Friday, September 5, 2014

FIAR: Daniel's Duck Unit Study

Week One: Daniel's Duck

 Taking place in the 1800s in rural Tennessee. The emotions portrayed in this book will be accessible to every child. Daniel is the youngest child in his family, and wants to make something for the spring fair. Despite some well-intentioned "wait until you're older" discouragement from his family, he carves a duck and is quite proud of it. He brings it to the fair, and then sees people laughing at it. Embarrassed and angry, he grabs his duck and runs to the river to throw it in, but is stopped by the best wood-carver in Tennessee. Their conversation is simple and effective, without being saccharine or artificial. 

Sorting and understanding Rural and Urban:In our FIAR book Daniel's Duck he lived in rural Tenn. We discussed what Rural vs Urban meant and looked through the book to find things that would be found in each place before sorting them on our paper.

Hand prints in our Season Book:
I traced and cut out four of his hand prints on brown paper. Then we discussed the seasons in the story. It begins in fall, goes through a long winter and their is a spring fair. We talked about the changes in the trees and the leaves. Then using paints he applied finger print leaves of the right amount and right color to each tree. 

What is your favorite Season:
He finished by illustrating a tree for his favorite season. He really surprised me with his use of a root system. I love how he blended the colors of the fall leaves into his leaf pile with no direction at all. I love when children are allowed to self teach. It always produces the most surprising work.

Use of quotation marks and a period:
He was asked to write a sentence using both quotation marks and a period. Naturally in free writing he chose to write about the avengers rather than Daniel's duck. I love that is drawing is getting much more detailed. Way to go sweet boy.

Awesome Adjectives:Daniel begins the story very confident in his abilities. He informs his brother that he is designing the duck how he wants and that he knows what to do. Upon submitting it in the fair he  feels very heartbroken when the towns people laugh at his creation. He goes to destroy it. In the 'heat of the moment' he doubts himself, and the quality of work. We used this as a great chance to discuss those 'heat of the moment' situations that Little man encounters daily. Just how Daniel reacted before he understood the intentions of others - how did Little man react to another child who bumped into him. Was it on purpose? Was it intended to be bad? After some insightful  discussions he did a self portrait and created some awesome adjectives that described him.

Favorite part of Daniel's Duck:When asked what was his favorite part of the story, Little man informed me that he most enjoyed the part where Daniel made the duck turn his head backwards. He then competed the question and did a great job illustrating the scene at the fair where the towns people first saw his duck.

Today I discovered:It is always important to make discoveries from each new book. Little man discovered that in the 1800s people rarely went to the store to buy things if they could make it themselves. He learned that father make shoes, Mother make quilts, brother made bowls and boxed and Daniel made a toy duck. He simplified this statement by writing that he discovered - people carved wood.

Season Sorting:
Little Man was given several cut outs and asked the glue them during the season that it was most likely to have taken place. He did a really good job. He pointed out that while I had bee's for spring - they could also be seen in summer. He made many good observations during this assignment.

Tennessee Lapbook:We made a simple lapbook about Tennessee which contained the state bird, state flower and state flag. We colored in Tennessee on the map of the united states as well as a colored the shape of Tennessee. We also added a flipbook of basic facts.

Rebuild Daniel's Cabin:For a longterm project over several days he created Daniel's cabin.He completed it with a chimney and land for it to sit on. While it was unlikely that his cabin was painted Little Man took pride in mixing colors to create the perfect cabin. It turned into an impromptu mixing colors lesson. What fun!

We also carved soap but I forgot to take pictures. Thank you for reading. Next week we will be rowing...

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Summer Reading Program

Summer Reading Program!

I was really bummed out to find out that our local library wasn't doing a reading program this year. So we devised our own. We are a family of readers. ( even those of us still learning!) We love to read!  Chandlers love of books has expanded into a love of counting in the past few days. He has mastered counting by tens to one hundred so we worked the golden number of 100 into our reading program.

I printed out a picture on cardstock with 100 books on it. We put it on the fridge for easy access and will cross one book off for every book we read.

Chandler has become very excited lately about writing, but not repetitive letters. So we decided to make a few book reflections. That way he can practice his letters in the title area, but not feel forced to write out a large amount of information. I want to keep the writing fun, and part of the adventure.  I also added a large section for him to illustrate the plot of the story. On the bottom I added a few emotional faces to lead into discussions about how the characters felt during the story.


Upon completion of each row of books he will get a small treat from our prize box. Just as they do in the summer reading program. When he finishes all the books he will have a ice cream party with friends!

I was a little sad at first hearing the program was closed but after creating our own - I am really excited!

                         Happy Reading everyone!

I am trying to  find a way to make files available for  you to use. If you would like me to email these printables to you I will happily do so!

Sink or Float

Total cost: - Free
Total Time: 10 -15 Minutes
Chandler and I selected things from around the house to test which would sink and which would float.  I drew a vase on cardstock and printed out pictures of the items he selected.

Step 1  : Fill clear container with water.
Step 2: have child take printed picture and put it where he thinks it belongs. Will it sink or float.
Step 3: Drop the real item in the water.
Step 4:  Glue the picture where it went.

