February 22, 2005

Insects and Indians/Native Americans

Yesterday we spent much of the day studying I topics, the kids got to pick and Rhiannon picked Indians/Native Americans and icebergs, Ciaran picked insects. We began each lesson by reading some whole books on the topics and then seeing where they would take us. We ended up focusing quite a bit on traditional and modern Native American dances as illustrated in the book Powwow. We also looked at their history and talked about the time in which they first lived in the United States. We drew from our experiences in the Little House on the Prairie series, Kirsten an American girl and other stories we have read.

For icebergs, we continued our discussion of the glaciers that we had started the end of last week. The kids had seen pictures of Serona and I standing on top of a glacier and closeup photos we took from the inside of a helicopter and from the edge of one we hiked near. We went to Alaska for part of our honeymoon nearly eight years ago. Never realized it would become part of a science lesson! The thought the calving pictures were cool and were amazed about how deep an iceberg goes and how careful boats have to be. If they were older I would have gone into Titanic and maybe watched parts of the movie, but they are too young for that.

We spent most of the day on insects, big surprise in this family. We read a few books and then spent a good amount of time online. We did online jigsaw puzzles, printed out pictures, fact sheets, life stage information, math worksheets and insect body part labeling sheets for their books, also a few coloring pages. Rhiannon did the Bee hive, one of my favorite interactive learning websites about bees, by herself for the first time. We also found an online quiz game to guess which insect you can see a part of. She did an excellent job at this.

It was a full day of reading and learning with a nice balance of whole books and online activities. I wish it were warmer out to combine it with a bug hunt and bug identifying activities. We also would have built a teepee in the backyard. Ah things to do in the summer.



  1. Sounds like you guys had a great "I" lesson.

    When we went to Fernbank museum (in Atlanta) we saw the IMAX Titanic film. Your kids may like it when they are older if it's still around. James Cameron, the director of Titanic, took part in this documentary. They actually sent robots into the wreck in order to map it out and see the interior of the ship. My son was 10 at the time and he asked me when it was over, "All those people died? A thousand people?" It affected all of us when we watched it.