How do we get energy from
During the planning process with Discovery Creek
Children's Museum, we strategized a method for teaching and learning about the
sun's energy and how it is represented in the garden.
We thought about how a young child interprets the term
"energy". We assumed that the
children's most direct association with the term "energy" is in a physical
context, i.e., energy level as related to eating food.
Children often hear "Eat your carrots so you'll have lots of energy".
The Museum developed a program that built upon this basic concept, extending the
under-standing to how energy is transferred from the sun to plants to animals to
Discovery Creek Staff developed a
workshop specifically for our teachers on this concept (see:
The Project Team: Teacher Workshop Materials). Lana Brown and Audra Kelly came to Peabody
Early Childhood Center on December 5th for a celebratory day.
The two Museum staff representatives worked with eight classes of students. They guided
the students through a kinesthetic representation of the food web, each child playing a
a different part of the food web. Alternating with the food web activity, Jan MacKinnon, librarian
at Peabody, worked with the classes on a sequencing activity where they created a food chain.
worked! The children quickly caught on that the sun's energy is needed for
the plants to make their food and that we eat that food to get our
Children's Literature: What Makes Everything Go? by Michael
Ross; Energy from the Sun by Allan Fowler.
The following pictures show the activities of the day:
The children are "producers", plants
getting their energy from the sun.
Audra demonstrates a "consumer",
animals, which have reached out, grabbed food and brought it
back to eat.
Creating a food web.
Playing the parts of the
Making a simple food chain.
Putting it in the order for energy
drew where they were in the food web.
"I was a deer. I ate
"Antonio the mouse. I'm the
"That was me the flower. Ienza was a chipmunk.
She ate me. She ate nuts."
"Mason ate me. I was a leaf and Mason was a beetle."
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