Kindergarten | December 4, 2009 In This Issue: Muppets Rock; Deep-Sea Census; Extreme Weather; Game of the Week Online Muppet Mania The Muppets have made a comeback, thanks to a YouTube video. In just one week's time, Animal, Miss Piggy and friends managed to rack up more than 8.6 million views (and counting) while rocking out on a parody of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" video. We'd like to give a hand to a new generation of Muppet fans, who helped to put it on Kideos Top 10 List.
Come up with your own parody video. Have your child choose a song, and help him or her change the words or word combinations to make it silly. Then stage a fun performance in costume.
Learn about each Muppet and its muse. Then share their histories with your child. ASK: Imagine you could create a Muppet based on yourself. What would your Muppet look like, talk like and act like?
Alien Ocean Creatures A 10-year sea census launched in 2000 continues to surprise scientists. Most recently, exploration of an area 3 miles below the ocean's surface has revealed a diverse community of marine species. The creatures thrive in a frigid, black world without sunlight. So far, researchers have discovered 17,650 animals living in eternal, watery darkness—and loving it.
Watch "Beyond Sunlight" to see some of the creatures that live in total darkness. Tell your child that these animals have adapted to the conditions around them, to better survive.
Together with your child, visit the Census of Marine Life gallery. Discuss and point out some examples of adaptation—fish that light up or have large eyes; soft, flabby bones and flesh; large and expandable stomachs; strong sense of smell; black, silver or transparent bodies; large mouths and jaws, and teeth that angle inward.
Together, list the various adaptations and identify how each can aid survival.
Suggest your child imagine that he or she could easily adopt adaptations to make life easier. ASK: Would you want to be able to read or write faster? Would you want your foot or hand to be a certain size to make it easier to throw, catch or kick a ball? After brainstorming, have your child draw what these adaptations would look like.
Wild Weather Ah, winter in the Northeast: mild, blustery days; joggers in shorts and T-shirts; friends lingering over lunch at outdoor cafes. Right. Even people who have never lived in the region know that the recent weather has been unusually mild. Forecasters don't expect it to last. In fact, by the time you read this, Massachusetts, Maine and the rest might be buried under a few feet of snow.
Discuss the different seasons with your child. Tell him or her that the temperature is a number that indicates how hot or cold it is outside. Explain that in general, winter in the Northeast can be very cold and that during the summer, the temperatures rise.
Gather various winter and summer items in your house: mittens, a scarf, thick socks, knit hat, ice skates, flip-flops, tank top, shorts, sunblock. Have your child group the items according to season.
Suggest that your child keep a daily record of the weather for a month, to include temperature and basic conditions, as well as that day's forecast. ASK: What was the highest temperature for the month? How many days were sunny? Cloudy? How often was the forecast right or at least close to the actual conditions? What might this tell you about the weather?
MATH: Help your child identify the highest and lowest temperatures that he or she has recorded. Have him or her subtract the low from the high. ASK: Was there a big difference in temperature? In your opinion, how far apart would the numbers have to be to make a noticeable difference?