Saturday, December 3, 2011

Patriotic Alphabet Parade: "I"mmigrants & "I"nventors

This is the last catch-up for Critter's Patriotic Parade. This Monday we start again, after having a short break, with the the letter J for Jazz. I have lots of sparkle and music planned!

The kids started out with a Letter I grab bag (ice, ice-cream, iguana, ivy, ink, insects) followed by a reading of My "i" Sound Box book by Jane Belk Moncure. The kids always sing the ABC song with this book, and then with a second round, stopping at the letter of the day. It's cute.

Then off to the table to for some coloring and handwriting practice. I have both a pre-k and kindergarten version (the K version is shown below - the kids have one practice letter, followed by blank space). Critter and I made up his scrapbook page at home:

I is for insects collage page. I had insect stamps for the kids but many of them stamped with the pad itself. Note to self - show kids how to use stamps next time!

Now for some fun stuff! The kids took a break (literally, a potty break) before coming back for a yummy ice-cream snack while listening to a story on immigrants and inventors. There was a little trouble concentrating. I can't imagine why... 

Ok, here's the messy part of the day. If you can get past the potential for a big mess, the kids really love this. This is something we do every once in awhile here at home, and even Skipper in first grade gets so excited. Best of all, even Miss Bear can do it - so great for kids of all ages! To keep down on the mess, save up some newspaper to protect your table or counter.

The first phase of messy was an art project for the kids. You can see Critter's finished piece below. All you need are:
  • white coffee filters
  • water-based markers
  • spray bottle of water
  • brown bag (to protect the surface and it's easily moveable for dry time)
  • silhouette of the Statue of Liberty, optional
Have the kids draw any kind of design they wish on the coffee filter: swirls, firework star bursts, blocks of colors, squiggly lines, etc. It's all an experiment. Once done, lightly spray the filter. Kids tend to be heavy on this, but if possible go lightly - just enough to spread the marker but not enough to obliterate it. But it's ok if it gets soaked. The colors will just be more faint (like Critter's). Let dry. Wrap up by cutting out the silhouette and glueing on the filter.

The other two items in his scrapbook that we read/went over at home are Reasons for Immigrating to the United States (flaps open up for pictures to color) and a true story of a young boy's immigration to the U.S. from Poland - inspiration found here where there are also a few more true stories.

To finish off the day, the kids played with the messiest stuff yet. I figured we would not have much time to be an inventor, but surely the kids could play scientist, which could lead to an invention! So what did they do? Played with some colored water and baking soda and vinegar. The kids were not too eager to wrap up the class with this going on! To do at home, you need:
  • empty egg carton (not the cardboard kind!) - I find this the easiest "tray" to use since you can easily see the colors and you have lots of holes to work with.
  • food coloring
  • eye dropper
  • vinegar
  • baking soda
Fill a few holes of the egg carton with colored vinegar (use water if you decide to skip out on the baking soda and vinegar solution or want to use a separate plate for that). Have kids use eye dropper to fill in the other holes, mixing the colors as they go to see what they make. For the baking soda and vinegar reaction, pour a few tablespoons onto the tray part of the egg carton. The kids can drop some vinegar on it and see what happens. At home, I had the boys do each "experiment" separately, to show more color mixing. You can see Critter trying this out at home below:

To finish up his scrapbook (and before we experimented at home) I had the boys fill in the color wheel, explaining about primary, secondary and tertiary colors. Some of it may have sunk in. The other little book on there is a picture book of American inventors and their inventions.


  1. I love the idea of putting the Statue of Liberty silhouette on the decorated coffee filter. How creative! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Very cool! THanks for all the resource links too!! Thanks for linking up to TGIF! See you next week,
    Beth =-)


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