Friday, November 21, 2008

Ww Water

Today we finished our Ww Water unit. Actually, it would be more accurate to say today God finished carrying us through our Ww Water unit. I don't know why school felt like a struggle toward the end of this week, but it did. Fortunately, we serve a God who promises to never leave us or forsake us, and He showed me quite clearly that He was right alongside me this week!

We started off pretty strong on Day 1 by reading some books about the water cycle, which Hannah and I both found informative and interesting. (I hate to admit that I'm learning just as much in kindergarten as Hannah is, but it's true! How can I be this old and know so little about the way our world works?!) We also got a hilarious lesson in evaluating the content of the books we check out from the library. When we were reading about the heat of the sun causing water to evaporate, one book mentioned that sometimes small fish and frogs can even disappear with the water. Are you kidding me?! It's evaporation, not vacuuming! Anyway, I got a pretty good laugh out of it, but it did make me go back and clarify that with Hannah so she would understand that the water is actually changing from one state to another and not being sucked away into oblivion.

We spent three days studying the different states of matter (liquid, solid, gas) by devoting one day to each state. When we looked at liquids on Day 2 of our unit, we spent several minutes in the kitchen pouring water from one container to another so I could show Hannah that it always takes the shape of whatever container it is being poured into. After we did this, she was able to identify milk, orange juice, apple juice, and water as liquids.

On Day 3 we studied solids. Actually, we doubled up on our science and did solids and dissolution on the same day. Our curriculum suggested that we freeze water so the student can see it change states from liquid to solid. Well, Hannah has seen water turn into ice before, so I didn't think that would really leave much of an impression. So instead, I got out a container of sugar-free powdered drink mix and we stirred it into a pitcher of water. After we had finished stirring it, I asked Hannah what happened to the powder. She looked at me, wide-eyed, and said, "It disappeared! Is it magic?" We talked about how some things dissolve when they are mixed with water, and we can't see them anymore. Then we poured a little bit of oil into some water and I asked her what she thought would happen when we stirred those together. She guessed that the oil would dissolve just like the powdered drink mix, but soon found out that not everything will dissolve in water. I explained to her that the oil is lighter than the water so it floats instead of dissolving.

Then we took the drink we had made with our powdered drink mix and poured it into some cute little animal-shaped popsicle molds my mom gave me a couple of years ago. (Finally got to use 'em, Mom!) We put them in the freezer and kept them there for several hours so they could harden. It was fun to open the freezer door and check on them every couple of hours to see the freezing process in action. Hannah had never seen us freeze any liquid other than water before, plus she was overjoyed to learn that "we can just make popsicles any time we want one," so she enjoyed this activity. And both the kids loved eating the fully-frozen popsicles after dinner!

Day 4 was the day we studied gases, and it was also the day I was just feeling pooped! (Sorry . . . I really, really tried not to do it, but my fingers insisted on typing it.) Anyway, we made a trip to the washateria to catch up on way-backed-up laundry and the grocery store to fill our bare cupboards, and by the time we got back, I was exhausted! As I was heating up the water to boil macaroni, I was feeling irritated because I hadn't made it around to science yet and I knew I wouldn't have either the time or the inclination to do it after dinner, which meant we'd have to do it over the weekend. I picked up my teacher's manual to see what the activity was for gases and saw that I was supposed to boil water and have Hannah observe the steam to see how the water changed from a liquid to a gas. "Wait a minute!" I thought. "I have water boiling on the stove right now! Thank you, God!" So I called Hannah in and we spent a few minutes talking about how water turns into steam when it gets very, very hot. I asked her where the steam was going, and she said it was going up into the sky, and when it got cold enough it would mix with other drops of water and come down as rain. BAM! She nailed it! (I attribute that answer to the water cycle books we read on Day 1.)

Our special words for this unit were "Jesus gives my spirit living water to drink."

I love the way her curriculum integrates her Bible lessons into her science lessons, and this week was no exception. On the first day of our unit, I had Hannah go outside and play for a few minutes. When she came inside, I asked her if she wanted a snack. She said yes, so I made her some peanut butter crackers. By this time, she was quite thirsty and asked if she could have something to drink. I gave her a glass of water, and we talked about how every living thing has to have water to stay alive. If it doesn't get water, it will die. I reminded Hannah of the leaf from our Ll Leaf unit and how it died because it chose not to stay connected to the rest of the plant. Then we talked about how our spirit, the real part of us that is inside, is thirsty, too, but it's thirsty for Jesus. What it wants—what it needs—is Jesus. It needs Jesus to live, and without Him it will die. We read several Bible verses about drinking the living water Jesus offers and looked at the incident where Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well.

This week's study of water coupled with my complete exhaustion has made Isaiah 43:2 really come to life: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. In my weakness, His strength was so evident. When I felt like I was drowning, He was there to carry me.

Thankful God is omnipotent so I don't have to be,

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