The Rise Of Leaders

DSC_0008-3Today we discussed how in early civilizations, leaders arose. How to become a leader you had to know more than other people. Someone figured out there are 365 days in a year by the stars. Someone had to figure out where the peasant’s farm was after the flooding of the Nile. This is where people long ago would use the string and pegs method. Our history book gave an example of a right angle. To help the kids understand this my husband took our kids outside and presented a problem to them. They used the right angle to figure out how to make a corner. After, they completed their right angle they checked it using a square. The one they made using string was very close. After they understood what a right angle was, I had them do a small scale one on their own.

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We then discussed how someone who knew information like this would become a leader in ancient times and how leaders are smart. Leaders know what needs to be done and they know how to get it done.

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Hunters Home and Stone Age Food

We spent the last few days talking about the stone age. How people hunted a place until the food ran out. How the homes were constructed so they could be easily packed up.  How people moved around a lot following the food. I found a few projects that went along with what we were learning. The first project we did was a hunter’s home from the book Everyday Life in the Ancient World Hands on Projects. The kids spent a good amount of time making bones, stones, and fire from clay. They dug through our supply closet to find cardboard and scrapes of leather. They scavenged the woods for sticks and rocks. They spent two days working on these homes and the end result turned out pretty cool. They both were proud of their homes and enjoyed the project.

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The second project we decided to try was food from that time period. Items you would have gathered and eaten. This project was also out of the Everyday Life in the Ancient World Hands on Projects book. We chose blueberries, blackberries, nuts, and honey for our gathered food. We simmered the mixture and let it cool. This is what the kids thought about the food we would have gathered back then.

So excited to try this mixture.

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Okay, he probably would have starved if he had to eat this.DSC_0012-3

Spitting soon followed but I decided to spare you the pictures of that event. DSC_0019

Alexis learned not to take a big bite from her brother. Needless to say, the kids did not enjoy the hunter’s food, but still enjoyed the project.

For more ideas check out All Things Beautiful.

History and Geography Button

Caveman and Woman

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Today we traveled back in time where a cave would have been your home, a time where you had to hunt and scavenge for food, where a lizard scurrying across the ground made your stomach grumble.

Today we talked about the first nomads and the caveman. We started off reading part of chapter one from Story of the World about the first nomads. I also handed out a printout I made up using real cave paintings for the kids to look at and add to their history binder. I did want to wait though for a discussion until we were in our very own cave.

Okay, so it was only our bathroom with the lights off but you get the picture. I knew I wanted to do our own cave paintings, and I had found many variations of this activity. In the end I decided the bathroom would allow us to paint in the dark. We cut apart a brown grocery bag and hung each piece on the wall. I had three different metallic paint colors that matched the colors in the pictures we had seen. I put the paint on a paper plate, grabbed a flashlight, and headed to the cave. I didn’t make it very far before I heard the sweet voice of my daughter. “Um, mom we aren’t using a flashlight for fire are we?”  I knew this was going in a direction that was going to take some serious brainstorming, so I blew out a breath and calmly set my stuff down. Now, let me start off by telling you what was really going on in my house. The children were gathered jumping around my living room grunting like cavemen poking me with pencils sticks while I gathered materials for us to do a fun and exciting cave painting. So as you can imagine, I was ready to get on with the painting portion of the day, but I let kids take the lead. What they came up with amazed me. After much debate and a veto from mom about starting a fire in the bathroom, they downloaded a free app on the kindle. It was a fireplace app and even had a crackling sound you could turn on. So, with the fire problem solved, I gathered up the materials once again and headed in the cave. Want to know what I realized? I was all alone. I head back out of the cave to find the kids rummaging around our supply closet. I quietly observed what they were doing. Both lost in conversation, until they pulled out two large scrapes of leather, then dancing up and down at their find. They looked at me, all smiles, held up the leather and told me they were just like the kids in the story with their own leather square to lay on. Well, in their cases, to sit on. We made our way into the cave, got the fire started, and got busy painting. As we all gathered around the bathroom floor, we discussed what life would have been like back then, always moving around worrying about food.

