Posts Tagged ‘Can Do Kids’

The Butterfly…From a Crawly Creature to a Flying Beauty

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

butterfly

 A naturalist, named John, visited the Community Center. He took the campers on a walk in the nature preserve just behind the Center. As they walked, John pointed out types of plants, birds and bugs. The boys were more interested in the bugs; the girls wanted to know about the beautiful flowers. Eulyn spotted something crawling on a leaf. John put it on his finger and asked the “Can Dos” what it was. Hector called out, “An ugly looking thing.” Everyone giggled.

John asked again. Jay said, “It’s a caterpillar and it won’t always be ugly. One day soon it will turn into a beautiful butterfly. Some of the “Can Dos” nodded in agreement, others looked puzzled. John said, ‘That’s right. Soon this crawly thing will be a beautiful butterfly.” Kathy spoke up. Please tell us how that happens.”

John had them sit down on low rocks and began to share what he knew about how a caterpillar changes into a butterfly.“A butterfly begins as caterpillar. It takes four steps to become a butterfly: egg, caterpillar, pupa, and adult. We call this process metamorphosis. This word comes from the Latin words …”changing shape.”

Most butterflies lay their eggs on plants. When the egg hatches, a small caterpillar crawls out and eats the eggshell, and then it begins eating the plant. Caterpillars just munch all day. A caterpillar’s insides grow, but not its outside—when it gets too big for its skin, the covering splits and is shed. A new exoskeleton lies underneath. A caterpillar sheds its skin 5 times, and then it becomes a pupa. The last time the caterpillar sheds, a hard casing called a chrysalis forms around its body. Inside this hard casing, lots of things are happening. The pupa is growing six legs, a proboscis, antennae, and wings.

After 10 to 15 days, the chrysalis breaks open and a butterfly emerges. At first its wings are wet and crinkled, but after about an hour, they are straight, dry, and strong enough for the butterfly to flutter away. The “Can Dos” all looked amazed. Hands went up, and the questions started.

Willie wanted to know what parts of the world you would find caterpillars. According to John, all continents except Antarctica.

Nellie wanted to know what kind of places did they make their homes. John’s answer, “They can be found in everything from rain forests to places like here.”

Arthur Jay wanted to know what caterpillars and butterflies eat. “Caterpillars eat leaves; butterflies sip nectar, sap, and juices from fruit,” answered John.

“How big are they,” asked Annie. “From less than 1 inch to about 11 inches across, depending on the species,” said John.

“I’d like to tell you more about the butterfly,” said John, “But it is time to get back to the camp. If you want to learn more about the butterfly, there is a great website you can go to. I will show you it when we get back to camp.

butterfly

This is the website. Visit it when you can and learn more about the butterfly.

www.butterfliesandmoths.org

 

Just for Fun…Mazes

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Another rainy day at summer camp. The “Can Dos” were getting bored with indoor games and activities. Miss Sue, the camp director,  thought…time for a contest!

Miss Sue distributed mazes to each of the kids at camp, announcing that the first one to finish the mazes correctly would win a prize…free admission to the Friday night movie, popcorn and a soft drink. You could have heard a pibn drop as the “Can Dos” worked hard at solving the mazes.

Here are two of the mazes…let’s see how you do.

mazes

mazws

 

Being Children in 1776

Friday, July 4th, 2014

children

The Can Dos are listening carefully as the historian speaks to them about being children when our country was born.

“If you were to journey back over the highways of history to the year 1776, you would find that most people lived on farms or in small villages. Even cities like Boston, Philadelphia and New York  were small. Back then, people had no electricity, no indoor plumbing, and no automobiles. Rooms were heated with wood fires and lit by candles. Travel was mainly by horseback over narrow dirt roads.

Many American colonists talked of “liberty,” “independence,” and “revolt.” They were weary of Britain’s rule, and their spirit was that of statesman Patrick Henry, who said, “Give me liberty or give me death!” In England, the king and his Parliament responded with more troops and more taxation.
The first battles of the American Revolution took place in Massachusetts in April 1775. By 1776, British troops had occupied the city of Boston, and a new American army was drilling under the command of General George Washington.

