Tag Archives: Poppins Book Nook

Poetry

 

Experiencing Poetry

The theme for this month’s Poppins Book Nook is poetry. We love poetry and experience it in a variety of ways all the time. One of the giggly girls enjoys pulling poetry books off the shelf and reading them just because. She also enjoys writing poetry and her gifts always include a poem written just for you.

I never really enjoyed poetry all that much but maybe that is because I don’t know how much poetry I experienced until I was in junior high and high school and having to read the “classical” style poetry. (That being said – I remember really liking Beowulf.) I don’t think that exposure at that level is bad but if you have had a good experience with it a number of times before that, I think you’ll enjoy it a whole Stopping By Woodslot more.

Our PBN selection just happened to line up perfectly with our Five In A Row selection: Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening by Robert Frost with illustrations by Susan Jeffers. This lovely poem and accompanying illustrations opened up a whole lot of learning for the giggly girls.

One of the activities that we did in our FIAR study was to learn about poetry, rhyme, rhyme scheme, and more. We used a lovely set of posters that we have that give us examples of many different styles of poetry. We looked at them and read the example of the poem. Then we talked about what it was like: number of lines, rhyme, rhyme scheme, subject, fact or fiction, and whatever else the girls could notice about the poem. Then we read through some of the information about that poetry style. This is something we do a few times a year and it helps the girls’ awareness of the use of poetry that they come across in the bigger world.

 

We read through Stopping By Woods a number of times and the girls read it on their own, as well. J’s reading is coming along nicely and she was able to read a good bit of the poem without help. A good activity to do with a poem like this is to look closely at the rhyme scheme. It is actually a very interesting rhyme scheme. It is AABA in each stanza. The next stanza takes its A rhyme from the B of the previous stanza. It ties the poem together really nicely. We looked closely at that and the girls recreated it with counting crystals.poetry & pattern

We then experimented with various changes to the rhyme scheme: ABAB, ABAC, AABAB, ABACAD, etc. Each one was recreated with counting crystals to show comprehension. (Also – you get a math cross-curricular tie-in here.)

After that, the girls created their own rhyme scheme and wrote a poem to fit their rhyme scheme.

L poem

This was a fun day in our studies. If you are looking for further activities to do with Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening, check out our FIAR post about this book. There was so much to do with it!

And, as a final note, this will be our last post a co-hosts of the Poppins Book Nook. It has been a fun year but with all the changes that we naturally go through in a year, being a co-host of PBN is just not right for us for the next cycle of the PBN. It has been a fun year and the themes mixed things up for us some. Thanks Poppins Book Nook!

 

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

Clip art by MelonHeadz

If you want additional ideas for this month’s theme, please visit Enchanted Homeschooling Mom and the other co-hosts of Poppins Book Nook.

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom~Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things~Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ My Bright Firefly ~A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~Where Imagination Grows ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~Simple Living Mama

M is for … Microscopes

M is for MicroscopeThis month’s Poppins Book Nook theme of To The Laboratory gave us the perfect opportunity to get out the microscope and explore it. A microscope is right at home in a lab so we got it out and learned all about it – how to use it, its parts, and what it can do.

We started out with this little book titled Scientists Ask Questions by Ginger Garrett. It is simple enough for the youngest giggly girl but yet in depth enough with additional questioning on each page from me that the oldest giggly girl continued to have learning options. It helped us focus in on the various lenses that a scientist might use, including a telescope, binoculars, magnifying glass, and microscope. We compared each of them, looking at them and talking about the similarities and differences, what each of them was used for, and how they were used.

The girls spent some time then looking through various books that showed what a microscope could do. Just browsing and reading brought them a lot of information and interest. The books they looked through included:

  • The Usborne Complete Book of the Microscope
  • Microscopes and Magnifying Lenses
  • Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientists Microscope
  • Through the Microscope: Plants and Seeds
  • Fun With Your Microscope

After that we got out the microscope and just talked about it, observing and making guesses about the various parts, what they were called, and what they might do.

I printed a picture of a microscope from About.com. The girls labeled it and it really made the next part easier. Having the right terminology for the parts of the microscope made it so easy to correctly instruct them.

