Monday, December 9, 2013

Flat Lindsey Visits Canada


Flat Lindsey visited her new friends Iorek and Gaïanne in Canada. Their mom wrote to us about her visit -

First we made her a winter jacket, but since it was 9 degrees celsius (48 in fahrenheit) she didn't need her tuque. In Canada we use the International system for temperature, measurements, distances etc..

We brought Flat Lindsey to the West Edmonton Mall. It is the biggest mall in all North America and it's the 13th biggest mall in the world. In the pictures, you can see mini Lindsey in the mall, at the sea lions show, at the indoor water park, the indoor amusement park, and we also show you one of the Oldest company in the world, that have a big significance in the history of Canada (fur trading), The Hudson Bay Company.

Then we went to the Royal Alberta Museum which is beside the government house (historical building) where we took photos of Lindsey with the flags of all the provinces of Canada, and then with Canada and Alberta flags. In the Museum we first start with the Alberta Native History Gallery where she saw how the first nation used to live before the arrival of the Europeans and how the French Canadians did the fur trading and then founded the first colony of Metis (pronounced May-tee) (meaning mixed blood). Then we went to the Nature and Wild Life of Alberta gallery Where we showed her our trees and wild life. At the very end we took a little walk to take some picture of the scenery downtown around the museum.

We brought Mini Lindsey to Iorek's fencing friendly competition. We had our first real snow storm of the year, so Flat Lindsey had a chance to wear her tuque :-) Flat Lindsey enjoyed Iorek and Gaïanne playing in the snow in the back yard. She also went along with us to our meeting with our homeschool group at the local library. We also share a meal, vegetable omelette, with mini Lindsey.

We attended a Souvenir/Remembrance Day Parade. You can see the poppy flower we made for flat Lindsey to bring her to the parade. You can find all the information concerning Remembrance Day at . The bright yellow building is the Universiade Pavilion, better known as the Butterdome . This is where the biggest Remembrance Day parade of the province is held every year. The Prime Minister of Alberta, Allison Redford was present at the ceremony. We like this very location for the parade because it's held inside, and as you can imagine, it is usually cold outside at that time of the year here in Alberta. My husband, the corporal Simard, was in the rank for the parade.

Here is the wiki page about the West Edmonton Mall , the official page of the museum , the wiki of the museum and the government house .

General info about Alberta here . Concerning the Flat Stanley book, we got curious and search if there was an équivalent in french and found one. It is «Clément Aplati» .

Flat Lindsey had so much fun on her Canadian adventure!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Weeks 12 & 13: Norway & Scandinavia

Sorry to be so late posting & to have missed a week! Lindsey was a bit under the weather for week 12, so most of our activities were during week 13. Here are the highlights -
Norway & Scandinavia


Week 12 started with a piano being delivered for Lindsey! She has been wanting to take piano lessons since 2nd grade but we couldn't afford a piano. A family from our church had an old piano in their barn and they gave it to Lindsey. She is so excited! A group of boy scouts delivered it to our house and Lindsey learned to play Hot Cross Buns that afternoon. I found some free online lessons to get her started. She has also taught herself to play part of the keyboard cat song. Praise God for providing her with the piano she has wanted for so long.

Denmark & LEGO

Lindsey loves to build with LEGO blocks and they were invented in Denmark. I found a LEGO lapbook that included their history, how they are made, and math.

One of the activities was to build the flag of Denmark using LEGOS. Other Scandinavian flags are based on Denmark's flag as well. Norway used Denmark's flag as their own until they later added blue to it.

Since we have been working on percents in math, I had Lindsey figure out what percent of her LEGO flag was white and what percent was red. We really enjoyed this lapbook.

Sweden & IKEA

We have been needing desks for our classroom, so we decided to take a field trip to IKEA in Charlotte. It's a 2 hour drive for us & this was our first trip there. It was definitely worth the drive. We brought some of our library books with us in the car so Lindsey could read about Sweden on the way there. I had her write some interesting facts she found on a notebooking page. (She did the same for Norway.)

When we arrived we signed up for the IKEA family discount card. We shopped around the huge store and ate lunch in their restaurant. Lindsey got the kids meal with moose shaped pasta, yogurt, applesauce, and lingonberry juice. I ordered the Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberries of coarse. I shared some of my meatballs with Lindsey. Yum!