By the end of June that year, the Second Continental Congress had passed a Declaration of Independence telling Britain why “these United Colonies are and ought to be free and independent states.”

The Britain-America dispute ripped the colonists apart. Many people wanted to remain loyal to their King. Many others wanted freedom at any cost. The King would not give up the Colonies without bloodshed.

As battles began to rage, daily life went on. Houses were built, fields were plowed, and children went to school when they could.

It is dark when Johnathan’s mother calls him, and he is forced to leave the warmth of his bed. Downstairs, pleasant noises come from the kitchen as his mother prepares breakfast. There will be johnnycake (cornbread), a hot cereal, called mush, and fresh milk. It is the start of another day. Johnathan lives in  New Hampshire, a colony settled only three years after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth.

When Johnathan finishes dressing, he hurries down to the kitchen. The wood in the fireplace is giving off a good amount of heat,  and the delicious aroma of cooking fills the small kitchen. Johnnycake sits on a clean wooden board before the fire. A kettle of mush bubbles and hisses.

Johnathan has three younger sisters. His sister Elizabeth dresses the younger children in a corner of the room.

When his father comes in from the barn, the family gathers around a plank table. After a blessing, the parents and the children eat and talk of the day’s assignments.

Elizabeth will work on a spinning wheel, while Johnathan will carve new rake handles with his knife. Then both of them will walk to Mistress Robbins’s house for their daily lessons. The younger children will remain at home.

In 1775, many towns in New England closed their schools for the duration of the war. Johnathan and his sister attend a “dame school” for the time being. These are schools run at home by older women in the community.

Mistress Robbins has only rough slabs for seats. The younger pupils are taught how to read and sound out alphabet letters. Older ones memorize passages from the Old Testament. Everyone, including the boys, learns how to sew and knit.

On a warm spring day, three little girls sit in the music room of their North Carolina plantation home. One is playing a keyboard instrument similiar to a piano. Another is playing the harp, while the third plays a flute.

When they finish with their music, the girls ascend a wide staircase to an upstairs room, which serves as a schoolroom.
In the schoolroom, children from neighboring plantations join the girls. Several planters in the area got together and hired a teacher for their children. The girls are taught reading, writing, and fine stitching. The boys are taught reading, writing, and bookkeeping. Their lessons last only an hour.

There are few teachers in the Southern colonies, so these children are fortunate to have a classroom. Many Southern children have only “field schools” to attend. Those are informal, infrequent lessons taught in the open fields by some interested adult.

Before and after school, children have chores, lots of them. Play was a luxury as there was much to do to survive in those early days.

As you leave the homes and schools of 1776 and return to the present day, you sweep past more than two centuries of American history. Not only has the nation changed since its beginning, but so has the manner in which Americans live.

The “Can Dos” clapped when the historian finished his talk. They were silent and thoughtful as they made their way to the fun-filled activities that awaited them…a parade, games in the park, a band concert, a picnic and last, but not least…a fireworks show.

Arthur J was the first to speak. Turning to his friend, he said, “We’re lucky to live now. It wasn’t easy, even for kids, to live back in 1776.”

 Happy 4th Everyone…Happy Birthday America!

Sources:

The Free Library
Adapted from Going to School in 1776 by John J. Loeper, 1973

Movie Night

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

movieMovie night at the “Can Do” Street Community Center is a big deal.

The “Can Dos” get to go to a movie with each other, under the watchful eyes of their camp counselors. No parents, grandparents or teachers allowed!

The movie starts at 6:30 PM every Friday night, during camp, and is over by 8:30 PM. Parents drop the “Can Dos” off with their counselors and pick them up from their counselors when the movie lets out.

Each “Can Do” gets $1 from their parents on movie night. Admission is 75 cents and snacks are 25 cents.

Well, last Friday’s movie night was a real test of friendship.

When Arthur J. reached into his pocket for his movie money, it was gone. His mom had given him four quarters, since she didn’t have a dollar bill. Arthur J. didn’t know it, but he had a hole in his pocket and the quarters fell out somewhere along the way.

