The Mojave Desert

This week was Spring Break! But, because of some unfortunate events last week (sick kids), I had to do a makeup class this week. It was so fun and I am so glad that I did it!

We learned about the Mojave Desert. We talked about where it is compared to where we live, what types of plants we can find there, and cacti.

Panning for Gold

Gold was found in the Mojave Desert. People have been panning for gold there for hundreds of years. My students got to experience this a little. I didn’t have any gold paint on hand, so I used gold glitter. I glittered up some rocks to make them look like gold nuggets and hid them among other rocks in sand and water. The students took the pan, scooped up some sand, rocks, and water and swirled it around to find the gold pieces. This activity was a huge hit. The only problem was the glitter started to come off the rocks in the water. I think in the future, painting the rocks yellow or planning ahead and buying gold paint would work better. Even so, it was still a lot of fun.

Staying Cool in the Desert

The desert gets really hot in the summer. We discussed ways we could stay cool in the hot weather. Since we actually live in the desert, my students were experts. They knew exactly how to keep themselves cool. Some of their answers were: go swimming, eat popsicles, drink water, wear cool clothes, and use fans.

We made our own paper fans. I showed the students how to do a simple fan and let them explore with the paper themselves to create their own fan. Each student’s fan was different. They each got to pick their own color and choose how to fold the paper. We showed each other our fans and complimented each other for our fans being unique. This activity was one of the community challenges from Mother Goose Time. It was also a huge hit. The students thought it was cool that they could make a workable fan out of paper. A few were surprised that it actually worked! Amazing! It made them wonder what else they could make with paper…

Cactus and Playdough

This week, we did 2 activities with play dough. The first activity was to build a cactus out of playdough. We rolled a cube. We stuck that many pokey spines (pipe cleaner pieces) in the cactus. This was a fun math game that helped us practice number recognition, counting, and 1-1 correspondence. It also helped strengthen our fine motor skills.

One of my students stole my phone and took this picture of their cactus. They were so proud of it! They wanted to make sure I had a picture of it. The focus is a little off, but it’s one of my favorites of the week because of how excited this student was to make a cactus with playdough.

The next play dough activity we did was make letters with play dough. The students had a difficult time making their own letters, so I let them use the cookie cutters. They cut out letters and stuck pipe cleaner in it to make spiny letters. Playing with play dough is always a student favorite.

Next week is our last week discovering the desert. We still have lots more to explore!

** I receive curriculum from Mother Goose Time for honest and authentic stories resulting from my daily experiences using the curriculum. This is my 3rd year using Mother Goose Time, and I am pleased to promote quality educational learning experiences through play with Mother Goose Time!

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