How did you do?

A little drawing and clip art for a nice free project!

He was right!

Make a guess, then do a test! Document your findings!

Coins sink!

The only one he got wrong was ice. He is trying to put the car on it to make it sink. Still wrong, but I love his outside of the box thinking!

Finished! He had so much fun with this project!

Chandler did great, the only one he missed was an ice cube. He then tried to sit the car on it to make it sink, so he could still be correct. Love the outside of the box thinking!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Stingray Growth Project

I had been wanting to introduce measurement and charting to my little man but wanted a way to engage him and keep it both project based and hands on. It was on a visit to the local dollar store that Chandler answered the question for me. He found a stingray and showed it to me. What he didn't realize is that it was one of the grow-in-water toys. So we spent the dollar and home we returned to discover what would happen to this little stingray as we exposed him to water.

1 - Trace a grow in water animal.
2- Measure it with yarn.
3- Cut the yarn to the same length.
4- Measure the string 
5- Document the length.
6- Put in water for 3 days
7 - Repeat process
8- Document growth.

Skill sets: Measuring, Science, Scissor skills, Glue skills, Charting, Observation

Cost: $1.00

Tracing the original stingray before we put it in the water.

Measure and cut yard the length of the stingray.

Apply glue for our yarn

Glue yarn

Measure the yarn and document the findings.

Put the stingray into a bath or shoebox of water. Make sure it has room to grow.

Three days later we traced the grown stingray, and measured the yarn again.

It has grown!

Every scientist must document their discoveries!

Finished project!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Space Lesson

This week we are learning about space. With it still being dark fairly early my little one had gotten very curious about the stars and moon so we decided to spend a week on space. Here are a few things that we did during that week. Good luck little Astronauts! 

Star-cave - Dramatic Play, Sensory, Gross and Fine Motor

Needed Items:
  • A large box. (I used our XL dog kennel)
  • Construction or Card Stock paper
  • String or yarn of some sort
  • Flash Light
  • Cost $0.00

What to do:
  1. Cut the paper into stars of various shapes.
  2. Suspend stars from the top of the  "cave"
  3. Tape Stars to the sides of the "cave"
  4. Drape a blanket over the cave so it is completely dark
  5. Give child a flash light and let him explore!

    Getting ready to explore our Star Cave!
 Inside our star cave! 

We counted stars, and talked about constellations!  

Make a shooting star - Fine Motor / Art / Creativity

Needed Items:
  • Pom-poms or a collage material
  • Construction or Card Stock paper
  • Paint
  • Popsicle stick
  • Ribbon or streamers
  • Cost $0.50

What to do:
  1. Have a large star cut for your child to use.
  2. Invite them to paint it.
  3. Invite them to glue collage material on it.
  4. Once dry glue or tape it to Popsicle stick 
  5. Add ribbons 
  6. Let the fun begin!

Dinosaur Study

 This week we have been learning about Dinosaurs!  It was an unexpected direction of study but I was happy to follow him on the adventure path he created!

Dinosaur Skin! - Art / Texture / Patterning
Needed items:
  • Washable Paint - We mixed green and brown
  • Paper Plates - 2 
  • Bubble Wrap - We had ours saved from packages we received
  • Total Expense - $0.00
How To:
  1. Mix your paint onto one of the paper plates
  2. On the other paper plate write "Child's name - Dinosaur Skin - Date"
  3. Allow child to lay the bubble wrap into the paint.
  4. Place the bubble wrap paint side down on the paper plate.
  5. Press down or have some fun and pop the bubbles
  6. Remove the bubble wrap.
  7. Ta-da!
  8. *Helpful hint* The less paint you use the clearer the print.

Here we can see Little Paleontologist laying the bubble wrap on his plate to create the texture. 

Finished Dinosaur skin!

Little Paleontologist - Fine Motor / Science / Professions / Tactile 
Needed Items:

  • A tray to keep bits of chalk from everywhere
  • Small dowel rod, and paint brush
  • Fossil kit
  • Cost $5.00 for kit.
How To:
  1. We have been talking about who Paleontologists are and how they dig up fossils
  2. Give the child the chalk with dowel rod and brush
  3. Motivate child to dig to find the fossil
  4. Discuss if it was faster or slower then they expected
  5. Celebrate their discovery!
Here is our little paleontologist  as he begins to work on digging the chalk away to find the fossils. It is a great time to talk to him about how hard of a job it is. How they know where to dig and other open ended questions. 



Create your own Fossil - Fine Motor / Science / Professions / Tactile / Art
Needed Items:

  • Dinosaur Toy
  • Air Drying Clay
  • Cost $5.00 for Clay
How To:
  1. Have child select their favorite Dinosaur toy
  2. Create a small disc of clay 
  3. Have child push the foot into the clay
  4. Allow clay to harden.
  5. You can also expand on this by burying it in sand and letting the child discover their fossil.
Here is our little paleontologist stomping the foot into the clay to create his own fossil
Instant fossil!