We learned about the following:
- counting by fives
- measurement; using a ruler to measure in inches
- chemical reactions
- the water cycle; what makes it snow/rain/etc.
- traffic signs
- analyzing and creating a character in a story
- community helpers and their importance in running a city
None of us had ever read this book before and we all enjoyed it. Even though Joe is getting a bit old for picture books, they make great resources for in depth studies and certain writing tools he will need as he gets older. For example, he was able to analyze the character of Katy in the story, learn about personification as applied to her character, create his own character and write his own story.
He chose to create a character based on a Lego man—of course! He did a good job on his analysis of Katy, citing examples from the book. He also did great on his new character and story. Jack is still plugging away in his ETC primers. He’s doing so good. I have him do sound matching activities throughout the week for reinforcement. Homeschool Creations’ consonant cards are a definite favorite!Joe focused on the water cycle and weather for science. He was able to complete several small tasks and projects in these areas to complete and receive his Cub Scout Weather Belt Loop. Among these tasks were making a poster of the water cycle and using a weather station for a week to observe and record our weather, precipitation, etc. Jack, Jesse and I read Me on the Map to help put into perspective ‘our place in the world’—our house, street, neighborhood, city, state, country, continent, planet Earth. Jack worked on a fun geography craftivity throughout the week to reinforce what we read in the book. The first week of our row Jesse’s letter of the week was “M”. He and Jack used M&M’s to count (Jesse) and count by fives (Jack). Jesse made a letter M poster for his ABC binder—M is for big machines. M is for melting…the boys melted ice with salt. M is for magic, melting snowmen…this was SO MUCH FUN! First, I made a batch of snow dough for the boys. They each made a snowman. This dough feels so good—it’s cold and soft and so easy to mold. We all liked it lots. I don’t care for cloud dough at all, once was enough, but this dough will be a go to—definitely a keeper recipe. After the boys played with the dough for a while and made their snowmen, it was time for the awesome part—more chemical reactions and squeezy bottles :). I gave them each a squeezy bottle full of vinegar to magically melt their snowmen. They loved watching the snowmen just melt away leaving an icy cold, foamy ooze they could play in. They would search for the snowmen parts in the ooze, make another and do it all over again. I seriously used about 3/4 of a gallon jug of vinegar on this day and made multiple batches of snow dough. Jesse was so funny—at first he was sad at the thought of melting his snowman and just watched his brothers. It didn’t take too long though and he was ready to join in. Jack was the most fun watching as he got his hands messy. He was just so happy! Joe was no doubt humming a tune and/or whistling in this picture. He is always doing one or the other. Even when he’s concentrating hard on something challenging he’s usually humming or whistling. On another day I made a batch of snow paint for Jack and Jesse. They always love this paint. It’s been one of their favorites for several years now. It’s so easy to make and smells so good. We made crystal snowflakes from Borax and boiling water. We did this a couple years ago and it was a hit. The boys enjoyed it just as much this time. We learned about all the different traffic signs, what each of them means, and then one afternoon after dropping Hanna off at a class the boys and I went on a traffic sign scavenger hunt. Jack and Joe graphed the signs to see which one they saw most often.
We talked about what it takes to effectively run a city, what/who makes up a city, etc., just like in the book. Hanna helped me use painter’s tape one night to make a grid for the boys. It was ready and waiting for them the next morning to create their own Geopolis. They looooved this! They made many Geopolis’s over the course of the week/weekend! Joe was so sweet to help his brothers off and on setting things up and giving suggestions. These two weeks of learning were filled with fun and it was such a happy time. I looked forward to each day and each activity I had planned. The boys are at such fun ages and I love seeing them excited about learning together.
Ideas and Inspiration we used while rowing Katy and the Big Snow:
- Five in a Row volume 1 manual
- Snow paint recipe
- Borax crystal snowflakes
- counting fun with M&M’s
- Homeschool Share’s unit study and printables for Katy and the Big Snow
- Geopolis made with painter’s tape
- Magic, foaming snow dough and snowmen
- Me on the Map geography craftivity
- Homeschool Creations’ consonant cards—SO many awesome printables here!