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.

 

one topic/many subjects and lots of art!

 

 

We kicked this rainy Tuesday off with a math lesson, mostly multiplication facts on MEP, and Chapter Four in LOF, which was also about multiplication and similes! Yes, the Life of Fred math books include more than just math topics! We also covered some Geography today, this week’s state is Arizona. We broke out the map and read the book “Unique Arizona” then colored in Arizona on the U.S. map sheet using the states abbreviation.

 

U.S. History was also covered, reading a few pages on colonial life and what kinds of medicine people used, what went on on Sundays and what a watchman’s job was. “…If you lived in Colonial Times” by Ann McGovern, is the book we’re reading. Nice child friendly book, gives a quick glimpse into the daily lives.

 

 

Another favorite book of mine is “The Big Handbook of  Nature Study” by Anna Botsford Comstock. Today we did a bird study on the White-Breasted Nuthatch.  We have one that we frequently watch in our yard and who comes to our feeder every now and then. As I read all about the bird, I provided a picture of the White-Breasted Nuthatch as a visual study. This came in handy as we read about the coloring as well as the footing it has that enables them look at the world mostly upside down. We then proceeded with a narrative speaking exercise in which he answered and discussed the questions at the end of the chapter as well as things he has observed with the birds in the yard.

 

Within this chapter was a poem about the nuthatch, so I typed it into Word, added lines for copywork.

 

He will copy two sentences each day until complete as part of his grammar and spelling lessons this week.

 

In keeping with the topic of the White-Breasted Nuthatch, we next did an art activity. First studying the picture I asked how many colors does one see in the birds feathers. I then asked him to choose the tubes of paint that best match, and if there wasn’t one, such as the silver blue of the bird, he picked three colors to mix to create this color. He got it right on with the first mix of colors! I then talked about negative space in art. Today I wanted him to use the coloring of the bird and make a negative space collage using feathers.  Using the watercolors, he held down the feather and painted on top of it letting the water do the work! It came out really pretty!

 

 

Meanwhile, my two year old is playing with his trains on the floor since 5:30 this morning! So with him still occupied, we started reading our second book of the year. We just finished a Fiction book (Wonder Struck), now we’re headed into the genre of Animals.  I chose “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame.  We managed to get in about 10 pages, just enough to get started!

 

Good timing, now my two year old is ready to “play a game” as he always says. I had planned on doing shape printing with him today. I had kept a variety of circle objects aside from various objects: caps, tubes, lids etc.  I handed him the tools and he did the rest!

 

 

Once he was finished with this, he still wanted to do more! So we did another circle print using bubble wrap this time!

 

Paint the bubble wrap, press the paper down and lift!