We bought the cutest woodland animal cookie cutters, a gingerbread house, a yule goat, magazine holders, and two laiva desks. The desks were only $18 each and they are a good size for our classroom. I love IKEA! I have a long wishlist and we will be making plans for future trips :)

Lindsey helped me put the first desk together and said "Mom! The instructions are just like the ones for Legos! Do you think that's because they are both from Scandinavian countries? The desk is from Sweden & Legos are from Denmark." I'm so thankful we made the decision to homeschool. I love to see her make connections like that about places we are studying. Thankful for Legos too. Lindsey practically put the second desk together by herself, building with Legos has trained her well.

Zoology: Dissecting An Owl Pellet

We studied Lesson 9: Rodentia and the Rest and Lindsey dissected an owl pellet for her lab. Given her aversion to bones & skeletons, this was not an easy lab for her. She had to stop a few times for a breath of fresh air, but she got through it and did a great job. She was able to find a fairly complete rodent skeleton. The skull even had some teeth.

I ordered the owl pellet kit from Home Science Tools. It came with the owl pellet, tweezers, a wooden probe, instructions and a bone sorting chart. We did have to soak the pellet in water to loosen it because it was to dry/compact to work with easily.

Woodland Animal Sugar Cookies

We used our new woodland animal cookie cutters from IKEA to make some sugar cookies. They were delicious & almost too cute to eat.

We made a thin cookie icing and dipped and/or painted the cookies to ice them. The icing dries hard so the cookies can be stacked. We used gel food colors to tint the icing, except for brown. For brown bears, hedgehogs, and moose, we added a bit of cocoa powder to the icing instead of food color.

The hedgehogs were the favorite. After dipping them in icing, we used chocolate sprinkles for their spines, a sprinkle for the nose, and a mini chocolate chip for the eye.

The moose were too large to dip, so we painted the bodies brown & the antlers yellow (like Bullwinkle). We also painted the icing on the snails.

For the foxes we used a chocolate sprinkle for the eye and a mini chocolate chip for the nose. We also added red sugar crystal sprinkles to the foxes.

Lindsey wanted the squirrels to be blue. We used a sprinkle for the nose & a mini chocolate chip for the eye. On some she also added a mini chocolate chip to their paw as an acorn.

Gingerbread House

We bought our gingerbread house at IKEA, it's called Pepparkaka Hus.

We used the same icing we made for the cookies on our gingerbread house and added more confectioner sugar for the icing to glue the pieces together. We decorated the pieces with icing before assembling the house. We used candy canes, red and green Skittles, gumdrop fruit slices, and a couple lollipops to decorate our house.

We used coconut for snow and added a few marshmallows for snowmen. We used candy canes broken to length in each corner of the house and along the roof. The hook part of the candy canes we used along with fruit slices to create a fence in the back yard. Fruit slices were also used as shrubs around the house. We made paths with the Skittles, one to the backyard and one to the front door. Lollipops became smoke for the chimney. We spread coconut out for snow, but left the aluminum foil showing in one section for a skating pond.

This was a fun project. Sadly our gingerbread house didn't survive until Christmas. Most of our candy had been eaten by Thanksgiving, and the house began to disappear after the woodland animal cookies were gone. It was yummy though :)


My daughter pointed out to me that the popular song "What Does The Fox Say?" by Ylvis is from Norway. So I double checked and yes, Ylvis is a Norwegian group. Just in case you aren't familiar with it, here's their video -


We made cute braided paper heart ornaments to hang on our tree. They are called Flätade HjärtanThey are little baskets that can be filled with candy or treats. We used red & white cardstock and followed instructions I found at

We also learned about rosemaling. We watched some instructional videos, then practiced on cardstock.

It takes some practice to learn the strokes. Lindsey struggled a little with the circle strokes, and found the S strokes to be the easiest. After practicing, she painted a design on a small cardboard box.

The rosemaling videos we watched are below.


Of coarse I have to include Hedgie's Surprise by Jan Brett. The needlepoint illustrations are wonderful and the story includes a Tomten. It's a great story to read while studying Scandinavia.

