Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Aquatic Animals

Our new science text is Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day.  We were both so excited to start this study!
This is the notebooking journal we bought to go with the text, to hold all our work.
(Inside, Maggie is able to record the things she learns.)
After our first day of reading from the text, we also read The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That's Wish for a Fish: All About Sea Creatures by Bonnie Worth.
Here are some more of her journal pages.  I always add applicable stickers to her work.  She loves these.
For our very first experiment in this first lesson, we created a miniature gyre (a surface current) in a glass pan using water, glitter, and two sources of wind (a handheld fan and a blow dryer).  Here, Mags is adding glitter to our pan of water.  (I placed a white piece of paper underneath the pan so it would be easier to see our glitter.)
Next, we turned on our wind sources, with Maggie's facing the surface along one side of the pan, and mine facing the surface of the opposite side.
Pretty quickly, our glitter started moving in a large circle in the pan.  We created our very own miniature gyre!
 We also did a fun "Ocean Currents Science Experiment," found at http://lifeovercs.com/ocean-currents-science-experiment/, using a large, glass baking dish, plastic ocean creatures, cold water, blue food coloring, ice cubes, a wooden spoon, boiling water, and red food coloring.  This time, I placed a white towel under our dish for optimal viewing.
After we added cold water to our dish, we dropped in a couple of drops of blue food coloring to make it look more ocean-like.
Next, following the instructions on the site, we added ice cubes to our water, mixing and mixing until the cubes melted more and got our "ocean" really cold.
Meanwhile, we boiled some water on the stove and added red food coloring to it.  (This would help us see how deep ocean currents are formed when cold water mixes with warmer.)
We trickled in a bit of our red, hot water into the corner of our dish and watched the swirling of the current move across the dish.  (Later on in this study and in this post, we would do a similar experiment to determine which is heavier, hot or cold water.  See below.)
Next, we watched the "Digging the Deep" episode on our The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! Ocean Commotion! DVD.
(Here is that same episode on YouTube,)
After that we watched another one, "The Magic School Bus Goes to Mussel Beach," also on YouTube (and below).
We then read in our text about tides and the layers of the ocean before reading The Magic School Bus: On the Ocean Floor by Joanna Cole.
We found a neat idea for "Ocean Zones in a Jar" on Pinterest (the link being http://www.icanteachmychild.com/make-ocean-zones-jar/) and decided to do it.  Follow the link for the actual instructions, but this project uses everyday household items that are easy to gather so not a lot of planning is needed.  Here, Maggie is mixing the "trench" of our layer jar.
Layers, layers, and more layers!  (She loved this!)
Ready for labels!  (It's hard to see the differentiation between our bottom two layers in this picture, but we could see it when we held it up to the light.)
All labeled!  I wish the "Sunlight" and "Twilight" layers were each other's colors, but that "Twilight" layer is made of oil and doesn't dye easily.  The "Sunlight" layer is made of rubbing alcohol and sits nicely on top of the "Twilight" layer but, in hindsight, maybe we shouldn't have added blue food coloring as the site suggested.  Maybe yellow would have been better because it might have shown up brighter than the "Twilight" layer.  Still, Maggie loved this activity and is very proud of her jar!
Great job, Mags!
Later, for an addition to her notebooking journal, we made the "Ocean" mini-book from Scholastic's Easy Make & Learn Projects: Animal Habitats (pages 45-49).
Here it is, all done, and adhered in our journal.
At the text's suggestion, we learned more about how air pressure worked on our lungs underwater using a 2-liter bottle with a cap, and a balloon.  First, we stuck a balloon into the bottle, hanging on to the end.  Next, with most of the balloon down in the bottle, we blew it up as large as it would go and tied it off.  
Placing the cap on the bottle, we put the bottle on the floor and stepped on its side.  This created air pressure in the bottle.  What happened?  The balloon deflated a little, just as our lungs get smaller the deeper we go underwater.  When we picked our feet up off the bottle, the balloon expanded to its full capacity again, just as our lungs return to normal size as we come up higher in water.  Neat!  We recorded these findings in our journal.
That day, during lunch, we watched Disney Nature's Oceans.
It is suggested in the text that each student makes an "ocean box" for models of all the creatures we will learn about.  We wrapped a shipping box in wrapping paper that looked like water, then added scrapbook pages that resembled water, and blue cellophane for an added touch.  We can't wait to add all the creatures to our ocean scene!  First up?  Whales!
