Habitual Habitat of the Amy

I kept reading advice columns for how to bring sales to your etsy shop, and one thing they all said is to get a blog.

I can't say this blog has boosted my etsy sales, but it has given me yet another outlet for talking about myself, and that can't be bad--can it?

The direct link to the Etsy shop is HERE

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sunshine and Moonshine

Sun and Moon Choker
When I worked at my outdoor ed place (the one I liked), we would teach classes each week. For the most part these classes already existed before we taught them, so we'd read the description in one of the Binders, and then we'd teach it.

But nothing at that place was set in stone, and we were encouraged to make our own classes, change the classes that we got from the Binders and also sometimes we'd have a class fall-through at the last moment and replace it with something from our heads.

I came up with one--I only taught it maybe four times, because I usually saved it for a rainy day activity with my non-classes groups. I also knew that if I taught it a lot I'd get bored with it, and the kids wouldn't enjoy it.

Because in summary it doesn't sound that fun.  In summary it is: 'create an energy map of everything on Earth.' Which does not sound fun, and I've heard some unfun things in my life.

But in practice I would sit all the kids down, pull out my rainbow of dry erase markers and a large whiteboard, then I'd start with "where does almost all energy on Earth come from?" We'd get the sun, which gives energy to the plants, then herbivores, then carnivores, then back to the earth, which is basic stuff, and I'd draw colorful and...simple pictures of each step. 

I'd also take it beyond just the food chain, and go out to "What else gets its energy from the sun?" We'd add solar panels, and the water cycle/weather, we'd talk about the energy from decaying plants going into fossil fuels, which would go back into powering our daily things, and if I remembered, I'd connect it back to fossil fuels putting out CO2 and affecting the weather (it's not strictly energy it's putting into the system, but it's a good teachable moment).

Eventually we'd have this crazy and colorful whiteboard of things, and then I'd have the kids draw the images onto cards (either copying from me or their own), we'd tape the cards onto posterboard, and then I'd have them connect everything with string again.

It was fun, and the kids generally got a lot out of it, and also were proud enough of their energy poster that they'd gleefully hang it in the dining hall for the rest of the week.

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