Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Nn Nest

Today we finished our Nn Nest unit. We know that God's timing is always perfect, and He demonstrated that for us this week when we found two birds' nests in our yard while cleaning up post-Ike debris! They were both empty, but I scooped them up anyway so Hannah could examine them (sorry, Steph!) and see how they were constructed.

We started off our week by talking about a variety of animals and their habitats. We discussed cold climates, warm climates, mountains, rainforests, jungles, swamps, deserts, meadows, ponds, holes, caves, trees, and so on. We made cards with pictures of several types of animals and several habitats, then played Go Fish to match the animals with their habitats.

Later, we focused on birds and their nests. We talked about the different materials birds use to build their nests (such as small twigs, pine needles, and leaves) and the materials they use to insulate them (such as human hair and mud). We were shocked (and a little disgusted) to learn that there are even birds that use spit and dung to make their nests! (Yeah, you read that right.) We decided that living in a house made of poop would really stink! (Sorry...couldn't resist.)

I think the thing that impressed us the most, however, was learning that not all birds build the same type of nest, but every bird is born knowing how to make its particular type of nest. By the time they build their first nest, they haven't seen a mom or dad make one to model the process for them; they just know how it's done. (How evolutionists can explain that is far beyond me.)

In addition to the animal habitat cards, Hannah had four other activities for this unit. Her first activity was making five cards that each depicted one stage in a bird's life (egg, baby in a nest, flying away, building its own nest, and laying eggs). Her second activity was making a picture of a bird's nest in a tree, which was lots of fun! She painted the trunk with brown paint; used torn up pieces of green paper for the leaves; and used raffia, yarn, and pine needles for the nest. Then she drew a picture of a bird on construction paper and glued it onto the nest.

For her third project, we read A House Is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman, and Hannah wrote her own (much smaller!) version of that book. This was sooooo much fun! We made a huge list of all kinds of houses (a cereal box is a house for cereal, a purse is a house for keys, etc.), and chose the ones that rhymed to make her book. Then I wrote the words on each page and helped her assemble it so she could do the illustrations.

And our final project for this unit was to attempt to build an actual bird's nest. We gathered all of our materials, grabbed our two model nests, and went up into the fort part of Hannah's swing set to start building. We soon decided it's a good thing God creates baby birds knowing how to do this because it's a lot harder than it looks! (And we even cheated by using Spanish moss, which I just knew would make it quick and easy!)

We put our finished product in one of our Azalea bushes just in case a homeless bird that's too lazy to build its own nest flies by, but so far we haven't had any takers.

Hannah's special words to remember this week were "God takes good care of me."

We spent time talking about how God protects us just like a mother bird shelters her babies under her wing, and we also talked about the place Jesus is preparing for us in heaven right now. This was fascinating to Hannah and led to some pretty deep questions and rich discussion about what heaven might/might not be like. I'm pretty sure that Hannah has heard the message of salvation at least 1,000 times between our conversations at home and what she has learned at BSF, church, AWANA, and Vacation Bible School; but there was definitely something different in her eyes when we talked about it today while she was initiating the questions.

Giving God the glory,

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