We found some other great books with the help of our librarian: The Race of the Birkebeiners by Lise Lunge-Larsen, Christmas in Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren, & Favorite Fairy Tales Told in Norway. I also got books on Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark.

Movies / Videos / Websites

We watched Heidi and How To Train Your Dragon. At first Lindsey didn't want to watch Heidi, but after a while she liked it. It was a long movie, it's in two parts so we watched it over two days. How To Train Your Dragon includes vikings and their boats. These were good to watch while Lindsey wasn't feeling well.

There are several photos and videos on Norway along with information at - The videos of the northern lights are especially beautiful. We also liked this video on YouTube: Visit Norway in 7 min. For Finland visit, for Denmark, and for Sweden We also learned about the Yule Goat tradition at - we bought a small one at IKEA and plan to make some felt Yule Goat ornaments while we look at Christmas around the world.

We ended our Scandinavian adventure at the theater with the new Disney movie Frozen. The movie takes place in Norway. We noticed rosemaling, northern lights, fjords, the architecture, etc... Also at the beginning of the movie it showed them cutting ice from the frozen harbor. We enjoyed the movie, it was fun!

Hope you enjoyed our study of Norway and Scandinavia! We'd love to here your comments below.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Week 11: Last Week of South America

We wrapped up our study of South America this week and here are some of the highlights:

Egg Experiment

We spent some time learning about all some of the amazing birds that live in South America. Then we took a look at eggs with this fun experiment. We cracked the small end of 4 eggs and evened up the remaining eggshells to make them the same height. Then we placed them on the table spread out in a rectangle and slowly added books on top of them one at a time to see how much weight they could hold.

Our eggshells held 13 pounds of books before collapsing under the weight of one more book. Then Lindsey examined the crushed eggshells that remained. They were smashed. Question: how could something as fragile as eggshells hold so much weight? Answer: their arched dome shape provides strength. An arch is one of the strongest shapes in architecture.


We examined some real feathers and pulled the barbs apart and zipped them back together again. Then we traced one of our feathers onto two colors of construction paper and cut them out. We used orange and blue. We coated the orange feather with olive oil and left the blue one uncoated. We put both paper feathers on a plate and Lindsey sprinkled water on them.

The blue feather absorbed the water, but the water beaded up on the orange feather and didn't soak through. We let them sit for a few minutes and checked them again. The water had soaked in spreading on the blue feather. On the orange feather the water was still beaded up. This was a good demonstration of how oil protects a bird's feathers making them waterproof.

Nate Saint

I must admit that our book got misplaced so we didn't end up reading it. Naughty teacher mommy! We did still learn about Nate Saint. We read the reading found in the teacher's manual and discussed it. Then we assembled the MAF plane from the student sheets. It turned out pretty good and we flew it across the living room a few times to test it out.

Lindsey also read Bruchko, not an easy book.

Oil Pastel Toucans

For our final South American art project, we used oil pastels to draw toucans. We researched toucans online and looked at several photos of them. I didn't realize there are so many different types of toucans!

Next we lightly sketched our toucans with pencil. We selected our colors and filled in the main areas of the bird. We added a simple background. Then we added details and outlines. Last but not least we completed the composition by adding a few rain forest plants. What do you think of our finished artwork?


We made these yummy soft chocolate treats as our recipe for Brazil. They were a bit messy, but worth it. Make sure to keep your hands buttered when rolling them into balls.

Traditionally they are rolled in chocolate sprinkles. When we ran out of sprinkles, we improvised and used confectioner sugar for the rest. Both tasted good!

Hope you enjoyed our South American adventures! We'd love to hear your comments below. Stop back next week as we begin studying Europe starting with Norway.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Flat Lindsey Visits Honduras

Flat Lindsey was mailed to Lindsey's former kindergarten teacher and her family in Honduras. They are missionaries to El Progreso, Honduras and Hope Children's Home Honduras/Esperanza de Honduras. You can follow their blog at

Flat Lindsey arrived in the number one most dangerous city in all of the world to visit Mrs. Coats, her family, and Esperanza de Honduras. Mrs. Coats writes, "We are in need of prayer for protection everyday as we try to protect children as well as share the gospel with the people of Honduras." Please pray for them. 