Even though this project took twice as long as I had planned, the time spent snuggling around the fake fire was worth all the trouble.

My Archaeologists

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Today we began our study of ancient times. The kids were sitting around the table waiting on their next worksheet when I grabbed a blanket along with a bag of stuff and walked out the door. Well, curiosity won out and before long my kids appeared beside me on the blanket with a questioning look on their faces. I calmly explained that it was such a beautiful day outside I just couldn’t stay inside any longer. If you know me this is not something I do. School outside? Never, we have to sit at the table, because that is what we do. Like I said before, this year I really want to slow down and enjoy our school year, so today it was a fossil dig outside.DSC_0028-2

I started by reading from Story of the World introduction, How Do We Know What Happened? I had also picked up a few books about archeology at the library. After discussing what history and archeology was, I had them reach into the bag to find a surprise. A fossil dig! I found this kit from Hobby Lobby for around $15.00.I chose the shark tooth dig because the kids have been wanting to do a shark unit, (the second surprise of the day) and I thought this would be a good start to that unit.

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This little kit didn’t disappoint. We loved it so much we stopped by Hobby Lobby just to pick up another one.This time we decided on a gem dig!

We Finished The Titanic!

We spent the last few days finishing up our Titanic unit. We talked and read about the evacuation, calling for help, alarm and panic, Carpathia to the rescue, and the aftermath. We didn’t really have anything to add to our books at this point so we finished watching the Netflix video, (which I highly recommend). The video ended with finding the Titanic on the bottom of the ocean and so did our unit study. The kids added pictures of artifacts along with images of the sunken Titanic to their books.

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We will be doing our Titanic Feast this weekend. The kids are busy planning the menu. They have decided to sample foods from each class. I can’t wait to see what they come up with! They even have costumes to dress up in.

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Tomorrow we start ancient times! I Hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday.

Iceberg Jello

I knew today was going to be spent learning about the Titanic hitting the iceberg and the ship sinking. I was trying to come up with something we could do that added a little fun to the day and found this project, iceberg jello.

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When the kids woke up this morning we got to work on making this bright blue jello. We searched high and low until we found the perfect clear sundae glasses to put our ocean into. After putting our creations into the refrigerator, we got busy with our school work. I spent time reading to them about what an iceberg was, (which they informed me they knew already) and how the Titanic struck the iceberg causing it to flood and sink. I handed them out a timeline that came from here.They added pieces to the timeline as we discussed the events that took place that night.

DSC_0018-3 After we finished up with that we grabbed our ocean (jello) and added the iceberg (whipcream) to the top and headed to the couch to watch the Netflix video and eat our iceberg jello. As the kids listened to the stories from the survivors, they were sad that so many more could have been saved, but they loved the way the video spoke about the heroes of that night. How the men continued to shovel coal so the boat would have lights, how men gave children their life belts, and how the men continued to send out for help until the last minutes causing all of these men to lose their lives, but allowing others to survive.

Being A First Class Passenger

I really wanted to explore each class of passengers separately so I could give the kids a feeling of what it was like to be in that class. I started by making up pages for each class. Each classes page has what the ticket cost back then and what it would cost today. I found pictures related to each class and put all of this together using Word. So lets start with first class. On the handout I made up, were pictures of the room, boarding pass, the Turkish room, along with the pass to enter, the dinning room and the first class menu, the grand staircase, the smoking room, and some of the original passes that have been recovered. I let the kids cut out the pictures and start adding them to their books while I read about life as a first class passenger.

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I also handed them a handout from history on the net on first class passengers, and let them cut out their favorite ones and add them to their lapbooks. We discussed the passengers and even some of the great love stories aboard the ship. I did a search and found a passenger list and let the kids each pick out a person they would like to be throughout our journey. We then filled out a boarding pass I found here in that persons name.

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We also started a journal as the person we picked and sent a telegram from the same teachers pay teachers download.

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I did find this download worth the $5.00. We finished up our first class passenger experience by watching our Netflix video. I will be doing the exact same things for the second and third class passengers so I will skip posting on these.