Saturday, May 12, 2018

Gastropods and Worms

I apologize for the delay in this post.  We just returned from a roadschooling trip to Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Yorktown, and I am trying to get back into the groove of things.  I had intended to post this last lesson of our Zoology 3 course before going on that trip, but you know how that goes.

Lesson 14 (and the last) of Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day by Jeannie Fulbright is all about "Gastropods and Worms."  We have had so much fun with this course and are sad that it has ended.
Before getting into the new stuff, let me share with you a few things we did in the past with gastropods.

We once made "Bookworm Bracelets" (paper worm bracelets that doubled as bookmarks) at  
They were so cute!
On another post (, we shared our study of worms with our worm dig ...
... (which proved successful) ...
... our "Worm Tracks" painting using a yarn "worm" and brown paint ...
... and our snack of pudding "dirt cups " with gummy worms!
And, of course, when we studied Zoology 2, we covered mollusks in Lesson 9 (at  (The following three photos are from that post.)
(This is the clay gastropod Mags made for her ocean box.)

Day 1

For Day 1 of this final lesson, we started by reading in our text about these interesting invertebrates.

After a little reading, we colored the pages provided in our notebooking journal ...
... while watching the "Go, Snails, Go!" episode of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, at, starting at minute 13:30.  It's about how snails use their shells for protection against predators and weather.
We then watched the "Super Secret Digger" episode of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! (on the Surprise, Little Guys! DVD).  It's about how worms supply nutrients to plants with their castings (compost), as well as how their tunnels enrich the soil with air and water.
(You can find that same episode on YouTube at, below.)
In the text, the "Try This!" activity on page 251 suggests capturing a snail or slug to observe how it moves.  We managed to spot one outside!
In case you have trouble locating one, I found a YouTube video that features a moving snail, at, below.

Day 2

On Day 2 of this lesson, we continued reading in our text, then completed the "Fascinating Facts" in our notebooking journal.
After some more reading, we did the "Try This!" activity on page 256 of the text, using copies of the diagram of the human body on the course website to notate eight different parasites that affect the human body.  We wrote each parasite's name, how it enters the body, where it lives, and how it exits the body.  Once these were filled out, we stapled them together to make a little booklet and added them to our journal.

Day 3

On Day 3, we finished the next "Try This!" activity (on page 262), which challenged us to count the number of earthworms we could find in one square foot of earth.  Here, Maggie is measuring one square foot.
 It didn't take us long to realize we didn't pick the best spot.  The soil was not great where we were.
 However, we did locate one earthworm.  Per the text's instructions, we were supposed to keep at least four earthworms for our next experiment.  Though three short, we decided we would just do our experiment with the one subject.  (It was better than scrapping the experiment altogether, right?)
It was wily and Maggie was able to easily feel its setae.
 We also found a little snail (below).
 Once inside, we set up the experiment outlined on page 266 of our text, trying to determine whether earthworms prefer warm or cold temperatures.  To do this, we placed a heating pad (on low) under one half of a large baking dish, and ice packs (straight from the freezer) under the other half.
Mags moistened some paper towels to lay inside the baking dish (for moisture for our worm).
 She then laid our invertebrate in the center of the dish, between the heating pad and the ice packs.
 We covered the whole dish with a large towel to give our worm darkness and Maggie made an adorable sign to remind us not to bother the setup.
 We let our visitor rest, covered, for thirty minutes.  After the thirty minutes, we would lift the towel to see which side of the dish it migrated to.
 It surprised us both!  Our worm went up and out, the little stinker!  Our results were inconclusive.  Four worms would have been best.
Maggie recorded it all in her journal.
After our experiment, we watched the "Worms are Wonderful" video on YouTube at, below.
While she watched, she worked on a "Video Review" sheet (which I make on my computer).
This got added to her notebooking journal.
We wrapped Day 3 with a little more work in her journal before calling it.
 (I just love kids' drawings!)

Day 4

On Day 4 of this study, we completed the "Vocabulary Crossword" and minibook ...
... as well as the review questions for this lesson from CurrClick.  (I love these and have decided to use them for other courses from here on out.)
We then finalized our notebook for Zoology 3 ...
 ... and marveled at its thickness.  Another amazing Apologia course has been completed!  Thank you, Jeannie Fulbright, for bringing such joy to our home!
We have already begun Astronomy, another Apologia course by Jeannie Fulbright that we will knock out this summer, so stay tuned for those posts to come soon!  We are already on Lesson 3!  Thanks for checking in with us!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Arthropods of the Land

Lesson 13 of Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day by Jeannie Fulbright is all about "Arthropods of the Land," those invertebrates with tough exoskeletons, segmented bodies, and jointed feet ("arthropod" actually means "jointed foot"), like spiders, scorpions, ticks, mites, centipedes, millipedes, and more.
Before I take you into the new stuff, let me share with you what we have done in the past with arthropods, specifically, spiders.

