## CURRICULUM BRIDGES: NATURE

[MATH | LANGUAGE ARTS | SOCIAL STUDIES | VISUAL/PERFORMING ARTS | LITERATURE LINKS]

### MATH:

CAUGHT BY THE WIND: Leaves caught by the wind float through the air. With each gust of wind 2 leaves "take off" and float. If there are 3 gusts of wind how many leaves "take off" and float?

DANDELION SEEDS: Dandelion seeds have parachutes made of fine hairs that let them 'fly' many miles through the air. 5 dandelion seeds parachute into the air and 'fly' 2 miles each. What is the total miles that the 5 seeds travel?

HELICOPTER WINGS: Maple and ash seeds have "helicopter wings" that make them whirl for long distances. There are 6 maple seeds and 6 ash seeds. How many seeds are there all together?

GLIDERS: Leaves and seeds are considered gliders and not true flyers. They do not have flapping wings to propel them through the air. If there are 623 leaves gliding and 389 seeds gliding how many items are gliding all together?

GLIDING FLIGHT: There are certain fish that can glide. "Flying" fish have flightlike motions that are made by their large pectoral fins that serve as wings. With their tails they are able to propel themselves up to 35 feet out of the water. When they are in the air they spread their pectoral fins to glide up to 1,000 feet. There are 35 "Flying" fish which propel themselves into the air. Each fish glides 986 feet. What is the total number of feet that the 35 "Flying" fish glide?

GLIDING MAMMALS: "Flying" lemurs and "flying" squirrels are gliding mammals. Both have folds of skin along the sides of their bodies that connect their front and hind limbs to help them glide from tree to tree. Some lemurs glide up to 450 feet between trees. There are 60 "flying" lemurs and 25 "flying" squirrels. The lemurs are gliding 380 feet and the squirrels are gliding 89 feet. What is the total feet that the two groups are gliding together?

SOME BIRDS: Birds are true fliers. But some birds also glide and soar. They may do this to rest their wings. At other times they have been known to soar higher and higher for hours on warm air currents called thermals. Sea gulls are one of the birds that glide above the ocean, catching the warm air currents. There are 416 sea gulls gliding above the ocean and each of them catches 232 air currents. What is the total number of air currents that the 416 sea gulls catch?

GIANT REPTILES: The largest and best known flying dinosaur is the Pterodactyl. The largest pterosaurs (which achieved the first true flight) was the North American Quetzalcoatlus with a wingspan of 40 feet from tip to tip. There are 612 Quetzalcoatlus's flying 250 miles. What are the total miles they are flying? And if each of the Quetzalcoatlus's has the maximum wingspan, what is the total footage of wingspan for all 612 of them?

TRUE FLIGHT: True flight can only be accomplished by insects, birds, and bats. They are able to do this by flapping their wings. While insects are the most maneuverable of all flying creatures, birds are nature's perfect flying machine. Most birds fly at low altitudes below 300 feet. Only a few species fly higher than 3,000 feet. If there are 1200 species that fly below 300 feet and 41 species that fly above 3,000 feet what is the total number of feet that they all fly above the earth?

### LANGUAGE ARTS:

BUTTERFLY: Have the children pretend that they are butterflies. Have them "fly" around the room and take them outside to "fly" around the playground. Then bring the class back inside and together write a short story about their adventures as a butterfly. Write the story on the blackboard so that the children can write it down in their own handwriting on broad-lined paper. Place stories on a bulletin board in the classroom.

A SMALL LEAF: Ask each of the children to think of words that describe a leaf floating through the air. Write the words on the blackboard. Then as a class write a poem about the Small Leaf gliding through the yard at the school.

A CLASS PLAY: As a class talk about "Flying" fish and how they glide through the air above the ocean. Have the children pretend that they are one of these "Flying" fish and that they have an adventure with a porpoise. Then as a class write a play about the adventure. Make costumes out of tissue paper, construction paper, and fabric. Put the play on for the parents of the children.

WING SHAPES: Bats have wings made of skin stretched between thin bones. They are fast and agile fliers. Have the students write a story about a colony of bats that have to move from one cave to another. Ask the class to include the perils and positives that come out of this move for the bats. When the students have completed their stories, have them read their stories to the rest of the class.

