Well after a pretty quiet and sickly kind of week last week, we hit it hard this week!
Brynne started the next phase of her The Secret Garden unit by studying plants. We did an overview of the parts of a plant, learned more deeply about seeds and roots, and then ended our week with a study of The Lorax in honor of Earth Day.
The basis to our study is "Sue's Free Plant Unit Study" (under Science Freebies) by Funtastic Unit Studies. It is a free download and is excellent for Brynne's age group (probably age 5-9 or so). It was definitely my Favorite Resource this week.
To learn the general parts of a plant, we relied on the book Parts of Plants by Wiley Blevins. It is simple, has great illustrations, and was something that Brynne could read in one short setting.
Brynne made a flower with all it's parts using tissue paper for the flowers and seeds, a brown pipe cleaner for the stem, green construction paper for the leaves, and tan yarn for the roots.
Then we dissected one of our Easter Lilies to see all of the parts up close.
We are using a really great series of books by Kristin Sterling for our plant study. Her "Exploring" series, again, is perfect for Brynne.
To learn about seeds, we read Exploring Seeds by Kristin Sterling. Then we filled a ziplock bag with lima beans and added as much water to it as we could to still get it zipped. We left it outside overnight. When we checked it the next morning, the seeds had absorbed as much of the water as they could and had swelled so much that they busted the bag. Then we took one of the absorbed seeds and dissected it to see it's parts.
We talked about different foods that are seeds, and then used peanuts and water to make homemade peanut butter.
And, of course, we talked about dispersement. The great book we read was Flip, Float, Fly: seeds on the move by JoAnn Early Macken. Brynne was quite surprised that seeds can be dispersed by animals who eat them and then *ahem* poop them out in another place.
For roots, we started with the book Exploring Roots by Kristin Sterling. We went outside and saw how some roots can actually grow above the ground, and then pulled out some weeds from the ground to inspect their roots.
We planted one of our lima beans from the previous day in a clear glass, close to the side, so that we can see the roots grow.
We talked about foods that are roots. We read the GREAT book Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens and then planted our potatoes and carrots in our garden.
We just couldn't stand not being outside on Wednesday. So, we did some jump rope activities. First, I read some poems from A Brighter Garden, poems by Emily Dickenson. Brynne jumped to the rhythm of the poems.
Then I used her math worksheet to call out math problems to her. She worked them out in her head and then jumped the answer.
On Thursday and today we stopped to do our The Lorax study in honor of Earth Day. You can read about our activities by going here.
Of course Brynne also continued to work on grammar, handwriting, math, and reading.
Dawson learned about the parts of things, as well, this week. However, his were of the animal variety. He started his Biology unit on dissection.
He dissected a worm and a crawfish (that he named Zoidberg). We used a really great site called Massengale's Biology Junction for our dissections. It takes you through it step-by-step, with great descriptions. It contains both printed diagrams and photographs of what should be seen during the dissection. Then it has a worksheet that can be printed for reinforcement. This happens to be a second Favorite Resource this week.
Other than science, Dawson continued to work on the Roaring 20's by reading more of The Great Gatsby, doing some notebooking pages for Henry Ford and a photo analysis of the Model T. He also did a Roaring 20's timeline project.
A lot of his time right now is being spent doing the reading and written portion of his Driver's Ed course. Doing a chapter a day of that takes quite a bit of time. He should be ready to take his written test for his permit in a week or so.
He is also working hard to complete his algebra, grammar, and critical thinking workbooks, as well as continuing to ready Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne.
And THAT was our very busy week!
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