Landmarks, Art & Architecture Unit-Week 1

For our last Unit of this year, my oldest requested to study Famous Buildings, Landmarks and Architecture. I loved the idea and got busy right away requesting a bunch of Library books!

Book List:

Architecture A Visual History by James Neal

Joan Steiner Look-A-likes:  Discover a Land where things are not as they appear… and Around the World ; An Album of Amazing Postcards

Monumental Versus by J. Patrick Lewis (poetry)

13 Buildings Children Should Know by Anette Roeder

Buildings in Disguise by Joan Marie Arbogast

Pop’s Bridge by Eve Bunting

Using both these books and worksheets found on Education.com in a “Let’s Travel” series we set out to visit the Landmarks!

                                                   First Stop: England!

We viewed and became familiar with Westminster Abbey, Stonehenge, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London and Big Ben.

History/Social Studies: Landmarks of England. Where is England? Using the World Atlas to locate England.

Language Arts: Copy work and discussed the following words:

England, London, Europe, Queen, British Monarchy, Gables

Math: My youngest built with blocks that had two landmarks on them : Stonehenge and the London Eye. Liam used the geo-boards to create the London Eye as well as some multiplication problems.

england 001blockengland 004 luke build

england 005 eye geoboard

 

 

 

 

Art: Re-created the look of Stonehenge with rocks from around the yard and constructed Tower Bridge with Clay and Pipe Cleaners.

england 006 stonehenge

Computer: Liam loves (to say the least) the game Minecraft, each day as we finish learning about some Landmarks he is re-creating them in “his world” within the game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Stop: Greece!

Using the books -Architecture A Visual History and 13 Buildings Children Should Know and the World Atlas we took a look at The Parthenon!

History/Social Studies: Locate Greece on the Map. Using a worksheet from the same Travel set at Education.com, he matched the Landmarks to the locations on the map of Greece; The Parthenon, Meteora, Santorini, Delphi Theater and Mount Olympus, followed by a series of True and False questions.

Language Arts: Copy work of the following words: Athens, Greece, Greek Antiquity, Columns, The Parthenon, Doric, Iconic and Corinthian.

Art: After discussing the 3 types of Columns : Doric, Iconic and Corinthian- today’s art was photography! We drove around our local towns and looked for these types of columns! Here are the photos he took:

Greece 003Greece 004Greece 005Greece 006

 

 

 

Luke did watercolor painting on printouts of the columns and Liam also designed his own Parthenon on his game minecraft :Greece 001Greece 002

Science: Optical Illusions! We viewed a video and took a closer look at the design of the columns after reading about little tricks architects use in their designs that are not immediately apparent. The end columns are slightly thicker than the others, because they are better-illuminated than the others, it makes them appear thinner!

Math: Multiplication/Division using the pillars for math word problems. Measuring with a measuring tape to see just how tall the pillars stand.

pops bridgeNow in The United States!

We began with the story Pop’s Bridge about the Golden Gate Bridge. Followed by a closer look at The Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, The Chrysler Building and The Guggenheim Museum using the book 13 Building Children Should Know.

Language Arts: Poetry: Monumental Versus book by J. Patrick Lewis -I read the poem “Empire State Building” we then reflected on it and discussed the form of  First Person Narrative.  

The following were today’s copy work vocab/spelling words: San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge, Empire State Building, Modernism, Spiral.

Science: We discussed the design of the Guggenheim Museum and Frank Llyod Wright’s design which is a long spiral-shaped ramp in which visitors take an elevator to the top and simply walk down.  As a repeat from Greece we also talked about optical Illusions again as the building gets progressively wider towards the top.

Math: The term “Cross-Section” as well as some Division lapbook problems.

Art: Frank Llyod Wright as well as Joseph Strauss, designer of the Golden Gate Bridge, were both persistent against critics and branched out in a new direction. With this thought, I asked Liam to design his own “cutting edge, Modern, unlike anything seen before” structure!

He designed a Robot shaped building that would be a Museum for Electronics, Video games and Robots.robot desing

Next week Visits: France, Brazil, Thailand, Spain, New Zealand!

Week Three: India, Denmark, Portugal, China and Australia!

The Magic Peach Unit

liam books

The Magic Peach by Janet Palazzo-Craig, a folktale from Japan that teaches admirable qualities. Peach Boy has many!