He didn’t know what to do. He walked over to where his friends were standing and told them what happened. He was really upset. He didn’t want to miss the movie. Most of all he didn’t want to miss the fun of sitting with his friends and trading snacks.

“Can anyone lend me the money for the movie,” asked Arthur J. “I’ll pay you back tomorrow, I promise.”

His friends were quiet for a few seconds, then Hector said, “If I give you my snack money, what will I eat”? Everyone giggled. They all know how important food is to Hector.

Then Willie said, “There are eight of us who always sit with Arthur J. Why don’t we put our snack money together? We will have 8 quarters. We can give 3 quarters to Arthur J for admission to the movie and still have 5 quarters to buy snacks that we can share.”

All the “Can Dos” thought Willie had a great idea, except Hector who said,”I like to eat all my snack myself. I get hungry watching a movie.” Nellie put her hands on her hips, stared at Hector and said, “Hector, you don’t need a whole snack. Besides, Arthur J is our friend. If you lost your money, he’d help you.”

Hector looked at Arthur J, who was nodding his head, agreeing with what Nellie was saying about how he would share if Hector didn’t have money to get into the movie.

Hector thought for a moment as the others stared at him. “Okay, you’re right. Her’s my quarter. I don’t want Arthur J to miss the movie.”

With that, all of the “Can Dos” each put their snack money together. Willie held the money, since it was his idea in the first place. Willie handed Arthur J. three quarters for the movie admission. Then they all went over to the snack table to decide what they could buy with the remaining five quarters.

Take Responsibility for Your Actions

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

responsibility Coach Campbell, Bobby and his sister, Kathy, and some other “Can Dos” are at the “Can Do” Center, working in the storage room, getting out the volleyballs and net to use in the summer camp.

 OK now guys, let’s pay attention. Be careful, this is not that big a room and we have a lot of stuff to get out.

 Suddenly, Coach Campbell hears a Can Do kid yell, “OUCH – Hey that hurt!” and then “Yeah, well it’s not my fault!!”

 Kathy comes up to Coach Campbell and lets him know that Bobby hit her, for no reason, just hit her with his fist.

 Coach Campbell takes Bobby aside to talk to him in private about what just happened.responsibility

 Before he can even ask the first question, Bobby says, “It is not my fault, I got mad and when I get mad, well, I just lose it. That’s just the way it is.”

 Really? asks Coach Campbell. Nothing you can do about it, huh?

 “Nope -nothing.”

 OK, let me ask you some questions then, and maybe we can get you to see this a bit differently. OK? Given that I was standing as close to you as I was, why did you hit her, and not me? I was there, and you just had to hit something, why not me?

 “You are big, and would probably crush me if I hit you.”

 So then, you chose to hit Kathy and not me. Right?

 “Yeah.”

 So if you can make a decision, make a choice, then you really have not lost control, have you?

 “I guess not.”

 That’s right. You hit her because you could, because you though you could get away with it. That was a decision you made and that means you are responsible for hitting her.  Now, let me ask you another question. What if, just imagine, what if, I got mad and decided to haul off and hit you. Would that be OK, because, you know, I was mad.

 ’NO! No way Coach!”

 Well, why not?

 “Well, you are bigger than me, and stronger, it would hurt a lot.”

 That’s why you wouldn’t WANT me to hit you…but I asked you if it would be OK to hit you, because – like you said – I was mad.

 “No, it would not be OK for you to hit me.”

 Well, if it isn’t OK for me to hit you, then how can it be OK for you to hit Kathy… right?

 “Yeah, you’re right. What is wrong is wrong.”

 So, now what are you going to do?

 “I am going to say I am sorry to Kathy and tell her I will never do it again.

 We all get mad at times. But, hitting someone is not the way to deal with it. Most of the time, the anger can pass over quickly, other times you need to talk things out, but getting violent is not going to help. If you do get violent, remember – that was your choice and you have to take responsibility for it.

 

responsibility Story by: Ned Campbell, a coach and teacher in Brooklyn, NY.  He is the voice of  Coach Campbell in the “Can Do” Street programs.