Rain and clouds were the focus for our 2018 Earth Day activity with the students at Pinoleville Native American Head Start. We picked this topic to coordinate with the Northern Pomo words of the month that PNAHS utilizes in its curriculum. Our department wanted to host an activity that was hands-on because those always seem to be the best for the two to five-year-old students at PNAHS and Pinoleville Early Head Start.
We filled up the school’s “Discovery Tables” on one side with cotton balls and the other with water and a little blue dye. The blue dye helps the cotton balls change colors when they absorb the water. In small groups, the students came over and soaked the cotton balls in the blue water until they were heavy. Then, the students squeezed the water out of the cotton balls into a bucket. While the students did that, we talked about where rain comes from and its function in the environment.
The students loved the activity and had amazing realizations like, “I didn’t know clouds got so heavy.” Overall engagement was great. It even opened the door for talks about drought and climate change and how a lack of rain can affect our area. This turned out to be one of our best Earth Day activities to date as the students used fine motor skills to fill up the cotton balls while also using critical thinking in our discussion.
Enjoy the pictures below!