L looking at slides pic

I created this little printable for them to complete, getting used to various levels of magnification and how they changed what you see through the eyepiece when it changes. They each got to choose a slide from our sets and use it. If they wanted to do more than one, I printed more than one. All learning welcome! Here are the slides that we are using: Learning Resources Prepared Slides Combo Set (48 Specimens).

M slides

M comparing two slides 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another day, we used the microscope to compare two different slides. I asked them to choose two very different samples – a textile and an animal sample or a plant and an insect, etc. They then had to diagram each slide and write a comparison/contrast about the observations made.

This is the printable I made for comparing two slides. Feel free to use it and share it but please link back to here. Click this link to get the PDF.

microscope comparing two slides PDF

M magnifying lenses M magnifying lense M microscope work

 

We had fun with the microscope and To The Laboratory this month. At Home.

 

 

 

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

Clip art by MelonHeadz

If you want additional ideas for this month’s theme, please visit Enchanted Homeschooling Mom and the other co-hosts of Poppins Book Nook.

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom~Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things~Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ My Bright Firefly ~A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~Where Imagination Grows ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am  ~Simple Living Mama

Pumpkin stories and resources

pumpkin books and activities

It is the time of year where apples and pumpkins and cranberries dominate my thinking, my cooking, and my Pinterest feed. We are following along with that and enjoying some pumpkin learning. For the Poppins Book Nook theme for this month, To The Kitchen, we have been reading about pumpkins and how they are used. We then applied that by baking. As a teaser – it was yummy!

So…

The Books:

pumpkin books

  • The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons (I love all of her books! They are just stuffed full of factual information but written in a way that appeals to the kiddos.)
  • Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden by George Levenson, photography by Shmuel Thaler
  • From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer (Sorry – no picture; I can’t find it to take a picture of it. So glad we own this one!)
  • The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories by Barbara M. Walker

The Activities:

stewed pumpkin

Stewed Pumpkins – Last year, we cut up our Halloween pumpkins (that we had decorated, not carved) and stewed them. We tried the stewed pumpkin recipe from the Little House Cookbook. The girls were not big fans of stewed pumpkin but it was fun to eat something that Laura would have eaten. We then froze the rest so we would have pumpkin all year long without having to buy canned. When we pulled some out to thaw for our baking for this theme, they tried it again. Still no fans among them but they do like what we did with the pumpkin puree.

pumpkin collage

 

Decorating Pumpkins – Each giggly girl got a small little pumpkin. They each decorated their own little pumpkin however they wanted. They used markers, stickers, ribbons, and bells. Whatever they could find at Mok’s house. (Mok is my mom, so their grandma. 🙂 ) They came up with some cute decorated pumpkins. Two of them are gracing the pass through in our kitchen. The other was left at Mok and Papa’s house to make them smile.

 

 

 

pumpkin donutsBaking Donuts – There is just something about using ingredients that you have preserved yourself. The girls had a hand in preserving the pumpkin last fall that we used today for our baking project. It just tastes better! J was the most excited about baking something with pumpkin so she got to choose what it would be and donuts were her choice. I am so glad it was what she chose! They were amazingly good! We got our recipe off of Pinterest, originally, and followed it to the blog Flourish, from King Arthur Flour. All of the giggly girls highly recommend this recipe, though the cinnamon sugar did not stick to our donuts. Maybe it was because we used our little donut maker to bake them instead of baking them in a donut pan in the oven. I don’t know but they really don’t need the cinnamon sugar.

mixing pumpkin donuts

Drawing Pumpkins – We are going to be drawing pumpkins this week using chalk pastels. The girls love to draw with chalk pastels and their pictures always come out lovely. It is hard to not create a good piece of artwork so we’ll pull them out this week and make some cute pumpkins.

Labeling Pumpkins – We used the downloadable packets from Mama’s Learning Corner that related to pumpkins and the life cycle of pumpkins. These are cute, age-appropriate (for kindergartener J) worksheets and mini-books on pumpkins. J worked on the booklets with the assistance of her big sisters.

Sewing Pumpkins – We created some cute little fabric pumpkins. We put them all in a bowl on the kitchen table. They make me smile each time I see them. Just another reminder of the fun of fall. And, you guessed it, no pictures of these either.

 

Unit style learning is loads of fun. We all learn something and it is always a fun hands-on time. The pumpkin learning, which culminated in baking a treat, was perfect for these cool (or cold, depending on where you are) days. At Home.
Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

This post is part of the Poppins Book Nook virtual book club. This month’s theme was To The Kitchen. Visit the co-hosts to get more ideas for the theme.

