Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The importance of the sun

Today, as a follow up on our current study on our solar system, I explained a bit more why the sun was so important to us. I used a set that I created myself: a big picture of the sun, pictures of plants and animals (herbivores and carnivores) and pictures of humans. This exercise is recommended to be done on a floor mat or on the notice board. I decided to use our rectangle table today as my back was killing me today and I couldn't contemplate kneeling down at all!! 
I invited the children to the exercise and started by placing the large picture of the sun at the top of the floor mat. I explained the children that the sun  is a very big hot star far away. We discussed what it is like when the sun is up (breakfast time, bright, warmer, etc..) and what it is like when it is down (night time, colder, dark…) or when it is not shining (cold, dull, grey…). I went on to explains that the world needs the sun to make flowers and plants grow because plants make their food from the sun’s rays. I picked the pictures of the plants and placed them under the picture of the sun at the top of the table. I told the children that many living creatures need the plants to live. They eat them. The term of “herbivores” was introduced and I pointed at pictures of herbivores that feed on plants. I explained that if there was no herbivore, the planet would be covered up by plants. There would be too many plants. Then,I introduced the children to the pictures of “carnivores” and explained to them that carnivores eat other animals as well as herbivores to survive. I then placesd the pictures under the pictures of the herbivores.It is important to have carnivore: if there wasn’t any, there would be too many herbivores and we would be invaded by them. Finally, I mentioned human beings. Some of us eat meat and some don’t : we are vegetarian or carnivore. And I placed the pictures of human being under the carnivores.
Such a lesson can be heavy to assimilate but repetition is the keyword. This type os exercise  illustrates the cosmic plan: how one thing affects another, how everything in the world is connected. It also teaches about the functions of things in nature, as well as developing the child's vocabulary and knowledge.