Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Exploring the Pacific Ocean and some MLKjr :)

We went to the Pacific Ocean today! Yep, you read that right.. us east coasters, went to the Pacific Ocean!! Ok- maybe it's more like, the Pacific Ocean came to us.  A few years ago, National Geographic created this traveling map of the Pacific Ocean with loads of activities and fun stuff to do with kids of all ages! It is one of the world's largest maps.. seriously, how cool is that?

We JUST found out about this yesterday and since we didn't have much of a chance to look at all the amazing activities, we decided as a grade level to figure out some way to take advantage.  And we did! All 80 (YES, 80) second graders took a trip to the Pacific Ocean today.  We brought all 4 classes into the gym where the map was rolled out. We gave pairs of students cards of things like animals, mountains, trenches, etc to locate on the map.  The cards gave clues about where they were {Great maps skills practice!} THEN- we let them read in the ocean!  Oh-My-Gosh, it was SO adorable.  80 little 7 and 8 year olds spread around this ocean reading with their friends.  Check this out...

Is this not absolutely precious?  I so wish I could have been like "hanging" above them and taken a shot looking straight down.  It would have been the COOLEST.  But since I couldn't do that, the stage at an angle had to work.

It was really so much fun!  They especially loved it because they got to take their shoes off and they could read with friends from another class!  If it's possible for your school to get the Pacific Ocean to come to you, I definitely recommend it {Just click on the link above}.  I wish I had more time to prepare because we could have done things like locate/learn the Ring of Fire as well as many other activities.  Maybe the Pacific Ocean can come again next year!

When we had to leave, of course we had them "swim" out of the ocean and twist, turn, and shake to dry themselves off before heading to specials.  

Today, we also paid some respect to Martin Luther King Jr. after our 5 day weekend.  We were supposed to do this on Friday but ended up have a snow dusting day.  Snow days in NC are ridiculous (to me) but of course that's coming from a Northerner.  Then yesterday we had a Common Core teacher workday.  So yep, the kids had a super long weekend.  Possibly Probably another snow day this Friday.  Keep taking away from my Spring Intersession mother nature, keep on taking..

Where was I?  Oh yea, Friday, snow day, MLK lesson... ah ha, that's it.  I started off the lesson by asking them why we had Monday off.  Of course, they all knew because of MLK's birthday.  We grabbed our Schema folders out of our brain and talked about everything we know about MLK (He fought for blacks rights, he helped the woman who sat on the bus and wouldn't get up, he had a famous speech).  Then, I whipped out this book...

LOVE this book! I introduced it by telling them that we were going to read this book today about Martin's Big Words, and that these words were his dreams.  As we read through it, we had to stop and talk...duh, right?!  (How would you feel?  Do you think Martin was right?  Do you think what he did was a good thing? Was it fair that black people were treated differently than white people?) After we finished the book, they were pretty sad that he died so we took a minute to just sit silently and pay respect to him.  Then we began a discussion on what his "Big words" were and what they meant.  And let me tell you, 7 & 8 year olds know what they are talkin' about!  We had a GREAT discussion.  As a celebration for Martin, his words, his dreams, and what all of those words mean for us today, each student make a collage of his words.  I totally forgot to take pictures of theirs so I'll post them up this weekend, but here is the example I made for them...

I know it's kind of late for your plans, but if you like it.. maybe you can add it to your "next year plans" AKA pinterest board :)

And last- for a new smile moment/brain break that my kids LOVE!! I can hear them in my head right now, "Ms. Gravelle can we do the Sid Shuffle, pretty pleaaaaaaaaaaaaase!" And they get a kick out of the "prince" dancing with all the "regular" people.  Not kidding.

Check back soon for Spy Reports, How to promote problem solving with the Common Core Math Practices in your math class, indoor recess fun, and new S.S. Resources!  


  1. Love that video! I'm going to try to use it tomorrow for indoor recess since it will be freezing again :) Also, yes, the Pacific Ocean totally rocked! We did a Pacific Scavenger hunt. Let me know if ya'll can squeeze it in tomorrow and want a copy (maybe for indoor?)

    1. My kids seriously love it! P.S. I'm sending people your way sometime soon to read about your Spy Reports!! :) I was going to try to make it but I'm not sure if we will. We went out for recess today because we don't have it until 1:00 and it wasn't too bad so maybe we'll make it outside??

  2. O.M.G. I LOOOOOOVE the Sid Shuffle!! I can't wait to get my kids up and moving with it next week. Thanks for sharing! PS I'm your newest follower. :)

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