Friday, March 11, 2011

Game for Meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance

Here's a game that I used to help teach the meaning of the Pledge.  The boys really got involved.  This can be done outside or inside.

Print the Pledge and meaning of the Pledge sheets
Cut the Pledge into strips and mount onto colored paper
Cut the meaning into strips and mount onto a different color of paper
(I liked blue and red.)

How to Play:
There are many different variations.  Be creative.  I used the three listed below.

1.  Randomly distribute the Pledge strips to the boys and have them put them on the ground in the proper order.  For the next part, the pledge needs to be in order vertically rather than horizontally.  After the pledge is in the proper order, mix up and  distribute the meaning strips.  Taking turns, each boy puts his meaning strip next to the corresponding phrase in the Pledge.

For more active boys that need to move here is another variation:

2.  Mix up and distribute the Pledge strips.  Taking turns, have each boy go from point A to point B and back again doing one of the requirements from Achievement 1.  For example, have the boy elephant walk to the corner of the room and back to the table where the strips are being arranged.  Or, he can crab walk down the sidewalk from the starting point to the ending point  where you are arranging the strips.  When he has completed his feat of skill,  he then places the Pledge strip in its proper order.  After the Pledge is done, repeat the whole process for the meaning strips.

Sometimes I even number the "feats of skill" in Achievement 1 and have the boys roll a dice.  The number it lands on determines the feat they perform.

3.  For even more excitement, repeat either variation one or two.  Time each round with the second hand on a watch to see if their time improves.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What Makes Best Compost Experiment -- Stories of People Protecting our World

 Here is a story from the internet about a boy's efforts to help reduce garbage waste.

Compost and Recycling Experiment

Matt Fisher, age 13
John Adams, Junior High, Charleston, West Virginia

What He Did


America faces a “garbage crisis;” we’re running out of places to dump our trash.  We have to throw less away but how?  One way is to compost at home—put organic materials like leaves and grass in a backyard bin instead of throwing them out—and let them decompose (rot) so they become part of the Earth again.  Matt’s family had a big yard, and every time the grass was mowed, their 40 gallon trash can was filled. Matt considered this a waste and told his parents that he would do a science project to see how quickly can break down into compost. 


Matt estimates he kept 30-40 trash cans full of yard waste from being thrown away that year.  His science project won first place at his school and third in the county.

How He Did It

1.      Matt and his father built a wooden compost bin.
2.      His hypothesis was: Grass and leaves would decay faster than any other material.
3.      He put a box in his room with the “control” materials all mixed together: grass, leaves, newspaper, glossy newsprint ads, a brown paper bag and a magazine.
4.      He put identical items in the compost bin, then covered them with grass and leaves.
5.      He checked the temperature of the compost pile to see if it was heating up (decaying material “cooks” itself) Sometimes it got as high as 120°
6.      After 9 months, he analyzed a sample of compost from the middle of the pile.  His hypothesis was right; the grass and leaves had decayed the most.  Newspaper came in second.  The glossy newspaper inserts and magazine had hardly changed at all.

Story was published in the California Riverside County Newsletter, June 2005