Friday, October 15, 2010

Show & Tell: Adventures Week 10

Today we sorta kinda mostly wrapped up our 10th week of school.  Whew!  What a crazy-busy week it has been!  We had a trip to the theater on Monday, ballet and a book signing on Thursday, and a field trip on Friday.  To some people that doesn't sound like much, but I'm still panting just thinking about it!  I am an unashamed, self-proclaimed homebody.  Few things bring me more joy than time spent at home with the people I love most.  Hindsight being what it is and all, I'm sitting here asking myself, "Jennifer, why didn't you just take the week off?!"  And the answer is . . . well, I haven't quite come up with a good answer for that one yet!

Our week actually started on Sunday because of our Monday theater plans, which I somehow knew would lead to lunch at Chick-Fil-A, which would lead to an afternoon of kids playing together and mommies visiting together, which would lead to getting home late in the afternoon, which would result in absolutely no school getting done whatsoever.  So was a trip to the theater worth all that?  You betcha!

Here's our theater crew (minus two camera-shy little ones) after watching Giggle Giggle Quack.
When we weren't running the roads this week, we did manage to work in some lessons.  In history, we studied the birth of America.  We learned about Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, and we were thrilled to hear that our old friend Ben Franklin helped him with that task!  We also looked at a copy of the Declaration and saw the impressive signature of John Hancock.  We decided to give quill pen writing a shot!  We made our ink out of blueberries (squeezed out the juice) with a little salt and vinegar added to it.  I have to admit, for some reason I was skeptical that this project would actually work, but it did!  And it was so fun to see the color change as the "ink" dried.

If the feathers in those pictures look familiar, could it be because you've seen them here?

Yeah, we actually "borrowed" a couple of feathers from Hannah's Indian headdress and used them for this project.  But I do have every intention of putting them right back where they came from!  ;)

In addition to Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence, we also learned about the Revolutionary War.  Here is the notebook page Hannah made for her United States notebook:

And speaking of war, last week we looked at the meaning behind "Yankee Doodle," and this week we made hasty pudding.  Colonists often ate this, and many times they would eat it several times a day because it was so quick to make.

If you don't think it looks very appetizing, you're not alone.  Neither Hannah nor Camille were very psyched about trying it.
But I was so proud of them for giving it a shot!
They even tried to doctor it up when they didn't like it plain.
But in the end, they were happy to be 21st Century Americans who could have Cocoa Pebbles for breakfast instead!
We also learned that part of becoming a new nation meant having a new flag.  Hannah remembered a good bit about Betsy Ross from her co-op presentation in kindergarten, but we went ahead and read the assigned story anyway.  I'm glad we did, too, because it did a great job of emphasizing that no one knows for sure if Betsy Ross really made the first flag, and that was new information for her.

The kids did a couple of activities to go along with this lesson.  Legend has it that George Washington thought a six-pointed star should be used on the flag because a five-pointed star was too difficult to make, so Betsy Ross took out her scissors and showed him that a five-pointed star could be made with a single cut.  I printed out the directions and helped each of the kids make a Betsy Ross star.

And the second project was to have each of the kids create their own country.  They came up with names, designed flags, and even came up with some very . . . um . . . creative laws!  ;)

The above picture is them holding their completed flags.  (Hannah taped her laws below hers.)  They loved working on this project, and I loved hearing their ideas!

Millie's country name:
The United States of America with Butterflies on It

Millie's country laws:
(1) If you disobey, I'll throw you in jail.
(2) If you disobey, you can't ride in the police car.
(3) Only boy and girl police dogs and girl pet dogs can ride in the police car, but not boy pet dogs.

Hannah's country name:

Hannah's country laws:
(1) Obey your parents.
(2) No false gods.
(3) Don't kill anyone.
(4) Drink milk all the time.
(5) Dads are the head of the house, not moms.

In Bible, we focused on Jesus as the Living Water.  We read the story of the Samartian woman at the well from John 4 and discussed that water gives your body life, much like Jesus gives your Spirit life; however, the life water gives your body is only temporary, whereas the life Jesus gives your spirit lasts forever.

