Missouri: The Gateway Arch

I found a great book about the The Gateway Arch.  It had all the information about it, but it wasn’t too overwhelming.

 

After reading it we took some time to talk about what kind of monument we might design.  Can you guess what the boys wanted to design?

 

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Yes, we got one that looks like the Washington Monument, one birthday cake, and then two battle scenes.  Actually, I think Batman’s is a whole epic war complete with hide-outs.

 

I kid you not.  Either way, the kids all enjoyed it, so I’m not going to complain too much.

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Maine: The Treasure Chest

I mentioned yesterday that I didn’t find a whole lot of books on Maine.  Most of the ones I found were about light houses.  Apparently, there are a lot of light houses up in Maine.

 

This particular one isn’t exactly a true story, but it is based off a compilation of several true stories.

The Sea Chest is a story about a young girl and her family who live on an island tending the lighthouse.  One night a bad storm washes a sea chest up on their island, and what was found inside.

 

I previewed this book a couple of days beforehand, and fell in love with the story.  It’s so touching and is a great multi-generational story of love.  I don’t want to give away any of the details, but it was so sweet.

 

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Before we read the book I had them guess what was going to be found in the book. 

 

As you can guess they mostly thought treasure, gold, shells.  Batman guessed a manta ray, just to be silly.

 

Afterwards they drew what was really in the chest.

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Finally they drew what they would put in the chest.  This related to the key plot point of the story, but I figured you probably can’t guess what Princess drew.

PRINTABLE: WHAT I FOUND IN THE TREASURE CHEST

 

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It was a bittersweet day for us because one of the families in our group is moving to South Austin and so they won’t be joining us regularly.  I’m gonna miss getting together with them weekly, but we’re gonna still get together from time to time.

 

I’m sure God will bring another family to join our little group, that’s how we got the family that just moved.  I ran into her at the library while getting books for our geography group.

I’m gonna link up to these fun parties:
learning laboratory at mama smilesShibley Smiles

Maine: Wakame Gatherers

I probalby wouldn’t have classified this as a Maine book because it takes place mainly in Japan, but I was VERY short on books about Maine.

 

VERY short.

 

But, it does do a comparison of Japan and Maine, and it’s an incredibly cute story.  CRAZY CUTE!

 

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The Wakame Gatherers is a story about a girl from two cultures.  One of her parents is from Japan and one is from the United States.  She spends time with both grandmothers.

 

This particular time, the grandmother from Maine is visiting Japan and learning about how to harvest seaweed and the many different types and how it is used.

 

And there was my tie in……

 

In the book they compare different ways sea weed is used in the two countries.  The main thing my kids remember.  Sea weed is used in Miso soup and in ice cream.

 

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After reading everyone drew/wrote 4 different ways sea weed is used by people.  Then they colored their favorite ways with their favorite color.  The boys expanded on this to also color their least favorite way with their least favorite color……  Hence the purple/pink monstrosity up above.

 

Most common favorite thing: ice cream.

 

There wasn’t a common least favorite.  My boys were all in favor of miso soup, another kid loved sushi.  It was a fun discussion.

 

PRINTABLE: HOW WE USE SEA WEED

Alabama: Helen Keller

When I was growing up I was absolutely fascinated by Helen Keller.  She showed such amazing strength of character and will power.  I can probably trace my fascination with sign language back to then.  I read a biography about her in 4th grade and taught myself how to finger spell.  In high school I read her autobiography, fascinating book.

 

But I digress

 

We read the picture book of Helen Keller, which like other books in the series, gives a nice concise timeline of her life and why she is important.

 

Afterwards we talked about the challenges of being blind and having to have someone lead you around, and how hard it must have been to not be able to tell what you want for so long.

 

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Then we wrote our names out in Braille, which took tremendous concentration.

 

One of the things that tickled me about this lesson was during our trip the kids kept trying to imitate Helen Keller and the signs she used for her parents and for bread during the trip.  I guess it made a fairly deep impact.

50 State Study: Indiana

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In order of popularity with the kids:

Indie 500– let’s face it any activity that involves building with Legos is always a hit…….

Raggedy Ann and Andy– Who’d have thought designing paper dolls would be such a hit?

Creating a floating house– because my kids always like peg dolls, who doesn’t?

My Freedom place– looking back at this week, it was an amazing hit, all of these activities were popular

 

SCORE!

 

There are some times where it’s nice to have a simple geography week, okay this wasn’t one of them, but it was somewhat simple………

Amazon.com Widgets

 

linking over to: Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns, and All Things Beautiful 

or theoretically I will because I’m on a GREAT ADVENTURE now (who heard Steven Curtin Chapman start singing when I said that?)

Illinois: Hog Music

I must say the children’s librarian at our library orders some of the best books.  They may not have the most obvious way to do an art project or writing project connected to it, but the stories are wonderful.
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A little girl and her family move out West to Illinois.  Her aunt refuses to move out there because there’s nothing out there but “wind and hog music.”  The aunt sends a small present out to her niece, but along the way it falls out of the mail wagon.  This is the story of how the present got there and what was added along the way.

Which of course led to the question, what would you pack to send as a birthday present to someone far away, and what would you have added in to the package you found?
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Well as we snacked on our popcorn (you’ll see in a few weeks about that).

We talked about what would we give her and what would we add into a present that was about the size of a shoe box if we were able to do so.

Can you guess what the boys added?
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Surprisingly it wasn’t just weapons, but there were quite a few as you would expect from a group of mostly boys who all love Lego Ninjago.  My boys also added stuffed animals.  Lots of stuffed animals, and a few weapons, and food.  They had popcorn on their mind.
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Meanwhile Princess happily colored away and drew ribbons and dresses and dolls for her imagined friend who was getting all of this packed up in a shoe box.

As I was thinking about this, it would be a good planning project for Operation Christmas Child.

The printable we used can be found here: Hog Music printable.

I’m gonna link up to these fun parties:
learning laboratory at mama smilesShibley Smiles

50 State Study: Louisiana

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Louisiana is a fun state to study, we spent a couple of weeks on it and I feel like there is still so much we could have done.

Going clockwise, starting in the top left:

Louisiana state picture

My plan to save the levies- this is one I never blogged about for some reason, but we talked about how New Orleans is below sea level and the devastation from Hurricane Katrina.  Afterwards the kids drew their plans to fix the levies.  For whatever reason Princess decided they really needed to rebuild it with stronger bricks.

 

Down in Louisiana– I seriously love Johnette Downing’s books, and this was one of the first ones we read.  We also did a project with Chef Creole, but that has disappeared into the nether

 

Battle for New Orleans- I mentioned this battle and song when we first learned about Andrew Jackson for Tennessee.  This time we talked about it some more and then we drew who they would draft into their army.  My kids were so amused by the crocodiles in the song they all decided to draft crocodiles……

 

Blues invented in Louisiana-Any excuse to play big band and blues music to my kids is always welcome.  My kids are going to grow up with very interesting taste in music (as I’m typing this my playlist changed from “Into the Woods” to “Chicago.”).  They drew all in blues to illustrate what it sounded like.  It led to some fun illustrations.

 

Not shown in the picture because certain 5 year old girls lose things and “forget” to glue them in, I’m not naming any names……..

 

Study of crawdads

Chef Creole from the Johnette Downing books…….

Mardi Gras masks……  This one has disappeared into their rooms, and has been repaired many many times by me.  I might break down and make one out of fabric.

A whale for Jean Laffitte (who will reappear when we get to Texas, apparently he founded Galveston)

 

Okay that last one wouldn’t have fit in her book anyways, but it has been interesting finding bits and pieces around the house………