were quite stunning...almost as impressive as Mossy's shell!

Turtle Splash! 
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had us counting down from ten to one as the turtles were startled by other pond inhabitants and splashed into the pond. 
We each donned a turtle shell (a pillow) and practiced moving as a turtle would. Now we know why turtles move slow...

One of our favorite songs of all times is about a turtle- Tiny Tim! We sang it and then blew bubbles around our little turtle friends. 
I have a little turtle, his name is Tiny Tim.
I put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim.
He drank up all the water, he ate up all the soap.
And now my turtle is sick in bed with a bubble in his throat!

We went fishing in a pond after reading Fish is Fish
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When we caught a fish, we counted the scales and then sang:
Have you ever been a fishin' on a bright and sunny day? 
Have you seen the little fishies swimming in and out the bay?
With their hands in their pockets and their pockets in their pants,
Have you seen the little fishies do the hoochi koochi dance? 

We couldn't leave the pond without helping the beavers build a dam! First we read Little Beaver and The Echo and looked at pictures of beaver dams. Maybe we could build one like the wise old beaver.
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We worked with a partner to build a dam with mud and sticks and then we added pond creatures to our habitat. As you can see, some of us were a little hesitant to play in the mud!

We'll always remember our visit to the pond and hope we can go back again some day.

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