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ My Bright Firefly ~A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~Where Imagination Grows ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ Simple Living Mama
Visit the Poppins Book Nook on the web at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom.

Clip Art By Melon Headz https://www.etsy.com/shop/melonheadzdoodles

Exploring Space

 

Exploring Space 2

This month, we did something a bit different for the Poppins Book Nook. We did not focus on a single book. Instead, J and I read a lot of books, explored some videos and did a craft that we let the older girls participate in. L and E each created their own unit study, answering a question they wanted to know more about. I think they all learned a bit more than average since two of them directed their own learning and J got a bit more one-on-one time than average.

Books We Borrowed From The Library

 space books

What We Viewed On The Web

Final Launch of Discovery

Bunny Hopping On The Moon

Fun In Space

Parents.com: The Space Shuttle Blasts By Our House

Parents.com: The Future Of Space Exploration

 

Craft We Made

The craft was a useful one. We had spent some time with the stars already and we enjoy looking at stars when it is dark enough. I stumbled across a constellation viewer in the November issue of Family Fun. It was not a simple craft but it came out cute. You can see that craft by visiting their website. We followed their directions. It didn’t work exactly like they suggested it would but that could be that we were using a flashlight that was a tiny bit too small. It could also be that I was expecting more out of it when it was being shined on the wall. All the same, it works great when you just hold it up to the light to look through it.

Unit Studies We Did

L chose a unit study on a star’s life. E chose to create a unit study on meteorites. Using The Joy of Discovery (click HERE to see our review of this), they planned their units with my guidance. Then, using their planning sheets, they followed each step, asking for help when they needed it, and completed their unit studies.

This is L’s completed project.

star unit by L

E is still working on hers. She is designing a book cover for a book.

I will feature the whole unit study that each of them created in a separate post. Those should come out in the next week or two. Space is a fun study. At Home.

 

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

The Poppins Book Nook was working with the theme of Beyond Our Planet this month. Pop over to some of the other co-hosts to see additional books and activities that you can do to stretch your learning about space even farther.
Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ My Bright Firefly ~A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~Where Imagination Grows ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am  ~ Simple Living Mama

Visit the Poppins Book Nook on the web at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom.

Clip Art By Melon Headz https://www.etsy.com/shop/melonheadzdoodles

When the Wild West Was Changing

Wild West collage

We took a fun field trip this month that led us to our plans for our post on this month’s theme for the Poppins Book Nook – Wild West.

My first thought when I think of the Wild West contains saloons and brawls, horses and spurs. Well, we did study that aspect of it but we came at it from a different angle. We looked at the tail end of the Wild West, as it was becoming less wild and more settled, as the railroad was coming through, bringing change and enterprise and more permanence.

Wild West book

We read a book about life in a Wild West town called, not surprisingly, You Wouldn’t Want to Live in a Wild West Town! by Peter Hicks. It was quite an eye-opener for the girls because they haven’t ever really experienced a whole lot of lawlessness. It was a perfect fit for this month because while it described the wild west perfectly, it fit in with what we were exploring: the change of the west from

lawlessness and fending for yourself to a more civilized area that was becoming populated, with trains bringing material goods and foods to towns and no longer having to rely solely upon yourself or the kindness of strangers to help supply your needs.

Wild West books

 

 

We also had these other books for the girls to read through and explore. They enjoy having a variety of materials available to peruse and/or devour as the mood hits them. (Sorry for the blurry picture; I didn’t realize it was blurry until I had already returned it to the library.)

 

 

 

Wild West trains

Our field experience was a trip to ride a steam train (now converted to a diesel engine) and experience what riding the countryside might have been like 150 years ago. The engine was loud, the clickety-clack was rhythmic, and the whistle – well, I am just glad we weren’t any closer or our eardrums might have  paid the price. We saw how a turntable is used to turn the train around; well, it really only turns the engine but the train can then go the other direction. We were able to learn a lot about steam engines propelling trains through the countryside.

 

Wild West train worksheets

 

We followed that with some lessons about trains, including train safety and how to draw an engine. Those lessons were given to us at the train station but I found them online at http://oli.org/. The girls drew an engine. We did a couple of finger plays. They wrote about their experiences.

