Activities & Lesson Plans - Kindergarten Newsletter 4/16/10 - A New Lizard

Grade: K

April 16, 2010 | Kindergarten

In This Issue: New Lizard News, A World of Gardens, A Student Salary?

A New Reptile, Revealed
A new species of lizard found on Luzon island in the Philippines wasn't exactly hiding. Natives knew about the 6-foot long creature. Last summer, scientists finally had the opportunity to study the elusive lizard. This led to the discovery that it was an entirely new species. It comes from a big, long family that includes the Komodo Dragon.

Activity Ideas - Math
There are more than 8,000 reptiles of different shapes and sizes on our planet. Size them up with your child.
  • Tell your child that the new lizard is about 6-feet long. Show him or her what that would look like. (You can compare to your height, for example.)
  • Among the smallest reptiles is the dwarf gecko, which is less than 1-inch long. Find the length on a ruler. Compare to various things: Is it bigger or smaller than your child's pinky finger?   
  • Gharials are endangered crocodiles from India. Adult males can be up to 20-feet long! Find an object in your house or environment to show your child what that looks like. 
For more fun facts about reptiles big and small, visit the San Diego Zoo
Learning Tips: Compare Lengths and Weights

PeasGardening for Good
Last year the USDA planted the The People's Garden outside of its headquarters in Washington, D.C. The organic garden grew and grew. All told, its 300-pound harvest helped feed people at area soup kitchens and food pantries. USDA employees around the world quickly joined the green movement. Currently, 255 USDA gardens have taken root worldwide. 

Activity Ideas - Language Arts
Imagine that have a pen pal from another planet. Fruit and vegetables don't grow on the planet, so your pal has never tasted strawberries or grape tomatoes!
  • Choose at least one favorite fruit or vegetable that you would like to tell your friend about. 
  • Come up with a list of adjectives to describe your pick. It may help to divide the words by category: shape, color, taste, smell. 
  • Write a short paragraph describing the fruit or veggie with as much detail as possible. Remember, you want your friend to be able to picture it and almost taste it. 
Bonus: Challenge your child to try at least one new vegetable this summer. Choose something fresh and locally grown, if possible.
Learning Tips: Describing People, Places and Things

School Money
In recent years, low-performing schools have experimented with paying kids to do well. Some people oppose a cash-reward system, saying that schools need to motivate kids—not bribe them. A recent study indicates that kids respond better to programs that pay them for specific actions within their control, like getting to school on time.

Activity Ideas - Math

  • Ask your child: What do you put in a piggy bank? (Coins)
  • Use coins to count out piles of five, 10, 15 and 20. Limit each pile to one type of coin. 
  • ASK: Do we use coins for decoration? What are they for? 
  • Look closely at a penny, nickel, dime and quarter. Line them up size-wise, from largest to smallest. 
  • Identify similar features among all the coins. (Circular, images on front and back, etc.)
  • Identify differences. (Penny color, size, thickness)
Learning Tips: Explain Your Thinking, Count Up to 30

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