Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground." (Author unkown)

Welcome to another week!  This week, in addition to our review of the letter Mm, we are continuing our study of national symbols, today covering our nation's tree, the oak, and its seed, the acorn.  (I have done some neat acorn snacks and crafts in the past, so be sure to look up 'Acorns' in the list at the left-hand side of the page for more ideas than the ones you see here.)  I also hope to start our St. Patrick's Day activities this week and start our States study, with the first state being our own -- Georgia!  Keep checking back with us!

For our first activity today, we made a 'Moose Bag Puppet' in our review of the letter Mm, after reading our ‘Mary the Moose’ story out of an old Animal Baby magazine, December/January 2009, pages 1-4.  For the same, we used a brown paper lunch bag, googly eyes, a mouth and nose cut from construction paper, glue, and two lowercase ms for our moose's antlers.
 Adding her ms to her moose puppet ...
 Ta-da!  'M is for moose!'
Then, we started our study of our next national symbol, our tree, the oak.  Here are three great books we read:  From Little Acorns ... A First Look at the Life Cycle of a Tree by Sam Godwin;
The Life Cycle of an Oak Tree by Linda Tagliaferro; and 
Someday a Tree by Even Bunting.  All three books were great supplements to this lesson!
We also read the following poem by Shel Silverstein in his A Light in the Attic, page 165:

'The Oak and the Rose'
An oak tree and a rosebush grew,
Young and green together,
Talking the talk of growing things --
Wind and water and weather.
And while the rosebush sweetly bloomed
The oak tree grew so high
That now it spoke of newer things --
Eagles, mountain peaks and sky.
"I guess you think you're pretty great,"
The rose was heard to cry,
Screaming as loud as it possibly could
To the treetop in the sky.
"And you have no time for flower talk,
Now that you've grown so tall."
"It's not so much that I've grown," said the tree,
"It's just that you've stayed so small."

(We LOVE Shel Silverstein and I thought it was great because the poem included the oak tree, the rose, and an eagle, three of the national symbols we've discussed!)  Before we started our projects, we also read two other great acorn/oak tree poems ('Little by Little' and 'The Oak'), both found at the website http://www.squidoo.com/squirrels-and-acorns, which is chock full of ideas for a squirrel theme!  (It's worth checking out!)

Then, before we started on our oak activities, we did a journal entry.  I asked her, 'What is your favorite thing to do with acorns?'  She responded, 'Collect them in my lunchbox.'
Then, it was off to the park to locate some oaks, collect some acorns, and look for saplings!  Here, Mags found one and is doing a bark rubbing with crayon.
 Then, collecting some acorns for our crafts back home.  (It's not the season for acorns, but you can still find a few good ones under a large enough tree!)
 My little tree hugger!  :)
 Once home, we first did some leaf rubbings.
 Great job, Mags!
 Then, we did 'marble painting' with our acorns!  (I did this back when we studied zebras and we roll-painted the stripes on a white horse with a marble and black paint, but it's always fun and I thought doing it with acorns would be a nice, thematic twist!)  First, I placed a piece of blank paper in a shirt box, with high ends, like below.
 Then, I prepared our paints, putting one of each of our park finds in its own color paint.
 Then, it was time for the fun!  Plunk your paint-filled acorns into the box, on top of your paper.
 Then, roll!
A masterpiece!
And we weren't going to let the acorn caps we found go to waste! 
 With the caps, we dipped them in paint and used them as small circular stampers on clean paper.
 Looking good!
 Another masterpiece using acorns!
Happy crafting!  

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