One of our favorite reads to date was Charlotte's Web by E. B. White.  (Please add this to your study of arthropods.)
After reading it, we went to see the story on stage with some friends.  For a snack after the show, I packed white powdered doughnut holes (three per bag), included a plastic spider ring, and topped the bags with labels, reading "Spiders' Egg Sacs."  I know it sounds disgusting, but the kids loved it.
Maybe you would like to add this as a snack to your study?  (That post can be found at
Later, in a very long post dedicated to spiders (at, we used a marble dipped in white paint to roll paint a spider's web.
(Here is the finished web with its plastic resident glued on.)
At that same post, we made a clear tape web across a door frame, making sure the sticky sides all faced one direction ...
... complete with fake spider ...
... and threw cotton balls ("bugs") at it to demonstrate how they get stuck in a sticky web.
She loved this!
We also made a black widow bracelet with pipe cleaners, construction paper, and googly eyes ...
... a spider hat ...
... and a spider snack, using an apple, raisins, and peanut butter for the spider, and caramel dip for its sticky web.
That night, to go with dinner, we made spider breads.
Aren't they cute?  (Please see the aforementioned post for even more ideas that I didn't add here.)
Onto the new stuff!

Day 1

To start our study of arthropods, we first read about spiders and their webs in our text, then colored the coloring pages for this lesson in our notebooking journal.
While coloring, Mags watched the "Spins a Web" episode of The Magic School Bus (which you can watch at ...
... and the "Along Came a Spider" episode of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That (on the Surprise, Little Guys! DVD).
You can watch the same on YouTube at, below.
After our videos, we completed the "Try This!" activity on page 234 of our text, which challenges you to build your own orb web.  It's harder than it looks!  We decided to use a metal chair we have in our classroom closet, as it has some right angles that would make it easier for web building.  Using red yarn as our "dragline silk," we made the radial lines of our web.  Next, using some yellow baker's twine as our "capture silk," we started making circles using the radial lines as supports.
It took a lot of pulling and pushing to keep all the threads in place.
 When we felt we had enough circles of capture silk in place (though ours looked pretty sad), we placed a spider sticker in the center of our orb web.
 Great effort, Mags!  We have a newfound respect for these amazing creatures!
If you watch this video of this spiny orb weaver spider (at, below), you can see how these critters carefully avoid their capture silk by pulling up on the radial lines.  It's fascinating!

Day 2

We started Day 2 of this lesson reading a story about trap-door spiders ("The Trap") in Animals Build Amazing Homes by Hedda Nussbaum.  (This is a very old book.)
We then read Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermott ...
... before working on our "Fascinating Facts" in our notebooking journal.
After updating her journal, we continued reading in our text.

Day 3

On Day 3, after reading yet more in the text, we watched a video about ten amazing spiders at, below.  (WARNING!  Though this is a great video, there contains some information at the end, starting at minute 10:08, about a spider that is very dangerous to humans.  One of the side effects of this spider's bite is a prolonged erection.  Stop your video at minute 10:07 if this is something you don't want your child/children to hear!)
After watching the video, I had Maggie fill out a "Video Review" sheet, made on my computer.
(These sheets always get added into her journal too.)
For another journal addition, we printed and completed the "Spider External Anatomy" worksheet from at  These sheets are free if you register on the site.
Next, we did some beautiful web art from the idea we got at  
(The picture below belongs to that site.)
First, using a white oil pastel, Maggie drew an orb web onto white cardstock.
She then painted over her drawing using a dark wash of watercolor.
She loved this so much, she decided to make two!
As per the site's suggestion, we used a light sprinkling of salt to give our web a mottled effect.
Once dry, Maggie used a Sharpie to draw in her spiders.
They turned out great!
These went into her journal as well.

Day 4

To start Day 4 of this lesson, we read an old favorite, I'm a Pill Bug by Yukihisa Tokuda.
It's a sweet book.
I wasn't feeling too well that day, so Maggie's Daddy took her out to look for some arthropods.  While out, he texted me the following five pictures of their finds.
This guy is just beautiful!
And here, Mags is holding two isopods/roly-polies/pillbugs/sow bugs/armadillo bugs/potato bugs/cheese logs/doodlebugs/wood lice.  WHEW!  😅  That is a lot of names!  Did you know they had that many??  I didn't!  But they are all names for this same critter.
After her arthropod search with Daddy, Mags came home and journaled what she had seen.

Day 5

We wrapped Lesson 13 on the fifth day, finishing the "Copywork" in the journal ...
... the "Arthropods Vocabulary Story," and the minibook.
Finally, we completed the review questions for this lesson from CurrClick and added those to our journal, too.
Next up and last for this course?  Lesson 14, "Gastropods and Worms."  Look for that post next week.  Until then, here's a funny.
Catch you later!