Welcome to Delaware, as we trek across the states! Our journey consists of Musings of Me, Montessori Tidbits, and Get Down and Get Your Hands Dirty. I'd like to give a little shout-out to Learning Curve, who also studied Florida this week!
Here's how we made Florida hands-on and exciting... (by FAR our favorite state to study!)
I redid our nature table, and set out some new items for Aikman to explore. He used a magnifying glass to look over the items and mentioned things that he thought were interesting on them. Included are several starfish, coral, sea "rocks," sand dollar, and an assortment of different shells. (Don't you love that look of ,"WHY are you taking another picture of me?")
Sorting shells using tongs:
4 different types of shells are sorted by their type.
Univalve vs. bivalve shells:
I've been waiting to do this with Aikman for some time, and was so glad that we got to spend this week studying univalve/bivalve shells! We first talked about what these 2 types of shells were and how they were different, and then I gave him some time to explore the shells. Above, he is investigating how the hinge of a bivalve shell works.
... and then I get a demonstration on how to properly sort the shells according to their type. "So, Mom, is this a 'unidoweled' or 'bidoweled' shell?" "Yep, you're right! It is bivalved!"
In a few weeks, I think I may pull out our univalve/bivalve shell cards from Montessori Print Shop. Thanks MPS for offering these as a free download a while back!
Sifting sand to find the shells:
Thanks Colleen at Sunrise Learning Lab for sending us some Florida sand in the Mondorfment summer nature swap. We added some tiny shells from an old necklace, and then covered them with the sand. Aikman then had to scoop and sift through the sand to find all of them.
Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico:
Using the sheet from here, Aikman painted Florida one color, and all of the water another color. We talked about how Florida was a big peninsula (which we need to talk more about, and I should have brought out our landform cards and trays!), surrounded by 2 different bodies of water -- the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. As a writing extension, the child can label the 2 bodies of water, once the paint has dried.
Everglades animal booklet:
On the spur of the moment, I came up with the idea to create a booklet with pictures to label for the Everglades. This was a huge success, and made learning about the animals very fun for Aikman. The above right picture is an image of the common animals (and one tree!) found in the Everglades.
Here you can see him concentrating on writing the word skunk....
You can download the booklet photos here.
Alligator family cards:
In continuation of our animal family series, I also made some alligator family cards for a study on the American alligator. These cards included the name of the male, female, babe, and group for the alligator. You can download these cards here.
Do you know the difference between an alligator and a crocodile? Well, one of the main differences is their snouts -- alligators have a broad, u-shaped snout, and crocodiles have a thin, V-shaped snout.
Lately, Aikman has been on a kick of tracing a folded heart and then cutting it out (ie making valentines). I followed this same format for making the crocodile. I cut out a tall trapeziod, with the sides tapering out as it goes up. Then Aikman traced the figure onto a folded piece of construction paper and cut it out, so that it made a wide snout that would open. He also cut out jagged teeth and a tongue, and glued them inside. (I'm not sure an alligator has a tongue, but he insisted that he needed one). Finally, we added 2 eyes on top.
Isn't he cute?
We didn't actually study these in detail this week, but I've seen a LOT of people study them. So, I wanted to add some information about where you can find additional information about manatees... Homeschool Share has a free lapbook about manatees (scroll down the page to find all of the resources). Here's a link to the anatomy of a manatee. Here's a manatee coloring book. Can you knit? Here's an etsy shop that has a manatee knitting pattern. Here's a link to a 3-D manatee craft.
General ideas for Florida:
Quarter rubbings/quarter hunt: (download here)
Originally, Aikman was very interested in doing quarter rubbings, but no so much anymore. So, instead I am printing off the quarter sheet, and then having him hunt through the quarters to find the one with Florida on it.
Label the state with its abbreviation. We've added a printout that has each state shown on the map, with its abbreviation, so he can practice finding and labeling all previous states as well as the current state.
Connect the dot page that form the state (dots go from 1-25)
This is the FIRST activity my son chooses each week, as soon as it is set out! You can download the page from makinglearningfun here.
Trace the state (download from here)
Aikman asked me if he could trace the states. I honored this request, using some leftover tissue paper, tape, and the printed map.
Major cities in Florida (download from here)
This one wasn't chosen during school time this week... too many other fun activities!
Count the bordering states
We look at the map, find the state, and then count the states that surround it. We've added a graph to keep up with the number of bordering states.
Graph the number of bordering states
After the number of bordering states is counted and written, it can be added to the graph. You can download this graphing sheet here.
Make the state flag
We were so busy with all of the shells and Everglades, that we ran out of time to do the flag. If you'd like a coloring sheet for the Florida flag, you can find one here. If you'd like to be crafty and create it yourself (as we typically do), you can look at the Florida state flag here.
- Pinpushing (map found here)
- Pinpushing (map found here)
- see, trace, make state name worksheets at Musings of Me.
- Adventures of Mommydom also has studied Florida, and created a symbols of Florida printable for you to download.
Are you singing the 50 Nifty US states song yet? It's found here on youtube! It is helping us remember the states names.
I'm linking up to Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn for their Geography/History meme.