Flat Lindsey was able to see many crops that grow in Honduras....such as bananas, coconuts, papaya, mango, leche fruit, African palms, plantains, and oranges, and almonds. They also produce a ton of cashews as well.

Flat Lindsey found a banana tree and wanted a snack :)

Flat Lindsey spent her time in the children's home which houses 13 Honduran children 2 of which are twin boys aged 15 months old.

Please pray that God will send supporters and donors as they try and care for these children and receive no government aids or assistance. They are 100% funded by individuals and churches.

If anyone would like to sponsor a child or learn more they can email 

Flat Lindsey brought home some candy and a mango drink mix that is a favorite of her new friends in Honduras for Lindsey to try.

They also sent a Lempira (their money) back with Flat Lindsey. It takes almost 20 Lempira to make $1.

Flat Lindsey enjoyed her visit to Honduras. Thank you Mrs. Coats and family for hosting her!

Please pray for their family and the Hope Children's Home Honduras / Esperanza de Honduras. You can follow them on Facebook here:  

Friday, November 8, 2013

Week 10: Brazil & Rain Forests

We are continuing to learn about Brazil, South America, and tropical rain forests. Lindsey loves learning about all the unique animals who call the rain forest home.



We finished our study of feliforms in zoology with the cougar eats the deer experiment. We quickly ran out of paper deer! I wish more were included in the notebook. We cut squares of white paper to represent the extra deer we needed. Lindsey had fun throwing the cougar into the square we had marked off on our kitchen floor and seeing how many deer he would eat. By the end of the experiment though she was glad it was finally over - twenty generations took a long time. She did learn how the population of the deer must increase for the population of the cougars to increase. Then as the cougar population grew the deer started to decrease and then the cougars decreased too. I think she understands how they keep each other balanced. With twenty generations she was able to see the whole cycle.

To learn more about rain forests and the animals that live there we looked some up at San Diego Zoo and National Geographic Kids  At National Geographic Kids you can also search for info by country and there are some great games on their site. My daughter loves to play Animal Jam, she learned about birds of paradise while playing it this week. We also looked up the difference between anteaters and aardvarks.


After the first week of studying South America, Lindsey had memorized all the countries and the geography game became easy for her. In order to make the game more challenging I found some flag cards to add to the game. They only cost a dollar. They also included capitols for each country. I purchased the ones for North America too, and we'll add North America back to the game next week.

The cards are in a PDF file with several options. I used the ones that fold in half and used a glue stick to glue them after folding. The front of the card has the flag of the country. The back of the card has a small flag image next to the name of the country and lists the capitol. I used a colored pencil to color in the flag to match the continent color of the original game cards.

To start I showed her the flag card and gave her the name of the country and the capitol so she could get familiar with them. Next I showed her the flag and if she needed a hint I told her what letter the country (or capitol) started with. She is doing well learning the flags and capitols, and she loves to play the game.

Adding Flags to the Geography Game - these are the flag cards I bought -

Continent Box

I found a nice box on clearance at Michael's and decided to use it for a continent box. I added some animal and plant flashcards I found plus a few other things we had for South America. I plan to change the contents and use the same box for each continent.

South America Flash Cards for Animals & Plants -

Art Projects

We continued using "Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild About Rainforests" by Kathy Ross for our art projects this week. We love this book! Lindsey chose to make the Macaw and the Anteater this week.

We made the Macaw first. I helped her trace her hands on different colors of construction paper for the Macaw's wings and tail. She traced her shoe for the body. Then she glued them together with a glue stick and added feet, a beak, and eyes. When it was finished I ran some fishing line through some of the feathers on the back and hung it in our window.

For the Anteater, we used a paper grocery bag for his body. Lindsey drew him, then cut through two layers so the front and back would line up. We stapled him together then added the tongue complete with a velcro sticky dot for picking up felt ants. She drew the face and claws. The straw allows you to control his tongue and pick up the ants - very cute!


As I've mentioned before I love Jan Brett, this week we read The Umbrella. The illustrations are wonderful. I also printed bookmarks from her website to use during our study, and one for Lindsey to give our librarian who has been so helpful. You can find them here:  There are several other nice printables on her site too.

