Between the Earth and Sky: Session Three

For our third and final session, we made a poster about how ‘YOU’ can protect our wildlife as our take action project, earning the girls their Clover Award. Together, with a bit of guidance, the girls came up with 1. visit local parks, 2. mind your weeds and seeds: stay on paths and don’t pick unknown wildflowers, 3. reduce, reuse, recycle, 4. conserve water and energy, 5. don’t bother wild animals, 6. garden with native plants, 7. keep the outdoors clean, and 8. learn more at worldwildlife.org, nps.gov, and tpwd.state.tx.us

I had printed off several pictures of endangered species found in our area of the country, including plants, as well as the state park and national forest nearby. (I don’t actually have a color printer at home, and I didn’t want to get photo prints, so I used Picasa to make collages of the pictures I wanted, about 4 to a page, and printed them at the library.) I did the lettering, but the girls had creative control of the layout and helped glue things in place. My daughter asked our local children’s librarian if we could display it at the library, and now we’re just waiting to see it hung.

take action: protect our wildlife

I don’t know how well this project would work with a larger group of girls, what with everyone needing to work together for a single coherent poster and all that, but it worked well for us and took about an hour and a half to put together. I think it looks very good, if I do say so myself.

Update: Finally getting around to adding pics of the library display:

I got the dimensions wrong, so our wonderful children’s librarian used one of her display boards to show it off in the reading area.

my daughter showing off a display she’s very proud of

Between the Earth and Sky: Session Two

Given our time constraints, we decided to cover the journey in three troop meetings with parents going through the book with the girls at home. In order to meet the award criteria, remain relevant to the journey, and to include a natural progression, I went from individuals (the parts of a plant and emotions) in the first meeting to communities (including ecosystems) for the second.

We began by talking about what an ecosystem works and how easily it can be disrupted. I brought the journey into by discussing the negative effects of yellow lupine, sweet-clover, and the positive effects of sunflowers mentioned in the story. It was fun to watch the girls realize how much they already knew about ecosystems after telling me in the beginning that they didn’t know anything. One of them has a small farm at home and uses their own chicken scat for fertilizer. For this part of the session, I printed out a sheet about Coastal Wetlands and Freshwater Wetlands of Texas, which I found through Texas Parks and Wildlife in their Keep Texas Wild archive.Keep Texas Wild

We then talked about how communities work together, each contributing their special skill, and how important that diversity is. We talked about the girls and what they were good at and what they wanted to get better at, earning their Firefly Award.

 

The Keep Texas Wild resource is definitely one I will return to. It has information on a number of nature topics as well as suggested activities that I will probably use more as I work with older girls, or at least I have more time for in depth attention to a topic.

Between the Earth and Sky: Meeting One

We took the first week of July off because it was the week before our community day camp, and the scout house was undergoing some much needed repairs. We met the second week, but we still only had two girls, so we sat, we had a snack, and we reviewed the Girl Scout law a little bit and talked about how all the lines really do seem to work together, and we talked a little bit about the new Journey we were about to start, “Between the Earth and Sky,” and I gave them their books before letting them play outside.

The third week we ended up taking off as well because we knew one of our girls was going to be out of town, and when you only have three, that’s a pretty big deal. We met last week, though, with all three girls.

We aren’t taking the time to read the journey together because I’m trying to fit this journey in before school starts, so I made sure our third girl got her book and that they all understood they need to read it it at home. Then I explained that this journey was about plants, but it was also about people, so we will be learning about how plants work together, but also how people work together.

We started by talking about the parts of a plant. I started with page 9 of the journey book, the picture of the Amazing Daisy the girls are supposed to label. I had the girls name as many parts as they could and explain what they were for, what they did. Together, the girls did a pretty good job, and I just explained with a little more detail. (My daughter had a lot of the answers from one episode of The Magic School Bus, love that show.)

Then we talked about the parts of plants we eat. I had meant to bring a snack tray with the various parts represented, but, already condensing a previously condensed journey plan, I skipped that and we just named as many as we could think of for each. They really got a kick out of that.

For the people part of the lesson, we talked about feelings. We talked about how we can tell what another person might be feeling, what we can or should do if we think they’re upset, and what we should do if we ever get sad or angry.

Finally, we made “feelings monsters.” We decided that if you don’t talk about your feelings and try to ignore them, they can get harder and harder to control and become little monsters that take over, so we should always try to talk about how we feel and why with the person who upset us, if we can, and if they don’t care (or if they’re a bully who wants us to be upset), we should find a parent or a family member or a friend to talk to.

(I got the idea from the blog eighteen25)

To make the little monsters, I gathered:

multiple yarn options
colorful pipe cleaners (or chenille stems if you prefer)
colorful beads
googly eyes
empty wooden spools
a hot glue gun

I left my small cardboard pieces at home, and I recommend you do not forget
cardboard pieces approximately 4” x 2”

The girls picked out two different colors of yarn and, since I didn’t have my cardboard pieces, I had them wrap it around their drinking cups until it was nice and thick. I didn’t have a set length of yarn to wrap, just kind of eyeballed it.

Then I clipped the yarn off, slid it from the cup, slipped a piece of yarn through the middle and tied it off so I had a nice loop of yarn, then clipped the opposite side of the loop from the tie off. After that, I kind of shook it out a bit, trying to make the tie-off a sort of horizontal bar across the middle, with the top flopping over it evenly. Then I hot glued that to a wooden spool and flipped it over so the bottom was the new top and shook it out, setting it down with the spool as a base.

Then the girls choose a pipe cleaner and took their second color and wrapped it around a smaller cup, and we did the whole thing again, only this time we laid the pipe cleaner on the yarn so it got tied into the bundle. This bundle was then glued on top of the other.

Then the girls chose two beads which were curled securely on the ends of the piper cleaners before they shaped the pipe cleaners how they wanted them.

I had intended to put the googly eyes in the yarn, with the spool only being a stand to make the monster sit upright on its own, but all three girls wanted the eyes put on the spool itself so that all the yarn looks like crazy hair. They got to choose between one and five (because one of the girls needed a limit before she would say how many she wanted) and I glued them on.

This craft was a big hit.

my daughter's feelings monster

my daughter’s finished product

We don’t have the patches in yet, but this lesson earned them the blue bucket award in “Between the Earth and Sky.”