I can't believe we are nearing the end of our Zoology 3 science course already! We only have a little over four weeks left of study. But I think this lesson, Lesson 10 ("Orders Squamata and Rhynchocephalia"), featuring snakes and lizards, was Maggie's favorite to date.
Before I get into the work we put into this lesson, let me share with you some past activities we have done to better understand these fascinating creatures. (I have shared the links, too, so if any of these projects interest you, you can simply click on the link and be taken directly to that post.)
Twice, we have made ribbon snakes from the instructions on Martha Stewart's website. The first time we made them, we were studying the sneaky snake in the Garden of Eden (that post can be found at http://homeschoolingmom2mags.blogspot.com/2017/09/india.html) ...
... and the second time we made them, we were studying the cobras of India. (That post, along with other materials we used in our study of cobras can be found at https://homeschoolingmom2mags.blogspot.com/2017/09/india.html.) Both of these snakes were sturdy and lasted a long time. She was very proud of this project, both times. 😉 I encourage you to make your own ribbon snake! The snake patterns you could make are endless depending on what ribbon you buy!
We also made a "Sneaky Snake Craft" when I taught The Fall to her Sunday School class, using a spiral snake cut out of cardstock, and bubble wrap, lightly painted before being pressed down onto the cardstock. (This idea is floating around Pinterest if you need further instructions.) In honor of the study, I had also served these apple cupcakes with a "sneaky snake" (gummy worm) emerging from the "fruit". You can find this post at http://homeschoolingmom2mags.blogspot.com/2016/09/sunday-school-snacks.html.
During one of our Five in a Row (FIAR) book studies, we made a "Snake Egg" after submerging a whole egg into vinegar overnight. This was so neat! (That post is at http://homeschoolingmom2mags.blogspot.com/2013/11/when-i-was-young-in-mountains.html.)
I highly recommend doing this for fun.
Another time, we made a little 3-D paper snake, using a template we found. This would be great for younger siblings! This post is at http://homeschoolingmom2mags.blogspot.com/2012/09/sneaky-snake-and-crayon-earth.html.
At that same post (above), we also made a spiral snake out of paper, with Genesis 3:1 written across its back.
She drew in a face and our snake was complete!
The last "old" snake project I want to share with you is this simple paper chain snake we made at http://homeschoolingmom2mags.blogspot.com/2010/10/web-of-life.html. (She was so young when we did this!) You could always write a snake fact on each link of the chain, too, to help your children retain what they learned!
For a fun lizard project, you could simulate our "Chameleon Camouflage" project that we did with this course (Lesson 1) at http://homeschoolingmom2mags.blogspot.com/2017/09/introduction-to-animals-of-day-six.html. This is in the front of our Zoology 3 journal.
Now, on to the new stuff!
We started Lesson 10 by reading Miles and Miles of Reptiles: All About Reptiles by Tish Rabe ...
... and the "Reptile Life" section (pages 34-35) of our Usborne First Encyclopedia of Animals.
From there, we read out of our text about Class Reptilia, the four different orders of that class (Squamata, Testudines, Crocodilia, and Rhynchocephalia), and the snakes that are found in class Squamata. After our initial reading, Maggie colored the coloring pages for this lesson in her notebooking journal.
While she colored, she watched two videos on ectothermic (cold-blooded) animals. The first was the "Cold Feet" episode of The Magic School Bus (which can be found at http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5vitxg).
The second video we watched was the "Be Cool" episode of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74byyGLAzh8, below.
After her pages were colored and our viewing was done, we read more in the text, as well as this neat book, Verdi by Janell Cannon, about green tree pythons.
Next, we completed the snake picture out of this Paint by Sticker: Kids: Zoo Animals sticker book. Once done, it got added to our journal.
She loves these!
Then we read a few poems about snakes by Shel Silverstein -- "Snake Problem" ...
... "Boa Constrictor" ...
