Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Primarily Primates

Lesson 6 of Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day is entitled, "Primarily Primates."  I was pretty excited about this one because I have always loved monkeys and apes, especially gorillas.  This lesson is full of information on all of the above!
Typically in these posts, I sum up what the reading is about for each lesson, but since you are probably reading from the same material, I will spare your time (and mine!) and just stick to our notebooking pages and supplemental activities for these lessons.  

As always, I highly recommend the notebooking journals to accompany your Apologia science texts.  These not only help Maggie learn and retain the material better; we use them like scrapbooks of our journey through the study together.  We add thematic stickers and scrapbooking papers, photos, drawings, and more.  Don't miss out on the opportunity to create an incredible souvenir of this time.  The journals are worth every penny!  (This will be our last year using the "junior" version.)
 After reading to page 98 in this lesson, we colored pages 93-94 in our journal and completed the "Fascinating Facts" on pages 95-96.  
Next, we completed the gorilla sticker page out of this Paint by Sticker: Kids: Zoo Animals sticker book.  (I bought ours at Barnes & Noble, but I have also seen them at Michael's craft store and on Amazon.)
She loves these ...
... and they look great in our journals, attached to black pages or pages we don't use.
Throughout our study of primates, we enjoyed watching the three episodes that make up this Monkey Planet documentary by BBC on Netflix.
If you don't have Netflix, you can also watch short clips of the documentary on YouTube.  Here is a clip of "dive-bombing macaques" at (below).
On the second day of our study, we read more from the text (pages 98-109) and then completed the travel brochure outlined on page 109.  (The notebooking pages to help with this are on pages 99-103 in the junior journal.)
We also completed the primate classification chart on page 97.  (Maggie wrote the names of specific animals in red under each suborder, where appropriate.)
After her notebooking work, we mapped the primates on our world map.
For some supplemental reading, we love using Zoobooks.  They are phenomenal, with great illustrations and photos from cover to cover.  For this lesson, we read four.  We read Old World Monkeys (2016) ...
... Chimpanzees (2014) ...
... Gorillas (2017) ...
... and Orangutans (2016).  (I think Maggie's favorite primate of all that we have studied is the orangutan, considered the most intelligent animal in the world.)
The Chimpanzees issue allowed us to learn a bit about Jane Goodall, a "primate pioneer."  Maggie was fascinated with her, so we went on to read Who Is Jane Goodall? by Roberta Edwards (these are great books) ...
... and to play "The Jane Game" in the middle of this Zoobooks issue, reviewing facts about Goodall's life.  (If you worry you can't get your hands on past issues of Zoobooks, you can!  Many zoos carry these publications in their gift shops and three out of four of these that we read we just bought last month that way!)
While studying primates, I recalled a fun craft we did years ago, "Pipe Cleaner Monkeys," that I wanted to share again for any of you craftier homeschoolers.  The post is at, and the following five pictures are from that post.  

For each monkey, you need a bumpy pipe cleaner, a regular pipe cleaner, three 1-inch pom poms, smaller pom poms for ears and a nose (not in the picture below), googly eyes, tacky glue, and scissors.
 You can click on the aforementioned post to see the more detailed instructions for this craft, but you can see here how the critter comes together.
Look how little my girl was!
 These were her color combinations!
Once done, their long arms can loop to grab the arms of another primate!  So cute!  I remember how Maggie loved this project!
We continued working in our journal, recording all that we were learning.
To wrap up our study, I was excited to take Mags to Zoo Atlanta, where they have at least twelve species of primates!
Before our visit, I made this scavenger hunt on my computer, being sure to line up the individual primates under their correct suborders, as she had learned from the text.  (You can click on the image itself to see it larger.)  This was a lesson for Daddy, too, who was able to join us on this field trip!
Zoo Atlanta has an amazing gorilla exhibit, as it is home to the largest population of gorillas in North America.  The exhibit is named after Willie B., the western lowland gorilla that lived at the zoo from 1961 until his passing in 2000 at the age of 42.  Here is Maggie, standing next to the Willie B. statue commemorating him.
And bear with me, as there are a lot of pictures here of these magnificent creatures.  (I told you gorillas are one of my favorites!)  This is the silverback with one of his mates and her infant.
We watched them for a long time.
The infant was so cute!
I was excited to capture this shot!  Poor mama!  It's not just us, ladies!  Gorillas have a time, too!
The silverback took his job very seriously.  He sat like this most of the time we were there, scanning everybody and everything, keeping close watch over his troop.
This was one of our favorite things about this lesson, our "gorilla gander," as we called it!
The zoo has so many other primates to observe, too!
They even have a drill, like a mandrill, but without the colors in its face.
Maggie's favorite was this orangutan.  He was absolutely beautiful and so curious about my camera.  They have both Bornean and Sumatran orangutans there and we got to enjoy both.
After our visit, we came across a video by National Geographic of a new, rare species of orangutan, the Tapanuli orangutan.  Fascinating!  That clip can be found on YouTube at, below.  Please watch it!
Once Maggie had checked off the 11 primates on her scavenger hunt list, we added it to her journal, along with the zoo map and brochure.
 Finally, to review all we had learned about primates, we completed the review questions for Lesson 6 from CurrClick and added the pages to her journal.
What fun we had learning about primates!  Up next?  We will learn all about rodents in Lesson 7, entitled, "Rodents and the Rest."  Check back soon for that post!

* UPDATE:  Since posting about this lesson, Maggie and I have since become enamored with an excellent series on Netflix that I would highly recommend.  It's called Monkey Life and it is so fascinating, covering many different species of monkeys and apes in each episode.  Check it out!

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