Friday, October 8, 2010

Desert Living?

A desert is a landscape or region that receives an extremely low amount of precipitation, less than enough to support growth of most plants. Deserts are defined as areas with an average annual precipitation of less than 250 millimeters (10 in) per year.

Well, this definition usually is true in our neck of the woods  tumbleweeds, but this week while learning about the desert we had major rainstorms, even tornadoes.  (Read about it in one of my school mom's blog.) This didn't stop us from making beautiful sunset paintings, hairy tarantulas, prickly cacti and dangerous gila monsters.

Sandpaper Rubbings: Precut desert pictures out of sandpaper/glue on sturdy file folders
Prickly Cactus: Using a wooden cut out, we painted with a mixture of paint/salt/liquid starch.  We also added a magnet to the back so they could hang it on their fridge. :)

Paint a cactus: Free form cactus paintings using the same mixture as the wooden cacti.

I found a ton of desert stamps and let them have at it.  This was a huge hit in the 3's class.  By the end of their stamping, you couldn't even tell what they stamped. :)
Hairy Tarantula: I made a template of a tarantula, they colored it, added a patch of furry material and added 8 eyes.  (Did you know they have 8 eyes???)
Gila Monster Mosaic
Some fun games we played:
  •   Pin the Hat on the Cowboy
  •   Slow or Fast: Pictures of slow things, fast things.  Children ran fast or slow with each picture held up.  This is also good for categorizing for little ones.
  •  Soft/Rough: Items that were soft/rough, categorize
  •  Snake Race: Slither on our bellies and race to the finish line.
  •  Pass the Chili Pepper  
  Here are some wonderful books we read: 

Next week is fall break, but we are going on a field trip!  Pictures about our adventure will be up about that. :)


  1. I love the sandpaper rubbings idea! We live in the desert so I am bookmarking that project for after the holidays :)

  2. I love that you are keeping it relevant for your kids by doing a unit on the desert. I teach in southwest Florida and it always feels so artificial to talk about fall changes (ours are barely noticeable) or winter snow (most of my kids have never seen snow). But the beach . . . now that's something we KNOW :)

  3. So true, Kat! I love fall and our leaves don't "change" until after Christmas! And some don't change at all. :(

  4. We do our wild west unit the first week in Nov. and I'm keeping this handy! Thanks, Jessi!


I'd love to hear what your thoughts are...leave a comment! :)