Lindsey is also reading Bruchko. She reads two chapters a night then narrates them to me. It's not her favorite book, but she likes it okay. Parts of it are pretty gross, but she is learning what some missionaries go through and how different some other cultures are. After she reads her two required chapters she gets to read for fun, this week she is reading Hunger Games.

We are suppose to be reading Nate Saint as well, but I can't find where our book disappeared to... At least next week I can read her the story from the teacher's manual. That will have to be enough for now.


We are using some worksheets on percents from Math Mammoth this week and Lindsey likes them a lot. She needed a break from Khan Academy. I'll see how she does with them, I may purchase more and add them to our curriculum for some more variety.

We have one more week studying South America... We'd love to hear from you, please leave a comment below and let us know about your homeschool adventures.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Week 9: South America

We arrived in South America this week in our studies. We are especially enjoying studying the rain forests. We also took a field trip to the North Carolina State Fair on Thursday. It's been an exciting week!


As part of our rain forest study, we made a terrarium. We used a plastic aquarium type box that we had previously used to study a baby turtle. I bought stones and moss from the dollar tree and we went in search of plants. Our Lowes didn't have much selection, but we did manage to find an African Violet & another unknown tropical plant on the distressed plants rack. Then we dug some two types of moss and a small fern from our back yard. It was the best we could do & turned out better than I expected.

While in the yard working on the terrarium, Lindsey spotted a green anole and made up her mind to catch it and add it to the terrarium :) It was neat observing him, especially when he would change colors. Lindsey went to check on her lizard friend before bed and couldn't find him. I thought "Oh, no! A lizard loose in the house?" I grabbed a flashlight and searched the box carefully. Whew... He was still there. He had dug under the moss and was all tucked in like it was a blanket. All we could see was his eye, he was very well camouflaged.

Our cat also liked to observe the lizard sunning himself on the plants during the day. On day three we heard a CRASH! The cat had knocked the terrarium off the table and it landed upside down on the floor. We took the terrarium outside to re-build it. At this point I was able to convince Lindsey that the green anole would be safer and happier living back outside in our yard, so we let him go free :) We re-created the terrarium without the lizard, and so far the cat is leaving it alone.

Beta Fish

It was a week for pets - Lindsey used some of her birthday money to buy a Beta Fish. She got a starter set with a small tank, water conditioner, an artificial plant, and fish food. She found a background image online and printed it out then taped it to the back of the tank.

Fruit Bat

Our librarian found us a great book called "Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild About Rainforests" by Kathy Ross. Lindsey selected the fruit bat for our first project and it seemed seasonally appropriate. 

The framework for the wings calls for a wire coat hanger and chenille stems. I was out of chenille stems, so we used black yarn to form the wing segments instead. 

After the frame is prepared, we stretched a leg of pantyhose over it and knotted both ends. We used the foot of a brown sock for the body and stuffed it with fiberfill. The eyes, nose, and ears are made using brown construction paper. We glued the eyes and nose in place and sewed the ears on so they would be at the top. Then Lindsey pinned the body to the wings using safety pins, and hung him from the kitchen light.

We also watched Wild Kratts: A Bat in the Brownies to learn more about bats. Wild Kratts have several episodes featuring other animals available. We watch them on Netflix and Hulu.

State Fair

On Thursday we took a field trip (not south america related, but still educational) to the NC State Fair. We enjoyed watching several craftsmen in the Village of Yesteryear. Lindsey painted a cat necklace. We visited the garden displays, the farm animals, the prize winning vegetables including giant pumpkins, and the art displays. There was a STEM bus where Lindsey spent some time learning about molecules, acids, & bases. We watched a blacksmith at work and toured a working mill (with hush-puppy samples of coarse). Lindsey rode a pony and learned how to milk a cow. We learned about agricultural products of North Carolina. We had some delicious pumpkin spice ice cream and bought some fudge to take home. After our adventures at the fair we had the chance to visit with some friends too. It was a fun day!  

Friday, November 1, 2013

Our Schedule for Apologia Zoology 3 and My Father's World ECC

By request I have created a document with the schedule we are using for Apologia Zoology 3 in conjunction with MFW ECC and you can find it on the sidebar or by clicking here: Zoology 3 / MFW ECC Schedule

Monday, October 28, 2013

Review Week: 6th Grade Study of North America

We took Columbus Day off, so this was a short week for us. I decided to review what we have learned so far while studying North America before moving on to Week 9: South America. We also included some home-ec and planning skills this week as we prepared for my daughter's birthday which included a safari theme and a trip to Aloha Safari Zoo.



