Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tt Turtle

Today we finished our Tt Turtle unit.

We started off our unit by reading several non-fiction books about turtles. Hannah was most interested in finding out what turtles like to eat and what type of habitat you should build for one if you plan on having one as a pet. (Apparently she's planning on becoming a proud turtle owner sometime soon???) She was shocked to learn that turtles are hatched from eggs, as she thought eggs were reserved for birds alone; and she was equally shocked to learn that some turtles can be up to six feet long! We read a book that discussed several different types of turtles (both land and sea) and how big they generally grow to be, so we got Daddy's tape measure and compared their lengths. One fact that surprised both of us was that turtles can live to be 175 years or older. No wonder they're so wrinkly!

Throughout the week, we made a turtle out of paper plates, played a game where I would name a certain type of animal and she would show me how that animal moves; and memorized a poem called "The Little Turtle" by Vachel Lindsay. (Actually, she already had it memorized because it was one of her favorite Barney songs when she was younger.)

Hannah's special words to remember this week were "I will not give up; I will persevere."

We spent time talking about the importance of persevering in our faith, and we read Aesop's The Hare and the Tortoise; Watty Piper's The Little Engine That Could; and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and Katy and the Big Snow, both by Virginia Lee Burton.

Our curriculum suggested that we have Hannah help us with a project that would require perseverance so she could practice what she had learned, and I immediately knew the perfect project: trying on all of last year's winter clothes to see what still fit and what she had outgrown, which always seems to be a struggle in our house! Before we began, I explained to Hannah what we were going to do and told her that I needed her to be a turtle and persevere until we had tried on everything. Apparently I should rule out a career as a motivational speaker because she decided she was ready to quit about 10 minutes into the project. I reminded her that if a turtle got tired and quit when he was in the middle of the road, he would get run over and die! I told her that I knew she could be like a turtle and persevere! Sure enough, she not only finished going through her clothes but encouraged Millie to try on her winter clothes, as well!

So for now I'm delighted to have this week's special words as my new "secret weapon," but somehow I have a sneaky suspicion that it won't be long before Hannah realizes she can use them against me when I stop in the middle of a project! Then again, maybe that's how we train them that iron sharpens iron!

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