Thursday, May 2, 2013

Preschool Butterfly Science Unit

The Piwi''s just can't seem to get enough Butterflies and Insects. It seems our Save the Monarch project has ignited a shared love of (most) things creepy and crawly - Hairy spiders, Scorpions, Worms and Fire ants aren't so popular...

Everyday for nearly two weeks we have been moving our Milkweed seedlings into the sun in the morning and putting them undercover at night. While we are outside the kids have taken to observing the Roly poly bugs and Lizards that are out basking in the spring warmth. Some days they collect some beetles to watch for an hour inside other days they just like to watch them go about there work in the bark chips.

 After reading Eric Carle's Hungry little Caterpillar we used the cutting practice printable to make a poster of the caterpillar/butterfly life cycle (she also added some extras because 'they are 'friends'). We loved this Bug tot pack from 3 Dinosaurs.

The Dollar store had these cute Spring Sun catchers. There are so many great things there at the moment, little gardening aprons, bug study kits, kids garden tools, seeds.....we had to get out of there fast before I had the urge to fill up my basket. I only went in to get art supplies for a parcel we were sending overseas...

 I hadn't been printing out too many worksheets lately because Mini Piwi wasn't enjoying them. I added a couple this week to my folder of 'stuff' and she spotted the cute pictures and asked to do them. I was amazed how much more control she now has over the pen she insisted on using! These sheets are from 3 Dinosaurs and Two Teaching Mommies.

While tidying up the bookshelves the Piwis found books they hadn't read for awhile. Mini Piwi was fascinated by a kids cook book. She actually slept next to it for a few nights and would wake up asking to make something out of it. Her favorite creation was a Yogurt & Berry 'Butterfly' 

My other Dollar store find was a little bug observation set.  Mini Piwi loved finding this in her tray. It included a 'bug catcher', plastic magnifying glass and magnified bug holder. She just used the catcher on the pretend bugs because I was worried she might squash live one with it.

'Plastic Bug catching'

 By the end of the week our 'Sharing board' was full of color!

I captured my favorite moment: Here are two friends sitting by the window..Perry is pretending to be part of a Montessori activity while Mini Piwi is playing the Hungry Little Caterpillar app.

What is the warmer weather inspiring you to do?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hans Christian Anderson Unit Study & Lapbook (Free download)

Source for book title Image

The theme for the Second month of the Poppin's Book Nook is Wizards!  Our "Magical' book this month was 'The Perfect Wizard' by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Dennis Nolan. 

This whimsical picture book is a biography of story telling Wizard, Hans Christian Andersen. It introduces us to a young, awkward and eccentric Hans and describes how he overcomes the odds to become one of the best known children's fairy tale authors. Small excepts from his stories throughout the book cleverly highlights how much of his inspiration was drawn from his own experiences. Dennis Nolan's beautiful illustrations are whimsical and dream like. To see them for your selves you can click on the book cover to see inside the book on Amazon (affiliate link).

Miss K and I read the book together because it does contain some themes that she would have questions about. (eg.Losing loved ones, Mental health and Poverty). This book is full of life lessons like not giving up and believing in your dreams. I am still surprised the library wasn't keeping it for their collection!

I had planned a craft to go with this book. However, after reading the book, Miss K  read some of the other fairy tales quoted in the book. Our project become a Lap book and Unit study. The Mini books I made for the Lap book focused on five topics. I have included the links do you can download them too.
1. Timeline: We used the picture book to create a Time line for many of the Major events in Hans Christian Andersen's life. Download time line 
2. Paper Art: To amuse his audience Han Christian Anderson made his 'Paper cuts'. We read about this on several websites (see below for links) and Miss K is practicing so she can add one to this mini book. Download Mini Book.
3. Reading Log: In side this flap Miss K listed the stories she read and the year they were first published. Download Mini Book
4. HCA's Legacy: Andersen's stories have been adapted into new versions and inspired Stage, Ballet and Movies productions. Miss K investigated this further and found examples. Download Tri fold book
5. Fairy tales: Miss K chose her six favorite HCA Fairy tales. For each of these I made a Mini Book which used to summarize the story or write about the Main Character (s). Download Mini books
To make our lap book we used some of beautiful vintage images from The Graphics Fairy.

All our online resources can be found on our Hans Christian Andersen Pinterest board

The Poppins Book Nook is hosted by The Enchanted Homeschooling Mom
Here are the participating bloggers: