Recently, NAEYC and the Fred Rogers Center for Media released an updated statement on technology and young children. Where they previously had advocated restriction and abstinence for young children. They now say, “We believe that when used appropriately, technology and interactive media have tremendous potential to nurture early learning and development.” “Appropriate” then translates to use within developmentally appropriate classrooms to enrich existing curriculum. How does this work exactly? Let’s take a closer look at Disney’s new movie, the Lorax and how both the movie and various on-line resources can be used to enrich a first grade curriculum- either at home OR in the classroom. With the prevalence of modern marketing techniques, children are probably talking about it, collecting movie toys from McDonalds and living out the movie’s influence in other ways. Why not maximize its impact for good?! Haven’t yet seen the movie? Rent it! Or show some of the trailers!
Writing: The State of California’s first grade standard for writing includes: ” Students begin to learn to write clear and coherent sentences and paragraphs that develop a central idea, considers audience and purpose.” And “Compositions describe and explain familiar objects, events, and experiences”
Here are some activities that address this:
A) The movie has a famous quote. “I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues” Why not have your child create a dictionary of a tree language? Together you could keep adding words as they come up over time!
B) Write a story together! “What would you do with the last Truffula seed?”
C) Or increase vocabulary and try your hand together at this word search!
Science: The obvious theme throughout this movie is being more friendly to the environment which goes hand in hand with science! The State of California’s first grade standard for science includes: “I observe the world and use words, graphs, and illustrations to describe it”
For an activity to address this, we found these great ideas on-line and already in practice!
A) On Recycling
B) The Lorax Project Web-site
Mathematics The State of California’s first grade standard for mathematics includes: “They measure with simple units and locate objects in space.” specifically, for measurement, “students describe and arrange objects in space in terms of proximity, position and direction (e.g. near, far, below, above, up, down, behind, in front of, next to, left/right)”
For an activity, why not:
A) Make a forest of different sized Truffula trees and have your child or children create maps for things within that forest.
OR same idea w/ a twist
B) Pretend an area outside with lots of trees is a Truffula forest and take turns hiding something within the trees- or use this image and a little imagination! Then, the person who hides the object has to give directions or clues to the other person or people playing to find it!
C) Do a Google or other search with your child on line for all of the various images on-line that show Truffula trees then compare and contrast them together. Which is bigger? What are they near? What is below them in the images? What is above?
And don’t forget, there is also the book by Dr. Seuss and all of the other wonderful stories within his collection for private and shared story times! Whether you are a teacher searching for lessons or a student or parent exploring sites with activities, this is really just the beginning of a lot of possibilities!