Friday, April 26, 2013

"A Little Dirt Never Hurt"

Happy Friday!  Mags has been sick, but we did manage to get quite a few things done today, including those darn "letter critters" we never finished putting together from last year's curriculum.  Well, today, they are done and here for you!  Also, we started our study of rocks, soil, and dirt, which we'll finish up tomorrow afternoon with more ideas after today's post.  Here is what we got into today ...

To finish up our "letter critter series," here are the last two letters, Y and Z.  We got the idea for Y at http://www.orientaltrading.com/y-is-for-yaks-craft-kit-a2-48_8086-12-1.fltr?Ntt=y, but simply recreated the yak using pieces of construction paper, as you can see here.  (Maggie likes to hang them on the refrigerator with the same letter magnet as the letter illustrated.)
Then, I gave her some yarn (which starts with y) and scissors and told her to cut the pieces to make an uppercase Y and lowercase y for me. 
And for Z, we copied the idea out of our old Alphabet and Counting workbook by American Education Publishing, page 56, using pieces cut from black and white construction paper, a googly eye, and a glue stick. 
 After that, we put the last two letters on our letter counting sheet, which we've been adding to all year, to keep track of the number of letters in our alphabet, and to make a master sheet for code writing.  (Scroll down.)
 Here is our master sheet, and the first code word which I will have Maggie decipher -- her name!  This should be fun!  (She won't even realize she's practicing her handwriting and spelling!)
We then got on to our phonics learning for the day.  Here's Mags, manipulating one of her "word family eggs," this one representing the -en sound.
We then read our Usborne Phonics Readers: Hen's Pens by Phil Roxbee Cox, which I purchased at https://t3458.myubam.com/p/416/hens-pens, with my other Usborne Phonics Readers.
So, then it was onto our science lesson for the day -- rocks and dirt!  We have been learning about the composition of the Earth and how mountains are created.  It was time to discuss erosion and how we get rocks and dirt from those mountains.  To start today's lesson, I sang her a song out of one of our Scott Foresman: Science textbooks (which I picked up at an old book sale years ago and really just pull out as extra resources when I can).  It is a song about the erosion of mountains into rocks, and is sung to the tune of "Frere Jacques."  I thought it was a great addition to this lesson!  It goes like this:
 
"Mountains and Rocks"
(by Gerri Brioso and Richard Freitas)
 
There's a mountain.
There's a mountain.
Here's a rock.
Here's a rock.
The rock came from the mountain.
The rock came from the mountain.
How is that?
How is that?
 
There's a river,
By the mountain.
Rushing by,
Rushing by.
Wearing down the mountain,
Breaking off some pieces.
Making rocks.
Making rocks.
 
Just like mountains,
Just like mountains,
Rocks change too.
Rocks change too.
Wind and water change their
Size and shape and texture.
Day by day.
Day by day.
 
We then read more about the erosion process and the everyday things we have that come from rocks in this book, DK: Eye Wonder: Rocks and Minerals by Caroline Bingham.
 I knew she'd be fascinated, too, with the sparkly treasures found in rocks, so we also talked about the things we found in this book, DK: Eyewitness Books: Crystal & Gem by Dr. R. F. Symes and Dr. R. R. Harding.
It was then time for some fun -- "mining" for our own treasures, using this inexpensive kit I got on clearance at Michael's craft store! (This was worth more than I spent, actually!)
We read the informative booklet that came with the kit, then got to work, excavating our own treasures!
 Digging ...
 We found our first gemstone!
 Digging some more ...
 Check out our finds!
 Twelve in all!  This was one happy girl!
 We then used the chart in the booklet to identify what kinds of gemstones we found.  Here, Mags is cataloging them.
 Looks like we found one each of all of the birthstones!  :)
 The last thing we did was pick a gemstone to place into a little ring form that came with the kit to make our own jewelry!  Here is Maggie's ring, with the "peridot" in it, for her birth month!  (She LOVED this activity!)
After we finished excavating, we watched the "Rock Song" on our Sid the Science Kid: Sid's Backyard Campout DVD, then watched a video on dirt, Sid the Science Kid: Dirt on Dirt, which I have added here for you.  (Tomorrow, we will be completing the dirt experiment featured in the video.)
 And how can you study dirt without eating a dirt cup?!  Here is ours, simply made with chocolate pudding, crushed Oreo cookie crumbs, and gummy worms.  So fun!
A happy girl!  :)
To be continued ...

3 comments:

  1. LOVE the egg phonics idea. (I'm stealing that idea for my boys!)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, Stacie! Yes, those eggs work great! Thanks for peeking in on us! :)

    Amber, it's always well received! :)

    ReplyDelete