Saturday, September 11, 2010

Show & Tell: Adventures Week 5

This week we wrapped up Week 5 of Adventures in My Father's World.

In history, we spent the week learning about the Pilgrims.  We made another map from Interactive 3-D Maps:  American History.  (I'm hoping to make a separate post about that book soon!)  This map shows the voyage the Pilgrims took from England to North America.

And here's the notebooking page Hannah made for her U.S. Notebook.

She said the Pilgrims on her Mayflower were Mom, Dad, Hannah, and Millie.  Mom and Dad are frowning because we're seasick and scared, and she and Millie are smiling because they always have so much energy!  :)
As far as hands-on history this week, our first project was to make oiled paper windows, which is what the Pilgrims had in their homes.  I don't think any of us were overly excited about this project going into it, but it ended up being soooo cool!  First we used paper towels to spread vegetable oil on a sheet of computer paper.

The obvious difference that you can see here is that the sheet with oil is transparent and the one without oil isn't.  But when we picked up the oiled paper, it was amazing how strong it was!  It felt like waxed paper!
Then we held the two papers up to the window to compare the amount of light that filtered through.

The oiled paper is on the left, plain is on the right.  You couldn't see through the oiled paper, but there was a noticeable difference in the amount of light it let in.
Next we added "rain" to see if the oiled paper could withstand the elements.

We were able to pick it up and move it around without any tears or holes.  (Well, until they started really trying to tear it!)  Since the paper had already soaked up the oil, the water just rolled right off of it.
We also made Pilgrim collars and bonnets from our Animated Paper Craft for Special Days book that MeeMaw picked up for us.  Pretty cute for a piece of posterboard and 20 minutes worth of work, don't you think?!

While they were dressed like Pilgrims, we went ahead and planted some corn.  We decided to turn this into a science experiment by planting only corn in one pot and adding corn and three fish (sardines) to a second pot.  (This is what Squanto taught the Pilgrims to do so the fish would fertilize the ground and help the crops to grow.)  We'll see which pot is the first to sprout:  fishy or fishless.  I'm not including a picture of the corn with the sardines because it looks really disgusting!

In Bible, we continued to explore the concepts of Jesus being the light of the world and what it means to live in darkness versus living in light.  In Kindergarten and 1st grade, our Bible verses changed every week.  This year we stick with each verse for two weeks, and it has been such a special time because we get more depth and we've really had some priceless moments studying God's Word together! 

The kids each made another suncatcher this week, but we tried a different method.  Instead of using crayon shavings and waxed paper, we used contact paper and tissue paper.  I can't even begin to tell you how much easier it was!  Our window is beginning to look a little crowded, so the girls and I decided we'll make a trip to the nursing home this week and give our suncatchers to some of the residents so they can hang them up on their windows.

I was prepared to write Millie's words for her, but when she saw Big Sis doing it on her own, she wanted to do the same thing. (I'm pretty sure she thinks she's in 2nd grade!) I told her what letters to write and when to leave a space, but she did all the work on her own. Go, Millie!

Hannah wrote her Bible verse from memory! Go, Hannah! :) She was super-excited when she spelled "light" correctly without any help.
Science and Bible are almost always related; and since we studied Jesus being the light of the world in Bible, we studied stars in science.  (Hence the picture of the sun on the suncatchers above.)  We learned about Betelgeuse, which is the largest star we're able to see with the naked eye.  Betelgeuse is 600 times larger than the sun in diameter alone, and we did an activity to compare their sizes.  First, we pretended to shrink the sun down to 1 inch in diameter by cutting a 1" circle out of yellow construction paper.  Then we used our yardstick to measure 600 inches, which is how large Betelgeuse would be in proportion.

Here's Hannah using the yardstick to measuring 600 inches, or 16 2/3 yards.

Obviously, I had to superimpose a yellow circle onto the picture to represent Betelgeuse.  See the red arrow?  It's pointing to a teeny-tiny yellow circle which is our sun.  We started measuring our 600-inch Betelgeuse at the tree and ended where Hannah is standing.  Betelgeuse is one HUGE star!
 We also read about some of the major constellations, such as Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, the Big Dipper, and the Little Dipper, and about the Milky Way.  We had a pretty neat teachable moment one day.  We read that if you look at the sky at different times throughout the night, it looks like all of the stars except for the North Star have moved; but in reality, the stars aren't moving at all—the earth is.  Hannah had a hard time understanding this, so we did a little activity to demonstrate. 

I put her under the ceiling fan in the living room and had her face one of the walls.  I asked her what she saw, and she told me what was on that wall.  I turned her 90 degrees and asked her the same question about the next wall, and she answered.  We repeated this for each of the 4 walls.  Then I asked her to look above her and tell me what she saw.  She said the ceiling fan.  I told her the ceiling fan is like the North Star because it's always in the same place, and she's like the earth because she's spinning around and seeing different things depending on what direction she's facing.  She got it!

