Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Lesson 8 of Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day is all about "Crustaceans."  I have always found crustaceans fascinating and this lesson just encouraged that feeling.  These critters are amazing and quite comical!  Maggie belly-laughed at the description of the way male fiddler crabs attract mates.  We had to read it twice, she enjoyed it so much.
As with every lesson in this book, we use the notebooking journal that accompanies it.  She loves looking back at all the work she has completed in it.
After we learned some general information about crustaceans, we studied their exoskeletons and molting, as well as the anatomy of different crustaceans.
 Daddy brought her home a lobster to dissect!  (He cooked it enough so that she wouldn't be dealing with a live one but kept everything intact so she could see all of its parts, inside and out.)
 Using her text as a guide, she labeled all of its parts.
Under the tail fan, she counted the swimmerets.
 We noticed our lobster had a couple of barnacles on it, too!  Barnacles are another crustacean we learned about in this lesson!
 That's one gnarly-looking cheliped!
 Once she had identified all of its external parts, Daddy cracked it down the middle so they could identify the inside ones.  
 Once the dissection was complete, they cleaned it, seasoned it, baked it through, and ate some lobster for dinner!  Maggie LOVED that part!
 The next day, we continued our lesson with a study of even more crustaceans, including shrimp, krill, and horseshoe crabs.  We watched this neat video about the Christmas Island red crabs at
The video at was fun, too (below)!

Here are a couple of images we found of this migration.
Crustaceans are amazing!  We then focused our attention on hermit crabs with a reading of A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle ...
... and the "Oh Give Me a Home" episode of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! at  (There are two episodes on this video.  The one about the hermit crab is the second part.)
The excerpt on barnacles in this lesson was review for us, as we had done a study on barnacles in the past with a book study of Gramma's Walk by Anna Grossnickle Hines.  Our post about that study can be found at, but here are three pictures from that post.  This first one, below, shows Maggie with the barnacle model she made for a lapbook.  (Follow the link for where to get it.)
 Here, Maggie found some barnacles at the beach,
 They were still living as they came open when covered with water in her bucket.  So neat.
After all of our reading and viewing, it was time for some work in our journals to record what we had learned.
I love her pictures!
For fun, we did a crab maze that we had found online.  (I found this ages ago so I can't give you the source, unfortunately,)
(We added it to our journal.)
You may remember from previous posts that we had recently raised triops.  Well, after a few weeks, we were down to this one who had made a meal of all of his mates.  We were thrilled to read about him in this lesson,  He, too, is a crustacean, and looks a bit like a horseshoe crab, but behaves a bit like a trilobite with his many moving legs.
 Mags decided to write about raising them on her crustacean project sheet in her journal.
 I love her depiction!
We also recently visited the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.  While there, Mags spotted this gnarly crustacean (a Japanese spider crab)!
And, as with every lesson in this book, we finished up our lesson by making models of these critters for our ocean box.  Maggie made the lobster and Daddy made a crab.
 I think her lobster is the cutest thing I've seen all year!
And here is our ocean box, to date!  This is such a great curriculum!
Next up?  Mollusks!

Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car

With all of our artist studies, it's been a while since we rowed, but last week, we picked it up again with a study of Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car by John Burningham.  Amazon's synopsis of it reads, "When Mr. Gumpy decides to go for a ride in his bright-red car, everyone wants to come along -- a rabbit, a cat, a dog, a sheep, chickens, a calf, a goat, and a boy and girl.  'All right,' says Mr. Gumpy.  'But it will be a squash.'  So they all squash in and, for a while, chug along happily.  Then it starts to rain, and the car becomes stuck in the mud.  Who will help Mr. Gumpy push the car out?  'Not me,' says each passenger.  In the end, however, they all have to help, and a wonderful time is had by all."
This story takes place in England, so we placed our story disk on our world map in the general vicinity of England, since it has long since been covered up by other story disks!  How we love FIAR!
We learned more about "The British Isles" in our DK Children's World Atlas (pages 50-51).
 We then read A Walk in London by Salvatore Rubbino, which spotlights everything London.
To see actual images of what we read about, we watched a quick video of a London tour at

What better way to celebrate a study of London than to have a tea time?  We decided to make a cake for our tea time, which Maggie is preparing here.
Once our cake was baked and cooled, we frosted it.  Mags insisted on sprinkles.
There were twelve characters in Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car, so we cut our cake into twelve slices.
"Just a spot of tea (in her favorite mug, of course)!"
As we perused Burningham's artwork in the book, we noticed the concentric circles he made to illustrate the rays of the sun.  This is not typically how the sun's rays are depicted so I challenged Maggie to illustrate this, too.
Maggie's rays.
We also noticed how Burningham illustrated the action of the stuck tires in the mud with this splatter effect.  I then challenged Mags to illustrate the same effect, with a different picture.
She chose to illustrate it with a dog, digging in the dirt.  (Isn't it cute?)
For our mathematics focus of this book, we used a word problem to figure out how many legs were in Mr. Gumpy's motor car.  There were twelve characters, but some of them had a different number of legs each than the others.  We used the printable found at to answer the question.
The answer is 38!  There were 38 legs in Mr. Gumpy's motor car!
It was time for our focus to shift to the science concepts in this book.  Mr. Gumpy and his passengers were caught in a storm, which gave us the opportunity to do a study on the water cycle and clouds.  
We used our Usborne See Inside: Weather and Climate flap book to help us.
After our reading, we watched the "Sid's Rainy Play Date" episode of our Sid the Science Kid: Weather Kid Sid DVD.
(The same can be found on YouTube at

We followed that with another video, "The Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm," also on YouTube (
Once we had our reading and the videos under our belts, we headed outside to spot and identify some clouds!
There were several different kinds to identify!
The next morning, we took this picture of fog (a low-lying cloud) in our backyard.
We found a fun weather window to print at, to help us with our cloud identification.
Here, Mags is using her weather window to name the clouds.
Classifying clouds is fun stuff!
Next, we set out to complete a really neat activity we found at, using cotton balls and paint to create the different cloud shapes on paper.  I labeled the paper and challenged her to create the shapes with the cotton.
Great job, Mags!  It looks fantastic!
Our next row?  The Glorious Flight by Alice and Martin Provensen!  Check back with us!