We started the lesson with guided imagery, a nicely different pause. I even had Travis close his eyes and put his head down on the table.
I asked him to imagine he was in the desert: What did he see? At first he reported nothing, but then details started to emerge as I asked prompting questions. It was hot, the only plants he could see were cactus, etc. I asked him if it was hard to picture a desert and he said yes, unsurprisingly since he’s never been to one! So it was time to delve deeper.
I pulled up images of the Sahara online, and he marveled at them as we read more facts together. He also watched a video about animals and people who make deserts their home.
He was fascinated by pictures of sand dunes when he learned that they weren’t fixed, that the wind could shift them at any point in time. From here, Raddish invites kids to draw, write a poem, choreograph a dance, or otherwise portray what they’ve learned about deserts. Travis chose to make a diorama!
We used kinetic sand as the base inside an empty shoe box, and then added some of his plastic toys, like snakes and scorpions.
He was especially interested in the idea of an oasis, so added a few trees from a dinosaur set, and a little lid filled with water to be the pond. He loved playing with this, making a rather big-kid lesson approachable even for my kindergartner. Make sure to check out on a map together where the Sahara is!
To finish the lesson, we watched a read-aloud of The Seed and the Giant Saguaro, by Jennifer Ward.