A GLOSSARY OF FLIGHT: Have the students make up their own glossary of terms about flight. Challenge them to include many different words that encompass the whole arena of true flight and gliding flight. Ask each member of the class to make a journal book to write the terms down in and where possible draw an illustration of the term next to the term.

BIRD LIFT: Birds do more than just flap their wings in order to fly. They also twist the wings, and adjust the angles of the feathers. Ask your students to bring in a feather and write a short essay on the beauty of a bird feather. (Without the feathers the birds would not be able to fly).

FLOATING ON THE AIR: Many types of seeds are able to float on the air. They can do this because they are very light. They also have a large surface area, like a parachute which enables them to float long distances in the air. A dandelion seed may be carried more than 6 miles by the wind before landing. Ask the students to write a short story about a dandelion seed which has a personality like a "lion".

THE FLYING LEMUR: The flying lemur from the island of Madagascar is almost helpless on the ground. It can, however, glide for up to 440 feet when it extends its arms and legs. Have the classmates each write a poem about a flying lemur that they meet when they visit the island of Madagascar. Encourage the students to use their imaginations.

A DIVING BIRD: A diving bird folds its wings back to make a streamlined shape. This lets it move through the air at high speed. Ask the students to pretend that they are a diving bird. Have them write down their thoughts as they come to them. Tell the students that the thoughts do not have to be in any order, but random as they come to them. After the students have done this for 15 minutes ask them to write an essay that could be placed in a newspaper about the diving sequence of their bird.

### SOCIAL STUDIES:

A SMALL SPIDER: A small spider can be carried thousands of miles by its silken parachute. Small spiders have even been found in the air thousands of feet above the Earth's surface. As a class go to the library and check out books on spiders. Do a study together of one particular spider and its habits of being carried by the air currents and how this affects its life. Write down the findings of your children on the blackboard and have them copy the sentences on broadlined paper. They can take this paper home to share their findings with their family.

POLLEN FROM PLANTS: Pollen from plants falls to the ground unless it is carried upwards by air currents. This happens most of the time. The pollen from a tree in your yard can pollinate the tree in your neighbor's yard. As a class do a study of the effects of pollination from one place to another. As the teacher provide a couple of books on the subject that you can read to the class.

WHY?: Why does a dandelion seed have a fluffy head? Why does it need a sudden puff of wind to break the seeds free from the plant? Why are heavier seeds, such as sycamore, elm or pine cones, different? Check a few books out of the library on dandelion and pine cone seeds. Read the information to your class and write a short paper together on the questions "why" that are written in this section. This is a fun topic because children love to blow on a fluffy dandelion seed!

BAT WINGS: Take your class to the library and ask the students to check out books on bats. Ask the students to do a paper on the variety of wing shapes of bats. Have your students include how the various shapes of the wings determine how the bat flies and maneuvers. Bats make up more than one fourth of all mammal species.

PEREGRINE FALCONS: Have the students check books out of the library on falcons. Have them do a study and then write a paper on the falcon species. Included in the paper should be the following information on falcons: Their habitat, diet, breeding, size, habits, speed and precision, and plumage.

ARCHAEOPTERYX: During the dinosaur era there lived a flying winged reptile. Have the students check out books on these flying creatures and do a study on them. Have the classmates write out their findings on the Archaeopteryx on 5x8 cards and give an oral report to the rest of the class.

THE SOARING EAGLE: Birds like an eagle can soar to great heights without flapping their wings. They are lifted by air currents. Have the students do a study on eagles and how they help the environment and ecosystem in the United States. Also, have the students include what man is doing to ensure the safety of eagles in America. The bald eagle is our national bird.

WHAT ARE WINDS?: Winds are caused by air flowing from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure. The situation is complicated by the rotation of the Earth. Have the students do a study on the winds and the world wind patterns. Gliding flight depends upon the winds and true flying birds, bats, and insects utilize the currents of the earth. Have the students share their findings with the rest of the class.

MEASURING THE WIND: The strengths of winds are described using a scale called the Beaufort Scale. Have the students do a research paper on how the Scale was developed, by whom, and when. Also, have the students include a description of how the Beaufort Scale is used in measuring the wind.

