Friday, May 20, 2016

Oh Deer!

Oh Deer!

Children explore the parts of habitat in a physical activity

Building a new shelter

Quick Facts

All animals need food, water, shelter and space. An animal's habitat is a place that provides the right food, water, shelter and space for that particular animal. In this activity, children explore the four components of a habitat using deer as an example. Deer are widespread throughout North America. Where they live, their environment provides the four habitat parts the deer need.

Food: Deer are herbivores, which means they only eat plants. They will eat almost anything available including leaves, bark, twigs, flowers, acorns, nuts, grasses, ferns, shrubs and aquatic plants. Deer must have a varied diet so that they can get all of the nutrients they need. Their habitat must contain a variety of vegetation for them to eat. 

Water: Deer need water. Their habitat must have a water source like a stream or pond. Sometimes they get water from snow, dew, or rain that collects on plants or on the ground.

Shelter: Deer need protection from intense sun and harsh weather. They use groups of trees for shade and cover. Does hide their fawns in tall grasses or shrubs to keep them safe from predators such as Mountain Lions and Black Bears. Deer habitats must contain suitable shelter. Deer also use their keen senses of hearing and smell to detect danger and can run very quickly if they need to escape.

Space: Because deer need to eat lots of plants, they must have plenty of space to find enough food. A typical range for a White-tailed or Mule Deer is about one square mile.

Checking on our old shelter near the field 

Favorite Animal Habitat

Children think about their favorite animal. Where does it live? What does it eat? Where does it find the water it needs to drink? How much space does it need to move around and find all the things it needs to survive? Children drew their favorite animal in its habitat. Then presented their artwork explaining how their favorite animal lives.

Favorite Animal Habitat

Take Me Outside: Playground Deer Herd

Imagine that there is a small herd of deer living on our playground. Think about what the deer would do here. What would they eat? Is there water for them to drink? Are there places for them to hide or sleep? What would they do if it rains or snows? Think about how the deer act with each other. How do they tell each other things? Do they play together? Do they have families? How do they move around? Let's pretend we are the herd of deer and this is our habitat. We can prance, stroll, and play like deer while we explore our habitat!

Habitat Headbands!

Habitat Headbands

We've been participating in many activities that help us strengthen our fine motor skills and better prepare us for using scissors. This week we made Habitat Headbands that remind us of the four components all living things need to survive. Children colored each component card and used our new modified easy-grip scissors to cut them apart. Then we stapled them onto their headband.

Practicing scissor skills 

Strengthening Fine Motor Skills 

Home Connections

Journal: Look for a wild animal living in your yard. You might find a bird, squirrel, or an ant. Watch it for a few minutes. Draw a picture of it in its habitat.

Habitat Hunt: Take a walk in your neighborhood with a grown-up to see what food, water shelter and space there might be for a deer. Could a deer live in your neighborhood? Why or why not? Ask friends and family members if they have ever seen a deer in your area.

Deer Ears

Explore how a deer's ears help it in its environment. Have you noticed that deer have large ears? How might those big ears help the deer? Stand about 20 feet away from your child and speak in a soft voice and see if they can hear what you are saying. Then have the children cup their hands and place them behind their ears to amplify the sound. Show them how deer can move their ears forward and backward to listen all around. Have your child move their cupped hands around to find the best positions for hearing your soft voice. Try standing farther and farther away to see if they can still tell what you are saying.

Beginning to build our own shelter

Music & Movement: Houses

Here is a nest for robin.
(cup both hands)
Here is a hive for a bee.
(fists together)
Here is a hole for bunny;
(finger and thumb make circle)
And here is a house for me.
(fingertips together to make a roof)

Building Fairy Houses

Fairy Houses by Tracy Kane

Habitat "Duck, Duck, Goose"

We played a habitat version of Duck, Duck, Goose. We went around the circle saying, "Food, Water, Shelter, Space, (and so on)" as we tapped our friends on the head. When we picked whoever was going to chase us we said, "HABITAT!"

Tick Check

At the end of each day we (the children and I) do a quick tick check on each other. It's very important you continue to check your child throughout the day. After school my girls and I change our clothes, do a full body check and put our clothes into the washing machine immediately. At the end of the day I give the girls a shower or bath as a final check before they go down for bed.
It is helpful when the children wear light-colored clothing to school. Please keep your child's loose hair tied back. Long sleeves, full length pants and socks are preferred. This is also helpful in preventing mayfly and mosquito bites. You can also spray your child's clothes with a bug repellent before coming to school.
Here is a link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on tick safety. TIC SAFETY

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