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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Earth and Space! Fun Projects for Earth Day, Space and Recycling!

Next Friday my kinders are heading to the planetarium for our field trip!  The program will be teaching them not only about space, but about Earth, as it ties into Earth Day!

My space centers, activities, projects and such are all prepped and ready to 'blast off' next week!

While planning all my space goodies, Laura from Differentiation Station Creations posted this adorable flying saucer she made!

She made it to go along with this adorable YouTube video:

I collected all that I needed to make it, but then was feeling bad that my kiddos wouldn't be able to have a saucer of their own!

I was working on these adorable Easter crafts with my kids using paper plates and realized that when I folded the plate it sort of looked like a flying it got my wheels turning!

I grabbed a paper plate and painted one side blue..

 ..and the other red.

Once it was dry, I folded the plate in half to look like the saucer, but I wanted it to be 'open'/make a pocket to hold the 'playing pieces' to go with the song, so I cut a slit...

I then opened the plate and continued the 'slit' into a half circle- this would be the 'window'

I folded the plate down...

and stapled a few times across the bottom.

 I glued an oval that had the words from the poem onto the back of the saucer

 I stapled 5 pieces of card stock together and attached them to a string.  I wrote the numbers 5-1 on them and taped the string to the back of the saucer.  Colored and cut out the cute little aliens and it was ready to use! 

 Depending on the number flipped open, students can act out the poem using their pieces!

And then everything stays tucked neat and clean in the saucer's 'pocket!'

I charted the words from the song into poem form. I didn't want to have to re-write the verses over and over, so I put velcro on the number cards, turned a library pocket on its side and glued it to the bottom of the poem to hold the unused number cards and we are ready to go!

Next week we will make our saucers...but chose the colors and painted the plates so that they are all ready!  I took them home and have them all cut, stapled and ready for 'action' next week!

I found this great book to go along with the poem/craft that also ties in the importance of keeping our Earth clean!  Turns out those spacemen don't like what they see because of the pollution on Earth!

Want to give the craft a try?  You can find all the pieces and instructions, as well as a ton of other space goodies in this pack:

But for my blog followers, here is the b&w printable for free!
The adorable aliens are from KPM Doodles!

There are two ways you could do it- the way I described above where you have the string and the pieces move/interact OR if you don't have time to prep that, have the child decide on a number 1-5, write the number on the line and then cut, color and glue that many aliens into his/her flying saucer!

Either way you choose it is sure to be a hit!

You could even add a bit of writing to it!  Their writing could be attached to the saucer for a great bulletin board display of creative writing!
You could guide your students to write about:
1. Where the aliens are going?
2. What will they see?
3. Describe/write about their flying saucer.
4. What will people say when they see them flying overhead?
5. What will the aliens say or do when they land?

There are many possibilities!!!

And if you are looking a great Earth Day activity/writing opportunity, check out this book:
In the story one of the characters throws a gum wrapper on the ground and says 'It's just a gum wrapper.'  But if everyone does that, our Earth would be pretty polluted!
I have each of my kids stand in a big circle and I give each a piece of gum (they LOVE that!)
I then have them, 1 by 1, throw their wrapper on the floor and say 'It's JUST a gum wrapper!' and we watch as 1 wrapper turns into 20- which is a big mess!
We talk about if everyone in our hall did that, or everyone in our school or if everyone in the WORLD did it and what would happen to the Earth!

I then have each one pick up a wrapper and we draw a picture of a park/playground scene and they glue their wrapper to the picture.  We attach writing to it about how to keep the Earth clean- 1 wrapper at a time!

Here are a few other Earth Day books we'll be reading this week in case you are on the hunt for something new to share with your kiddos:

Since many of the Earth Day stories are a bit hard for my kinders to read independently, we'll be reading this and adding it to our Readers Workshop baskets:

I have color versions for us to read in groups
and then b&w copies for each to color/add to their baskets

and then a comprehension activity for us to practice using books to help answer information

I am always looking for ways to 'recycle' or use goodies intended for one purpose for fun and learning in my classroom!
This week I am on Spring Break, so I got to take my boys to the library for a puppet show program.  They watched an adorable puppet show put on by Katie's Puppets and then had the opportunity to make 3 of their own puppets!
After the show, tablecloths were brought out that were filled with scraps- paper, ribbon, felt, foam, etc!  As well as flowers, sequins, pipe cleaners, feathers, cup cake wrappers and so much more!
The children were 'charged' to make a paper bag puppet, flat stick puppet and 'talking puppet!'

Here are my boys paper bag puppets:

And one of the stick puppets (the other one got blown away in the 60+ mph winds we had that day- luckily my son wasn't too upset!)

 But my favorite...the talking puppets using pipe insulation!!!  BRILLIANT!!!!

These were already prepped for the kids.  She had cut a 'V' slit in each piece of pipe...

and attached a pipe cleaner on the back.

They simply pull the pipe cleaner down and the puppet opens its mouth to talk!!!

Now I am trying to think of a way to incorporate these into my classroom!  I am thinking of tying it into a Mo Willems author study and have them make these into Elephant and Piggie and attaching speech bubbles or acting out their own stories!!!

I'd love to hear what types of Space an Earth Day goodies you are doing in your classrooms or how you might use the puppets in your classroom!

Until next post,
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  1. I LOVE your 5 little space men poem and printable! I can't wait to use that with my kids!

  2. You are so creative!! Thank you for sharing your ideas with us! I am a reading specialist for K-8, so I could use the puppets as fun "reading buddies" for my students.

  3. Love all of it!!! I want to fly around with those space men. So LOVE the personal space crafts!! I say it every time, but you really are amazing!

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