Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Art: Greek Story Vases

Today we did a fun art project that mimics some of the pottery from Ancient Greece. I found the project Here. At some point during the creation, John's dinosaur cup came to life and he chased everyone around with it :).

A word of warning: Oil pastels do not wash out easily, I have had the best luck with formula 409 as a pre-treater. Even then, it doesn't always come out.

First we printed out these pages. The kids drew the story they wanted to tell and some patterns onto the paper. Then we transferred it onto the Styrofoam cups and completed the activity by adding the oil pastels.

The Minoan Eruption of Thera

Today we used baking soda and vinegar to mimic the eruption of Thera that we read about in our history curriculum. The kids just loved this. Even after everyone had a turn, they continued blowing up the volcano for about an hour afterward.

If you were interested, we got the volcano from Lakeshore learning store.

Ancient Greece: Kick off Olympics :)

We invited some friends and had an awesome Ancient Greek Olympics. Each olympian received a laurel crown and a medal for their efforts. For a craft they made the little olympic torches. (If you would like to make one to click here).

We had a long jump, relay races, chariot races (with each kid taking a turn being the wheelbarrow/chariot), a javelin throw (the kids made the javelin with straws), a shot put throw (though not historically accurate, it seemed safer than greco-roman wrestling).

This was an awesome way to kick off our Greek unit study. We always love hanging with our homies, but this really created an excitement and enthusiasm for the upcoming academics. As we complete activities I will post them here!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Egyptian Feast

Tonight we had our much anticipated Egyptian Feast. The kids looked forward to it all week. These little mini-units really are adding the "hands-on" spark to our week I was hoping for.

We used sheets and safety pins to make last minute no-sew costumes. Inspiration struck in the craft aisle and I picked up some foam sun visors at walmart. I love a store that will sell me chicken and craft items all at the same time. We used those, along with sticky gems to make the Egyptian style pharaoh necklaces.

Chloe was happy and posed for a picture. The second picture she isn't so happy. She wasn't thrilled with the idea of wearing it all the way through dinner. It itched, it felt weird, she swore it was poking her. The Egyptian princess was displeased. I let her go and change. Sometimes, its just not worth it :). After changing we got back to happy faces thank goodness.

John became confused about which country we were studying halfway through the meal and stuck a gem in the middle of his forehead. Silly Silly boy. Emma Gave Daddy the history lesson on Egypt. Before we ate we each dipped a bit of bread in "wine" (grape juice). We discussed how the egyptians did that as a sacrifice to the gods. I supposed in a way it was sorta like saying grace for them.

For our Menu tonight we had:
Egyptian Shrimp
Cut fruit
Pita Bread with Hummus or Fig Jam
Tiger Nut Sweet
Spiced Oranges and Raisins (over ice Cream)
Raspberry Mint Cairo Cooler
Root Beer (cause they drank a whole lotta beer)
Ancient Egyptian Chicken Marinade
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2T cumin
1/4 white onion, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t cayenne pepper
1/4 t black pepper
1/2 t salt
Marinate chicken tenders for several hours, then grill.

I printed off some hieroglyphic alphabets and the kids made their names on the scratchy pads. The kids made ankhs out of clay.

I taped up some paper up in the hallway and let the kids practice their "tomb painting". And no, those aren't all my children, a friend stopped by for me to help on her blog :). I will link up to it when she has it all running.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Field Trip: Discovery Green, Alice in Wonderland

We went down to Discovery Green, a big park in the center of downtown for some fun and a play today. It was so. much. fun. THIS is why I choose homeschooling. Emma really enjoyed the play. At times John payed attention (he even blew kisses at the actors) and at other times he was more interested in a snack :). It was such a blast, I am so glad the spring weather has sprung around here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Our friend, the anole

This totally cute little guy turned up in our yard today while the kids were playing. He quickly became our nature study. The kids came rushing in screaming that they found a chameleon. I sent them back outside with my camera to capture some pixs.

Here is some info about our friend.

Meet the Carolina Anole
Found naturally throughout the southeastern United States, anoles are often referred to as the "American chameleon" because of their ability to change the color of their skin from green to brown (and vice versa). Anoles are typically found in bushes or trees, but because they are excellent climbers, they can also be seen on walls and fences. A distinguishing characteristic of the anole is the bright red dewlap present in all males and some females. Anoles can inflate this vividly colored piece of cartilage located under their chins to make themselves look larger and more dominant. This behavior is most often seen in males intimidating rivals or courting females. Females also have dewlaps, but they are less colorful than those of males and seldom displayed.

Like other reptiles, anoles are ectothermic (cold-blooded) animals that regulate their body temperature using the environment. When an anole needs to raise its temperature for activities like hunting or eating, it basks on a tree branch or a rock, absorbing heat from the sunlight. To warm up quicker, some anoles change color, from green to brown, because dark colors absorb more sunlight than light colors do. To cool down, anoles seek shade and shelter beneath a rock or log. They can also change color, from brown to green, to absorb less sunlight.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Burning Grass and sundials

We studied the sun today in Science. We are using the Apologia elementary curriculum. The kids made use of the new magnifying glasses they got for Easter by trying to focus the sun's beams to burn blades of grass.

We also created a simple sundial and followed the shadows around the yard each hour of the day. I think because so much of what we are doing is "hands on" the kids really look forward to both the science and history.