Activities & Lesson Plans - 1st & 2nd Grade Newsletter 5/17/10 - The Music Grows Up

Grade: 1st-2nd


May 17, 2010 | Grades 1&2

In This Issue: Music for Growing, Names on the List, From Gravity to Zero Gravity

KindiefestKid RockParents, listen up: kids' music is growing up (just a little). They Might be Giants and Dan Zanes, of the Del Fuegos, are just a few of the musicians converting to kids' rock. The genre is called kindie rock, and the tunes are smart, silly and fun.   

Activity Ideas - Language Arts
Kindie rockers write catchy tunes about kids' interests and concerns, including bullying, being stuck in the outfield, and new haircuts.
  • Listen to and/or sing some of your child's favorite songs. Write down some of the lyrics that contain rhymes, alliteration, tongue-twisters or other creative language.
  • Have your child point out the rhymes and other figurative language within the song.
  • Suggest that your child come up with a story or experience he or she would like to write a song about. 
  • Write down a brief summary of the experience. 
  • Once you have the basics, embellish the language: add rhymes and tongue-twisters and try to use alliteration at least once.
  • If you get stuck, read the words aloud and clap along; this may help to jump-start the creative process. 
Learning Tips: Using Rhythm and Alliteration in Poetry

Names of the Times
Would you name your child after a vampire? Plenty of parents did just that in 2009, inspired by Twilight's Edward Cullen. In its recently released list, Most Popular Baby Names for 2009, Social Security noted that Cullen was the biggest riser among boys' names. The name Edward moved up 11 spots.

Activity Ideas - Math
  • Suggest your child conduct a survey to find the top five most popular names for boys or for girls in his or her grade. (You may want to ask the teacher for a list of names, if possible.)
  • Graph the results. For example, on the Y axis, list the top five names and on the X axis list numbers of kids. 
Bonus: Look up your child's birth year, to see if pop culture may have influenced the most popular names.
Learning Tips: Reading Diagrams, Charts and Graphs
Names Then and Now:  Wolfram|Alpha Name Directory

The Laws of Zero Gravity
As the story goes, Sir Isaac Newton came up with the laws of gravity after getting bonked on the head with an apple. On May 14, a sliver of the legendary apple tree rocketed away from the Earth's gravity on the Space Shuttle Atlantis. This is the shuttle's final mission. The 4-inch piece of wood is just a small piece of history on a history-making journey.

Activity Ideas - Math & Science

  • Speak with your child about Earth's gravity. Explain that it is the force that pulls on every object on the Earth. 
  • Perform a variety of experiments that will show how gravity pulls objects toward the Earth: Go outside and throw a ball high in the air; watch as it falls to the ground; Make a paper airplane. Throw it across the room and it will eventually fall. 
  • Hold a marble at the top of a binder or slanted surface. Let go; what do you observe happening? 
  • Find two marbles of very different size. Ideally, one will be much larger and heavier.
  • ASK: Do you think the larger marble will travel faster than the other? Why or why not?
  • Test your hypothesis. As before, place both marbles next to one another at the top of the binder's slope. Release them at the same time. 
  • Make note of which fell the fastest. Repeat this two more times to confirm your results. 
Explain: to your child that light objects fall just as quickly as heavier ones because gravity pulls on them equally. 
Bonus: How much would you weigh on the moon? Crunch the numbers

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