Friday, January 27, 2006

South America Unit Study

This study isn't completely done, but I'm posting it anyway since I probably won't finish planning it.

Map of SA
to color

I had a hard time finding
coloring pages of the animals, so I'm just going to buy a rainforest
coloring book.

- coloring




Terrariums are easy to make from plastic soda or water bottles. Have

everyone bring a bottle with the label off. Cut bottle in half. Put

pebbles and potting soil in the bottom half. Plant some small plants

and water it sparingly. Use the top half with the cap on as the lid.

Cut 4 1" places on the cut edge of the lid so as to allow it to fit

over the bottom planted part. The plants will then water themselves

from condensation on the inside of the bottle. They last a long time

without care. You add a ceramic rainforest animal.

learn about rainforest products - sugar, coffee, etc

go in the bathroom and run the shower on hot....sit in the
steam for a few minutes, to get the feel of the rainforest.

learn about the 4 levels:

emergent level is the top level of the rainforest. The canopy is the

next layer where monkeys, apes and exotic plants live. The canopy is

like living under a big green umbrella. The understory is the next

layer. It is the home of bats, frogs, butterflies and many other

animals. Finally is the forest floor. It's dark on the rainforest

because the trees keep most of the light out.


find or draw
a snake pattern on different colors of paper.

can also laminate the pieces so that you can use a dry erase marker

change the letters to spell new words, instead of making all new


pattern can be used to review just about anything you happen to be

studying. Children will love this activity because they can get down

the floor and move around while making a great big

can also use this snake for anything that your child is studying that

has an order such as numbers, letters, books of the Bible, counting by

certain numbers, alphabetizing, etc.


As a class activity, the children will be dipping their palms in green

paint to make palm prints covering several large sheets of paper. Once

dry, these will serve as a background for your class rainforest. As

learn about the rainforest add food, plants, and animals to your


white tube




red felt (approx
3" x 1")


the child to decorate the white tube sock snake with the markers.

Supervise the child as they cut a snake tongue from the red felt.

glue craft eyes to "top" of toe end of snake. Super glue tongue where

the sock will naturally fit in the child's hand (think puppet).



binoculars with toilet paper rolls - decorate, punch holes in, and tie

together with yarn.  Tape up pictures of animals/birds, and go

a walk, looking for animals in the rainforest.



rain forest mobile

Buy different food found in the
rainforest: bananas, star fruit, coconut, chocolate, papaya, papaya,
bananas, mangos, etc.


Get a book on indigenous people of the rainforest and face paint the

children to look like the tribal people. Then string beads for tribal


Have students cut out animals and glue
them in the proper layer.

go on a smell hunt with food items
from the rainforest

Do 1,2,3,4,5
nursery rhyme.  
Learn about right and left hands

anteater maze



North America Unit Study


 •  Develop ability to print letters and copy words.
 •  Form upper and lower case letters.
 •  Follow directions.
 • Compare length and weight of objects by comparing to reference objects, and
use terms such as shorter, longer, taller, lighter, heavier.
 • Compare two or more objects by length, weight and capacity, e.g., which is
shorter, longer, taller?

Recognize rhyming words.


•  Find measurements of animals, cut out pieces of string as tall
as each animal.  Compare their sizes to each other and to members
of our family.
 •  write down weights of the animals.  See which is heavier, which is lighter.
 •  Make patterns with animal paw prints


  • Prairie Dogs at the bottom of the page is a link to a video of them Coloring Page
 • Roadrunner Coloring Page
 • Duck  Coloring Page
 • Coyote  Coloring Page   Nat'l Geographic Coyote
 • Bear  Bear sounds Coloring Page Coloring Page2
 • ice/heat demonstration

 • Water flows downhill.
Use wooden blocks to raise one end of a plastic tub. Pour water into
the tub at the high end. Observe how it flows. Have her try to figure
out how to get the water to move uphill.  Talk about:
  • Which way did your water move?
  • Did you find a way to get the water to move uphill?
  • Did the water stay up?
  • Why do you think water always moves downward?
or two before) Make a mountain out of clay, let it harden.   
After water experiment, take some snow and place on top of
mountain.  Watch where the water goes as the snow melts.  If
no snow available, pour a little water on top of mountain.

Sink or Float.  Have various items and have her guess whether they will sink or float in water.  Put in water and see what happens.
•  Print off images of animals, let them color.  Match the animals to their environment.


• Do worksheet 
• write the names of each animal


  • Desert - printables   more printables
  • Mountains
  • Rivers
  • Great Lakes

Make a map: blank map of north america

Take a plastic tablecloth and spread it out.  Draw an outline of
the United States onto the cloth.  Make some salt dough and use
the dough to make the physical features onto the map.  Use paint
to draw in the main rivers and lakes.


  •Make a desert diorama OR just print off, color, and glue images onto background without the shoebox.
 • Sandpaper Rubbing Cut out sandpaper in cactus shape.
Tape it to the table. Give each child a piece of paper and a crayon.
The child will place the paper over the sandpaper and rub the crayon
over the paper to make the shape appear on their paper.


  •  Shanna's Animal Riddles
  •  Scorpion book
  • A living desert / by Guy J. Spencer J 574.5 S
  • Alpine meadow / Paul Fleisher J 577.538 F
  • America's magnificent mountains 917.3 N
  • What's inside lakes? Jane Kelly Kosek J 577.63 K
  • Coyote / by Jalma Barrett J 599.77 B
  • Bears J 599.78
  • The friendly prairie dog / Denise Casey J 599.32 C
  • North America / Cass R. Sandak J 970 S


 • DesertUSA
 • Great Lakes-Big Rivers
 •  Activity Pages
 • North American Wildlife (on the individual animal pages, you can hear their sounds)

Valentine's Day Unit Study


Understand the concept of addition
Complete patterns.
Identify, sort and classify objects by attribute
Develop ability to print letters and copy words.