Since Bible was about the Living Water, we focused on science with water this week.  Our first experiment was to determine what types of materials are absorbent.  The girls collected several items from around the house.

They gathered (l to r) plastic, coffee filter, cleaning rag, wash cloth, paper towel, tissue paper, and Kleenex.
They lined up seven saucers, put 1 T. water on each saucer, and put each item on the saucer for 5 seconds to see how much of the water it absorbed.  They discovered that, except for the plastic, all of the items were absorbent.  I showed them that the plastic was non-porous, which is why it couldn't absorb like the other items, which all had small holes in them.
 The second experiment was to compare the durability of absorbent items to see which would be best suited for cleaning up a spill.  (If only we'd done this three weeks ago with all the milk!)  We chose to go with the four most absorbent items from our first experiment, which were the Kleenex, paper towel, cleaning rag, and wash cloth.  The girls put the items over a jar, secured them with a rubber band, and placed a marble on the top for added weight.  Then they poured 1 t. water on the top of each one to see how strong it was when it was wet.  They were all able to hold the weight of the marble, but the Kleenex sure did sag a lot! 

And our final water experiment was to observe how water could cause colors to separate.  We used markers to make large dots on coffee filter strips.  Then we put the strips in a saucer of water and watched to see what happened as the water reached the dots.  Our results weren't nearly as impressive as the illustrations in the Usborne book, but we were able to see a little bit of separation, anyway.

We saw blue come out of the purple . . .
. . . purple come out of the blue . . .
. . . yellow come out of the orange . . .
. . . and blue come out of the green.
There were several other water experiments that we just didn't have time for this week, but since we're studying water again next week when life isn't nearly as busy, we'll put them off until then.  I also didn't get pictures of Millie doing her Pre-K lessons this week.  I'll try to make it a point to focus on her next week.  :) 

Stay tuned to read about the book signing and the trip to Millard's Crossing.  (If you live within a 150-mile radius of Nacogdoches, TX, I highly recommend this as a field trip!) 

And as always, drop by Kris' Weekly Wrap-Up to see what others did in school this week.  Who knows?  You might walk away with a couple of new bloggy friends!  :)


Kimberly said...

It surely looks like a full week. Good job in getting all those projects done. Looked like fun.

Cajunrose said...

Looks like fun! I like being behind you a give me ideas and motivation!

Tell me about the crossing place. I'm up for a field trip any time!

Rebecca (me!) said...

WOW! I absolutely LOVE your blog...drpping by from Wierd/Unsocialized....and am amazed at how wonderfully you pulled your Living Water Biblical learning into Science and discovery! Can't wait to read more! Your newest Follower~ Blessings!

Gator Mommy said...

Fun week! I am so excited that we are a week behind you now! I get to use all of your wonderful ideas. Next week on my review, I am sure you will see some familiar pictures :) Thank you so much for your great posts.

Dottie said...

I love the Science experiments. Great ideas!

RachelT said...

What a fun week! The cocoa pebbles are all too familiar around here and made me LOL! What cute flags and rules for the girls' new countries. We enjoy science projects when we get them done, but it seems like they are always something that I am shifting around to another day, like a lighter Friday. You accomplished a lot!

Monica said...

Hey - can I just ditto your wrap-up when I do week 10 this coming week? Then I do not have to think or type one up! Did you get my email about your blog header?

Jennifer said...


Thank you so much for your kind words, but please know that I'm not nearly creative enough to make our school have that unit study feel on my own! All credit there goes to Marie Hazell, author of My Father's World.

Glad you stopped by! :)

RandiePandie said...

I'm cracking up here over your girls' laws for their countries and their country names! That is just too much! LOL

Good for them "trying" the hasty pudding ;-P Adventures looks like such a blast!

Carrie said...

Girl, I am taking notes for our American history studies next year! Don't be surprised if you see some projects next year that look amazingly similar!! ;)

Love you!

Pauline said...

Looks like a blast!

Bright Sky Mom said...

The separation of color experiment is pretty cool! Great project filled week -- love the rules!
Lee (5wolfcubs)

Mom said...

Another fun-filled educational week. Obviously, boy pet dogs don't rate with Millie:)
I'm anxiously waiting to read the next blog.
Love you all.