Friday, April 18, 2014

Weeks 21 & 22: Saudi Arabia


Welcome to our study of Saudi Arabia! We were packing and getting ready to move, so I didn't take pictures as usual. The camel above is a photo from an earlier visit to Aloha Safari Zoo. We also condensed this study into a week (and a half) instead of two full weeks.

Science -

We learned about pollution, conservation, endangered species, and deserts. We learned about natural pollution vs. man-made pollution, acid rain, greenhouse effect, and ways to reduce pollution. We looked at why species become endangered and how they can be protected. We talked about why camels hooves are well suited for walking through desert sand. Then we experimented with pushing a pencil into sand vs. pushing a quarter into it. The larger flat foot doesn't sink into the sand.

In zoology we looked at Lesson 13: Arthropods of the Land. Scorpions and Spiders were not our favorite animals to study and with our crazy schedule we were happy to just focus on the highlights in the notebook review questions and crossword puzzles.

Books We Read -

The Arabian Horse by Gail B. Stewart

Camels by Cherie Winner

The Red Sea and Persian Gulf

Aladdin And The Magic Lamp by Deborah Hautzig

Take A Trip To Saudi Arabia by Keith Lye

Saudi Arabia by Ann Heinrichs

Ali Baba And The Forty Thieves by Ali Baba

Sindbad : from the tales of the thousand and one nights by Ludmila Zeman

The Book Of Wonders by Jasmine Richards

We also watched the Disney Aladdin movies for fun.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Weeks 27 & 28: Japan


Konnichiwa! Welcome to our study of Japan.

We packed a lunch & some library books, and visited a Japanese garden. We enjoyed seeing the cherry blossoms and the koi pond as we walked through the garden. We sat in the pagoda to read our books and were surprised to find a sculpture in Yoko's Paper Cranes by Rosemary Wells, just like the one in front of us!

We decided to visit a Japanese restaurant for dinner. There were ceramic neko cats, red bamboo, and rice paper screens to greet us. We ordered teriyaki chicken with vegetables & rice and shrimp tempura. We even ate it using only chopsticks! Everything was delicious :)

Art -

Lindsey really liked creating origami. She went through all the paper that came with our book, so we bought more at the craft store and checked out more origami books from the library. She made everything from animals, to paper cups (yes, you can drink from them), and even an origami piano for her piano teacher.

We made Japanese bookmark dolls and Lindsey added toothpicks as chopsticks in her dolls hair. We followed instructions in this tutorial found at Ballpoint Bliss -
Lindsey also made the Kokeshi doll found at Activity Village -

We painted cherry blossoms, blowing through straws to paint the branches, using instructions found at A Faithful Attempt -

Then we created a zen garden using a candy box spray painted with black chalkboard paint for the container. We all took turns creating patterns in the sand and rearranging the stones. We found ideas for patterns to create online and fun creating our own.

Home-Ec -

Lindsey sewed a kimono for her American Girl doll, Felicity. She recycled a pair of pajama pants that had a panda pattern on them for the fabric. For the obi, she used wide satin ribbon. It turned out super cute!

Of coarse, Felicity needed chopsticks too. She followed this tutorial at Doll It Up to make chopsticks -

Instead of toothpicks, she used wooden skewers that she cut down to AG doll size. She wrapped panda print washi tape on the ends.

We read about Japanese tea ceremonies and watched a video about them. Then we had our own version of a Japanese tea ceremony with hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies. We created a kimono for Lindsey using my bathrobe with a silk scarf tied around the waist. Then she put her hair up with a flower clip to complete the look. We spread a square tablecloth on the floor and she served our "tea".

Science -

We studied ocean ecosystems and since I had a field trip to the beach and aquarium planned we also moved up the study of coral reefs (We'll study marsupials with Australia instead). After learning about different types of coral, Lindsey used modeling clay to create a diorama of a coral reef and added origami fish.

At the aquarium she got to see everything we studied close up! We visited Ripley's Aquarium at Myrtle Beach, SC and then spent some time on the beach building a sand castle and decorating it with shells we collected, relaxing, drawing and flying a kite.

Lindsey really liked the touch tanks at the aquarium. She was able to touch doctor fish, bamboo sharks, horseshoe crabs, and stingrays! We also loved the tunnel where sharks, sea turtles, saw fish, and other fish swam overhead as we walked through. It was awesome to get such an up close look at them. Here are some photos that highlight our field trip -

Writing -

We read several haiku poems and learned about their structure and history. Using our field trip as inspiration we wrote our own poems. Lindsey wrote a haiku about the doctor fish that she encountered in the touch tank at the aquarium. I wrote a tanka poem about Lindsey flying a kite at the beach. Hope you enjoy our poems:

Shiny, open-mouthed
doctor fish swarm and tickle
my wet submerged hand.

                          by Lindsey Tefft

Gentle waves roll in.
She runs on sand, string in hand.
Wind blows through her hair.
Colors sail on the warm breeze
while tails wave and dance behind.

                         by Wendy Tefft

Books We Read -

Origami, Plain and Simple by Robert E. Neale

Step-By-Step Origami by Paul Jackson

Black Swan/White Crow by J. Patrick Lewis

Cats Of Myth : Tales From Around The World by Gerald Hausman

More Cricket Songs. Japanese Haiku by Harry Behn

Cricket Never Does : A Collection Of Haiku And Tanka by Myra Cohn Livingston

Sam Samurai by Jon Scieszka

Dragon Of The Red Dawn by Mary Pope Osborne

Sadako And The Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr

If I Lived In Japan-- by Rosanne Knorr

Men From The Village Deep In The Mountains by Garrett, Molly

A Taste Of Japan by Jenny Ridgwell

Sea Turtles : Ocean Nomads by Mary M. Cerullo

Coral Reef by Kate Scarborough

Awesome Ocean Science! : Investigating The Secrets Of The Underwater World by Cindy A. Littlefield

Japanese Celebrations : Cherry Blossoms, Lanterns And Stars! by Betty Reynolds

The Funny Little Woman by Arlene Mosel

Yoko's Paper Cranes by Rosemary Wells

If Not For The Calico Cat by Mary Blount Christian

Tea with milk by Allen Say