Kindergarten Eco Experts
- 15 Challenges Completed
- 2 Challenges not completed
A Green-Powered Canada
We worked on this challenge after our school was closed. We watched 2 great videos about the different types of green energy in Canada and were so interested in using power that is safe for the earth. Near our school we have a big power station so we are very familiar with seeing the electricity towers and wires heading off into our neighbourhood. We hope to be able to use more renewable energy in Canada in our future.
We went for a walk in our neighbourhood and discussed all of the ways in which we move people. We found many cars, and neighbours walking their dogs as well as busses and joggers. The class discussed that there will be bicycles and scooters when the weather is warmer. Then we talked about which ways are the best methods of transportation if we want to help the earth and made a graph about how we get to school. Our plan is to work on reducing the number of cars we use and talk to our families about walking or bike riding instead.
We participated in World Water Day on March 22, 2021. We wore blue to school to show our love and we made signs informing our neighbours how they can save water. Then we walked to a beautiful creek near our school called Duncan Mills creek and observed it. We also invited another class to join us, in a socially distanced way. We saw many neighbours in cars, cycling, or walking and we made sure to spread our message about the importance of water.
Do You Really Need It?
We have been working hard this year to grow plants, starting back in September. We had a really great Kale garden until winter, which we ate and made into "soup" in our outdoor kitchen. This spring we have started growing again. The kinders created individual bean plants which we will watch grow and then replant into larger containers when they are big enough. We also planted seeds for corn, pumpkins, sunflowers, and more kale. Some of these will go home with the kinders, the rest will go into our Kindergarten garden outside. The class knows so much about the parts of plants and we discussed why plants are important for cleaning carbon out of the air we breathe. They understand that they more plants we have have, the healthier our planet will be.
How Big Are Your Carbon Feet?
We watched "The Green Ninja" and read some books to learn about what a Carbon Footprint means. These kindergarteners have been learning so much about all of the ways that they can help our Earth. We had a lot of group discussion and it is wonderful to watch them sharing and gaining knowledge about how to be more eco friendly. We learned about how we can calculate our yearly carbon footprint and created these signs to show what we know.
One Hour No Power
Last Friday we started trying to use our classroom lights as little as possible. We started by saving 5 hours of energy and were able to increase that amount by keeping the lights off all day long, even during our lunch hour. With the spring sun, our classroom is bright enough to be able to carry on our day as we usually do. We also moved our classroom outside as much as possible, and have a beautiful neighbourhood in which to spend our time. It was not hard for us to stop using our classroom lights and I have been hearing from families that our Kindergarteners are carrying this idea home. In fact, one student who is still afraid of the dark, is making sure to remind his family to turn off the lights as much as possible
Round and Round it Goes
Our Kindergarten class discussed how our favourite things are made and looked at this website for more information. We looked at the difference between a linear economy and a circular economy. It is clear that the circular economy works better for us and our earth. We chose our favourite topics (i.e. paper and chocolate) and talked about how we can do a better job of reusing, upcycling, repurposing, and not wasting products. Then we created our own charts to show how paper and chocolate start as trees and then are processed into the products that we love to use (and eat) every day. Our kindergarteners love to look for pictures, while we are online, that represent their thinking. They were also really encouraging of each other when discussing how much they love chocolate but boats, trucks, and factories create carbon dioxide so we maybe need to eat less.
The Phantom of the Classroom
We watched a video about phantom power and talked about what that means. The concept is very new for this age group but they have been paying a great deal of attention to the electronic devices in our classroom. Phantoms usually mean ghosts for kindergarteners so we discussed how Phantom Power means that electricity is being drawn into our electronics from the wall when we leave things plugged in when we are not using them. This wastes power! We went on a hunt around our classroom and hallway, only, because we cannot move around the school like we usually could. Then we mapped the spots where we need to be careful and unplug or turn off the power bar.
We began our Vermicompost (i.e., Red-wiggler Worm Colony) last October and have been learning about them all year. So far we have been able to divert 13 kg of food waste from our classroom green bin and turn it into beautiful nutrient-rich soil. 13 kg is around the same weight as 192,308 bees! This soil will be used to fertilize our Kindergarten garden in a natural, non-chemical, earth-friendly way. Our Vermicompost colony has grown so big and so healthy that we will need to divide it into another bin soon! We love our worms and tried very hard to fit all of our enthusiasm into a 1 minute song for you.
We watched a video and read a book about how important it is to save water. Then we made a list about some of the ways we can do better at school and home. We decided to collect the water that we use to wash our hands and reuse that water for one of our favourite activities outside, water play. We filled many buckets and we pretty amazed that we are washing away so much water every day. Today we saved 66 litres but feel that we can do this much more often and hopefully make a big difference for our planet.
What’s For Lunch?
We discussed how food gets to our homes and our tables, how it gets to the grocery store, and how how it is grown. We watched a video about how carrots are grown and could see that it takes a lot of time, energy, water, soil, effort, and sunlight to produce food for us to eat. As well, discussed how the trucks and planes that bring foods from warmer countries make lots of carbon dioxide that hurt our earth. We made a list of all of our favourite foods that grow in Ontario and used a JamBoard to collect our ideas. Then we looked in our houses to find a food that will be wasted because no one want to eat it. We brainstormed about ways that we can waste less food. Finally we created "recipes" using paper or a digital format. (Please excuse some of the photos being blurry!)
What’s Old is New Again
We reused markers to make some watercolour spray. To do this we removed the lids and the end caps and saved them to use as loose parts. Then we put the markers into spray bottles and submerged them in water. The spray was used to make an ocean for our favourite ocean animal, octopus. The octopus were made with repurposed cardboard for their bodies and salvaged bubblewrap to add suckers to their tentacles.