Go-Along Books: A-Z Japan, How’s the Weather?, Weather and Climate, World Atlas Book

Math: This week was combined with the topic of weather and so Liam did a Mathbooking Weather Journal! Words Worth Money Game- using a list of Good Qualities Peach boy. Money game for travel.words worthlaim math a 6X table copywork.

liam math

Language Arts: Japanese Picture Cards, Tanka and Haiku Poetry, Listing good qualities of Peach Boy, and one about himself. Japanese and English Words. The Tongue-Cut Sparrow folktale story. Read-Aloud this weeks story. Writing Japanese Kanji! Awesome Alliterations after our weather walk from Nature Detectives. kanji

Crafts/Art: Cherry Blossom Prints, Clay Model Shape of  Japan, Pipe Cleaner: Action and Expression Study, Noted; the boy looked strong, the parents looked tired and hard-working.

liam art

liam claymappipe studystudy ch

 

 

 

Health and Fitness: Yoga and a Wet Weather Walk

rain walk  rain walk a

 

 

 

 

We searched for things to add to our Awesome Alliteration Sheets! This is what Liam came up with:

Wet Walk-Broken Branches- Soaking Seeds-Slushy Snow- Under Umbrellas

 

Social Studies/History: Japanese Customs in the home, Religion in Japan, Animals, Buildings and Cities in Japan, Dress, Exports and Food of Japan. Government, History and Important People of Japan.

Geography: Land, Maps of Japan. Weather Maps.

Science/Nature: Weather Focus: Made a cloud Jar. Does a Peach Float? Cloud Experiment and journal sketch. Air and Air Pressure. Weather Forecasts!

liam cloudcloud typefloat peachrain cloud

 

Heifer International Farm Visit

We visited Overlook Farm again today for the Harvest Festival. This is a working Learning Center that is part of Heifer International. In a previous post called Moo-ving project you can view our other visit.

Today we had the best experience with the kids learning hands on global issues concerning hunger and poverty. The farm had hay rides, lots of activities for the children, scavenger hunts and we walked through to explore the homes in the Global Village and learn about traditional harvest celebrations in Peru, Poland, Kenya and more. There was also a delicious lunch prepared from the farms products! My oldest was really able to see the process from garden to table! Though I really didn’t think about “schooling” today we walked away with a lot of new knowledge! All of us!

Heifer offers free Global Education kits. They are amazing- I speak from experience! We took action after using the kit and raised money to buy a few Living Gifts!

If you are able to take a field trip, please do so! Here are the locations. We live about and hour and a half away, but so worth the trip every time!

Older children and those of 18 and older can volunteer and live on or off the farm! My oldest who’s eight already has said many times, he wants to volunteer as soon as he is old enough!

The Scavenger Hunt took us a while! This was one of the clues : There are many purple plants in the garden, and although I’m one of the smallest, none of the other purple plants smell as good as I do or have prettier flowers. If you can find the other purple plants, write them down but be sure to  get one leaf from me and smell it! I taste particularly good with tomatoes and mozzarella.

Really make you think and look closely! We got all 12 of them! Whew!

Garden Scavenger Hunt

View of the cattle

Making a bees wax candle

Playing Instruments Together

Guinea pig in Peru

Learning to weave a bookmark

A Prime Nature Walk

 

Tossed aside all planned lessons today and went for a nature walk. It was a bit drizzly outside, but not enough to deter us from heading outdoors. We went to Haley Farm State Park an old shoreline farm. So glad we did! We saw a ton of interesting things and it was filled with beautiful wildflowers too.

I brought along our book, The Handbook of Nature Study, so we could identify things along the way, like this Cup-shaped puffball mushroom.  Luke who’s 2yrs,  pointed out the next one when I asked him which one matched in the book. I was impressed that he got it!

 

There was tons of Milkweed growing along the path and we took an up- close look at a Milkweed pod as well! Felt the texture and read some facts from the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we made our way around we found some great rocks to climb on and take a short break.

 

 

 

 

By the shoreline was very pretty and the boys explored a bit and went right down to the water.

The next thing was spotted by Liam, he found these two cocoons, not sure what type of cocoons they are, but they were neat to see!

Now this last find was so cool! As we were just about to end our trip we spotted this Orange Garden Spider and web! Again, we grabbed the book to find out exactly what we were looking at and read some facts on this spider and it’s cool pattern in the web!

Needless to say, this was a great way to start the day today! We came home and did some art activities with leaves we collected.

 

 

American Heroes

 

September 11th, the perfect time to talk about American heroes, America and The Flag. With today being Patriot Day, I started off on a lesson on how this day came to be. We read a kid friendly outline on what happened here in America on 9/11/01 here on this website along with a short video on the Attack of the Twin Towers. Which led us into a discussion on everyday heroes and who helped us that day and everyday! What it means to be a true American Hero.

As it would be, Liam is in Boy Scouts and had “homework” after his first meeting this week to find two famous and or great Americans and tell things they did or are doing to help improve our way of life.  This tied in perfectly with today.  He’s still working on the second famous/great American, but he without hesitation chose two of our family friends who are both in the army as his first great Americans. He said “Well, my first one is going to be Crissy and Jr., because they help us everyday.” I said “that’s a great choice, how do they help improve our lives?” To which he said “well, they fight for us and protect us in our country.” We both were amused that the print out was a male and female too, worked out perfectly.

