Friday, September 17, 2010

Show & Tell: Adventures Week 6

Yesterday we wrapped up our sixth week of school.  Hard to believe, huh?  And I can almost guarantee that six weeks never went by this quickly when I taught public school!

This week in history, we continued learning about colonial life in America, focusing on the Dutch immigrants who left the city of Amsterdam in Holland and came to the New World to live in New Amsterdam.  And if you're like me and know absolutely nothing about social studies except what you've learned with your 2nd grader, then you'll be surprised to know that New Amsterdam is what we now call New York.  Its name was changed when the Duke of York sent English warships to fight for the land, and Peter Stuyvesant and the other Dutch immigrants surrendered, realizing there was just no way they could beat the English. 

While I'm confessing my ignorance to anyone and everyone who reads this, I'll tell you something else we learned this week.  Did you know that these immigrants brought over cows, pigs, sheep, and horses when they came?  I just assumed that people came to America and found all of these animals here, but they were no more native to the land than the new immigrants were.  The cows were especially important to the people because without them there would be no milk, butter, or cheese.  We learned how the colonists made butter, and we made some of our own for a little hands-on history.

Here's Hannah pouring some whipping cream into a jar.
Then the fun began!  We had to shake it and shake it . . .
. . . and shake it and shake it!  It was hard work! 
After about 20 minutes of non-stop shaking, we finally saw it start to separate.
A few more shakes, and we had our butter and our buttermilk!
Funny story about the buttermilk . . . the girls were curious to see what it tasted like, so I poured some of it into their cups so they could try it.  (They enjoyed it, by the way.)  When Greg came home from work, Millie told him they got to have homemade butter and homemade milk.  He said, "Homemade milk?"  Then he looked at me with the strangest expression and said, "Is there something you need to tell me?!"

We also made it to Chapter 4 of our new read-aloud, The Courage of Sarah Noble.  We read something about logs being needed for the house they wanted to build, and Hannah said, "Hey!  The white people had to live off the land just like the Indians did!"  I thought it was kind of neat that she was processing the book enough to make that comparison on her own.

In Bible this week we focused on Jesus as the Bread of Life, and we read some great passages together.  We read Exodus 16, where God provided manna for the Israelites in the wilderness, and talked about how the manna was all that was needed for their bodies to live, just like Jesus is all that is needed for our spirits to live.  I adapted an idea I got from Heather at This Side Up and had the girls collect "manna" one morning when they woke up.

They even got to eat "manna" for breakfast!  (I'm feeling the need to justify myself right now!  One, I did NOT feed my children the same manna they collected from the yard!  I had a whole new box of manna waiting on the kitchen counter when they came in! :)  And two, I did at least give them a glass of milk to go with it, so there was some nutritional value.)

This little Israelite wouldn't have been complaining about the manna at all!  (Maybe about the fact that it was only given once a day, though!)  :)
We also read from John 6, where Jesus feeds the 5,000 and then tells them to seek food that lasts forever, and we compared bread, which only keeps our bodies alive temporarily, to Jesus, who gives our spirits eternal life.  We just inherited a bread machine a couple of months ago from my cousin across the street, and Hannah asked if we could make some homemade bread, so we did.  And we ate it with our homemade butter!  M'mmm!

Here they are with half of their bread buttered and half of it plain, just in case they didn't like the way it tasted.
Ready . . . Set . . .
And the verdict is . . . 2 thumbs up!  (Or should I say 4 thumbs up?!)
Since we talked about Dutch immigrants in history, which led to cows, which led to butter, which led to bread, which led to the Bread of Life, our science this week was learning about yeast.  (See how My Father's World does that?!  Love it!)  On Tuesday we conducted a simple but very cool experiment to see how yeast works.

First, Hannah mixed together 1 cup of warm water, 1 package of yeast, and 1 teaspoon of sugar.
Next, she poured the mixture into a clean glass bottle.
Finally, she put a balloon over the top of the bottle.  We put it in a warm, dark place (a cabinet in our garage) to see what would happen.
10 minutes later20 minutes later30 minutes later
Hannah had a most unique theory for why the balloon was getting bigger.  She thought the water was evaporating and collecting inside of it!  I took the bottle off the shelf so the girls could feel that it was full of a gaseous substance.  I explained to them that the sugar was feeding the yeast and giving it energy so it could break the sugar down and turn it into a gas called carbon dioxide.  Then I explained that the same gas that made the balloon "puff up" is what makes our bread "puff up" when we add yeast and sugar. 

