Friday, September 20, 2013

Tornado Alley

We worked hard today after taking a day off to visit with some friends who came in to see us from out of town.  With next week being our "break week," we will have to continue to catch up this weekend so we're not working that week.  I know we can do it.  Today, we reviewed our short vowel sounds, continued our weather study with thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes, and covered the African savanna in today's Grasslands lesson.  Hope you find something you like!

I try to incorporate things that I know Maggie will enjoy more than a worksheet, because I know we all learn better when the content interests us, so I was happy to find this "Short Vowels Song" to help her review.
In our study of storms today, we read The Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm by ...
... Flash, Crash, Rumble, and Roll by Franklyn M. Branley ...
 ... Thunder and Lightning by Wendy Pfeffer ...
... Hurricanes! by Gail Gibbons ...
 ... Tornadoes! by Gail Gibbons ...
... and Tornadoes! by Justin McCory Martin.
 It was then time for some real fun!  Years ago, I bought this Discovery Kids' Tornado Lab from a CVS.  They priced it at $9.99, but I hit it after the Christmas holidays, and it was 75% off(!), so I paid a whopping $2.50 for it!  SCORE!  We finally had an opportunity to use it. 
In the box, they had the very first episode (Season 1, Episode 1) of Discovery Channel's Storm Chasers, so before we set up our lab, we watched that!
(Here is part two of that same show.  Unfortunately, Part 1 seemed to be unavailable on YouTube.)
After the show, we set up our lab!
Here is our tornado, right now an EF1 ...
... EF3 ...
... and a full-on EF5!  (This was so much fun!)
Then, we set out to make a tornado craft that I found on a Google search.  (I could not locate the website for the photo I found, so I don't know who to give credit to, but this was not an original idea.)  For our own tornado art, you need a piece of white paper, another piece of paper with a funnel cut out of it like you see below, a clipboard, crayons in brown, black, gray, and white, and glue.
First, clip the papers in the clipboard so that your template lays over your white sheet.  Using your crayons, color your white sheet, being sure they don't get under the template.  Once colored, remove the template to reveal your colored tornado!
This poem is the one that was on the original photo I found on Google, but there was no author listed.  It's a great poem and I wanted to add it to our art, as they did.  I typed it out, and we cut out each line.
Then, we glued the lines of our poem, in order, haphazardly onto our funnel.
Looks great!
Whenever I hit the Dollar Tree or the dollar bins at Target, I always find little goodies that are relatable to something we'll be learning that year.  I put them away and pull them out as little incentives for hard work.  I gave these to Mags after we finished up today's storm study and she was thrilled!
Later, after we had finished our work for the day, she brought me this picture of a house in a funnel cloud.  (I love when it sticks!)
Then, it was time for Geography.  We have been studying grasslands, and today, we covered the African savanna.  We started by reading A Home on the Savanna by Susan Labella ...
... The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! How Wet Can You Get? by Tish Rabe (this is about how animals without water are able to clean themselves, like lions on the African savanna) ...
... and Pinduli by Janell Cannon.
After our reading, we watched the "Bath Time" episode on our The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! Up and Away! DVD (the animated version of the book we read, above).
 We then searched for African plains' animals in our Usborne: The Great Wildlife Search book.
 Next, we set out to make a diorama of the savanna.  First, we covered an open box in colored paper.
Then, she picked out some of her toy animals that live on the African savanna and we stuck them in there.  (We later added a sun.)
 Look for this week's FIAR post at the end of this weekend, when I post more storm project ideas!

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