Hannah is my science kid.  She simply can't get enough of it.  For Christmas last year, we got her several science kits, and every now and then she wears us down and we'll get them out and do one or two of the experiments.  The experiment we did this week was to illustrate surface tension, which is basically how water molecules stick together.  (Picture a dripping faucet—the drip gets bigger and bigger and bigger before it finally falls.  That's surface tension.)  Anyway, our experiment was to see how many drops of water we could fit on the surface of a penny. 

Hannah carefully added one drop at a time.  Any guesses how many drops of water one penny can hold?  We did the experiment three different times and got the same answer every time!

Here's the penny with 22 drops of water.  On the 23rd drop, it all rolled off the surface onto the countertop.
In other news, yesterday was the first day of our "big" co-op.  It was so great to be back in the swing of things and see our friends again after the summer break.  Millie is in Pre-K this year, and she had a great time playing with her friends and learning about apples and the letter A.  Hannah is enrolled in a missions class during the first hour.  This week they learned about Mary Slessor, who was a missionary in Nigeria.  They heard the first part of her story, labeled Nigeria on a map, and ate snacks and played games local to that area.

Here's Mrs. Pauline showing the kids where Nigeria is on a world map.

Here's Hannah and one of her best buds, Kailian.
And for her second class, Hannah is enrolled in a Math and Literature class taught by yours truly.  This week we read Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews.  Each page has pictures made of a certain number of dots.  For example, the first page has a picture made of 1 dot, the second page has a picture made of 2 dots, all the way up to the tenth page, which has a picture made of 10 dots.  The kids' project was to create their own dot books; but before they did that, I gave them a challenge problem, which was to determine the total number of dots each child would need to make his book.  And a challenge problem it was!  I am soooo thankful for the moms (and dad!) who were in there to help the kids when they broke into small groups!

Here's proof that I really do exist!  Usually I'm on the other side of the camera, but one of my besties grabbed my camera and took this picture while I was reading the book and discussing it with the kids.
And here's a little nature study nugget to finish off this post.  This morning we found a praying mantis in the garage.  It's not like they're uncommon; we've read books and poems about them and even watched a movie about one.  But until today, we had never actually seen a real one.  If you hear my neighbors say something about a crazy lady who lays down in her driveway and takes picture of bugs, I have no idea what they're talking about!  ;)  Actually, I had entirely too much fun photographing this little guy, and by the time it was all over with, I thought he was kind of ... well ... cute.

Ack!  I just realized I made the pictures of a bug larger than the pictures of my children!

For a look at what others did this week, visit Kris' Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers!


Heather said...

It looks like you guys had a great week! I love all the hands-on projects, and I'll be watching for a review of that book--sounds like it might be good!

MissMOE said...

I love the oiled paper experiment. I've read about oiled paper windows, but never really gave them a second thought.

All your science was great! A group of us are blogging about science each Friday. We'd love for you to join us at

Thanks for sharing your week--it was very neat.

Cajunrose said...

We are on the exact same week you are. I'm waiting on my husband to take Raelee fishing so we can plant corn. I was impressed with the oiled paper as well!!

I have a TON of bug pictures on my facebook page. My girl is a bug you quite often see me laying at odd angles to capture pictures of them.

Mrs. Brooke said...

Wow, posts like this inspire me to be more hands-on with our school projects. Thanks for sharing! I'm interested in the fish vs. non-fish corn seedlings!

Gator Mommy said...

Another great week! Thank you so much for the awesome picture of your science experiment! I called my son over so that he could really see the size difference. We are looking forward to week 6!

Carrie said...

I'm so glad I'm one of your besties!!! Love you!!

Your pics are so good, Jen!! Way to go!!

We were going to do crayon shavings and wax paper stain glass projects later this year ... maybe we should do them your contact paper way instead!!!

So many great ideas ... I'll be looking back over these posts when I start planning our American History studies!! :)

Tonia said...

Looks like a very fun week! That oiled paper experiment looks very neat - I'm taking notes so I can use that idea when we study American history.

See Jamie blog said...

Wow, that's a great week! Love the little pilgrim girls. :)

Mom said...

I love my little pilgrims! I'm in awe of the amount of fun the girls are having while they are learning. I'm so glad you decided to homeschool:) Great pics!

Jenna B. said...

I just love those Pilgrim outfits! DARLING!!!! What a great and fun week you have had!

I also wanted to let you know how much I love your blog so I chose you for a "lovely blog award". Just visit my blog to pick it up. :)