Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Kids Wednesday: Mosiac Turtle and Trip to the Nature Center

I was trying to plan things to do over Spring Break with my son.  He mentioned how we are moving away from the nature center so I figured that we would make a trip to visit them and the turtle that they have in the front area.  I wanted to come up with something else that we could do in combination with that so I found a fun craft online to make a turtle here. We started by taking turns coloring the small shapes on the paper.  This takes a long time so it helps if you share in the creative process or it could take days.

I used a piece of green paper behind the sheet and cut two at a time so that we had lots of green and double the shapes with half the cutting.  It was a good thing because we needed almost all of the two sheets.  After they were cut out, my son glued the shapes on the bottom of the bowl.

The final bowl/shell took a few days but it was really neat looking.  We still needed to make the head and arms but I thought learning about the shells was still pretty good progress.  We went to the nature center and had a great time.  I forgot to take pictures.  There were tons of turtles and we even got to see the parts of the shell on one of them.  There was also a baby where you could see the egg tooth.  It was a great to see the turtles up close after reading a few books.

I was super excited to make a little craft and take a trip to the nature center but I decided to take it a step farther and find a few books to go with it at the library first.  I found the one that looked most interesting which was Look Out for Turtles! (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) by Melvin Berger.

Turtles are among the oldest living creatures in the world. They have been on earth for nearly 200 million years!  In Look Out for Turtles! readers will discover why these creatures have survived so long. Hard shells protect many turtles from harm. Colorful markings on their shells help some turtles to blend in with their surroundings. Different kinds of turtles can live almost anywhere on land or sea and can eat many kinds of plants and animals...Today turtles must struggle to. survive. They are hunted, and threatened by pollution. There is less and less open space for turtles to live in. If turtles are going to be around for another 200 million years, they are going to need our help!

We already had one book at home which I knew that my son was interested in because we read it the other day, Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss.  It is good to balance the real books with the more fun stories to get a little bit of both worlds. 

We got a few more books out of the turtle section of the library.  There were a few good ones there and I am sure that there will be some at your local library too.  

I went online to Teachers Pay Teachers to see what other free resources I could find and there was a bunch!!  I downloaded a few great resources.  I kept them in my bag and we did a bunch while at the car dealership getting my tire fixed from a nail in the tire.  See anytime can be a learning time if you are prepared.

This is a great reading exercise because it gives information that the kids can learn and then there are questions to answer as well.

This one looks like it would be fun to do and then the cards can be used to make a little memory match with the two matching cards as well to add a little extra fun!

If we decide to go a little deeper into the topic, I might pull out this information to get a little more information into the science behind the turtle life cycle.  There is a little bit about it in the reading so I think that this would be a good follow up if he is interested because we love to make posters.
The great thing about this lesson is it involves art with making the project, math with the shapes and patterns, reading with the books, and science with the learning and the trip to the nature center.  It is great when you can take one simple idea and turn it into fun for lots of learning. Hope that you enjoy some learning with your kids too!!!

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