 

 

 

 

Wild West Pinwheels

 

We also did an experiment (partly for learning about steam engines and partly for FIAR with Mike Mulligan) that helped the girls understand how water was converted to steam which was then converted to energy which moved the parts of the engine and thus the train or steam shovel. We made a small pinwheel and held it over the spout of a tea kettle that was boiling and whistling. It turned the pinwheel. It was a very clear example of how steam can become energy.

 

 

 

We also discovered Charlie Brown and the American History series that was created with the Peanuts characters. We watched the video This Is American, Charlie Brown: The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad on YouTube. It covered the railroads meeting in Utah, the driving of the golden stake, and how the railroads coming through really changed the landscape and the way of life. The Wild West towns were talked about as the sprang up and then died down as the railroad moved through. The role that immigrants played in the building of the railroad was also covered. We enjoy the Peanuts gang and so, after watching the one we needed to for this unit, they chose at least two others to watch, just because. **As of the date of this post, almost all of the educational cartoons featuring the Peanuts gang had been removed from YouTube, including the one we watched. Hopefully, they can be found elsewhere. They were really very good!**

All in all, this was a fun month for the Poppins Book Nook. It didn’t end up anything like I had planned but I think a whole lot more learning went on because of that. I am thankful for the way things work our when we are open to what comes our way. Did you do anything for the Poppins Book Nook Wild West theme this month? Please share anything you did or things that you think might be fun to do in the comments section.

At Home.
Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

Don’t forget to visit the Poppins Book Nook at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom to download your copy of the free lapbook to go along with this month’s theme and to see what they did. Also, go visit all the other bloggers who participated this month.

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

Clip Art by Melon Headz https://www.etsy.com/shop/melonheadzdoodles

When I Grow Up

When I Grow Up

The theme for this month’s Poppins Book Nook virtual book club was “What Will I Be When I Grow Up.” This was a fun one for us to do. Between the planning and running of VBS and the start of schooling, we did not get much done in the way of activities. We did, however, do a whole lot of book reading and discussion.

Each of the girls got to ponder the question of what sounded like something they would enjoy doing when they grow up. We are taking the time now to emphasize that they need to enjoy doing whatever the work is they choose to do – whether it be a mom who puts her family first and doesn’t leave the home to go to a job or one who has a very important job in the community or one whose job seems small and unimportant but is not. If you don’t enjoy it, you shouldn’t be doing it because then it will be a JOB. And, let’s face it, that word does not scream fun. And what you spend a large portion of your time doing should be FUN.

My Choices:

If you read the paragraph above, you probably understand why I chose these particular books.

  • If I Could Work by Terence Blacker and Chris Winn
  • What Am I? by Debbie MacKinnon and Anthea Sieveking
  • Lives of the Scientists: Experiments, Explosions (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull and Kathryn Hewitt

moms choices

 

J’s choices:
J wants to be a police officer when she grows up. She has a great role model for that job. We are currently trying to schedule a tour of our local police department, though she has been in there before.

police

  • P is for Police by Dori Hillestad Butler (Please read this one through before hand. If you have the chance to review it with an officer, please do. The information is slightly dated and the information on some of it is incorrect, such as when a Miranda Warning is given.)
L’s choices:

L has so many things that she wants to do and we tell her often that it is okay because she is a long way off from having to choose. She wants to be a ballerina, an equestrian, a mom, and own a candy store.

ballerina equestrian

  • Safe Horse, Safe Rider: A Young Rider’s Guide to Responsible Horsekeeping by Jessie Haas
  • Horses by Gail Gibbons
  • My Ballet Book by Kate Castle

We watched a video that we found at the library that was made in Norway, I believe, about a riding school. That was very informative and lots of fun to watch. Unfortunately, I cannot find the title of it and we had to return it before I got a picture.  We also watched some ballet DVDs.

 

E’s choices:

From the time E understood the power of the written word, she has wanted to be a writer. When she was four, she proclaimed that she was going to be a “writer down, book worder.” She hasn’t really wavered from that and writes fairly often of her own choosing. She also has an interest in designing costumes, which is fairly new. We are hoping to try to create something from one of these books before we have to return it to the library.

writer costume designer

Please visit Enchanted Homeschooling Mom and the Poppins Book Nook to see what others have done this month.

