We went west and learned about the awesome state of Nevada this week! We chose this topic to compliment the Unique Curriculum unit our students are studying this month. Our sensory group boxes represented different facts about Nevada. The fine motor groups used paint brushes to complete their art projects and the language group cooked with a solar oven.
Hay production is one of the key industries of Nevada so we used some hay (well actually raffia but we thought it looked pretty similar) as the base for this box. A puzzle piece cow, Las Vegas magnet, gold and silver beads also represented key industries. There were animals that are symbols of the state (mountain blue bird, tortoise, big horn sheep) or are found there (burro). We even included a camel because camel races are held in Virginia City every year——how fun is that!
Turquoise is the official semiprecious gem of Nevada and our box of colored beans looked pretty close to the real thing! The students had lots of fun sifting through the beans and we put in some letter N’s for them to find—–great for tactile and visual discrimination.
The math access point recognize two objects that are identical to each other can be addressed here.
The Hoover Dam provides hydroelectric power for millions of people! Our students experimented with water power in our little Lake Mead (the reservoir formed by the dam). They even got to wear a hard hat——like the ones invented for the men who worked on constructing the dam! Our students had lots of fun with this, as you can tell with these super cute pictures 🙂
With an average rainfall of about 7 inches, Nevada is mostly desert, not a lot of trees grow there! We used some kinetic sand for this box and put in some animals such as snakes and lizards you might find in the desert.
The science access point match animals that are the same can be addressed here.
The scent we used for our water play and lotion was called pink lemonade fizz (from Bath and Body Works). Since the average temperature is usually pretty hot, we thought sitting by the pool drinking a pink lemonade would be the perfect ending to a day exploring Nevada.
Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is a science access point.
FINE MOTOR GROUP
On Tuesday our students made a miniature Hoover Dam art project!
Apply a push to move an object is a science access point.
Then they glued their strips onto a paper plate cut into a half circle.
Identify objects by one observable property, such as color is a science access point.
The math access point recognize a common object with a two-dimensional shape is also addressed.
The students painted their paper using corn syrup tinted with blue food coloring. We have used this technique before and it is really super cool because once dry, it has the shiny wet look of real water!
It’s the Hoover Dam!!!!!
On Wednesday our students decorated colorful sun visors we picked up at the dollar store. They were 3 for a dollar and you know we couldn’t pass up a bargain like that 🙂 It was a quick easy project and the students had a blast!
We made our own solar oven to demonstrate how the sun’s energy can be used to heat up food. We made the oven, following directions found online, using a pizza box, tin foil, cling wrap, and black construction paper. We put it out in the sun about an hour and a half before our group (thank GOODNESS it was a sunny day!).
Recognize parts of whole objects is a math access point.
Then, we broke up graham crackers into small pieces and placed 1 chocolate chip on each piece and placed them in the oven as well. We put both the buttered bread and the chocolate chip graham crackers in so that we could COMPARE which melts faster.
Observe and recognize a predicable cause-effect relationship related to a science topic is a science access point.
Recognize that the Sun is a source of heat is a science access point.