Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Week 3: Middle School Study Of The United States

We actually added a few extra days to weeks 3 & 4 as we studied the United States. With the Labor Day holiday, field trip, and doctor appointments we needed the extra time to fit everything in. We celebrated Labor Day with a trip to the water park then had our American Cookout complete with hotdogs and s'mores when we got home.

Nature Walk

The highlight of week 3 was our field trip to Weymouth Woods - Sandhills Nature Preserve; a state park preserving a longleaf pine forest with a museum and a discovery center. 

Most of the wildlife here is nocturnal. We learned about eastern fox squirrels, white-tailed deer, bobcats, red-cockaded woodpeckers, pine barrens tree frogs, skinks, six-lined racerunners, fence lizards, beavers, great horned owls, barred owls, screech owls, bats, raccoons, opossums, eagles and hawks that are native to the coniferous forest. We also learned about the growth cycle of the forest, why fire is important to the forest, and about the native plants.

We hiked about 5 miles on the forest trails and saw several butterflies, dragonflies, a fuzzy yellow caterpillar, a skink, a fence lizard, a golden eagle and an American kestrel. We also looked for animal tracks, studied the trees, and saw some wild flowers. 

This all fit in very well with our zoology study and Properties of Ecosystems. In zoology we had just finished learning about predators and prey - seeing some of the animals up close was neat. Since many of the animals are nocturnal they had an exhibit in the museum where you press a button and it played the sound the animal makes, then shown a light on them and gave information about the animal.

Art Project

Lindsey chose to make a bean and seed bracelet and learned about the beadwork of the Cayuga Iroquois. She soaked the beans overnight, then poked holes through them with a needle (and a thimble). After they dried she strung them on the thread to make a bracelet. Here is the result:

State Postcard Exchange and Flat Traveler

The state postcard exchange has been a fun addition to our study of the United States. Lindsey loves to check the mail everyday to see if there is another postcard to add to her collection. She is really close to getting all 50 states! I've posted about this before and you can read more here:

Flat Lindsey had a wonderful adventure in New Jersey, you can read about it here:  and is currently in Hawaii! We will post her Hawaiian adventure soon :)

Mountain Trail Mix

We made the mountain trail mix for our recipe. We used Annie's Bunny Grahams & Cheddar Bunnies instead of the cereal. We also included raisins, coconut, chocolate chips, mixed nuts, and pretzels to our mix. It was yummy & easy for Lindsey to make by herself. After measuring all the ingredients into our container, she sealed the lid tight & shook it really good to mix it all together. Shaking it up was her favorite part (next to eating it).


Lindsey is getting really good at latitude and longitude! She is ahead of schedule on the Exploring World Geography Worksheets even though some of them are challenging. She really liked finding places on our world map using just the coordinates. (I had to check the answer key on some to make sure they were right, they were of coarse).

We had fun with week 3! Would love to hear your comments - thanks for reading :)


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