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!  


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