Friday, May 30, 2014

Weeks 18, 19, & 20: Africa - Kenya, Morocco, Ethiopia, Egypt


We enjoyed a trip to the Binghamton Zoo between our studies of India and Africa. African animals we encountered at the zoo included Meerkats, Ringtailed Lemurs, Black-and-white Ruffed Lemurs, Nigerian Dwarf Goats, Emperor Scorpion, Sulcata Tortoise, and African Penguins. In zoology we studied Ungulates and there were several ungulates at the zoo.

Zoology -

We studied Lesson 8: Ungulates & Lesson 9: Artiodactyls while learning about Africa. We learned so much about elephants, horses, zebras, rhinos, tapirs, hippos, giraffes, deer, pigs and more... The animal cut-outs with the slit in the back for facts in the notebook were fun and look great.

We especially enjoyed the giraffe blood pressure experiment. You can read Lindsey's post about it coming soon.

In her notebook, Lindsey created a quiz about Ungulates. There are 12 true/false questions (answers at the bottom of this post) -
1. Some rhinos don't have horns at birth.   True   False
2. All elephants have tusks.   True   False
3. No two zebras have the same stripes.   True   False
4. Mules are donkeys.   True   False
5. Elephants use their tusks to dig.   True   False
6. Ungulates are anything with toes.   True   False
7. A pony is a horse 14.2 feet tall or less.   True   False
8. The ungulates are sorted by odd or even toes.   True   False
9. Hippos are odd-toed ungulates.   True   False
10. Elephants use their proboscis to snorkel.   True   False
11. Deer are even toed ungulates.   True   False
12. My Little Ponies are ungulates.   True   False

Grasslands -

We learned about grassland ecosystems and explored old pasture land and the creek nearby. Lindsey dug up some grass, photographed it, and drew a sketch of it. At the creek we could see exposed tree and grass roots along the banks and we compared them. We learned how different animals eat different grassland plants. We thought it was neat that zebras (and some other animals) eat the top part of the grass and the grass grows back.

Our African Dinner -

We made meat on a stick (kabobs) and plantains from Cooking The East African Way by Bertha Vining Montgomery. We added tomatoes, onion, and peppers to our meat on a stick. The plantains actually taste a lot like potatoes, but were not a big hit. We split and grilled them skin side down and then pealed the skins off. I think they might be better sliced and fried...

We also made peanut bread found in our Usborne Children's World Cookbook. We shelled the peanuts and chopped them up to add to the bread. The bread was okay, but didn't have much flavor to it. I tried some the next day with some jam on it and liked it better that way.

Since most people in Africa don't eat dessert other than fresh fruit, Lindsey said she's glad she doesn't live in Africa.

Art -

Lindsey chose to tie dye a t-shirt and it turned out fabulous! She used turquoise dye and used the large laundry sink in the basement for her workspace. She has plans to create some more tie dye clothing in the near future.

Gardening -

We learned about farming and agriculture in Africa. The recommended activity was to plant sweet potatoes, but we decided to plant peas instead. Lindsey did a great job planting them and about a week later they began to sprout.

Books We Read -

Gorillas by Patricia Miller-Schroeder

Big Cats by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

Madagascar by Ettagale Blauer

Elephants of Africa by Gail Gibbons

20 Fun Facts About Hippos by Therese Shea

Zarafa: The Giraffe Who Walked To The King by Judith St. George

Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales by Nelson Mandela (editor)

The Lion's Whiskers: An Ethiopian Folktale by Nancy Raines Day

Honey, Honey - - Lion!: A Story Of Africa by Jan Brett

We're From Egypt: Welcome To Egypt by Victoria Parker

Kenya by Michael Dahl

Uganda by Robert Barlas

Cooking The East African Way by Bertha Vining Montgomery

A Pride Of East African Tales by Donna L. Washington

Ungulate Quiz Answers -

1. False
2. False
3. True
4. False
5. True
6. False
7. True
8. True
9. False
10. True
11. True
12. True

Friday, May 2, 2014

Weeks 23 & 24: India


Welcome to our study of India! Since we were moving, we condensed India into one week. It helped that my daughter had already studied Amy Carmichael when she was attending Christian school. We reviewed by reading about her in Hero Tales, but skipped reading the book.

Zoology -

Between our studies of India and Africa, we visited The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park. The tigers were one of the highlights of our visit. There were two tigers, one was sleeping but the other kept walking around and came right up to the glass where we could see him up close.

We also saw Snow Leopards, an Amur Leopard, and a Cougar. This was great for reviewing what we learned earlier in the year about big cats.

During this week we studied Lesson 6: Primarily Primates in our zoology book. We were able to see several primates at the zoo including Golden Lion Tamarins, Ringtail Lemurs, Black-and-white Ruffed Lemurs, and Black Howler Monkeys.

Volcano Experiment -

Lindsey created a model volcano using playdoh using a glass bottle underneath and some crumpled newspaper to help give it shape. After the model was complete, she but baking soda and red food coloring inside the glass bottle. We took it outside and then she added vinegar to make the volcano erupt with lava. What kid doesn't want to make a volcano erupt? This was a fun experiment!

Our Indian Dinner -

We found some Jalfrezi Indian cooking sauce at our grocery store & decided to give it a try. We cooked some chicken tenders in a skillet; added frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots;  stirred it all together with the sauce; then served it over rice. It was a little spicy, but not bad. Everyone liked it okay (even my Dad), but we probably wouldn't go out of our way to make it again. It was a good introduction to the tastes of India.

Books We Read -

A Taste Of India by Roz Denny

India by Erin Pembrey Swan

Once A Mouse... : A Fable Cut In Wood by Marcia Brown

Living In India by Anne Singh