Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Florida: Alligator

We continued with our Florida project last night and today. We finished reading Freddy Goes to Florida. We had been reading it all last week while we were waiting for other books to come in to the library so we could continue our project.

Today, we studied alligators. Alligators love to live in warm, wet places, which means you can find them throughout the state of Florida. Again, Arin showed me Florida on the map. We talked about the bodies of water surrounding Florida - the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Then we read the following books:
See You Later, Alligator by Laura McGee Kvasnosky
But I am an Alligator by Lauren Child
Real Bears and Alligators by Fay Robinson
All About Alligators by Jim Arnosky
Alligator Alphabet by Stella Blackstone
Fun Facts About Alligators by Carmen Bredeson
Fearsome Alligators by Elaine Landau
Suddenly Alligator by Rick Walton
Alligator Sue by Sharon Arms Doucet (although this book is actually set in a swamp in Louisiana, it was about alligators, so we used it)
Zack's Alligator by Shirley Mozelle
Snip Snap! What's That? by Mara Bergman (Arin's new favorite book! She retold me the story all day long! Very cute!)
Alligators All Around by Maurice Sendak

I had seen an alligator made out of the letter A on No Time for Flashcards. I knew that it would be perfect to use as one of our alligator crafts. Arin painted the letter A and we let it dry overnight. Tonight, she added the eyes and teeth.

Last night, she also painted two clothespins green (alligators) and allowed them to dry overnight. This morning, I added the red paint (mouth) and tonight, Arin glued on a couple of eyes. As you see, our eyes are really too big for these clothespins.

Once the "alligators" were dry, I cut out some fish shapes and wrote "at" words on them: at, cat, sat, pat, fat, rat, bat. Arin has known her letter sounds for over a year now and she can recognize a few words here and there, however, we really don't work on this skill a whole lot. She does not always understand the concept of blending the letters together. For example, she can tell you what an r says and what an a says and what a t says, but it is more difficult to blend them together into rat. Like I said, it is not a skill that we work on too much. So tonight, I chose to work with the "at" words. This way, she was really only looking for the first letter in the word. I did have her tell me what an 'a' and a 't' says before we started. Then, I would say, "find the word sat" or "bite the word rat". She LOVED this game. Because she was mainly listening for the first sound, it was super easy for her. She still thought it was so much fun to have the alligator bite the correct fish. Andy and Arin played this game several times together.

We also had a snack of alligator gummy candies. These were not as good as we had hoped they would be (Arin only ate one), but they were a cute little snack anyways.

I had wanted to tie in a science experiment as well, but did not get to the store to buy an outside thermometer. We may do this activity later in the week or month. Alligators are cold-blooded, meaning they control their body temperature by moving to warmer or colder places. My plan was to put an outdoor thermometer into a glass jar - the jar would then represent an alligator. We would then take the time to bring the alligator to different climates - outside, inside, in the refrigerator, etc. It's doubtful that she would fully unstand the concept of the thermometer changing temperatures, but I do like to expose her to as much knowledge as I can. So we may do that activity later in this study or the next time we come across a cold-blooded animal.

1 comment:

Heather said...

We are totally copying the alligator clothes pin idea! We are working on sight's perfect!