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'Oh Susannah: It's in the Bag' Book Review

 

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  I think "Jamie is Jamie" by Afsaneh Moradian is the perfect way to end Pride Month. To me, Pride Month is about celebrating the ...

'Jamie is Jamie' - Read and Rise June 2021

 


I think "Jamie is Jamie" by Afsaneh Moradian is the perfect way to end Pride Month. To me, Pride Month is about celebrating the ability to be ourselves - to look the way that makes us happiest and to follow our hearts and love who we love. It is also about letting others know that we love and support them even if they choose paths different from our own. Some people may think bringing up Pride Month and the LBGTQ community is a sensitive topic which is inappropriate for young children. But I think it's a highly important topic to introduce to children in an age-appropriate way because not only does it help build a foundation of acceptance that can be broadened to include anyone different from ourselves, it also lets children know that there are no limits to what they can do or who they can be. And the book "Jamie is Jamie" does just that. It addresses societal gender roles in a way that even the youngest children can understand. As a bonus, it also highlights the importance of free play time in early childhood which speaks right to my heart as a former early childhood educator.

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  June 12th is Loving Day , celebrating the landmark case Loving v. Virginia. Richard and Mildred Loving were arrested in 1958 because they ...

'The Case for Loving' - Read and Rise June 2021

 

June 12th is Loving Day, celebrating the landmark case Loving v. Virginia. Richard and Mildred Loving were arrested in 1958 because they were an interracial couple living in Virginia, where it was illegal to marry someone of a different race. The Lovings and their lawyers argued that interracial marriage laws were unlawful and based on slavery laws and white supremacy. 9 years later, on June 12, 1967, the Lovings won their case in the Supreme Court. 

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  During our unit on coral reefs and the ocean, we learned that oil spills are a constant problem! We decided to investigate to figure out w...

Story Based STEAM - 'Oil Spill'

 


During our unit on coral reefs and the ocean, we learned that oil spills are a constant problem! We decided to investigate to figure out why they were such a big problem and what we could do to help.


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We read "Oil Spill" by Melvin Berger to find out more about how oil spills happen and how they affect plants and wildlife. "Oil Spill" also explains how experts clean up the ocean and affected animals after oil spills and provides some tips on how you can help.

We like to get our hands involved in our learning, so while I was reading the story, Lil C and Squidgy were creating their own mini oil spills.


I gave each of them a plastic shoebox filled with some toy ocean animals, a few rocks and shells, and some cleaning supplies. We removed the cleaning supplies and filled the bin with an inch or two of water.



Then I gave them a "boat" (I didn't have two small toy boats so we used Hatchimal eggs) and a little bottle of "crude oil" (cooking oil mixed with a bit of cocoa powder). 



They carefully poured the oil mixture into their "boat" and then spilled the oil! They soon discovered that even though it was floating in clumps on the surface, it was not easy to clean up!



To assist in their cleanup efforts, they were each given 5 cotton balls, 3 sponge strips, a spoon, and a toothbrush. Lil C determined that soaking up the oil with the cotton balls and sponges worked better than trying to scoop with the spoon and the toothbrush didn't seem to be helpful at all! In spite of their best efforts, there was still a good amount of oil left in the water and they also discovered that everything IN the water was coated with oil!



The last part of our activity was to clean the animals (and all the other oily things while we were at it) so we could release them back into the wild! This was where the toothbrush came in handy, scrubbing the animals clean with some nice soapy water. 

In the end, we learned how challenging it can be to clean up an oil spill and that the best way to help was to try and limit our crude oil use by cutting power use at home (or investing in clean energy), limiting how much we drive, and avoid single use plastics as some of them are made from oil-based plastics. 

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We LOVE animals in our house but Lil C especially loves marine animals and getting up close and personal with a dolphin is her favorite crea...

Best Ocean Shows for Kids


We LOVE animals in our house but Lil C especially loves marine animals and getting up close and personal with a dolphin is her favorite creature encounter EVER (full disclosure: the above dolphin encounter at Clearwater Marine Aquarium was actually her second time with a dolphin, first time was in Mexico when she was 4). I'm fairly certain I've learned more about animals in the past several years watching kids' shows and documentaries with my kids than in my entire school career. 

Here are some shows that have taught us about the ocean and so many of its amazing and weird creatures:



Octonauts - Octonauts is a Disney Junior show and all seasons can be watched on Netflix as well as some bonus movies. The Octonauts are a crew of animals who live underwater in an Octopod and embark on adventures exploring, rescuing, and protecting the ocean and the creatures who live in it.



Wild Kratts - Wild Kratts on PBS Kids is an amazing show for learning about ALL the world's creatures, but there are plenty of episodes featuring marine animals.



Blue Planet/Blue Planet II - This BBC Earth docuseries is available to watch on Netflix with episodes about the deep seas, open seas, frozen seas, coral seas, and more. The footage they are able to get of creatures all over the oceans are always mind blowing!



DisneyNature Dolphin Reef - This cute documentary available on Disney+ follows the story of young dolphin, Echo, as he learns that if he is to survive, he must learn to find food and be a helpful member of the pod. Dolphins are such amazing animals and getting to see the personalities of these dolphins is so much fun!



Dolphin Tale/Dolphin Tale 2 - Lil C fell in LOVE with Winter and Hope after seeing these movies which is why our trip to Clearwater Marine Aquarium was so special and memorable for her. She is hanging out with Hope in the photo at the top of this post. These movies are fictional, but based on the true story of Winter the dolphin's rescue, rehab, and eventual pairing with Hope. We love these movies because they show the love and dedication of marine biologists, vets, and aquarium staff when it comes to rescuing, rehabilitating, releasing, and caring for animals who cannot safely be released. It also highlights the constant dangers humans pose to marine animals and has made us want to be more active in helping to protect those animals. 


We've only watched Blue Planet, but this article lists 7 other ocean documentaries on Netflix: 8 Inspiring Ocean Documentaries Streaming on Netflix. We'll have to check out more of them!

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  This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases - at zero cost to you.

'Kevin the Unicorn: It's Not All Rainbows' - Read and Rise June 2021

 

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