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

 (clip art used in this design by: http://www.etsy.com/shop/melonheadzdoodles)

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

Don’t forget that a FREE lapbook is offered at Enchanted Homeschool Mom. Visit her post introducing the theme “What Will I Be When I Grow Up” to download it.

Pirates, Origami, and Treasure

Pirates Origami and treasure

Ahoy, matey! We’ve been reading about pirates! Our books this month were rather fun and they were some we just happened to stumble across. Or rather, sail upon.

We started our pirate study by visiting YouTube for this video of the book The Night Pirates by Peter Harris, illustrated by Deborah Allwright. I would tell you the girls’ favorite line in the whole thing but it might spoil it, so you’ll just have to watch. http://youtu.be/2iKLzTs5UqQ

Our picture books this month were Pirate Girl by Cornelia Funke, illustrated by Kerstin Meyer and The Pirate Girl’s Treasure: An Origami Adventure by Petyon Leung, illustrated by Hilary Leung. Both were lots of fun and had unexpected twists and bits.

Pirate Girl

Pirate Girl is the story of a young pirate girl who heads off to visit her grandmother and is captured by pirates. She is eventually rescued but you’ll never guess who her rescuer is!

Pirate Girls Treasure

The Pirate Girl’s Treasure takes you along as the pirate girl heads off to locate the treasure her grandfather left for her. If you follow along and make the origami folds to a page that are indicated, you end up with the same treasure that the pirate girl finds. (Some are a tad bit obscure if you are just reading the text but if you will go through the folds instructions in the back of the book before reading it with the kids, it ought to be much easier.)

pirate shirts

This was a fun activity and the girls enjoyed it so much that they made several different origami shirts, including some for their Barbie-sized dolls and their 18″ dolls. I have even caught them making boats and hats for their Polly-sized dolls.

Pirate origami

One of my goals is to find a chapter book to read on the theme for each month of Poppins Book Nook. This month we found Marooned on the Pirate Coast by Melinda Rice, illustrated by Alan McCuller.

marooned

The girls absolutely enjoyed this story about a 10 year old girl who is shipwrecked alone and has to learn to survive. She is captured by Indians and then rescued by pirates (Jean Lafitte!). This turned out to be a wonderful book that captivated the girls so that they begged for more each time we marked the book for the day. Another wonderful bit about this book is that many of the people, occasions, and activities in the story are based on true life. We learned about a real “privateer” (pirate) in Jean Lafitte, hurricanes hitting the Texas coast, Galveston Island (which they have visited), ways that the Karankawa Indians lived and survived in Texas, Jim Bowie (one of the Texas fathers who was a slave trader prior to that, according to this book), and James Long. Texas history in an unexpected find – a win for sure when they beg for more.

A pirate theme is not complete without a treasure hunt. So, we had two!

exploding ice treasure hunt

The first was an exploding ice treasure hunt. Mix colored water with baking soda (1 to 1 ratio), add a few beads or treasures for each ice block, and freeze. We froze them in recycled single-serve applesauce containers. After they are frozen, we put them in a large pan and gave each girl pirate a squirt bottle with vinegar. Squirting the vinegar onto the baking soda ice blocks makes them fizzy and popping. After being squirted for a bit, the treasures started appearing. The girls were excited to see what would show up.

Pirate Map Treasure huntThe other treasure hunt was thought up by the giggly girls. They decided to pick treasures (colored polished rocks and pretend gold coins) to hide. Each giggly girl hid some treasure and then created a pirate’s treasure map for her sisters to follow. We had a quick map review about how to keep the map oriented while you are drawing it and while you are following it and how clues on the map will help the pirates find the treasure. Of course, every map was marked with a big X. They had fun trying to follow each other’s maps and find the treasure. This was so much fun they created multiple maps each and searched for pirate treasure several times.

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015
 (clip art used in this design by: http://www.etsy.com/shop/melonheadzdoodles)

For more pirate activities, visit the other hosts for the Poppins Book Nook.
Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

Don’t forget to make use of the FREE lapbook available for every monthly theme, provided by Enchanted Homeschooling Mom. Visit her Pirate Theme post to download the lapbook and catch up on any you might have missed.

