Language Development (for mixed ages)
Children will develop sensory and language skills as they explore materials outdoors.
- one or two clipboards and pens
- one or two disposable cameras
- small bags
- chart paper, writing paper, and sentence strip paper
- disposable wipes to clean hands
Curriculum Connection: Science and Social Studies
Caring for Our Environment.
- Invite children to go for a “touch” walk to learn about the feel of different materials found outdoors. Ask them to predict things they may see on their walk. Record their comments on chart paper. Review the list. Can they describe how these things feel? Are they smooth, rough, gritty, bumpy, or soft?
- If your group is large, divide them into two groups with an adult for each. Review safety rules and caution children to touch only things the adults say are safe. Bring a camera, clipboard, and several small bags.
- As children explore their outdoor environment, invite them to touch different types of materials including bricks, wood, and metal in addition to natural materials such as sand, soil, plants, rocks, and tree bark. Encourage children to use words to describe the different textures. Are they smooth or rough, gritty or soft, cold or warm?
- Record children's comments about the things they touch. Photograph them as they explore different materials. Invite them to collect materials to include in the science area. Take a photograph of each child for a later activity. Provide wipes so children can clean their hands.
- Review children's predictions. Ask them to compare their predictions to the materials they actually touched. Were their predictions accurate?
- Copy the observations children made during the walk onto a sheet of chart paper. Give children their photographs. Ask them to dictate or write about what they are touching and how it feels. Create a wall display to document their study. The photographs and writings can also be used to make a class book.
Take another walk to assess the school neighborhood and invite children to think of ways they can help keep the neighborhood clean. Perhaps there is a tree they can keep litter-free.
by Pat Hutchins (Simon & Schuster, 1998; $6.99)
Spot's Walk in the Woods
by Eric Hill (Penguin, 1997; $6.99)