Aluminum Cans and the Periodic Table of Elements


Literature and Aluminum Al
We have been reading the sweetest little book, first published in 1942, called “Twig” by Elizabeth Orton Jones.


The book is about a little girl, Twig, who lives in a city apartment. All she has for a backyard is a small bit of dirt where only a single dandelion is growing. She takes an old can, a gum wrapper, a bottle cap and an old thimble, places it by the dandelion and wishes for a fairy to move into this little home. Low and behold one does, by the name of ELF. Elf shrinks her down to his size and they have many adventures which doesn’t involve leaving Twig’s tiny backyard, including meeting a fairy queen. The photos are just as whimisical as the story and have that old fashioned flair to them.

Aluminum Tomato Can Fairy Home
Without taking the whimsy out of this book I was able to bring the PTOE (Aluminum) into this sweet little tale. Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust and is an important aspect to the story. Twig uses an aluminum tomato can, bottle cap and a gum wrapper to make a cozy place for a fairy to live. What a novel idea!
The little ladies gathered some similar aluminum items mentioned in the book and made their own tomato can fairy home.

They spent most of the afternoon playing “Twig and her little friends.” There are all kinds of aluminum can fairy homes in our yard now.

Facts About Aluminum Recycling from Earth 911
1. Discovered in the 1820s, aluminum is the most abundant metal on earth.
2. Over 50 percent of the aluminum cans produced are recycled.
3. A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can in as little as 60 days.
4. Aluminum is a durable and sustainable metal: two-thirds of the aluminum ever produced is in use today.
5. Every minute, an average of 113,204 aluminum cans are recycled.
6. Making new aluminum cans from used cans takes 95 percent less energy than using virgin materials.
7. 20 recycled cans can be made with the energy needed to produce one can using virgin ore.
8. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for almost four hours or run your television for three hours.
9. Tossing away an aluminum can waste as much energy as pouring out half of that can’s volume of gasoline.
10. In 1972, one pound of aluminum cans was equivalent to about 22 empty cans. Due to advanced technology using less material and increasing the durability of aluminum cans, in 2002, one pound of aluminum cans is equivalent to about 34 empty cans.
11. The average employee consumes 2.5 beverages each day while at work.
12. An empty aluminum can is worth about one cent.

Visit Earth 911 to learn more about aluminum cans. Novelis has a fun site about aluminum cans with a free coloring book called My Life as a Can. For more PTOE activities visit moss terrarium, onions, decomposing ecosystem, and carbon stars.

18 responses to “Aluminum Cans and the Periodic Table of Elements”

  1. Anet

    This is just precious!
    Fantastic the way you tied it in with the PTOE! Great homeschooling momma!!!

  2. Colleen

    oh this sounds like an amazing story. i must check it out.

    i love it when the story melds into their play.

    my daughter did that when i was reading the story Miss Hickory to her. she made her own miss hickory and played with her all the time and acted out parts of the story. sweet.

  3. sgaissert

    Twig is a great book! Thanks for the post.

  4. Joy

    You have the most fun of just about anyone I know! I’ve never even heard of Twig, but she looks adorable.

  5. Together We Save

    That is so sweet. I love the pictures. Sounds like a great book.

  6. Toni

    what a lovely fairy home, and thanks for all the info on aluminum we recycle everythign we can, and its interesting to read the facts and see that our efforts ar enot in vain:-)

  7. Such Lovely Freckles

    It’s bookmarked!!

  8. Tammy

    OH! Twig is a favorite around our home, too! Such a sweet and innocent book…

    My word verification word is “sardine.” Just giggling over that. 😉

  9. Stephanie

    O-oh, that book looks darling.
    Love that they continued Twig’s adventures – it always surprises and pleases me to see the inventive way that the play is continued.

  10. sybilbrun

    How cool! Where did you find that book? And when did you make that amazing fairy in the picture? She’s beautiful!

  11. Tara

    Twig is so cute and the fairy houses are as well.

    This is a lovely book extension idea…

  12. Felt-o-rama

    What a sweet book. I need to track down my own copy of Twig!

  13. Jane

    This book looks adorable! I can’t wait to get it and learn about aluminum.

  14. sarah in the woods

    I love how you all learned about aluminum by reading that sweet book.

  15. Sarah

    My girls love Elizabeth Orton Jones.

  16. dongdong

    what a cute book. I love how you girls posed just like in the book. Interesting stuff about aluminum. I love how I learn everyday along with the kids… seems like I’m on homeschool too. :)

    Thanks for sharing… sweet.

  17. jumbleberryjam

    I must find that book. How delightful!! :-) And I love your fairy houses!

  18. kristen

    oh my goodness! Twig is one of my daughter’s favorites! Can’t wait to show her your photos! Darling!