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom: http://enchantedhomeschoolingmom.org/2014/02/poppins-book-nook/
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Birds of a feather…

Birds of a Feather

You know the old saying: birds of a feather flock together. Well, we wanted to observe whether that was true. Turns out, it is!

We spent our month bird watching. We found an awesome book that helped us get started and then just spent time watching. We stumbled across this book at the museum and when I saw it, I KNEW it was THE BOOK for the theme of The Great Outdoors with the Poppins Book Nook virtual book club.

The book is “Look Up! Bird-watching in Your Own Backyard” by Annette LeBlanc Cate.

Look Up!

Written in a cartoon-ish style that is conversational, the book begins with the do’s and don’t’s of bird-watching. For example: Do only go to places you know are safe. Do give birds their space! Don’t ever frighten or bother parent birds and their babies. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way, ever!

Early on, Mrs. Cate hooked me with “no matter how small your corner of the world, there will be some birds in it.” Yep. More than I imagined once I started observing! She talks about how to start and where to start. She encourages you to begin sketching birds at once, as that helps you notice the details of the bird and will help you keep a record of what you have seen and how long you have been participating in this hobby later on.

Throughout the book, the birds keep you laughing as you read their conversations designed to help you learn. The charts in the book are tremendously helpful, such as the “A Rainbow of Color” chart and the “Shapes are Clues” chart. While reading through the book, you learn tons of proper terminology AND exactly what they are referring to. Crest – you know it is not the toothpaste by the time you finish the page. You know that it is the top part of the head and its’ unique shape which will help in identifying birds such as cardinals, roadrunners, and woodpeckers.

There is so much information in the book. I wish I could share more but it is pretty hard to without pictures. The copyright is clear on this one and so I cannot take pictures of the book. I sure wish I could because it is amazing! I cannot possibly do this book justice. You really need to go get this book!!

Our favorite place to sit together and watch the birds was our backyard. Now, we have no trees. But, the property behind us has some and the birds love them! So, we’d sit out on the back patio watching the birds and spending time together.

looking

I was in for some surprises. My youngest giggly girl only wanted to play with the binoculars. It was fun to see the birds for a few minutes but she didn’t want to sit and observe. This surprised me because she loves to look at animals. All the time! This was the one I expected to spend the most time with sitting and observing. Surprise! Turns out that E, the oldest giggly girl, was the one who loved to sit and watch with me. We spent hours together, just enjoying the outdoors and each other, finding joy in spotting a bird and excitement when we could identify the bird.

Texas Birds

As recommended in Look Up!, we also picked up a field guide to familiar Texas birds. It ended up being terribly helpful. We kept both of the books next to us as we sat and watched. Once in a while, one of us would grab the field guide and try to identify a bird because we got a good enough look at it that we found some detail. Some of the birds we saw this month: cardinals, mockingbirds, doves, ladder-backed woodpeckers, chimney swift, house finch, American robin, and barn swallow. I am not certain but we think we saw a scissor-tailed flycatcher, a hawk of some sort, and some kind of hummingbirds. And these are just the ones we came somewhat close to identifying!

birds

Although plans for other outings were hampered by rain, we did head up towards the dam on the lake to see what we could see. While we could hear a lot of birds, we could not see very many of them. There were a couple that had some interesting shapes but we couldn’t get close enough to get any details on them. E saw one big bird flying and was able to identify it as a hawk of some sort because she had read about looking at the tail. She was able to recall that it was a fan shape and had a band of white on it. That was enough to go through the guide with and she was able to identify the hawk. Fun! For me and her! She was so proud of herself to have noted that and been able to use that to help her identify the bird.

at the dam

I intentionally spent the month with a project that was not crafty but rather observational. It allowed us to be with each other instead of focusing on an activity. We got a lot of chatting in quietly while waiting for a bird to show itself. It encouraged being outdoors on an ongoing basis and is something that we will continue for weeks and hopefully months. I have high hopes for this because the other day as we were driving along, E called out “Mom! I saw a bird! Can we turn around and go look?”

 

 

 

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

Clip Art by Melon Headz

Be sure to visit the co-hosts for Poppins Book Nook and see what each of them did for this month’s theme of The Great Outdoors.

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

Connect with Poppins Book Nook on the web, and on Facebook.

