Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Apologia: Zoology 1 - Lesson 1

This year, we have started a new science curriculum, Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day.  I have been soooo excited to start this!  To start Lesson 1 ("What is Zoology?"), we first defined zoology and then learned about animal classification and binomial nomenclature.
 After our reading, we watched this YouTube video, "Classification of Living Things."
We then looked over and discussed this "Scientific Classification" poster hanging in our classroom.
 After that, we talked about binomial nomenclature and took out one of our Audubon books to see the scientific names of some of our favorite birds.  We spotted a female cardinal outside the window and looked up her scientific name quickly -- Cardinalis cardinalis.
We then got out our notebooking journal to start our work for this first lesson.
Looks great, Mags!
 Then, using our Scholastic 25 Totally Terrific Science Projects book, we worked on a step book of animal classification (pages 14-16).
Here is our step book, ready for filling in!
For images for our step book, I found this great little chart at
http://www.goldiesroom.org/Multimedia/Bio_Images/02%20Classification/03%20Classification%20of%20a%20Species.jpg.  I printed it out and told her she could cut the different groups into strips to add to her step book.
  Working on her step book ...
 It turned out great and will be a wonderful addition to our notebook!
She then had to come up with her own mnemonic for remembering the order of the classification system.  She came up with, "Kitties Play Checkers On Fuzzy, Gray Sofas."  I love it!

 Finally, we summarized the lesson for Day 1.  This girl loves science!
 (I just encountered this freebie online in the midst of making this post.  It is a bunch of free homeschool printables for animal classification, so I thought I would share it here with you!  Enjoy!
 On Day 2 of Lesson 1, we learned about flight, air pressure, and drag.  This is all in preparation of learning about flying creatures this year, birds, bugs, bats, etc.  We also did two great experiments, the first one which demonstrated how air pressure works.  Here is Maggie, blowing in one straw over a straw stuck down in a cup full of water.
With enough air pressure and at the right angle, she was able to produce the desired effect -- having water from the bottom of the cup squirt out of the straw in the cup!  (She got me wet three times doing this, which she was thrilled about!)  If you look close enough, the "fuzzy" portion of the picture near her fingers is the spray!  This happened because "the moving air [from her breath] could not press down as hard on the water in the straw.  The air over the rest of the water in the cup was not moving, so it continued to press down on the water with its full pressure.  Since the water in the cup was being pressed down harder than the water in the straw, water was forced up and out of the straw!  This is a lot like what happens to a bird's wing.  Just as the difference in air pressure over the straw and the rest of the cup lifted water out of the straw, the difference in air pressure between the top and bottom of a bird's wing lifts the wing into the air." 
 Before our next experiment to demonstrate drag and aerodynamics, we discussed the Scientific Method.  (Here is our wall poster that we used in our discussion.)
 Then we crafted gliders, using straws, clay (to add weight to the front of our gliders), cardboard, scissors, and tape.  Everything on the gliders was identical except for one variable -- the size of our wings.  One glider had a wingspan of 1 inch by 8 inches (long and thin).  The other glider's wingspan was 2 inches by four inches (short and wide).  With this one variable, we were hoping wingspan would tell us which glider would fly farther.
  Maggie guessed glider "B."  We then went out to test our hypothesis.
 We found a long stretch of ground outside our apartment building to test our hypothesis.  Here is Maggie, ready to experiment!
  And glider "A" is off!
  Once we tested our hypothesis several times with both gliders, it was clear that Maggie's hypothesis was correct!  Glider "B" (long and thin) flew the farthest every time because it had less drag.  Cool!  Here, Maggie is showing off her "Scientific Speculation Sheet" in her science notebook.  I wrote it for her this time, but soon, she will be writing her own!
On Day 3 of Lesson 1, we talked about habitats, instincts, and extinction.  After reading through the information in the text, we read Almost Gone: The World's Rarest Animals by Steve Jenkins (she is now obsessed with this book) ...
... then completed a synopsis of what we learned in our notebooking journal.  It was a collaborative effort, and I am loving how this curriculum has her record what she's learned in this way.
 Finally, we made a field notebook for her to use in this week's scavenger hunt (Day 4 of Lesson 1).  She can't wait to use it!
For our final day of Lesson 1, we started out by doing our Scripture copy work in our notebook ...
... and our "Vocabulary Crossword."
Then, we put together the little minibooks the notebook provides.  This one is a cute little flipbook on animal classification where she was required to draw animals that belong in certain phylums, which was then broken down into classes, and then orders.
We also filled out the extinct and endangered species cards in our notebook.
These went nicely in the little pocket, provided.
I am loving this notebook!
Finally, for an extra project, we decided to classify all of her toy animals into phylums, then classes.
Phylum Chordata, in the works!
Emmett tried to add himself to the phylum, which Maggie pointed out would be correct!  :) 
Then, we separated Phylum Chordata into classes.  This is Class Aves.  Great work, Mags!
Once we were done with separating her toys, she completed her project page in her notebook.
Later, when we were done our homeschooling for the day, she was excited to show me what she had been working on, her "Extinct and Endangered Species Card!"  I was so tickled!  She took it upon herself to keep working.
She drew a dinosaur (left), wrote "tortois" (for "tortoise," which I thought was AMAZING that she spelled it that well) because of the Abington Island Tortoise that we learned about, a crane, for the Whooping Crane that has made a comeback from the endangered species list, and a moa.  I was so impressed.  She even made it a pop-up.  This was a proud moment for me.
 Our last activity for Lesson 1 was to go on a scavenger hunt, with items listed in our notebook.  We waited for Daddy for this activity, as we knew he would enjoy it, too.  Here they are, starting the hunt!
 Here is a picture of one of our found items -- "a leaf with eggs laid on the underside."
 We also found a June bug from the list ...
 ... and a chrysalis, though this one was abandoned.
 Here was the beetle we found ... caught in a web and being eaten by a spider!
 And here are some of our other finds not on our list ...

