Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lesson Theme: Fall, Squirrels, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Time for me to play blog catch up!  Here are some fun things we did for the fall season!

We read about why leaves change color and made a simple book as a visual retelling aid.

I traced a leaf pattern onto paper and two plastic sheets (on top of it) as well, stapling all together.  The kids colored the leaf outlines on the plastic with green, while the leaf at the bottom reflected fall brilliance of their choice.  Then...

The kids pulled back the first plastic sheet (and green leaf) revealing a little more of the fall color beneath it and practiced explaining about the process of chlorophyll fading as the leaf detaches from the tree.  

They then pulled the final plastic sheet (and green leaf) away, leaving only the brilliant fall colors behind as they explained how a tree stores extra sugar in the leaves and the sun changes that sugar into pigment (which is hidden by the chlorophyll).  Fascinating stuff!   (FYI - there is a bit more to it than just that, but you get the general idea.)

A great book to consider for learning more about the process is "How Do Leaves Change Color?"  (see link below).

This was a writing activity we worked on together.

What would fall be without some fun mini pumpkins to decorate!

Squirrels took center stage for a while as well this season as you'll see below...

We tasted different nuts and graphed our favorites.  The squirrel markers are made of felt (each of us made one and placed it above our favorite nut).  :)

These are some acrylic candle gem acorns (?) that I found on clearance at Michaels.  These were great for sorting and counting activities!

We used REAL nuts to spell words...

create designs....

and make patterns! 

We also used the nuts to play a "finding game".  The kids were the squirrels, and I hid some nuts under the "ground" (a piece of paper).  To find their hidden nuts, the kids would turn over math fact cards, solve the problems, find those numbers on the ground, and dig through (I cut some slits in the paper to help) to find their nuts!  

This was a fun and easy craft we did together.  The kids used their fingerprints to make a squirrel and an acorn (details added with a pen or marker) on a small strip of paper.  I glued thin magnetic strips to the other side (one behind the acorn and one behind the squirrel), and voila.....

A MAGNETIC BOOKMARK!  :)  They turned out so cute - not to mention handy!
(For those unfamiliar with magnetic bookmarks, when you fold them over your page, the magnet snaps together - squirrel on one side and acorn on the other - holding your place on the page.)

This little guy was actually part of another unit but he fit in with squirrels so well (because he is one) that I added him to this post.  This is just a baby sock ( see, you CAN do something with those socks which are missing their matches) I turned into a squirrel puppet by cutting some holes for the fingers to fit through and adding wiggly eyes and a pom pom tail.  Our little friend was part of our reading area and helped the kids by turning pages, listening in, etc.

Last by not least, we made some of these little guys.  I printed out a squirrel picture online and we added felt to the tail to make it soft.  Pom poms would have been SOOO wonderful for this, but I didn't have enough in the right color, so I had to improvise.  They still came out cute though.  :)

What is that crazy stuff sitting in the bowl?!?

Well...it has to do with Thanksgiving.  :)  

My daughter still remembers when I had her pretend to be a Pilgrim.  She loved it so much that she wanted to do it again this year.  What can I say - it WAS fun (you can see more on that post here)!  So I surprised her yesterday morning with a Pilgrim girl costume and list of chores.  

But what does this have to do with the bowl?!

Well, that was one of our activities for the day - dying some cloth a different color using beets.  The cloth will be a little pinkish reddish washcloth for "Joyful" - a doll we are pretending is the family baby.

What other things did "Humility" (I love giving my kids new names when they pretend to be Pilgrim children) do yesterday?

She helped with dishes, took care of Joyful, cleaned the hearth, helped make "ink" (charred wood, mud, and water mixed together), used a quill and ink to complete some of her schoolwork, helped with laundry, cleaned walls, helped with the animals, helped clean up the kitchen and other rooms, practiced Pilgrim manners at meals, and helped dye cloth!  Whew - busy day, and tomorrow will be another one!  But she loved it!  :)

I leave you with a picture of "Humility" cleaning the hearth in her new Pilgrim attire.  


No comments:

Post a Comment