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.


tmrsil said...

great job!

Wendy T said...

Thank you :)

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