We're avid recyclers. The first time we went to Germany to visit our German friends, who live on Lake Constance, in southern Germany, we were amazed to see the system of recycling they have. In each home, there's a recycle rack on wheels that has plastic bags that hang down to almost the floor. The bags are different colors and represent different types of plastic that must be recycled. All throughout the countryside, people lay neatly stacked bundles of twigs, branches and other biodegradable materials that are tied together by the roadside for pick up. They looked to be about two feet in length. It's understandable that a country the size of Michigan, that has over 85 million people, enforce these regulations.
The first time we went shopping in Germany, we were in for a big surprise. After paying for our groceries, we waited for the clerk to bag our purchases and were shocked when she told us, in very good English by the way, that we have to bring our own bags.
We walked out of the shop stuffing our purchases in our jacket pockets, in my oversized pocketbook and carrying them in our arms. Our next trip, we brought a German cloth bag that fit quite nicely in our suitcase.
That was back in 2000. I wonder how long ago they required cloth bags?? Within the last few years, cloth bags have been available in our stores and we immediately began using them.
Since our trips over there, everything in our home is recycled, reduced or reused. Our wet garbage, vegetable peelings and anything else that is biodegradable goes in the compost bin and is used to enrich our gardens. All cans are recycled. Once a month we take our paper to a town recycle center where it's put in huge trucks and taken to recycle companies to be remade into some other plastic product. Nowadays, when I open a plastic bottle of juice, I wonder where the plastic came from. Was it once a bottle of seltzer? A plastic bag? A toothbrush? Hmmm...
I created this 38 page free environmental packet so that teachers might encourage their students to recycle, reduce and reuse. I collaborated with Suzanne Corso, an award winning author, who wrote the children's book "Sammy and Sue Go Green, Too" and "Brooklyn Story" to create the packet that can be used for Earth Day this year and years to come.
Design a hybrid car! Play an environmental match game! Research animals and fill out the animal cards!
Write a letter to a legislator and tell them about a pollution or environmental issue in your neighborhood! Or write a letter to a friend and explain why it's important to recycle!
These and many more activities are included in my FREE 38 page packet. Click on the cover for the download.
It always seems that when kids are asked to make predictions, they always predict what will happen at the end of a story. For that reason, it's important to model predicting. I often use a fairy tale or short story to help them learn how to predict what will happen NEXT.
Read a part of a fairy tale, stop and ask what's happened. After volunteers have summarized that section, explain that predictions should be made about what will happen next, based on what they read. Be sure to emphasize that the predictions shouldn't be wordy. They should be brief statements. That's also sometimes difficult to do because kids love to add details, details, details!
This worksheet can be kept at centers, used with literature circles, guided reading groups, used independently or as assessments. Click on the image for the free download.
Hot off the press! Another pack of Vocabulary Detective Cards! My first three sets were so popular, I decided to make more! Kids search the books they're reading for the types of words or grammar on the cards then put them in the Detective Jar for the weekly drawing. Instructions how to use the cards for weekly drawings are included as well as the links for the first three FREE packs of cards with this set. Have fun!