Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Our studies for this season will include:
1. Animal Tracks
2. How salt melts ice and snow
3. Snowflakes: Up close and personal
4.Outdoor observation box
You can find note-booking pages for all of the weekly studies to the right in the winter nature study section. Observation box note-booking is listed under 'created by me' section.
Bird Watch- We are going to watch our bird feeders to see what is coming to visit.
Weather Watch- Self Explanatory :)
Moon Transition watch- Viewing the moon at night and watch its transitions from full moon to full moon.(This is also going along with our astronomy lessons.
For this I have created a few charts for these daily watches. You can find them to the right in the 'created by me' section.
1.Animal Tracks- Try to find any animal print in the snow. In your neighborhood, you might find rabbit, dog, cat, squirrel, bird or raccoon. We are going to the state park to try to find some lesson common prints like snake or deer. Have your child complete the note-booking page. You can take this a step further by making casts of the prints and then exploring them at home.
2. How salt melts ice and snow- You can use household or industrial salt for this project. The directions for this are explained on the note-booking page.
3. Snowflakes: Up close and personal- Catch some snow on a black piece of cloth, glove, or small piece of cardboard. Then view through the magnifying glass. You can put them in the freezer to prolong the project if needed. I would suggest pre-freezing your collection item and then putting back in the freezer for a few minutes before observing it. Complete the note-booking page. I am going to have my schoolers write(and/or dictate) a story about snow or snowflakes. Also, we will make snowflakes out of paper.
4.Outdoor observation box- With the outdoor observation box, you find a small area in your yard or local park that won't be disturbed. Measure out your box. We are going to do 1 ft by 1 ft. As you measure, place rocks or stakes in the corners of your observation box. The use yarn to square off the box. Everyday make observations, and take or draw a picture, of what has changed in the box since the last observation. For right now we plan to only do this for a week, but if the kids enjoy it like they did in other seasons we will continue. I fear they might only see a new cover of snow everyday :)
I will be sharing our studies as we complete them. Feel free to work along with us. Do you have other nature studies that you and your family enjoy?
Saturday, December 4, 2010
I think that the image we have of snow as a child compared to as adults is pretty opposite. As a child, snow is magical. Its exciting. Its fun, and we never seem to be cold while we sled and make our snow men. As adults, we freeze easy. We think about how terrible it makes the traffic, what a pain it is to shovel the drive and walkways, being driven insane by kids who cant go outside.
Could you imagine how enjoyable winter would be if we looked at snow through the eyes of our childhood? We would see the majestic image that we see in Christmas paintings. We would see the calmness, the serenity, the beauty of a street or field covered with fresh fallen snow. My goal for the rest of winter(or at least until Christmas) is to try to view winter, to view snow, through the eyes of my children. To remind myself about my childhood. The excitement I felt when I looked out the window and saw fresh snow. To look past the hustle and bustle, look past the traffic and the shoveling, look past the cold and just see...magic.
What's your favorite memory of snow from your childhood?
For us here in Indiana, the 1st of December brought about the 1st snow. Now, 5 days later, we have some where between 2-4 inches. I think our top outdoor time has been 15 minutes. So, time for the crafts. Basic, simple crafts are always an easy way to keep the kiddos entertained during the cold weather. I wanted to find somethings that we could do, that would coincide with some lessons for this month. We are learning a lot about Christmas. The story of Jesus, the history behind certain Christmas symbols such as the tree, the nativity, even the yule log, reindeer(they actually exsist), and Christmas in other cultures. So, I have been able to google some kind of craft that goes with any of these lessons. Enchanted learning.com has many as well.
I have added 3 PDF files to the right in the PDF link. It has Unit studies on Reindeer, Christmas traditions(with crafts), and Christmas around the world. We are doing all 3 through out December, but focusing on the Christmas traditions as it has a craft with each lesson. You could actually do a couple a day. The other 2 unit studies contains LA, geography, science, and history.
I will be posting many of the Christmas tradition stories along with the crafts we are doing with them.
What are your favorite indoor winter activities?