### VISUAL/PERFORMING ARTS:

BUMBLEBEE: The children are going to make a bumblebee out of the following materials: white construction paper, black crayon, scissors, glue, and black and yellow yarn. With the crayon have the children trace an oval on the white paper for the bee's body. Then have them cut the black and yellow yarn into short lengths, enough to fill in the oval. Next have the children fill in the bee's body with several strands of the yarn, alternating black and yellow. Using the crayon have the children draw the wings, stinger, and antennae.

A SEED PICTURE: Have various seeds like bean, tomato, corn, sunflower, pepper, cayenne, apple, etc. available for the children. Have the children create a picture mosaic on a piece of construction paper using the various seeds. The seeds can be glued down on the paper. Explain to the class before you begin that seeds can "travel" through the air and land in other spots in nature.

CREPE PAPER BIRD: The students are going to make a bird. The materials that will be needed for each child is one sheet of dark-blue and light-blue construction paper, scissors, glue, blue crepe paper streamers and crayons. The first step is to have the children draw a large oval and a smaller oval from the dark-blue paper. Then have them cut the large oval and the smaller oval from the paper. Have the children glue the oval paper pieces to the light-blue paper to make the bird's body and head. Next have the class cut off long pieces of crepe paper and glue on to make colorful feathers for the tail and head. Tell the children to use the crayon to make the bird a beak, eyes, and feet.

FANTASY INSECT: The students are going to make fantasy insects. The following materials will be needed: black powdered tempera paint, baby powder, small paper bag, cotton balls, scissors, plastic strawberry basket, foil, pencil, jar or margarine tub lid, black construction paper, glue, binder hole reinforcers, sequins, glitter, and buttons. The first step is to place a tablespoon of black paint and a bit of baby powder in the bag. Drop in a handful of cotton balls, close, and shake. Remove the balls, and shake off the excess paint. Cut wing shapes from the strawberry basket. Tear the foil into small pieces. Then trace around the lid on the black paper. Cut out the circle. Glue the circle on the lid to make the insect's body. Decorate the body using the materials listed. The students can use a huge dose of imagination to create their fantasy insect.

PET ROCK LADYBUGS: Ask each student to bring in a couple of small rocks. Supply colored construction paper, pipe cleaners, scissors, and glue. Have the students design their own unique ladybugs using the rocks as the base for the bug. Have them cut and glue the wings that they design to the rocks. Then have them glue on the trimmed pipe cleaners as the ladybug's antennas. They can use these pet rock ladybugs as weights for their papers.

STRING ART: Using string, the students are going to create spider webs on construction paper. The students can use their imagination to create individual webs. Supply scissors, glue, string, and construction paper. Tell the students to cut the string to their preferred length and begin creating. As a special added spark at the end supply glitter that the students can place on the web. Remember that spiders 'catch' insects that float by with their webs.

EAGLE BOOKMARK: The students are going to make an eagle bookmark. The following supplies will be needed. Red, while, and blue felt, scissors, quarter, and glue. Have the students cut the red felt into a long strip. Cut one end into a point. Cut shapes from the blue and white felt. Glue these shapes on the red strip just above the point. Then glue the quarter, eagle-side up, to the other end of the strip. Use it as a patriotic bookmark.

SHIRT CARDBOARD DRAGONFLY: The class will be making a dragonfly out of a shirt cardboard. The following materials will be needed for each student: a shirt cardboard, scissors, bright green, yellow, or blue yarn, crayons, glue, and foil. Cut two long strips of cardboard. On one piece, round off the end for the head, and taper the other end for a tail. On the other piece make the ends pointed for wings. Cut the yarn into tiny pieces. Then use crayons on the body piece to make the dragonfly colorful. Draw two bulging eyes on one end. Spread glue all over the wing piece. Tear off a strip of foil, and press it on to make shiny wings. Fold the edges under, or trim them off with scissors. Glue the bright yarn pieces on the foil to complete the shimmering wings. Glue the wing piece across the body.