•  Make red Jello jigglers, cut out with heart cookie cutter.  Talk about measurements while making it.
 •  Do worksheets more worksheets using valentine's candy as counters.  (if you refresh the page, you'll get new worksheets)
 •  Make patterns with various valentine's candy. 
 • Cut out several paper hearts of various colors (red, pink,
purple). Have her sort the hearts, count the number of each color, and
record this info on a simple graph.  Use a basic square grid, and
add the heading, pictures, numbers, etc. as needed. This activity could
be repeated with heart sizes as well.


 • Buy a
couple white carnations and mix together red food coloring and water.
Then cut the stem to fit in your vase and cut a vertical X in the base
of the stem. Place the flowers in the red water. Over the next couple
of days they will start changing colors.
•  Cut a strip of
paper towel 4x1.5 inches.  Put a spot of red ink near one
end.  Make a hole near the top of the other end and put a pencil
through it.  Hang the strip of paper in a glass.  Put just
enough water in the glass to reach the bottom of the strip - don't let
the water touch the ink.  Wait about 15 min and see what


  •  Get a box of
conversation hearts.  Have her write down the words that are on
the hearts.  After she practices writing each one, she can eat the
 •  Make valentines to mail to family and friends.  Have her write out a short message inside.


  • Look at  Jim Dine heart prints 
Take 4 6x9 papers and fold them in half.  Draw half a heart along
the edge.  Have her cut out the heart, careful not to cut along
the fold.  Open it up and you have 4 heart shapes.  Using a
variety of art mediums, create 4 different hearts.  Mount
individually onto black paper, or all together on one large piece of
  • Valentine's Day Coloring Pages
• Tissue paper hearts - Paint an entire piece of paper with vinegar and
then cover it with hearts cut out of tissue paper.. After the vinegar
has dried, peel off the hearts to reveal hearts stamps on their paper.


 •  Arthur's Valentine
 • Clifford, We Love You
 • The story of Valentine's Day / by Clyde Robert Bulla J 394.2618 BUL
 • A valentine for you / Wendy Watson E W
 • Clifford's valentines / Norman Bridwell
 • Be my valentine


Lots of Valentine's Links
History of Valentine's Day
Lots of Valentine's crafts
Activity Idea Place


 • Fold a small square of construction paper in half.  Trace
their thumb at an angle, along the folded edge, to make half a
heart.  Have them cut out the shape, being careful not to cut on
the fold.  Open it up and it's a small heart.
  • Color and put together Arthur Valentine's Puzzles
  • Talk about emotions.  Write down different types of
emotions on index cards.  Have her find images from magazines that
depict those emotions, cut out and glue onto card.  Have her write
each word.
 • Read bible verses about love.

Resource Books

Teaching with Favorite Clifford Books
Teaching with Favorite Marc Brown Books

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Book Sale

I went to a Scholastic Warehouse Sale
tonight.  It was awesome!  I got a ton ton ton of
books.  Nothing was over 5 bucks.  I got 500 dollars worth of
books for 140.  Still kind of a lot - oops, LOL.   But
they are really good resource books and some other assorted books and
activity things.  These sales are for teachers, librarians, school
personnel, book fair people, and registered homeschoolers.  You
can check and see which sale is near you - I think they have them 2 or
3 times a year:

Scholastic Warehouse Sale

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Very Helpful Site

This is a great site I just found:  Discovery School
They have a lot of things on this site, and registering is free and
fast.  You have to register to use the Custom Classroom, which has
puzzlemakers, quizmakers, worksheet makers, and best of all, a lesson
planner.  I've just started playing around with it, but it looks
like it's going to be very helpful, especially the lesson planner part
of it.
Custom Classroom

Sunday, January 15, 2006

back to school

Ok, I'm getting back in gear.  I've
started implementing the S.H.E. file card system of cleaning and
organizing and it seems like it's really going to help me with keeping
up with the house and the baby and still have time for school and other things.  I tried Flylady but those emails were soooo annoying.   
So now, I have 2 weeks to get some lessons planned.  I hit a
resource jackpot with my brother's girlfriend.  She's in college
to be an elementary school teacher and has tons of info that she's
letting me look through and use.  

I'm also trying to reorganize my blog so it's a little easier to look through it.  I started looking for things and I was getting lost and confused  
One thing I'm going to do to help me with all of my hard copies of
everything isto set up a spreadsheet with the different information and
objectives I want to cover.  I think that will help me stay
focused, and then by putting that in a binder with the work that was
accomplished, I'll have a nice portfolio going in case anyone ever
wants to see proof that we home-educate.  It'd be nice if I could
post the spreadsheet on here with all the other info each week but I
don't know if that's possible or not.  We'll find out in a couple
weeks, LOL.

How about another cute picture???

Revised topics for the year

is my revised list of topics for this year.  There is no Nov-Jan
because of me being too pregnant and then finally having Baelin.




South America

North America
Planes, Trains, Boats

5 Senses



Tuesday, January 10, 2006

websites for reading

Here are some websites I was told
about.  I haven't really checked them out yet, but they look
good.  I figure if I post the links here I don't have to worry
about forgetting about the sites, LOL.

Dolch Word List - Preschool

Dolch Sight Word Pre-primer Resources

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Classical Chaos

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