The Earth’s Rotation

The BFSU’s curriculum is divided into 4 sections, Life Science, Physical Science, Earth Science, and Nature of Matter.  Since we’d been covering a lot of Nature of Matter and Physical science, I thought maybe we should cover something from Earth or Life Science.  Life science doesn’t lend itself to very fun activity in the beginning presentations.  So Earth science it was!

Thanks to the ever resourceful Co-op Mama, we the kids had a really great time.

First we started with an AC/BD presentation and Long Black Strip presentation, where I had a hard time wrangling the kids.   Then after a lunch break, we started on the presentation.

Co-op Mama first brought out her creation.  The kids went wild.  Everyone wanted to put it on.

Earth's rotation

Earth’s rotation

We started by talking about what it means to be counter clock-wise and clock-wise.  Child volunteers were solicited for the costume wearer and the flashlight holder (for the sun).  She brought out some little people stickies and stuck one person on the West Coast 姍姍 (for San Francisco) and one one the East Coast 妞妞 (for New York).  We shone the flash light onto the earth and the child is to slowly rotate counter clock-wise.  They saw that as the earth rotates, it hits New York first and then San Francisco.  We also talked about how when San Francisco is dark, Taiwan light and vice versa.  Since the kids are all familiar with how Taiwan’s day time is opposite ours, they got the concept quick.

All they wanted to do was to take turns rotate and be the sun.

Once the kids all got a turn, this time it was to see how the earth rotates on itself as well as around the sun at the same time.  We eventually added the moon to the mix.  But by this time, the kids were going a bit crazy rotating all over the place.  So it ended up mostly the mom’s talking to each other, figuring out how the moon rotates while the same side always faces the Earth.

While the classes were super noisy, though fun, the kids actually then had a really calm and quiet afternoon stringing beads and playing with each other.  As I told Co-op Mama this week, I was reminded, watching the kids concentrating on work, that I really look for that in the work we do.  Because concentrated kids to me means children really engrossed in an activity, really self-learning.  I know logically that a noisy classroom where the kids are asking questions and what not are just as good.  But that’s often teacher-led learning.  And also when they get this crazy, they’re in this gleeful state where half of what you’re saying isn’t really going in.

Anyways, still figuring this part out.  I do know as a teacher, I need a bit more order or else my own sense of order gets out of whack.  Despite feeling like while the kids had fun, they didn’t really learn much, this Tuesday night they surprised me by spontaneously rotating around a post at Ranch 99, pretending to be the Earth and Moon.

Chinese Vocabulary

  • counter clock-wise – 逆時
  • clock-wise – 順時
  • revolution – 公轉
  • rotation – 自轉
  • Earth – 地球
  • Sun – 太陽
  • Moon – 月球

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