Tuesday, February 1, 2011

More Groundhog Day

This is just a follow-up post to the last one.  If today was Groundhog Day instead of tomorrow then I would be sad to say that it looks like 6 more weeks of Winter!  Aren't our little groundhogs cute?  The groundhogs weren't the only ones who enjoyed seeing their shadows today.

The children had such a great time playing outside, it was the most gorgeous day!! It's hard to believe that people all around the country are experiencing the cold and snow on days like this.  We Floridians are truly blessed (until July and August that is!)

Here's one of our favorite songs this week.  I'm not sure where the song originally came from.

 Sung to the tune of I'm a little teapot.

Here's a little groundhog, furry and brown.
He's coming up to look around.
If he sees his shadow, down he'll go!
Then six more weeks of Winter! OH NO!!

For the song we make one hand into an open fist and place the other hand inside.  Raise up a thumb for the little groundhog as he looks around and pretend he sees his shadow and quickly pop your thumb back down into the fist. The children yell out "Oh No". Very cute!

In my last post I explained about a little Science project we do with shadows. Here's what we did.

We taped dark colored construction paper to plastic trays.  These trays are going outside and it was a very windy day so the tape was a necessity.  We would not have needed it on a calm day but we rarely have those around here.

The children then wandered around the classroom to find something that they could put on the paper.  It seems that hearts were very popular today. 
Put the trays outside in full sunlight and then keep an eye on them to see what happens.

After about an hour we moved the items off the paper and voila, we have shadows on our paper.

What we learned from this project:
  • Foam hearts ARE NOT heavy enough to stay put when a strong wind blows
  • Blocks and plastic toys ARE heavy enough to stay in place on the paper
  • Objects on the paper that are not totally flat cast their own shadows (which is not conducive to shadow art)
  • objects on the paper block the sun from reaching the paper underneath
  • Sunlight fades paper
  • The sun is not always in the same position when we are looking for it (we will discuss why later)
  • Additionally, talked about each object on the paper individually and described it's purpose, color, weight and size.

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