Thursday, 11 February 2016

Our planet and ozone layer model.

One of the great things about walking to school with the children is that it gives us 10-15 minutes to talk and play little games. On a rather cold and frosty morning, Chick 1 and 2 were really quite averse to walking and they had cried for about half the journey. So I went down the route of telling them why walking is sooooo much better than driving. In a totally over the top enthusiastic voice (otherwise they'd be totally unconvinced) - "think about the wonderful exercise we are getting, the blood gets to pump around your body and brain making it a super start for your working day - you'll be alert and ready to learn. Also, we're saving our planet by not taking the car. If we walk the car wont send all that nasty carbon monoxide into the atmosphere which in turn helps to preserve the ozone layer." At this point I realised I was in for a series of questions "What's the ozone layer?!" "What's carbon monoxide?" "What's atmosphere?". But here is where I felt I'd won, there was no more whining about walking to school, they were so immersed in talking about saving the planet that they'd forgotten to be unhappy about walking. Parent win. 

Chick 2 was particularly interested in the ozone layer idea. As I tried explaining it to him, I could see his little mind working over time to try and picture what I was on about. 

When we got home, we decided to try and make a model of the earth complete with an ozone layer.

Using a blue ball (the ones you get in a ball pit set), we used a green marker pen to draw the countries. Then stuck in little tooth picks to use as props for our cotton wool clouds. 

I then helped him put a layer of cling film over the top to show how the ozone layer works. We talked about the heat and power of the sun and how it's so strong we need protection from this layer otherwise we'd all burn up!

This led us onto looking at the order of the planets. Fruit was the obvious choice! We enjoyed singing some planet rhymes to help us remember them all. Chick 2 was intrigued when I told him the sun was so much bigger than our planet because it looks so tiny in the sky.

This was a fun way to introduce the concept of the planets and relationship we have to the sun. It also brought in other links like counting (what number planet is earth?) and writing (labelling planets).

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