... a slug ...
... a gnarly spider ...
 ... some tree sap ...
 ... the shell of a cicada ...
 ... a bright green tree frog ...
 ... and purple wood mushrooms!
We had a great time!  I can tell we are going to love this curriculum!  Up next?  All things insects!  We are starting with Lesson 9 to take advantage of the warmer weather right now (so insects will be plentiful), but then we will come back to cover Lessons 2-8 later.  Thanks for checking in with us!


  1. As always I grin from ear to ear as I see all that Maggie is learning. What a great teacher. Very proud.

  2. Thanks so much for this post! I am using the Apologia Zoology 1 curriculum as well this year with my 2 younger boys...just a few weeks behind you (we start this coming Monday). You have given me some great ideas to run with in our schooling. I really hope you are able to continue posting your adventures with this curriculum, as this has been a huge blessing to our family, and I'm sure others as well. Thanks again! Catherine

    1. Catherine, thank you so much! I am glad this helped you! I do plan on adding new posts for each lesson, but I must warn you that we homeschool on a 3 weeks on, 1 week off schedule (instead of taking twelve weeks off in the Summer), so you may catch up to me! Plus, we are starting insects before we go to birds (because of the warm weather right now), so my next post will be on Lesson 9. And, since we are about to start our first break week for the year, this Lesson 9 post won't be until the end of the last week of this month. Hopefully, you will be able to use these later lessons further on, as we will be doing Lessons 9-14, then coming back to complete Lessons 2-8 when the weather is colder. Once we complete this text, we will be moving on to Apologia's Botany in the Spring. Thanks again! :)

  3. One more question...where did you get your Animal Classification poster? I looked online and found it under images, but it won't print large enough, and I can't find it anywhere to buy. Thanks for your help!

    1. Sure, let me see if I can figure out where I got it. It was an online teacher resource store, but not sure which one. I will look around and get back to you

    2. Here it is! And it's only $2.49!


  4. Wow! This post is great! Thank you! Question for you: Where did you get the experiments/activities for Lesson 1? Are they included in Apologia's Lesson Plans or in the Notebook?

    1. Thank you! Yes, all of the written materials you see (except for the taxonomy step book which I added) were from Apologia's junior notebooking journal that goes with the text. The other things (the glider experiment, the field notebook, and the taxonomy project with the stuffed animals) were all suggestions in the text. We LOVE this curriculum!