Monday, November 26, 2012

A Desert Detour

A few weekends ago Piper ever so sweetly asked if we could learn about the desert.
I'm not quite sure where the request came from but obviously she had heard something, somewhere about deserts and it had piqued her interest.
It was the first time she has ever made a special request in terms of her learning and thankfully our schedule is flexible enough that I could accommodate her!
Sunday night I searched around for some age appropriate material and finally settled on The Desert Habitat Unit at Teachers Pay Teachers.
It was well worth the few dollars I paid!

We spent time learning about the different animals and plants that are found in the desert and how they survive.

We talked about what mammals, reptiles, plants and arachnids are.
Piper then did a related activity sheet in which she had to catergorize the animals and plants shown.
This was followed with graphing her findings.

The girls learned many new vocabulary words.

We also learned some interesting facts about desert mice and iguanas.
We went on to compare the two animals and used a Venn diagram to record our findings.

Piper made a video asking what everyone's favorite desert animal is.
I posted it on Facebook and waited for people to vote!

We then took the data obtained from our 'questionaire' and filled in a graph!

Iguana won!
Piper loved this whole activity!

The girls also learned about cacti.
They made this paper craft and labeled it appropriately.
On the bottom, I recorded Piper's answer to "A cactus survives in the desert because..."

Our kitchen was full of desert info by the end of the week! 

We took a trip to a local greenhouse to observe some cacti.
Of course, we had to purchase the prettiest one!!

We did an experiment related to cacti, too.
We took 4 pieces of paper towel.
We wet each of them.
The first we laid flat, the second we rolled up, the third we scrunched up in a ball and the fourth we rolled and wrapped with wax paper.

Here Piper is making her predictions of what she thinks will happen.
She thought the one scrunched up in a ball would stay wet.

The next day we checked out what had happened.
ALL the paper towel was dry except the one wrapped in wax paper.
It was still soaking wet.

This provided a great opportunity to talk about the purpose of the cactus's waxy skin.

Finally, we did some sand art.
The girls enjoyed this so much!

There were so many cute little looks of concentration as they carefully worked at layering the sand in their bottles.

And they were so proud of the final products!

That was our desert week!
Time well spent even if it was a bit spontaneous!

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