Landfills are on all of my student's minds. First of all, I will start with the conversation we had during our reading lesson this morning. We have been discussing natural resources, endangered/extinct animals and ways humans change the earth. This week's story is "How to Help Planet Earth" and is set up like a magazine article with many facts and pictures. This being said, we have become OBSESSED with recycling. The students all decided to save and bring in their paper/soda bottles to school if they didn't recycle at home. (By the way, we decided we should not bring in any beer bottles/can...)
We read a caption that was saying how kids may not be able to help the whole world's problems, but they can do a small part by recycling. This lead to: "We can't save the polar bears, but we can recycle!"
Here's the conversation between myself and the famous Mr. T.V. (aka Dr. Seuss Jr.):
Me: You guys must be talking about the commercials/news stories that says the polar bears' homes are being destroyed...There's not much that we can do to help in that situation, but I'm sure some scientists are working on it. (Really eloquent, I know.) What is a small thing we can do to help the earth?
Mr. T.V.: BUT MS. BUCKLER! WE CAN SAVE THE POLAR BEARS! WE CAN!
Me: What can we do, Mr. T.V.?
Mr. T.V.: WE CAN BRING THEM BASKETS OF FISH!
Me: Where are we going to get baskets of fish?!
MR. T.V.: THE LAKE! WE'LL CATCH THEM AND PUT THEM IN BASKETS WITH ICE!
Me: Okay, so how would we get the baskets of fish to the polar bears? (I pulled down the map and showed them where polar bears live and where we live.)
MR. T.V.: WE FLY THEM IN AN AIRPLANE!
Me: Where would we get an airplane?
MR. T.V.: AT THE AIRPORT! (Duh.)
Me: Where would we get money to buy tickets for the airplane ride?
MR. T.V.: FROM THE PRESIDENT! (We have been learning about the presidents this week, too.)
Me: Alright Mr. T.V., you write a letter to the president and ask for money to save the polar bears and we'll send it. But, I don't think I'm ready to go on a field trip to where polar bears live with second graders yet...I'm thinking that to start, we can recycle. That would be pretty easy. What are some ways we can be better at recycling?
MR. T.V.: MS. BUCKLER! WE SHOULD PROBABLY E-MAIL THE PRESIDENT...IT'S WAY FASTER.!
During this time, the rest of the students' heads are going back and forth between me and MR. T.V. like they are watching a tennis match. And, their little faces were changing from "great idea" when looking at MR. T.V. to "what is wrong with you Ms. Buckler? Why don't you want to help the poor polar bears?" when looking at me...Take a minute to imagine that.
Ladybugs are things that I love. I blame my grandmother and Aunt for starting the obsession. I've collected ladybug things for a while now, and each year, my students add to the collection. For Valentine's day, I got five (yes, five!) ladybug-shaped boxes full of chocolate covered animal crackers. I've also gotten ladybug earrings, bracelets, pencils, tattoos (fake) and erasers. Oh, and a used nail file. If it's got a ladybug on it, I've probably gotten it from a student. (There was that one guy I dated in college that made me a ladybug fishing lure, but that's another story.) I've even dressed up as Ladybug Girl by Jacky Davis (given to me by a fellow ladybug lover) for Halloween.
So, when the Time unit in math rolls around, I've always read The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. This year, we have extra days to learn about time, so I got to pull out the extras that go with it. I was very excited.
We made ladybug clocks, which I think turned out ADORABLE!
And Mr. T.V. read the story aloud with all the appropriate voices and dramatic inflection while the rest of us showed the times on the clock. We recorded his reading. I wish I was smart enough to be able to post it on here. I have it if you'd like to hear all seven minutes of fabulousness (especially when the snake says "If you insis-s-s-s-t! Right after LUNCH!")
We, and by that I mean mostly me and the girls and Mr. T.V., have been having a blast with the ladybug stuff. To relate it to landfills...I know that a few of those ladybug clocks will end up there. It's just a part of life. I shall keep you posted on the polar bear project.