Yesterday, we did exactly the same experiment, except we replaced the teaspoon of sugar with a teaspoon of salt.  Here's what happened:

10 minutes later20 minutes later30 minutes later
We learned that salt will not feed the yeast the way sugar will, and as a result there is no carbon dioxide and no fluffy bread.

Today we're finishing off our week with a trip to Houston to visit the Museum of Natural Science with friends.  We'll post pictures when we get back!

Don't forget to head over to Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see all the fun others had in school this week!


Gator Mommy said...

Another great week! I love the manna! I wish I would have thought of that. We loved this week and can't wait for next.

Kimberly said...

A lot of learning went into that week. MFW is so great! We are taking this week off since hubby is on vacation and we went camping. But I look forward to getting back to school as I love it since I use MFW!

Cajunrose said...

Great week! We are a tiny bit behind you. We did the yeast experiment too but we did it in a dark beer bottle. I need to try to find a clear bottle to do it would work better for her to see how the substance is rising. I plan on making bread and butter this weekend. Also, Daddy is taking her fishing today so that she can plant her corn. I love seeing somebody else exactly where we are!

Sydni said...

Looks like tons of fun at your house! I especially enjoyed reading about the butter/buttermilk.

Carrie said...

I'm so jealous that your yeast in the bottle experiment turned out better than ours!! Ours was a flop! :(

We are supposed to make butter later this year in chemistry. Do I need to start working out my arms now?!

Love you! Hope you guys have a great field trip today!!

Daisy said...

What a fabulous week! I love all the hands-on projects. My son would be in heaven.

Bright Sky Mom said...

What awesome projects!! Manna collecting was my favorite! But those yeast bottles were very cool!
Lee (5wolfcubs)

Karen said...

I loved making butter from milk when my kids were younger!

Norah said...

Wow your week looks great! I'm with you on the learning with your kids. I'm finally understanding fractions and learning things about the Native Americans I did not know.

Lorrie said...

This is my first visit here (came over from WTM). First, your girls are adorable. :) I laughed out loud when you wrote about your Dh's expression with the 'homemade milk'. LOL What a great week. :)

Tonia said...

Looks like such a fun week! I love the idea of gathering 'manna'. Might have to add that to our list of things to do!

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

I love reading about your weeks--so much fun! LOL at your dh being confused about the milk! Sounds like you're really enjoying MFW. I used to teach ps, too, so I know what you mean when you say 6 weeks never went by so quickly!

Amy said...

What a great big busy fun week! Full of great ideas!

Monica said...

Hey - my girls love the manna idea! They were not sure how why God didn't send them some too! My girls were asking how old your two are?

Lizzie said...

What a wonderful and productive week you've had. I have eyed MFW many a time.

Helen said...

Brings back memories--we did MFW Adventures last year for our first year of homeschooling and enjoyed it a great deal--especially that butter-making activity! The boys agreed it was the best butter they'd ever tasted!! Glad to meet you online and will look forward to more of your posts!

Candace @ Growing with the Greniers said...

Your kids are so cute! I'm interested to learn more about MFW.
Thanks for posting!

Lora @ my blessed life said...

What a fun week! We have made butter that way before~so fun! We should do that again:)

Tiffany @ Lattes And Life said...

Oh my gosh, what fun! I love how all the lessons are related like that. And, FWIW, salt does not feed me as well as sugar does either ;-)

Sharla said...

You taught me something too! I had no idea that New York was New Amsterdam.

The yeast experiment is great. I have bookmarked this for future use. I am also going to write myself a note to make butter with the kids. Thanks for all the great ideas!

Anonymous said...

Awesome idea! I am so uncreative when it comes to thinking of fun things like this. I might have to steal this one :)

Monica said...

Hey - just awarded you the Lovely Blog Award

Congrats! Monica

C. Lynn said...

Hi. This is C. Lynn from the MFW board. I asked if anyone that had done MFW K had a blog & you wrote back with a link to your blog. What a blessing it has been to me! I have spent essentially all my free time the last couple of days reading your K posts. What a sweet & beautiful family you have! After seeing your school year I am going to give MFW K a try starting next summer after DD turns 5. Thanks again - seeing it in action was very encouraging to me - like yes, this is doable in real life. God bless!!!

Timeless and Treasured, Photography by Heather said...

Okay - this is just funny after reading your spilt milk post - giving your girls milk with their manna - and making butter out of milk - I sense a theme going on here - I most definitely think the Lord is trying to tell you something!! :)

Makes me think of the book "It Looked Like Spilt Milk" - that would be a great follow up to your week!