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We are studying the book Verdi by Janell Cannon.  It is the story of a young snake, Verdi, who does not want to "grow up and be green". Verdi equates being green to being boring and lazy.  Trying to prevent turning green, Verdi becomes adventurous but ends up hurting himself.   The older green pythons rescue Verdi and Verdi is forced to slow down while he heals.  He begins to appreciate his surroundings, the older pythons and the changes he experiences. Verdi realizes that he can change and still be himself.

How do you learn about snakes? You be one.  The children spent time moving like a snake. The slithered and twisted across the floor.  It is not easy for one to move without the help of your arms and legs.

Slithering like a snake.

Manipulating foam rollers to imitate snake movements.

Tracking the movement of the snakes.


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Verdi: Catapults

Verdi, a young python, does not want to change.  The last thing he wants his to turn from his beautiful yellow to boring green. Verdi tries to change his colour back to yellow by scrubbing his skin and then covering it with mud. Nothing works.  He notices that the sky is bright yellow just like he used to be. Verdi launches himself from the treetops certain that his flight will change him back to yellow.

How did Verdi fly through the air? What a great opportunity to learn about catapults. Elastics and popsicle sticks were the only materials need to build a catapult.  First the children, used plastic snakes to sail through the area.  It was delightful to hear the excitement and the laughter as the children made  their "Verdi" fly.

I asked the children which would travel farther; a plastic snake or a pompom.  Most of the children though the heavier item, the snake, would travel a further distance.  The children were amazed at how far and how high a pompom could move.