Mama Miti by Donna Jo Napoli. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2010.
This moving book, beautifully illustrated by Caldecott Honor Winner Kadir Nelson, tells the true story of Wangari Muta Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Known as “Mama Mati”, her work for the environment led to the planting of more than thirty million trees in Kenya and a greater understanding of the role trees play in our ecology.
Hello Ocean Hola Mar by Pam Munoz Ryan. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing, 2003.
A little girl uses all of her senses to explore the beach in this bilingual English/Spanish book.
A World Of Animals
Around the world in the ocean blue,
a world of animals can be discovered by you. (put blue felt on board)
Visit the East Australian Current for a great ride,
watch the sea turtles swimming, they won’t hide. (add sea turtle to ocean)
The South Pole may not be where you want to swim,
but the penguins are happy to jump right in. (add penguin to ocean)
A trip to the Caribbean islands will help you see
just how big a manatee can be. (add manatee to ocean)
All around the world in the ocean blue,
A world of animals can be discovered by you!
(add a variety of other animals; crabs, fish, starfish, jelly fish, etc., to the board and have the children tell you what they are. Or invite the children to come up and take one of the animals out of the bag to add to the board, asking the group what animal they discovered!)
Ke Ao Nani (This Beautiful World): A traditional rhyme from Hawaii
High, high above (raise arms)
Birds fly in the sky (flap arms)
Way down below (crouch down)
Grow the flowers of the earth (lift arms and “grow” like a flower)
Up in the mountains (raise arms)
Stands a grove of trees (stand tall like a tree)
Swimming in the waves (move arms like waves)
The fishes of the ocean (make a fish face)
Tell the story (spread arms)
Of this beautiful world.
It’s here for all the children. (indicate children)
A la vibora de la mar/Sea Serpent
This Mexican game is played like “London Bridge”: the children make two lines facing one another and hold hands up high to make a bridge. The children on the end go under the bridge. The last two children in line drop their hands down and capture the last child on the last line.
Sea serpent, sea serpent
Come on through.
Here’s a pathway just for you.
Those in front, run through fast.
The gates will close upon the last.
Last! Last! Last!
Native American Painting Craft
Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest used berries to paint houses, bowls, boxes – even their faces!
Materials: blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, small bowls, wooden spoons, vinegar, Indian Paintbrush or other types of grass, cotton swabs, paper
- Let each child have a turn mashing some berries with a wooden spoon.
- Add a few drops of vinegar to prevent mold growth.
- Mash the berries some more.
- Using cotton swabs or grasses, paint designs on the paper with this natural paint. Experiment with different types of grasses to create different designs.