Recycling is fun when you can feed a “monster” that loves eating recycled items or make a car out of toilet paper rolls, straws, bamboo, and plastic caps. Just ask preschoolers in Jackie Baker’s class at Classroom of Discovery in Sterling.
They recently took a field trip to Marymount University’s Reston Center to learn about being earth-friendly and to practice language skills. Master of Education (in Elementary Education) students in Dr. Shannon Melideo’s course on Reading and Language Arts (PK-2) organized stories, songs, crafts, and games around the theme of enjoying nature and taking care of the earth.
While the teachers-in-training worked with the children, Dr. Melideo, assistant professor of Education at Marymount, demonstrated a language activity experience that the parents could use at home. The idea is to have the child dictate the words that describe an activity done together (even something simple like bringing a pomegranate home from the store). The parent writes the words down, asking question that encourage the use of descriptive adjectives. “This creates a readable text that is in the child’s own words,” explains Dr. Melideo. “It’s a written memory of an experience they had together and sets the stage for pre-reading – helping the child to be more observant and building vocabulary.”
The children went home with their newly made tree pictures, recycle monsters, and recycled cars, as well goodie bags filled with Marymount crayons and pads of paper, as well as stickers that said, “I went to college today.” No doubt, they will share recycling advice with their parents, too!