AN INSECT EXTRAVAGANZA: Have the students pair up with one other student. Ask each team to write a play about insects. Have the students include a wide variety of insects (if need be have them check books out of the library to get specifics about different types of insects). Have the students make it a whimsical play. They can then create costumes and sets for their play and perform it in front of the class.

ABC Animal Crafts
Author: Kathy Darling
Publisher: Palo Alto, Monday Morning Books, Inc., 1988
Synopsis:
This is a fun book to stimulate creativity among young children. There are 50 easy-to-do crafts for the early learner to make various animals and birds.

The Tiny Seed
Author: Eric Carle
Publisher: Massachusetts: Picture Book Studio, 1987
Synopsis:
This is the story about a seed. Wind, weather, and water can prevent seeds from taking root and growing. Some seeds still overcome these problems and find the proper conditions to flourish.

Author: Eric Carle
Publisher: New York: Thomas Crowell, 1977
Synopsis:
This is the story about a grouchy ladybug who refuses to share her food with the other ladybugs. She spends her day trying to keep the other animals away, but by the end of a very humbling and tiring day, a much wiser ladybug returns home willing to share with others.

What is a Bird?
Author: Ron Hirschi
Publisher: Walker, 1987
Synopsis:
The color photographs in this book presents the various activities common to birds. This helps to define birds for children.

Feel the Wind
Author: Arthur Dorros
Publisher: Harper, 1990
Synopsis:
Arthur Dorros uses simple terms to explain air currents, define the weather terms for wind, and to describe uses of wind. It is well illustrated.

Crinkleroot's Guide to Knowing Butterflies & Moths
Author: Jim Arnosky
Publisher: New York, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1996.
Synopsis:
This is a delightful story book about Crinkleroot. He takes the reader into the woods to learn about butterflies and moths. The text is complimented with actual size watercolor paintings of butterflies and moths. A wonderful book!

Planes and Other Flying Things - Paper Magic
Author: Florence Temko
Publisher: Connecticut: The Millbrook Press, 1995
Synopsis:
This is a fun book filled with photographs and simple directions to help youngsters make something special out of paper that flies. Both birds and planes are illustrated.

Archaeopteryx
Author: Rupert Oliver
Publisher: Florida, Rourke Enterprises, Inc., 1984
Synopsis:
This is a beautiful book with colored illustrations of the world of the Archaeopteryx. It is written from a storyline instead of strictly informational which is a refreshing bent from the usual norm for books on dinosaurs.

The World of Insects
Author: Susanne Santoro Whayne
Publisher: New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1990
Synopsis:
This is a beautiful book, well illustrated in color. It covers a variety of insects from the bumblebee to the beetle. Did you know that nine out of ten living things are insects? What is their secret to success and what do they contribute to life on our planet?

Wind to Flight
Editor: Margaret Fagan
Publisher: New York, Gloucester Press, 1989
Synopsis:
This is a wonderfully illustrated book with colored photographs, illustrations, and charts to describe the movements of air - or wind. This book also looks at how animals fly or glide through the air.

Bats
Author: Sylvia Johnson
Publisher: Lerner, 1985
Synopsis:
This book is enchanting with pictures that illustrate the varieties, characteristics, and behaviors of bats and their young. The contributions of bats are also discussed along with recommendations for their protection.

Dragonflies
Author: Molly McLaughlin
Publisher: Walker, 1989
Synopsis:
This is a beautiful book with exquisite close-up photographs of both dragonflies and damselflies which points up their similarities and differences. The author discusses the origins of dragonflies and the environment that is needed for them to survive.

The Aerial Hunters - Encyclopedia of the Animal World: Birds
Author: Martyn Bramwell
Publisher: New York, Facts On File, Inc., 1989
Synopsis:
This is a comprehensive book on birds with lovely photographs, colored illustrations, maps, and diagrams. It is written by a team of specialists and includes the most current information and the newest ideas on animal behavior and survival.

The Wind in the Willows
Author: Kenneth Grahame
Publisher: New York: Aerie Books, 1988
Synopsis:
This is a wonderful, humorous tale about the lives of eccentric animal characters that live by a river. The scenic descriptions are accurate about the various animals.

Web Hosting Provided By The National Business Aviation Association.

Explore Space ... Not Drugs!
Hear what astronauts have to say about staying drug-free.