Friday, October 14, 2011

Rainforest Diorama and 'Flapping Bats'

Well, so much for no work on Saturday!  We had errands to run this morning, and we have company this evening, so I had to succomb to the realization that we would indeed have our school week leak into the weekend. It's ok, really.  Al is working the whole of it, so Mags and I would have needed to find things to do anyway.  At least that means another post for you!  Here are today's photos:

Here, Maggie's completing the 'How Many Birds?' activity out of our Rain Forest workbook (page 5), which required her to place and count the scarlet macaws in the picture.
 We then completed the 'Rain Forest Flowers' activity out of our Rain Forest workbook (page 8), which  required her to separate, place, and count rainforest flowers to complete a pictograph.
 Then onto more fun things ... setting up our Strange Plant Collection, in honor of the rainforest plants we've been learning about, that we got from Uncle Steven and Aunt Mary Lee!  (I've seen these in craft stores like Hobby Lobby.)
 Here, Mags is adding water to the soil in our plants' dome.
 Mixing to moisten ...
 ... then adding the seeds and markers.  We planted a 'Space Plant' (Mimosa pudica), 'Eyeball Plant' (Spilanthes oleracea), 'Brain Plant' (Celosia amigo), and 'Pitcher Plant' (Sarracenia minor).
 The seeds for the pitcher plant have to stay in the moist soil in our refrigerator for six weeks before going into the dome!
 Then, we separated our plantings with colorful gravel to liven up our dome!
 Finally, we popped our top on ...
... and placed it in a sunny window in our classroom.  It will be interesting to see what the next few weeks brings.
After our seeds were settled, we set out to make a rainforest diorama, using a tissue box, toilet paper tubes for tree trunks, colored paper, plastic animals, etc.  Of course, the best materials would come from outside, when we went plant hunting!
 After we cut away the opening of our tissue box, we set to work covering the inside of it with green paper.
 Then, we covered our toilet paper tubes with this fibrous brown paper we had ...
 ... and placed them in our box.
 Time to find some greenery!
 Once back inside, we shoved small branches of leaves down into our tubes to make our rainforest trees.
 To adhere her plastic toys without gluing them (so she can pull them out of our box and have them again later), I used Zots, or glue dots.  They're sticky and will hold our pieces in place, but then I can pull them off later with no trouble.
 All done!  It looks great!
A close-up of Maggie's rainforest diorama!
Next, we made the 'Flapping Bat' as seen at, but, as usual, I made a few changes to their supply list.  For one, it called for black foam, but I try to save money where I can on Maggie's projects, so instead of foam, I used some black cardstock.  I glued the template (found at right onto it, and after cutting out the pieces, it was just as sturdy for this craft as foam would have been.  We used the template, black cardstock, scissors, a hole punch, black string, ribbon, a bead, two red sequins for eyes, and two black paper brads.
 Here are my template pieces glued onto my paper.
 Cut your pieces out and use your hole punch to make holes as indicated on the template.  Because my paper brads were smaller than average, however, I made smaller holes on the four white circles where the wings would attach (the wing will attach to the body at the inner hole).  (That way, I could ensure the wings wouldn't slip around sloppily once attached with my little brads.)
 Next, attach your wings with your brads.
 Then, according to the site, '... thread one end of a 10-inch piece of string or dental floss through the remaining wing holes and tie it in a loose loop, making sure the free end extends beyond the bat's head.'
 Tie your bead to the end of your string for easy pulling.

Continuing instructions from the site, 'Tie a piece of ribbon through the hole at the bottom of the bat, then hang him upside down on a wall or window.'  Before hanging, though, be sure to add your eyes, as Mags is doing here.
All done and ready to flap!

In addition to the above, today, we:
Daily (Calendar/Weather):
1.  We completed our calendar activities, putting today's date up on the calendar, and discussing the month, what day of the week it is, what season, and what kind of weather we're having.
Bible Study:
1.  We completed the daily devotion out of our God and Me book, for today's date -- 'God's Friends,' about the importance being a good friend to God.  Then, we read Psalm 119:105 together.
World Rainforest Week:
1.  We read Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme by Marianne Berkes.
2.  We read The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne Cherry.
3.  We completed page 17 ('Find the Words') of our Rain Forest workbook, which required her to find the given rainforest words within a group of other random letters.
Bat Appreciation Month:
1.  We read There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat by Lucille Colandro.
2.  We read Stellaluna by Janell Cannon.
Eat Better, Eat Together Month:
1.  We read The Food Pyramid by Janine Scott.
2.  We read The Edible Pyramid: Good Eating Every Day by Loreen Leedy.
3.  We watched the Human Body for Children: All About Nutrition & Exercise DVD that we borrowed from the library.
1.  We read On Halloween Night by Ferida Wolff and Dolores Kozielski.
2.  We read The Hallo-Wiener by Dav Pilkey.
3.  We read Harriet's Halloween Candy by Nancy Carlson.
4.  We read the 'Ghost Goes Boo' rhyme by Leslie Davidson out of our Ladybug magazine, October 2011, pages 10-12.
5.  We read the 'Josh's Monster' story by Beverly J. Letchworth out of our Ladybug magazine, October 2011, pages 16-19.
Letter Ff Review:
1.  We completed page 7 of our Disney Learning: The Alphabet: Grade K workbook, which required her to practice writing uppercase F and lowercase f, and identify the Ff’s in a picture, among other letters.

So, that about wraps up today!  See you with another post this weekend!