May 7, 2010
***Snack: A bountiful plant feast!
Today marked the last day of teaching Enrichment Classes this year for M's first grade class. I am amazed at how the topics I picked in August went hand in hand with what I was studying with another child for their schooling - a Providential blessing! This class on plants fell in the middle of the two chapters covered in the high school biology class on plants that J&E are working through. The hard thing was finding just the right activities to occupy six seven year old students for four hours.
**The cover of mine and M's lapbook
The emphasis of the day was to become familiar with six parts of the plant (leaves, stems, roots, flowers, seeds and fruits.) We combined a lot of activities to make a lap book that hopefully they'll be able to go back to again and again.
Art - This sunflower art project for the cover was taken from a library book, Linking Art to the World Around Us: Plants & Art Activities edited by Ellen Roger.
**The inside of the lapbook.
Bible: Mark 4: The Parable of the Sower
I wasn't satisfied with much of the freebie lapbook print outs but I did get a coloring sheet (which they glued to the back of the lapbook) and the clip art for the front of this booklet. Inside these minibooks they drew pictures to show what they thought each of the things in the parable stood for.
**M's depiction of the "thorns," - this boy has 3 treasure chests - and Satan is drawn as a snake.
The rest of the activities mostly fell into Science:
Sorting: On a table with six squares drawn with masking tape we sorted out our snacks into the different parts of the plants. We lingered mostly on fruits using the science words (seed bearing part) which makes no room for the word vegetable.
Stems: We went through the parts of a science experiment. I printed off materials and procedure but they wrote (or dictated) in the rest (problem, hypothesis, results, conclusion.) The experiment was putting a white carnation into food coloring and watching how the stem transports the water. I also brought a flower I had started in blue food coloring several days ahead and a piece of celery so they could write their conclusions. I thought the celery was pretty cool and showed clearly where the "straws" were in the stem.
Seeds: We looked at many seeds from as small as a carrot seed to as big as a coconut. They chose four seeds to tape to cards that they could label. We examined soaked bean seeds to see the inside of the seed using Exploring Creation with Botany as a guide for the "dissection" and then completed the Parts of a Seed shape book. And we cut open an avocado to find a seed and "plant" it in water.
Flowers: We once again used Exploring Creation with Botany for a structure to our flower dissection though they are more technical than I. We just identified four parts of the flower and talked about pollen and nectar.
Leaves: We could have lingered on this section for most of the time. Our nature journals are attached to the lap book with Velcro so that they can be removed and used and put back again. We took a nature walk trying to find different shaped leaves. Our list came from a much longer scavenger hunt sheet that would be fun to do someday with older children. The kids chose one "favorite" leaf and brought it back in the classroom. There they did a rubbing, a drawing with detail to the veins, measured it, felt it and smelled it. Some more activities were found in an activity guide for trees in a park in Ireland.
Phew! We were still gluing, taping and finishing as the parents pulled in to pick up their students! Of course this study would be great doled out over several weeks with time to digest information and marvel at how vast and wonderful God's creation is. It is truly a gift from Him to be surrounded by such variety for the senses!