Tea Time Tales

Tea Time Tales

This month’s Poppins Book Nook theme is folk tales. We read folk tales, fairy tales, tall tales, and legends all the time. So for the theme, I wanted something really different. We traveled to Zimbabwe through stories.

Our preacher and his wife, Bobby and Nancy Wheat, were missionaries in Zimbabwe for many years, spreading the love of God while raising their family. They are dearly loved by the girls (as well as me and my husband) so we approached Mrs. Nancy about some folktales from Zimbabwe. This would allow us to experience a culture we were not familiar with and learning about life there first hand.

Shangani Folk Tales

Mrs. Nancy loaned us our book for this month: Shangani Folk Tales, Volume I and II by C. Stockil and M. Dalton. It is a huge hit with the girls! The folk tales are about the animals, with volume I focusing on the sneakiness and foolery of the hare – Nwampfundhla – and volume II focusing on the tale about how different lessons or descriptions of how things came to be. The names of the animals in the stories are their Shangani names. This book was our read aloud for much of the month, reading a couple of the stories each night. We all loved the stories and it gave us a lot of fuel for discussion. Nwampfundhla is not exactly a nice hare and the girls were constantly rethinking what he “should” have been doing. If you are going to read this to younger kids, you will want to preread each story to decide if it is one you want to read to your children because there are some very mean, dangerous things that Nwampfundhla does to others. These are some of the names/words that we learned:

Chibodze – tortoise
Chingaungau – black-backed jackal
Denge – elephant shrew
Eyingwe – leopard
Gama – eagle
Gatawa – lilac-breasted roller
Goya – wild cat
Khala – lion
Khalayetswe – lioness
Khumba – bushpig
Libwatsani – nightjar
Litoho – monkey
Malamala – sable
Matengwane – fork-tailed drongo
Mboma – hippopotamus
Mhala – impala
Mhisi – hyaena
Ndhlovu – elephant
Nguluve – warthog
Nhongo – kudu
Nhungu – porcupine
Nwafene – baboon
Nwapfundhla – hare
Pau – ostrich
ukuku – cockerel

The names are quite difficult to sound out and I am not even sure that I did it right. I did do a good job of twisting my tongue up every night in trying to say them. We invited Mrs. Nancy to tea to talk with us about Zimbabwe and give us some language lessons. (We had the tea party but had to postpone our visit with Mrs. Nancy due to the oldest giggly girl being sick.)

For the tea party we looked up some recipes for bisuits (what they call cookies – there is an English influence there). We made some biscuits and some rusks. We also had some fruit and some vegetables. Additionally, we put tea and lemonade out to drink.

girls at tea table tea table

The biscuits that we made were yummy! They had lemon and sweet potatoe in them with a lemon glaze. The recipe came from Food.com. From a Squidoo search that I found, I saw that these biscuits were called Mbatata. These were a hit with the girls.

mbatata

The rusks are a tough, dry cookie, somewhat like a biscotti, intended for dipping in tea or coffee. These have a fantastic flavor but they are very crunchy. The girls didn’t like them, even when we talked about how good they would be dunked in hot chocolate. Still, I recommend them but next time I won’t dry them out quite as much.

rusks

To augment our learning, we looked up some videos and pictures on the internet. Some of the things we viewed include:

Zimbabwe: A World of Wonders  – this one is a tourism video but there isn’t too much in there and there is a lot of good footage of Zimbabwe in it.

Victoria Falls – a video about the magnificent Victoria Falls.

Our Africa – a website that features Africa; we view the Zimbabwe portion.

Dindingwe song – video featuring the Dindingwe (cheetah)

Zambezi River song – video segment (not complete song) about the Zambezi River

Penduka Nzou video – video about elephants; penduka (turn around) nzou (elephant)
And, of course, we had additional books around us on Zimbabwe.

books on Zimbabwe

Thank you for joining us for our study of Zimbabwe folk tales this month. Be sure to visit the Poppins Book Nook to see what folk tales other hosts and their families studied this month and to get a copy of Enchanted Homeschooling Mom’s lapbooking freebies to go along with each of the monthly themes.

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom’s Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

 


 

Sled Dogs: Books, History, & Art

Sled Dogs

The theme for this month’s Poppins Book Nook virtual book club is Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. We took the theme and interpreted it as any viable way to get around. We ended up at… dog sleds. Particularly, we were interested in books about the dogs involved in the serum run of 1925 from Anchorage to Nome, AK.