... and "Every Lunchtime." (Click on the image itself to see it larger.)
We watched the "No SSSweater is Better" episode of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FezbuMTvkJg, below. In it, we learned that as a snake grows too big for its skin, it must shed (molt) to reveal a newer, sleeker coat of skin.
We thought it would be fun to see what it would look and feel like to molt like a snake. Using the idea floating around Pinterest, we used white school glue to coat our arms.
It took a while to dry. Luckily, Grandma was with us and not only had the great idea of using the hair dryer to speed things along ...
... but allowed herself to be a test subject!
Time to molt!
Like a snake, Grandma left her "skin" behind!
After that, we put together this little activity book by Dover, Learning About Snakes. Once completed, we added the book right to our journal with a stapler.
While Grandma was still with us, we wanted to take her on one of our Zoology 3 field trips. For this lesson, we chose the Flint Riverquarium in Albany, Georgia, which features over 18 different species of reptiles. (Their website is at http://www.flintriverquarium.com/index.php.)
In preparation of our trip, I put together this little scavenger hunt worksheet. (You can click on the image itself to see it larger.)
Coupled with this Dover Reptiles Stickers book, she would be able to complete her worksheet after our journey through the Riverquarium.
We have enjoyed this little place for years!
One of the first reptiles we encountered, one not listed on the Riverquarium's site, was this rough green snake. He was Maggie's favorite reptile to observe. He was incredibly long and yet pencil-thin.
The Riverquarium has many, many turtles and tortoises, which would make it a great destination for Lesson 11.
This alligator snapping turtle (below) still hadn't woken up to start the day!
What a neat place!
We spotted an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, too.
Maggie loves this place!
Can you spot the reptile in this picture?
Of course, we had to pose next to this large mural of an alligator!
Once our tour was over, we headed outside to enjoy the scenery along the Flint River ...
... when Grandma spotted another, rather large turtle, soaking up some sun! Can you spot it?
It was a fun day! We finished up our scavenger hunt sheet (under the Riverquarium brochure to the left in the picture) and attached it into our journal, opposite the cursive copywork page.
We started Day 3 reading about lizards, geckos, skinks, worm lizards, tuataras, and more in our text, followed by Now You See Me ... by Tish Rabe, about a gecko's ability to camouflage itself.
Next, we watched the "Tale of a Dragon" episode of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TyDofzNqQE, below. It's about lizards and their interesting body parts.
From there, we completed the "Fascinating Facts" in our notebooking journal ...
... and the "Track It!" activity. (We draw all of our critter tracks on an available space in our journal.)
On Day 4, we completed the Venn diagram in the journal, comparing and contrasting snakes and lizards, as well as the "Special Snake Abilities" and the lizards information page, opposite.
We also completed the "Squamate ID."
On Day 5 of this study, we completed the two minibooks for Lesson 10, containing facts about snakes and lizards ..
... as well as the "Venomous Snakes in My Area" section in the journal, identifying six venomous snake species that we could encounter in our state.
For our extra project, I wanted Maggie to better understand the impact we have on our environment when we meddle with God's plan. The Exotic Invaders: Pythons in the Everglades documentary on Netflix was perfect for this. This documentary shows us how damaging it was to the ecosystem when Burmese pythons, a snake not native to the Everglades, was introduced. Now, scientists and environmentalists are struggling to reverse the damage and restore the natural environment to what it was pre-python.
This image is from that documentary, showing a caught Burmese python, with very large prey in its digestive tract.
Having so many things to prey on, these snakes become humongous.
They even eat alligators!
Mags wrote about the documentary on her project page in the notebook ...
... and we wrapped up the lesson by answering the review questions we downloaded through CurrClick.
Maggie is already pondering whether she would enjoy being a herpetologist! We have more herps to cover in our next lesson, Lesson 11, "The Rest of the Reptiles ... and Amphibians."
We start it tomorrow. Check back with us!