Saturday, November 12, 2005

Another Celebrated Dancing Bear

Another Celebrated Dancing Bear

November 7-11, 2005

We started this week out with finding Russia on the map. Gosh how it looked SO far away. 2ds6 even knew right away, before we found it on the map, that Russia is way on the other side of the world from us. But then we started looking at Russia on our globe and noticed that actually, if we flew from our home to California, then on to Alaska, that we could simply hop on a boat and sail right to Russia! That seemed much closer than flying all the way around the world. We then colored a map and made flags of Russia.

For Language Arts we first went over some words from the book that were new to us (czar, elegant, glum, samovar, magnificent, jealous, audience, marvelous, embraced, pyramid, and comical). Now when we hear these words again, we’ll know just what they mean! We also talked about how it is important to take your time in titling your stories in order to have one that is just perfect and not one that had no thought go in to it. And lastly, we noticed how the author used some ‘descriptive writing’ to make the characters more interesting. We played with this for just a bit, coming up with more descriptive ways of saying things.

With many of the books we’ve read, we’ve noticed that several places around the world have a piece of architecture that, when we see it, tells us where that book or movie or story is taking place. For example, we’ve studied the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, the Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Statue of Liberty in New York City. So with this book we looked at the onion-shaped tops to many Russian buildings. We looked at pictures in several different books, then drew our own picture of them. 3ds5 said instead of onions the roofs look like ‘chocolate’, meaning Hershey’s Kisses! Mom thought that was very observant of him. Now when we see these ‘Hershey Kiss-topped buildings’, we’ll know we’re looking at Russia!

And finally, we remembered that Max and Boris would put the samovar on to boil to make tea, so we talked about how water can be a solid, a liquid, or a gas. We pretended we were the molecules in the water in each of these forms and moved as they would depending upon what state they were in. We also ate ‘strawberry preserves on brown bread’ and mom and 3ds5 were even brave and tasted tea, but it’s safe to say that we are not a tea-drinking family!

A Pair of Red Clogs

A Pair of Red Clogs

September 19-23, 2005

On Monday, we found Japan on the map and then also on the globe. On our flat map it looked like Japan was so very far away from the United States, but with the globe we saw that if we sailed west we could get there much quicker. We also did a map worksheet on Japan to help reinforce our map skills and we made and colored the flag of Japan. Lastly, we recalled what an ‘island’ is from some of our other Five In A Row stories and discovered that Japan is indeed a country and an island!

On Tuesday we talked about ‘reminiscing’. We each thought about something that happened to us when we were younger and then told our story. 2ds6 and 3ds5 dictated their stories to mom and she wrote them for them. 3ds5’s story was about getting his friend, Mr. Bear, when he spent a week in the hospital. He was admitted on his 2nd birthday. 2ds6’s story was about having surgery when he was four and being ‘King’ for the day! Mommy then told a story about when she was a little girl. We had fun ‘reminiscing’ and sharing our stories like the grandmother does in A Pair of Red Clogs.

For art, we looked closely at how the illustrator blended different colors to achieve new colors and we tried the same thing with paint. It was really cool to watch yellow and blue make green, red and yellow make orange, and red and blue make purple! We then used our new colors to paint pictures. We also talked about how, if we want our pictures to have a ‘warm’ feeling we can use warm colors such as oranges and reds and browns, like the colors in the fire in the book.

For our science lesson we learned about predicting weather. We watched the weather on the news each evening and recorded what the weather man said it was going to be the next day, then waited to see if he was right! We talked about what weather each season brings and how weathermen can predict what weather is coming and what they use to do this.

And just to end the week on a fun note we went outside and played the ‘weather-telling game’ with our shoes. Needless to say, it didn’t snow, as many flips of our shoes indicated it would! We had a lot of fun doing this and we laughed so much!