Friday, February 24, 2012

PK Geography: Egypt

Library books. I have to mention that I loved the books by Brian Wildsmith. The stories of Joseph and the Exodus were biblically accurate and had beautiful, engaging pictures. They're the kind of pictures you want to keep on looking at, so you don't miss any details, and that held the kids' attention longer while I read.

One of the first blogs I started reading was LaPaz Home Learning. Three years ago, she posted about a paper doll pad for studying cultures. I've been saving that idea up for RIGHT NOW! We used the Royalco paper doll pad, and since we only needed solid colors, we used construction paper for the Egyptian doll clothes. I have the Around the World decorative papers just waiting, though, for when we need some ethnic designs.

Using the book, A Nile River Food Chain, (from the library) we made food chain pyramids with pictures I printed off the computer.

We also put together our Africa puzzle, looked through our Africa continent box, and looked at African flag cards (Target dollar rack.)

We played an Egyptian game called Seven Bricks. Basically the kids take turns trying to knock down a tower of blocks with a ball. One of those things which seems too simple but the kids think is great.
Egypt flag coloring page

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Beautiful Day

Yesterday was rainy.

Today was amazing.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cooking With Friends

For Tuesday co-op this week, we cooked up an Egyptian meal together.
Larkin and his buddy made salata arabieh.

Rohan and his friends made ayesh.

And the girls made soup and finjan kirfee.

I made some mint tea to go along with the food and palace bread, which unfortunately I forgot to serve. But my kids enjoyed eating it later.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Preschool Science: Plants

Since we've started early gardening already, I thought it would be a good time to do a little learning about plants. I'm finding that planning lessons for Zahana and Rohan is so much simpler, because I've done it before. I've made and saved materials, gathered ideas, and generally just have more experience. And that makes playing and learning together all the more fun.
Sorting plant and animal cards. This was really easy for them, but when I asked how they knew the difference between a plant and an animal, they came up with some pretty funny answers.

Because I had some natural/man-made sorting cards in the same box, they tried these too. They were a lot trickier and made for some laughs.

Plant rubbing cards.

Zahana wanted to write out the names of each plant on her pictures. Makes me so happy to see her take the initiative in these things. :)

Tree and flower puzzles.

The free printable garden preschool pack from Homeschool Creations is full of plant-inspired worksheets and games.

We planted a sweet potato and avocado in jars so we can see the roots when they start to grow. Lots of talk about the jobs of leaves and roots.

After we did the celery-in-colored-water experiment, Zahana explained it very well to Jeremiah. She's a talker, so narrating and explaining is going to be easy for her and satisfying for me.

We did a little soil test on our garden. I think this was Rohan's favorite part, seeing the water change colors and matching the tubes to the chart, even if he didn't understand what it all meant.

I gave each kid a basket with a magnifying glass, ruler, and scissor, and we went out to discover.

Gathering plant parts.

Examining . . .

. . . and measuring . . .

. . . the tiny radishes, peas, and lettuces that are starting to peek up in the garden.

Inside, they made nature collages out of their collected plant parts.

Here are a few more links and ideas for a plant unit:
Garden Sensory Tub
Free Montessori Botany Materials
More free Montessori botany materials
Trees are Terrific
Plant parts we eat (snack)
Flower arranging
Make colored carnations
Netflix plant videos
Library books