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The Desert- Susan Lee by Mind Map: The Desert- Susan Lee
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The Desert- Susan Lee



Strand 1 - Inquiry: The student will use their senses to observe their environment and make predictions based on these observations      

Regular nature walks around neighborhood

Take a class on regular walks around the school or neighborhood. Instructor will take notes about class observations in order to discuss back in class - pay particular attention to changes throughout the weeks or seasons.

Field Trip to Desert Botanical Garden

1. Make observations 2. Draw a picture of something they remembered from the field trip  

Daily weather report

1. Have a daily weather person who asks an adult to go outside with them to help them determine the weather.

Cactus exploration

1. Bring in a cactus or two in for the students to examine and explore.

Create desert sensory bottle with sand and plastic lizards and snakes

Social Studies


Strand 4: Geography Concept 1: The World in Spatial Terms The child demonstrates an awareness of location and spatial relationships. Activities: Draw map of where they live and what's around their house Draw map of what they think would belong in the desert Discuss where deserts are located in the world.

Cactus tasting party

1. Purchase cactus candy 2. Purchase pieces of prickly pear cacti and boil the pieces.

Language and Literacy

"You Can Count in the Desert" - David Brooks

"Why Oh Why Are Deserts Dry?: All About Deserts" (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library)

"Desert Babies"

Jeremy Jackrabbit's Jumping Journey - Barbara Derubertis

Desert ABC book

Picture Dictionary Book - Individual books - one page for each letter of the alphabet - draw one picture or as many items as possible for each page OR one picture and name of item for each letter of the alphabet


Number Sense and Operations

Strand 1: Number Sense and Operations Concept 1: Number Sense The child uses numbers and counting as a means to determine quantity and solve problems.  

Pouring sand from one container to another

1. Also make measurement tools available such as measuring spoons, rulers, weights, etc  

Create pictograph with data collected from walks

Strand 2: Data Analysis Concept 1: Data Collection and Organization The child collects, organizes, and displays relevant data. 1. Have students come up with 2-4 things that they would normally find in the desert. 2. Have them look for one of these items on their walk or as part of their "homework" 3. Create chart with collected information    

The Arts

Dramatic Play

Strand 3: Dramatic Play Concept 1: Creating Dramatic Play The child uses dramatic play and props to explore and create. 1. Make jackrabbit ears - 1 strip of brown construction paper for headband and 2 brown shaped ears (piece of lighter brown inside the ears)

Desert Songs

Strand 2: Music and Creative Movement Concept 1: Creating Music and Movement The child uses a wide variety of instruments, techniques and music to explore and create.

Desert Scene

Strand 1: Visual Art Concept 1: Creating Art The child uses a wide variety of materials, media, tools, techniques and processes to explore and create.   1. Pre-cut cactus shapes from white construction paper 2. Create paint mixture consisting of green paint and salt (a lot) 3. Have students paint cacti 4. Display artwork on walk. Include additional drawings or cutouts of other desert creatures.  

Sand Painting

Strand 1: Visual Art Concept 1: Creating Art The child uses a wide variety of materials, media, tools, techniques and processes to explore and create.   1. Have students "draw" with glue on heavy paper or cardboard 2. Then place drawing in a deep tray of sand. Have them sift the sand over their drawing 3. Pull drawing out and let dry.