Next we read “The Story of the Star-Spangled Banner By the Dawns Early Light” by Steven Kroll

Great story on how the song became the national anthem. Stating with the War of 1812, historically accurate details and beautiful pictures.

We then listened to the song and he sang along via video on youtube.

 

 

I am not usually one to teach with worksheets, however I did come across these and liked them.  Great time line for the American flag, vocabulary words and definitions on the Pledge of Allegiance, poem about the flag. I found them on Education.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continued on with math, took a little break, did some straw blowing art, then wrapped up the morning with some more reading of “The Wind in the Willows” I had made up a book/character study sheet for him to use as we read, trying to get him to connect with the story and characters as well as be aware of essential parts of a book. He’s not overly thrilled but we’ll see if it ends up being a useful tool in the end?! He says he likes to just listen, so I explained it’s just like taking a few notes as we read, not to write sentences and with that he seemed more into it, and wrote more than I had expected.

 

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

We have been enjoying the summer, but I felt it was time to get back into the groove this week.  Although we inserted as much education into our outings and the weekly trips to the library served us well in not totally abandoning all things educational for the past few weeks, it’s time to officially begin our “school year.”

This years topics: Middle Ages, Colonial Times, the 50 States, various genres of literature/poetry, Intro to Spanish, various Science topics, Singapore and Life of Fred mathematics. Follow along as I will always share quality books I find to go along with the different topics we are studying!

First Book:

“When Knights Were Bold”by Eva March Tappan

Squires Castle in the Fall

Squires Castle in the Fall (Photo credit: Tim_Arai)

This is the first book we are starting on the Middle Ages. Before I began to read aloud the first few pages, I asked him what he knew about this time period already. Apparently at boyscout camp a few weeks ago, this topic came up, as part of the camp was named “The Sherwood Forest” and his favorite activity of the week was archery! (I love it when one thing unexpectedly leads to the next!) So, he knew of a few things as we started.

Before jumping into the first chapter, I asked him if he knew the difference between a Page, Squire and Knight. I have to say I liked the explanation (8yrs): ” Well a Knight he’s like the ultimate guy, the Squire is his right hand man and I’m not sure what a Page is.”  By the end of the first chapter he had comprehended that a  Page was a boy close to his same age and found that scary and intriguing all at once! He said that it sounded like it was pretty hard to live back then, but fun too if you can become a Knight, hmmm?!
As we finished he said “I like this year better already, all the new books, even the math is better!”  ….SCORE!

Next highlight of today:

‘Wonder Struck”by Brian Selznick – JFiction

This book was recommended by a fellow home school parent at our “Happy Homeschool Hikers” group meeting last week. We’ve only just begun the first chapter on this one as well, but AMAZING! It is “A Novel in Words and Pictures.”  The basis is two children 50 years apart in time,  each tell a story, Ben’s in words, Rose’s in pictures and they begin to weave back and forth and unfold the symmetry. This quote in the first chapter that appeared more than once  “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars”  had us both thinking and wondering what it might mean as we see the two characters coming together, a little foreshadowing perhaps! This was a great opportunity to teach him about foreshadowing and what it means as well as great grounds for narrative speaking on his part.

Once again, I love the Charlotte Mason approach of using living books for learning it is so effective and enjoyable!

This is not just a hike!

Alas, the sun finally made an appearance and we were ready to hike after a long week of being stuck inside! We live in New England, so therefore, we packed both our suits and our sweatshirts- not knowing just how the weather was going to turn out as the day progressed. Gotta love it!

We meet regularly with a small group of local homeschoolers’ and hike new trails. This week we set out to Wolf Den State Park! A favorite trail of ours, that we have hiked once or twice in the past.

This week I took to noticing that the group of children~more in particularly my own, have really begun to be quite the little nature bugs! They all have so many questions about the plants and trees they are seeing, or looking for conformation on recognizing one from a previous hike. “What kind of leaf is this?” “What is this over here?” “What kind of bug is this?” “Isn’t this the same flower we saw last time?” “Did you hear that bird, what bird is it? ~They all take turns to yell out with excitement at one point or another with something they’ve spotted, and everyone else runs up eager to see!

The flowers have blossomed as well as the relationships with this group! They seemed to have quickly noted the likes and dislikes of each other, and will shout to each other when they spot something they know the other is interested in. As well as a fair warning! They check in with each other as we walk, look out for one another and encourage one another along the way as feet and spirits get tired. My youngest son riding along in the backpack get many visitors too, whether it be for a rock or stick or some other treasure found for him to hold, or more precious, another child walking beside us holding his hand and talking with him!

This week was pure conformation to me that this is not just simply a nice hike outdoors with friends, this is hands-on life learning at it’s best! So many basic skills and life long relationships are being formed! Image

ImageImageCan’t wait for next week! 🙂ImageImageImage