This will sit on one of our bookcases in our classroom.
The last thing we did for Lesson 1 was another experiment, a "Water Temperature" experiment to determine which is heavier -- warm or cold water.  First, we got a bowl of hot water and added blue food coloring to it.
 Next, we got a cup of very cold ice water and added yellow food coloring to it.  (This dyeing process would help us see what the two different sources of water were doing once added together.)
 To watch the procedure slowly, we poked a hole in the bottom of the cup and let the cold water trickle into the bowl of hot water.  Immediately, we noticed the yellow water sinking lower in the bowl.  The conclusion?  Cold water is heavier than warm water!
This was a great lesson!  Tomorrow, we start our study of whales with Lesson 2.  Can't wait!  Check back for that post in about a week!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Who Owns the Sun?

Our latest row (and the first in our two-book study of slavery this fall) was Who Owns the Sun? by Stacy Chbosky.  Amazon's synopsis of it reads, "No one owns the sun, because the sun is too large and too great for one person to own.  No one owns the stars because they are too far away for anyone to own.  No one owns the wind, because it is a wanderer that visits everyone and every place.  These are simple truths that Big Jim shares with his son.  However, Big Jim's son's life is turned upside down when he learns that one of earth's most beautiful things can be owned."  That "thing" is man.  This was a sad story, because the subject itself is sad and tragic.  This was Maggie's first real exposure to the concept of slavery, other than the story of the Israelites in Egypt, and I think it hit home for her because it happened right here, in her country, in a time frame that she can conceptualize.  She was very emotional during this study.  (This week, we will start our next row in our lesson on slavery, Follow the Drinking Gourd.)
After the story, we read more about slavery with this book, If You Lived When There Was Slavery in America by Anne Kamma.  It is very thorough and a was a great addition!
We also looked at different illustrations depicting slavery in A History of Us: The New Nation: 1789-1850 (Book 4). 
One of the hardest stories we have ever read (although it is a wonderful book) was January's Sparrow by Patricia Polacco.  I LOVE her books!  You have to add this to your row!
After our reading, we colored our story disk for this book and placed it on the Southern states on our US map.
Then, we headed to our local museum for a look at their slavery artifacts.  Here is Maggie under a cotton bale in front of the Heritage Theatre, where we watched a few minutes of the slavery portion of their ongoing film about the history of our area.
This is their replica slave cabin that Maggie is standing in front of.
This artifact is an auction house window grate from an auction house that was once in our city.  The plaque said that "the slaves for sale were imprisoned at night in a high brick-walled compound.  Their only view of the outside world was through small openings barred with iron grates like the one displayed here, from the original wall."
This piece of paper was a slave bill of sale.  This bill, written in 1861, was for a forty-eight-year-old woman named Ruby, for the price of three hundred fifty dollars.
The piece of paper below was a freedom paper, written in 1829, for a woman named Rachel Gould.  Although it claimed her now free, her rights were, in fact, still very limited.
Often, when slaves would escape their owners, ads would be taken out in newspapers to offer a reward for their apprehension.
There was another exhibit at the museum that allowed me to expand our study to segregation.  We went down to that gallery to see the photographs of Gordon Parks.  Most of these photographs were taken in Mobile.
(Below, are a few of his shots.)  It was a real shock to Maggie that this was how life was in the South not all that long ago.
Once home, we made the biscuits recipe for this book out of The Five in a Row Cookbook (page 18).
We called them "Big Jim's Biscuits."
 They looked beautiful!
And they were super tasty!
We visited a local farm that was growing cotton and talked about how this would have been picked by slaves who were not paid all those years ago, maybe even in this very spot.
Once home, we used watercolor to try to simulate the sun painting we saw throughout the pages of the book.
Here is Maggie's!
The last thing we did for this book was to talk about nutrition.  (There was a section of the book where Big Jim's lunch was described and the FIAR manual challenged us to determine whether or not he was given a balanced meal.  Often, slaves were not.)  To learn more, we read Usborne's Why Do People Eat? by Kate Needham ...
 ... and Usborne's What Happens to Your Food? flap book by Alastair Smith.
Overall, another good row.  This week, we can't wait to dive into Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter.  Check back for that post soon!