Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December 2, 2009 Day 17 Building Our Space Shuttle/ISS Part 1

Last night I cut large pieces of cardboard to the specifications of our budding engineers for the space shuttle. I figured out a way of attaching a few reusable plastic food containers and cardboard tubes that I had hoped would support the children's understanding of how we would create a three dimensional pretend play area based on the drawings they made previously.

We launched this engineering aspect of our Monarchs In Space project by opening painting stations in which children were invited to express their ideas on three panels of our space shuttle with gray, white, and black paint. Part two of this aspect of our engineering project will resume tomorrow when we get out the paint again and work on the panels for our functional "sliding door" that will connect the shuttle to the space station.

December 2, 2009 Day 17 We're waiting for wings!

We're waiting for wings in kindergarten! As time passes we continue making daily observations of the chrysalides, hanging silently from their silk buttons, in the rearing boxes on our project table.

Kindergartners are taking turns working in small groups to complete drawings of the chrysalides, drawing in pencil and layering color with marker. Children have an opportunity to look very closely through the plastic wrap window of the rearing boxes at the chrysalides dangling from the top.

Today we also used the computer projection screen to view the series of photos of the changes the caterpillars went through over Thanksgiving break. These were changes that the children missed seeing though we had observed them in September when we were working with caterpillars from our schoolyard.

Many details were visible in the photos that we projected larger than life on the screen. WE saw the beds of silk and silk button attachments to the cremasters of caterpillars hanging in J form, we saw caterpillars eating, resting, and searching for a place to put down beds of silk, we saw caterpillars making pink frass, caterpillars in J form turning green, piles of striped caterpillar skin that fall after a chrysalis is formed, chrysalides in various stages of formation, yellow to lime green color changes in the chyrsalides, gold edging and spots on "older" chrysalides, the segmented insect body in a "young" chrysalis, and most intriguing to the children, the appearance of thin white lines of butterfly wing under the green cuticle of the chrysalides.