Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Preschool Science Activities - Where do Pearls Come From?

Preschool science activities offer so many opportunities for hands on exploration. You can also use them to encourage the use of dramatic play fun that preschoolers love.

One of my circle time ideas is to talk about the next month that is coming up. For June, talk about monthly birthstones. The one for June is the pearl. Do they know what a pearl is? Where does it come from?

Talk about how oysters make pearls. In nature, a pearl is unusual, and finding gemstone quality pearls is rare. The pearl starts out as an irritant in a oyster or mussel. The "irritant" can be a bit of shell or parasite that gets caught in the soft tissue, which the pearl oyster tries to expel. If it can't get rid of it, t/he oyster coats the bothersome piece with a coating called nacre, forming the June birthstone.

Use the following ideas to continue the theme of pearls.

Secret Pearl Coloring Page
Since June’s birthstone is a pearl, show students where pearls come from by giving them an underwater scene to color and decorate. Give them a pearl to hold and look at and ask them to draw a secret pearl somewhere on their page. Then, they can trade pages and see who can find the hidden pearl.

Find the Pearl
Bring in three closed containers and put a pearl in one of them. Show the students which container the pearl is in and then mix the containers around. Students must try to follow the container with the pearl in it until you stop moving the containers. You should try to make them forget which one holds the pearl. When you stop, they can guess and you can see if anyone is right. Try this several times to improve their skills at attention and memory.

Dramatic Play: Underwater Divers
Send your students on a scuba mission to find valuable pearls at the bottom of the ocean. They must avoid sharks, jellyfish, and other dangerous animals as they venture to the bottom of the sea. They can comment on the types of animals they encounter and what it feels like to be able to breathe underwater.

If you like these preschool science activities, check out the other ideas in the Preschool Planner.


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