Friday, September 6, 2013

Winter Wonderland

If you've been tuning in, you know that we have been studying seasons.  Today, we focused on Winter.  We read Winter by Gail Saunders-Smith ...
 ... How Do You Know It's Winter? by Allan Fowler ...
... and Winter: An Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur.
Once our reading was done, it was time to get to work!  Here is Maggie with her Winter Pocket, ready to fill it up!
 For our first Winter activity, we made a Winter tree, sort of like the Autumn tree we made yesterday, using torn brown paper strips to fashion the trunk and branches.
Then, instead of tearing white paper for the snow on the branches like the Evan-Moor book suggested, I pulled out some silver glitter glue and white glitter for her to add some sparkle and icicles to the branches.
Icicles! 
Ta-da!
Next, we made a paper snowman with the same tearing technique that we've been using to make the trunks for our seasonal trees.
Cute!
We finished up our Winter Pocket with a sentence about Winter.
Our Winter Pocket, full and ready to be added to our Seasons Book!  (Tomorrow, we'll delve into Spring.)
In Geography, we have been studying the polar regions.  Today, we focused on polar animals.  For our reading, we used our Usborne World of Animals book ...
... this Animals of the Polar Regions book ...
... our Usborne: The Great Wildlife Search book ...
(Here is a photo of the inside of that cool, cool book.)
... and Powerful Polar Bears by Elizabeth Bennett.
 We also watched the "Ice Worlds" segment of our Discovery: Planet Earth DVD.
We even found this fun puzzle in an old issue of Turtle magazine (January/February 2012, page 20).
I then set out to make the cute little polar bear cookies for her that I found at http://www.hungryhappenings.com/2013/01/sweet-treat-for-winter-nutter-butter.html, using Nutter Butter cookies, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, and white candy wafers.  To make your own, first, melt your candy wafers according to the package instructions.  Then, flatten two mini marshmallows with your thumb and snip off the ends.  Dip the ends into your melted candy and stick onto either side of your Nutter Butter to make the bear's ears, like I did here.  Let dry.
Then, submerge your cookies into the melted candy to cover.  (Mine looks a bit "gloopy" here, I think, because my candy should have been heated a few more seconds to thin some.)  Immediately put a chocolate chip at the bottom of your cookie for a nose and two mini chocolate chips towards the top for eyes.  Stick in the freezer for about 5 minutes to harden.
The site suggested using a food writer to add features like a mouth and eyebrows, but I had some black gel on hand and decided to use that instead.  Turns out, I didn't like how it looked (I thought it looked more like a dog when I did that), so I only did one.  It looks better untouched.
Either way, my girl was happy!
During her break, while I did some laundry, she called me into the living room and showed me that she made her own "Antarctica, with an ice sheet and penguins."  Clever girl!
It was time for an arctic animal craft!  I found this cute one at
http://easypreschoolcraft.blogspot.com/2011/09/easy-arctic-animals-craft-for-kids.html, using blue paper, white paint, an old toothbrush, and silhouettes of arctic animals.  (We chose a polar bear and an Arctic fox, which we simply printed from an online search.)
First, we LIGHTLY glued our animals onto our sheet.  (Be sure you don't add too much glue, because you will want to remove them!)
Next, using our old toothbrush dipped in our white paint, we splattered onto the white paper liberally.
Once we were satisfied with the coverage, we carefully peeled off our animals.  We then talked about their white coats and how they are well camouflaged in the snow.
 See you tomorrow!

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