We used our 50 states flashcards and Canadian flashcards with our guessing game to help review. My daughter loves these! We also played the MFW geography game for North America. Games work well for us :) I also let her review with the online games we used before. She also had a couple pages to complete for North America in Exploring World Geography, so we finished those up as well.


For ecosystems, I used the questions at the end of the chapters in Properties of Ecosystems (POE) to review the chapters we have covered so far. For zoology, Lindsey has been completing the notebook pages for each unit we study so I didn't feel it was necessary to review these.

We did see many animals we have learned about when we visited the zoo for her birthday. We took one of her friends with us and both girls had a great time. The Aloha Safari Zoo was wonderful! Lindsey identified the grizzly bear before seeing his sign because he had a hump on his back. She could tell me about the ungulates, skunks, porcupines, and other animals too. We fed carrots to a giraffe. We also fed bread to camels and other animals on the safari tour.



We worked on capitalization in grammar this week. Grammar is probably Lindsey's least favorite subject. I started giving her a sticker for each sentence she completes correctly instead of just one for the page, and things went much smoother this week. Time for me to stock up on stickers!

Safari Birthday

She helped plan the menu and decorations for her birthday party. We made cake and cupcakes, Jello Jigglers shaped like alligators, and she turned a cheese-ball into a lion. I made homemade pizza for our main coarse. We also had animal crackers of coarse, popcorn, and pretzel sticks (twigs). We used some animal print balloons, green streamers, animal plates and cups, flamingo straws, a zebra striped tablecloth, and several of Lindsey's stuffed animals to decorate with. We hung stuffed monkeys from the chandelier, and put a small stuffed parrot on top. Here are some photos from her party:

Friday, October 18, 2013

Week 8: Canada | Building an Igloo



Bonjour et bienvenu! (Hello & welcome!) We continued learning about Canada this week. Some of our highlights for week 8 are below.

Celery Experiment

In order to see how xylem tubes carry water up to the leaves of a plant we did an experiment. 

Using two stalks of celery, we removed the xylem tubes from one stalk of celery and placed the stalks in water to observe the results. We added blue food coloring to the water. It was a little tricky to remove all the xylem. After a little while in the colored water it was easier to see the xylem we had missed, so we removed the rest.

After a couple days the stalk with the xylem intact was still straight and crisp, but the stalk with the xylem removed had wilted. This experiment worked well for us.


To help us learn the provinces of Canada, I printed flash cards from Discovering the Continents: Animals Of North America by Koumi Books that I found at CurrClick just as I did when we studied the US states and we played our guessing game. You can read about the game in my week 4 post here.

We also used online games from Sheppard Software to help us learn Canadian geography -

 Visitor Guides

We learned more about Canada and what it would be like to visit there by looking at visitor guides - - We especially liked the ones for Inuvik and Iqaluit, they have some great images and include info on the Inuit. We also looked photos and video of Quebec at and learned more about Prince Edward Island at 


Lindsey is continuing to learn French using Duolingo (and I'm brushing up on mine). She is doing quite well with it. I think studying a French speaking country has encouraged her too. I will note that when learning the phrases for food, beer and wine are included. I didn't think it was a big deal considering she already knows the words in English. One of the practice phrases asks something like "Would you like some wine?" - after translating it my daughter answered the computer with "Non, merci." Good practice should we ever visit our dream destination of France. This was also a good moment to reinforce what we have taught her about the dangers of alcohol and how to say no even if pressured by her peers. Now she can say no in two languages ;)

 Canadian Dinner

For our Canadian dinner, Lindsey made chocolate chip pancakes and of coarse we ate them with butter and real maple syrup. Yum! (I forgot to take a picture) Then for dessert we had vanilla ice cream with maple syrup on it. We didn't make the blueberry dessert in A Trip Around The World, but might try it another day.


