Lesson 8: My Environment


Activity 1: Environment Exploration

Materials: clipboard, colored pencils or markers, digital camera, journal
Give your child a clipboard and her journal. Tell her that today you want her to go outside and list interesting observations about the environment around her home. Encourage her to make a list of things in her environment that she uses or needs. Examples include a tree that holds a swing, dirt to plant flowers, fruits or vegetables, trees that provide shade, backyard space for running, and backyard for a pet.

Your child can illustrate her discoveries or take pictures of them with a digital camera and paste them in her journal.

Activity 2: Map of My Backyard

Materials: colored pencils or markers
Give your child a blank piece of paper so that she can map out her backyard. Discuss the shape of the backyard and let her draw the borders. Next ask her to list the things in the yard that should be included on the map — large trees, a swing set, lawn furniture, flower beds, a deck etc.

Within the borders of the yard, she can draw a grid using a ruler. One-inch boxes work well for this. Next, choose one of the following options.

Option 1

For this option, your child will draw all of the important structures or environmental features in the backyard. Encourage her to think about the placement of each item and where it is located in relation to other things in the backyard. After the map is complete, ask her identify the grid coordinates for items on her map — i.e., swing set in B-2 and B-3.

Option 2

This option is similar to Option 1, but the map will include a map key. The key can have symbols for things that are found in more than one location, such as trees, flowerbeds, and bushes. After the map is complete, ask your child to identify the grid coordinates for items on her map — i.e., swing set in B-2 and B-3.

Activity 3: Planting

Materials: seeds or small plants
Discuss how people grow food to eat and flowers to make the environment more beautiful. People change the environment when they grow things. Go to the store and buy seeds or plants to plant in a garden or flowerbed. If it is winter, plant seeds inside in planters that can be placed in the window. As you plant the seeds or plants, discuss how seeds grow and what they need. Review the purpose of the plants that you planted — vegetables to eat, flowers for beauty, or herbs for seasoning. Review the fact that plants are natural resources and that people depend on the plants for food, oxygen, and other resources.