If you aren’t familiar with the history of this relay, read up on it. It is an interesting story that shows that helping others is not always the easy thing to do, but it is the right thing to do. Because so many chose to help others, the city of Nome, Alaska, avoided being wiped out during a diphtheria outbreak. The medication was in Anchorage and, being as it was winter, the only way to get it to Nome was by dog sled. This normally took 30 days but it was estimated that the city would be devastated by the disease in only two weeks. They had to move fast. Moving the serum from one dog sled to a fresh team every so often, they covered the 700ish miles in 5 1/2 days.

While Balto is the most famous of the dogs to assist in the relay (he and his team ran the last two legs of the relay), Togo was the lead dog of the team that went the farthest (they ran almost 300 where most other teams ran 25-30). There were a total of 20 mushers and teams that assisted.

My favorite quote from this study came from the epilogue of Togo by Robert J. Blake
“The hero is not always the dog that crosses the finish line first but the dog who made the last lap even possible.”

Books:

The main book: Togo by Robert J Blake

Togo

 

We read several books but these are the ones that we used the most in gathering information and learning about the serum run. (The oldest giggly girl and the middle giggly girl read anything and everything they can get their hands on. When we are doing a book club like this, I pick the main book with the youngest in mind so she can participate. From there, I pull from our shelves or pick up from the library a number of additional books on the subject, some on a higher reading level for the older girls. Once we start a topic, they will generally read, and reread, until I put the books away or they have read them so much that they know the information start to finish.)

sled dog books collage

 

Activities:

Dogs: We looked up the various types of dogs that are often used as sled dogs. We discussed the characteristics of them and some of the things that make them unique. The girls drew some dogs but for some reason, I don’t have any pictures of them and I don’t know what they did with them.

Sleds: We talked about the features of a sled, based on the illustrations in the book Sled Dogs Run. We discussed the type of preparations that would be needed for the type of run that took place in that book and we compared it to the type of preparations that were made by each of the mushers helping in the serum relay. This was done verbally.

Balto: I asked E, the oldest, to tell us the story of Balto, knowing she had read the books and had asked a bunch of questions. After she did, she asked if we knew anything else about that dog. So, we picked up yet another book from the library: The Incredible Life of Balto by Meghan McCarthy. This book fills you in on the story of what went on with Balto after the serum run. We looked up a picture of the statue in New York City’s Central Park, as well.

Make a sled: This was spontaneous play by the girls, which I love! They used a jump rope and turned a small chair upside down on its back. Then one of them was “hooked into” the lead, one stood on the chair, and viola! a dog sled. They pulled each other around the living room for a while (until it was decided that maybe they shouldn’t treat their great-grandfather’s chair like that – eek!). Of course, they immediately began pretending with the jump rope and trying to find another way to pull each other. The final choice was, I believe, blankets. Not quite so realistic but much better than ruining the chair or the floor.

sled dog play

Art work: We used an example from Iditarod Teacher On The Trail to make some art work. Using our thumb and finger prints for the dogs, we created dog sleds.

fingerprint sled dogs

Art work – skies: One of the things I find fascinating about Alaska is the big sky. I don’t know if it is true but you often see the pictures of the expanse of ice for the land and the big sky above it. There are several pictures like this in the books we read, so we recreated one of the pictures from Togo. Of course, we did it in chalk as a group project in the driveway.

chalk drawing of AK skyline

Maps: We used the maps in the books and traced the path taken by the dog sleds for the serum relay. We used a US map to look at the placement of Alaska to the continental US and talked about what it means when some says “continental US.”

That about sums up the study of Togo and the other dog sleds and the great serum relay of 1925. A fascinating story with lots to do from it. I should have allowed more time but I am sure we will have a chance to revisit this sometime in the future. Until then, we’ll keep reading and we’ll see you next month for Folktales with the Poppins Book Nook. At Home.

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015Head over to the home of Poppins Book Nook where you will find a ton of fun freebies, including lapbooks to go with this month’s theme, and an awesome giveaway to enter for books and goodies related to this month’s theme. Follow Poppins Book Nook on Facebook and Pinterest!

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual MayhemPreschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom’s Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

Mary Poppins inspired clip art by the talented:

Melonheadz

 

 

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