Friday, September 12, 2008

Ocean Deep

We finished our ocean unit and we are getting ready for a 2 week break for vacation. We learned about the deep ocean from Planet Earth this week. It was interesting and kinda creepy! Here is a link to some amazing deep ocean photography and creature identification.

Garrett did some research on submarines and wrote a great paper on them. I learned a lot from him!

Tyler took on learning to draw sea urchins and finding out some facts about them.

When we get back, we'll be starting Plains from the Planet Earth. I'm looking forward to it, but I'll miss the ocean stuff!

Gramma's Walk

We just finished our unit on the Five in a Row book Gramma's Walk.

It is a story about a grandmother and her grandson going on a walk. The grandma is in a wheelchair and they go on walks in their imagination. It is very sweet! Their imaginary walk takes them to the beach, so it was the perfect ending to our ocean unit.

We talked a lot about our imaginations and went on a walk ourselves. It was definitely the most relaxing hike up a mountain with wild animals that I have ever taken.

We read several "go along" books. We really enjoyed reading Different, Just Like Me and talked about disabilities and how we are all alike in some ways, even if we are different.

We researched lighthouses and learned so much about them. We also learned how to draw them. This was a great book for learning about compound words, it is full of them! We played a matching game and also came up with as many compound words as we could think of.

We discussed our five senses and used this book Hello Ocean. It is a gorgeous book about experiencing the senses at the beach. Look at these paintings, they are like photos!

After we read it we did some testing of our senses. We did a blindfolded taste test with lemon juice, soy sauce, watermelon, mustard, and cinnamon. Then Riley and Cole took turns filling a bag with items for the other to touch and try to figure out what they were. They also did this with sounds. Fun!

We ended with making some seashell critters. Aren't they cute? Everyone in the family got in on this project, it was so much fun!
What a great book!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

History fun with American Girls

We have been learning about Colonial America by reading the American Girl books about Felicity. This is such a fun way to learn history!

We are reading all six Felicity books, but we are also using this book.

It is a picture book full of information about the late 1700s presented in a fun and interesting way. I love this book! We have learned about everything from how they cooked their food, to politics of the time, to crafts that the little girls did in that day, lifestyles, and lots of stuff in between.

We made breakfast puffs from the Felicity cookbook, just like the little girls in the 1700s used to help their moms make!
They were so yummy!

Today we had some friends that are also studying Colonial America with Felicity over for a Colonial garden tea.

Last night Riley and I made Raspberry Flummery, a dessert served in the 1700s after an elegant meal, for our tea party.

The girls came over and we made a craft. We talked about the hot clothes and corsets the girls had to wear and we made fans for them to take to their garden tea.

I bought some music online from the 17oos for us to listen to as we did our activities. The girls figured out what instruments were used and we talked about how different it was from what we listen to.Check out the pinky.

Felicity! The guest of honor!

We had a great time with our friends!

Monday, September 8, 2008

You're gonna love this!

We love nature over here. We really enjoy exploring and learning through it. Like I've said before, with nature studies you can knock out science, language arts, art, and appreciating God's amazing creations all at one time. You can't beat that.

We love to find a spot outside in parks or our yard to observe, sketch or paint. Sometimes gathering supplies and keeping them together is a bit of a problem.
Well, look what my sister and her family got Cole for his birthday! We are very excited. It is a backpack that stores all kinds of art supplies.
It has spots for paints, brushes, colored pencils, markers, sketch pads, and any other supply you would ever need. There are so many different compartments you won't even believe it. Even pockets where you could store binoculars and magnifying glasses. Everything has a spot. And it all stays organized! WoooHoooo!!!!
Here is what the box looks like. You can get them at Hobby Lobby.

We are just going to store everything we need in the backpack so it is ready at a moment's notice. Cole and I are taking it on it's first nature walk today. It belongs to Cole, but it's going to benefit everyone! My sister rocks the house.

Cole also got a ton of cool art supplies from his grandparents.

Ahhhhh...organization. Be still my heart.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Night of the Moonjellies

We just finished our Night of the Moonjellies unit from Five in a Row for Riley and Cole. We had so much fun! This book is so sweet and warm. I could read it over and over.

A few of the things we learned about are moonjellies, New England States, sea glass, art terms, and new vocabulary words. We discussed character traits like responsibility. We also learned a lot about Maine! We decided to use spiral scrapbooks for our FIAR notebooking this year, as recommended by Sheri and Heather. I am loving using these!

Comparing piers and marinas

We went to see real live moonjellies. Very cool!

Sea glass artwork

The highlight of the week was when we recreated Mar-Gra's restaurant.

We made menus with the items we would be offering and the prices.

We used these cute Mar-Gra's guest checks that I found online to write down everyone's orders and add up their bill.

And we cooked and served! Of course we said as many lines as we could from the book.

What a fun unit!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A science flop!

Sometimes your amazing lessons just don't work out! Today we were learning about venom and venomous sea animals. We did an experiment that I found here to learn about denaturing venom. Venom is a protein and can be coagulated so that it does not absorb. This is done with heat treatment. Here is the experiment and what I learned!

First you crack an egg into a bowl.

Remove the yolk. This leaves you with the white which is a protein, similar to the protein found in venom.

Put a little egg white on the back of someone's hand. Place a hot compress on top of it.

What was supposed to happen: The egg white was supposed to become a solid that could be peeled off, demonstrating how they denature venom.

What happened: Garrett ended up with a really hot, red hand covered in liquid egg whites!

We still got the idea of the experiment, and because of all the trial and error we used the word coagulate so much that I know at least they are familiar with that! If you want to try an experiment like this just cook your egg white a different way. Not as cool as it solidifying on your hand, but they'll get the point. Oh, and if you are going to put a lot of heat on someone's hand, don't use your high-pain-tolerate-kid, you may end up with second degree burns!