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outdoor activity: Many activities include this symbol so you can quickly see that the activity is best conducted outside. Most indoor activities can be adapted for the outdoors with minimal effort. activity title: the titles are short descriptions of the activity. A complete list of activities can be found in the table of contents. Background: this information tells you about the content and direction of the activity and relates it to the particular environmental topic. activity goals: this is a short list of goals for the activity. they are not specific assessment measures (for example, “student can describe the water cycle”) but instead are statements containing words like explore, discover, and experiment. While these goals may seem less academic than you are accustomed to, bear in mind that a very important part of early childhood education is developing certain core habits of mind, such as exploring, dis- covering, questioning, and trying new things. the activity goals are designed to support the develop- ment of these habits. National science education standards: the specific Nation- al Science Education Standards that are potentially addressed by each activity are named here. If your goal is to address standards with these activities, be sure to read through the standard as well as the entire activity and think about how you will bring in the standard that is listed. A sum- mary of the standards is provided in appendix A at the end of this book. You may need to make an intentional effort to ensure that the children make the required connection for each standard. For example, to address the standard “properties of earth materials” the children need to observe and describe earth materials, such as mud, rocks, or water. AGE AGES S Color Connections 4 Dark colors absorb heat and light, whereas light colors reflect heat and light. In this activity, children will use thermometers to measure temperature differences for different colors. Understanding the effect that color can have on temperature can help children later understand why some parts of the Earth are warmer than others. This activity will also help children understand that dressing in darker colors will keep them warmer and lighter colors will keep them cooler. Activity Goals To use thermometers and compare how dark and light colors effect the temperature of water To experience the effect of an object’s color on its temperature National Science Education Standards Physical science: light, heat, electricity, and magnetism Materials and Supplies Three clear containers filled two-thirds full with water Black paper 3. Place each container in a sunny spot, arranging the wrapped containers so that the sun shines directly on the uncovered side and easily passes through to the water. 4. After thirty to sixty minutes, return to the contain- ers and measure the temperature in each container. age range: the activities in this book are designed for chil- dren ages three through eight. Some activities target a specific age range within that spectrum. Some also include Extra Chal- lenge connections, which can help you expand the activity for older children. the extension can be found at the end of an activity, under Connections. 5. Record and compare the results. TIPS Empty glass jars work well, but use caution with glass. • Provide pictures of different types of homes and buildings. For example, homes on some islands in Greece (where it is hot and very sunny) are all white to better reflect the sun’s heat. Many homes in North America have black or dark gray shingles on the rooftops. Explore how the color of one’s roof or home can affect its temperature. A thermometer • Have children fill the containers with water ahead of time to help prepare for this activity. Tape safety Note: this symbol is used at various points in the activities to highlight safety considerations. CONNECTIONS White paper Chart paper and a marker Procedure 1. With the children, use the thermometer to measure the temperature of each container of water and record the temperature on the chart paper. Ask the children what they noticed about the temperature differences and why they think the temperatures were different for each container. Have them explain what the activity can teach them about dressing for warm or cool weather. 2. Tape white paper to the side of one container, tape black paper to the side of another container, and leave the third container as is. Weather, Climate, and Energy Materials and supplies: this is a list of all necessary materials and supplies. Obvious things (tables, chairs, smocks, and so on), however, are left out, as it is assumed that you will automatically include these items when appropriate. 175 procedure: this is a detailed, step-by-step list of the process for introducing and proceeding through each activity. this section also may contain sug- gested questions to ask to sup- port learning. tips: this includes general information to help make the activity run more smoothly. It may include things to watch out for, suggestions for how to obtain materials, or steps to prepare ahead of time. It also may include tips for adapting the activity for children with special needs. Connections: these are ideas for connecting the activity to other disciplines: Science, Liter- acy, Creative Art, and Extra Chal- lenge (shown in order from left to right below). Not all activities have all con- nections. this does not mean the activity doesn’t connect to other disciplines. Use your creativity and experience to draw connec- tions between subjects. Creating a Greener Earth 7