Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Forest Fun

It's October!  October is probably our favorite month, with the cooler weather, the changing colors on the trees, and dearly loved family traditions.  Also, it's a time to anticipate upcoming holidays and snuggle in much-loved sweaters.  We hope to wear it out this year!  After starting the new month in our Calendar Notebook, we read Please Try to Remember the First of Octember! by Dr. Seuss, about a special month (Octember) when impossible things can happen.  It's a cute read!
In Phonics, we are reviewing our vowel sounds.  We made these charts last year (you remember the posts), distinguishing short vowel sounds from their long vowel partners.  We pulled them out for our review and I thought I'd mention again here how helpful they have been for us.
 We then moved on to Science, where we are starting our study of living things.  (This study will carry us the rest of the year, with an extensive look into animals, insects, plants, and finally, people.  Stay tuned.)  We started by reading about the characteristics of living things in our Usborne First Encyclopedia of Science by Rachel Firth (pages 16-17).
We also watched a short video on living and nonliving things, which I tried to upload here, but it wouldn't work for me.  Here is the link to the same: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZEUWTUi1YI.
 
I then found this worksheet at http://worksheetplace.com/mf/Circle-the-living-things.pdf, which requires your student to distinguish living from nonliving things.
We are continuing our study of landforms in Geography with a look at forests this week.  To start, we read A Forest Habitat by Bobbie Kalman (a great read).
(Here is one of the spreads from that book, showing the seasonal changes of a deciduous tree versus the lack thereof in an evergreen tree.)
We also read Forests by Emily K. Green ...
... and DK: Eye Wonder: Forest by Deborah Lock.  (Every one of these books was helpful and full of great photos.)
 After that, we did one of our favorite things ... explored a forest habitat in our Usborne: The Great Wildlife Search book, to find all the hidden animals in it.
(Here is the spread that we had fun searching.  You've got to get this book!) 
Then, what's a forest study without a visit to the forest?!
We did our homeschooling in the forest, which was a lot of fun!  There were a few distractions, of course, but educational ones.  We'd stop when we'd hear an animal, or go explore something new we'd see off in the distance, but it was fun and we'll be doing it again soon!  Here, Maggie is showing off the "Who's Been Here?" forest activity out of this month's (October 2013) Click magazine.  (We love our Click subscription!  It is probably our favorite children's magazine.)
 And here, Maggie is standing under an evergreen she spotted in the midst of many deciduous trees.
 We found a couple of "treasures" that had fallen from the evergreen ... a pinecone and pine needles!
Here, Maggie is aging this tree at the time it was cut.
 We also spotted mushrooms ...
... and moss!
Once we got home, we started another Five in a Row (FIAR) book, Three Names by Patricia MacLachlan, but you won't get to see that post until Saturday.  Until then, check back with us again tomorrow when we delve deeper into forest life and learn about how living things need air to survive.

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