Imagine sleeping in the ice and snow! We learned about igloos and they are not always made of ice. Then we looked at Hotel de Glace (Quebec's Ice Hotel) - - and watched some videos about the hotel on YouTube. Virtual Tours are available on their website under images. This video below includes the building of the ice hotel which is seasonal (Jan - Mar) and rebuilt new each year. There are several videos showing the ice hotel in different years, you may want to preview them before showing them.

This is another video we watched that gives a tour of the hotel. The details are amazing!
(There is a toast in the bar at the end.)

Igloo Building

After learning about these wonderful ice structures, it was our turn to try building a simple model of one. Our Trip Around The World book suggests building an igloo from sugar cubes, but that's not something I keep on hand... Lindsey decided to build one using marshmallows and toothpicks instead, and another one using Legos.

It's harder than it looks to build with marshmallow, but also lots of fun! When building the initial arch, she built up each side evenly and I held them in place as she added marshmallows across the top. We built it on a paper plate to help us get a round shape. Once it was completed I was able to carefully move it off of the plate. I think it would be fun to include one on top of a winter themed cake ;) If you don't have toothpicks, you can use dry spaghetti noodles instead (just break them to the lengths you need). If you try building with marshmallows, let us know how it turns out.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Week 7: Canada | Food chains, Inuit, and bears - Oh, my!

Bonjour! This week we entered Canada.


We are studying bears this week. I learned 2 things that surprised me; polar bears have black skin and bears don't actually hibernate (they enter a state of dormancy). Lindsey enjoyed learning that polar bears and grizzly bears sometimes mate to create pizzly bears. She thought pizzly bears sounded funny and kept giggling at their name. In the zoology notebook Lindsey created a fun cartoon poster showing what to do and what not to do if you meet a bear in the wild.


We learned about food chains & food webs.

There is a great episode of the Wild Kratts - Episode 130: The Food Chain Game - that fits perfectly with our lessons. After watching it, Lindsey decided to create a food web using her stuffed animals :)

We didn't have any stuffed plants, so we started with what ate the plants. She used our cat's toy for a fish. First she created some food chains, then combined them into a food web. There are several animals that eat insects (represented by the ladybug) and fish (represented by the cat toy).

When we weren't sure who ate what we looked them up. We weren't sure who ate the smelly skunk, but discovered both bears and owls eat them. It was a fun way to look at the food web.

Screenshot from EcoKids
She drew a picture of an arctic food chain - including seaweed, fish, a seal and polar bears.

Lindsey created several food chains and food webs online. The online resources we used are listed below.

Great online resources for food chains:

Build a food chain game at EcoKids:

Build a food web at Scholastic:

Build a food web for desert, coniferous forest, deciduous forest, or tropical rainforest:

Information on arctic ecosystems including a really nice food web graphic:


We learned about the Inuit in Windows on the World and then we found an Inuit version of Goldilocks by Jan Brett called The Three Snow Bears at our library. I always love the illustrations in Jan Brett's books. This story was delightful. Lindsey enjoyed reading it to me and then read it again later to her dad.

The Inuit are known for carving soapstone. For art this week Lindsey tried her hand at soap carving and carved a nice little polar bear cub from a bar of Ivory soap. She even gave it texture for the fur.

It turned out awesome!

She liked carving it and plans to carve some more animals out of soap. An owl to match her bathroom shower curtain is next on her list.

Several really nice examples of Inuit carvings can be found here:

Maple Trees

I have a maple leaf shape for my cookie press, so we made spritz cookies. Yum! Lindsey learned about the Canadian flag, the maple leaf as a symbol of Canada, and colored a Canadian flag picture. We also read Maple Syrup Season by Ann Purmell. It's a very good book that explains the process and all the terms used for making maple syrup. It brought back childhood memories of maple syrup being made at my grandma's house. My cousins and I would scoop snow into bowls and when the syrup reached the right stage my grandma would pour some onto the snow just like in the book.

Next week, pancakes with maple syrup are on our menu...

Movie Night

Our librarian recommended a Disney movie to us called Iron Will. It's about a young boy who enters a dog sled race to try to win money to help his mother and pay for college. It takes place in 1917 and they race across Canada from Winnipeg to Saint Paul, Minnesota. We watched it Friday and it was good. It's rated PG. If you have younger kids it might not work for you, but it was a neat look at dog sledding for us. (I was also glad the animals don't talk.)