Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Five in a Row: The Bee Tree

Five in a Row has really allowed us to look at learning a bit differently.  I love that we can jump on a unit study based on current interests, or what is going on around us.  It certainly helps make the learning more meaningful!

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As soon as my father-in-law got bees, I bought The Bee Tree by Patricia Polacco, because I knew we could use it for Five in a Row!

Social Studies
Geography - Michigan and Great Lakes

We read about Michigan from our jumbo state card, and from the book Don't Know Much About the 50 States.  Emory placed our story disk on Michigan for us.

We also started learning about the Great Lakes.  We used this Great Lakes Coloring Page because it was the closest to what I was wanting.  Elliott identified the lakes from a map.  Emory colored a whirlpool.

Go-Along Book:  Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling C. Holling
This is a fabulous living book to accompany the geography lessons for this row since it focuses on the Great Lakes!  We've learned lots of interesting tidbits about the lakes over lunch!

Language Arts
Analogy, Clues in Text and Onomatopoeia 
We did some of these lessons conversationally, but Onomatopoeia is one that is easy to put into practice, so I had the boys each fill out the lapbook element from Homeschool Share.  Emory's got a little interesting, but it was fun!  (We don't lapbook, so we just glued them to copy paper to put in our notebook.)

We have a couple of general 'bug' books, but The Best Book of Bugs gave us a great overview.  First I read the page called Buzzing Bees, which talks about bees in general, and a little about wasps.  Then the next two-page spread was called A Honeybee's Year which showed us the lifecycle of a bee as well as interesting facts about how they collect nectar and pollen and make honey.  Emory really likes *facts* about nature, so he loved this non-fiction reading, and later he went back and drew a whole scene based off what he learned from this book.

Both boys labeled the Parts of a Bee and Elliott also filled out the Bee Life Cycle Vocabulary, both from Mama's Learning Corner.

Later in the week we watched The Magic School Bus episode In a Beehive during some downtown.  Another day we reviewed the Lifecycle of a Bee and followed a how to draw a bee tutorial from Art for Kids Hub.  (That was their art for the week.)

We reviewed Hexagons, and then determined 6 different ways to make them.  Emory needed an occasional nudge every now and then, so he practiced with pattern blocks until he found a design that worked, and Elliott filled all of his very quickly.

Field Trips and Family Fun
One afternoon the boys wanted to watch Bee Movie so that was their quiet time activity while Eleanor napped.

Baking powder biscuits from the cookbook.  What was left, anyway.

Obviously watching Pawpaw getting up close and personal with the bees was a huge highlight of this row.  Pawpaw was great with the boys, telling them what he was doing step-by-step, and we learned so much from this firsthand experience!  This was his first year with bees, but I'm thrilled and hope he adds on, because they're close enough to help pollinate my fruit tries!

We got to feel the wax.

 Then he showed us how the wax is removed and the honey is still so thick and sticky it doesn't easily come out.

So they got to take turns cranking . . .

The more they extracted, the more difficult it became to turn, and they were catching on.  "But how do you get all that honey out of there?"  Good question!

He showed us how it's drained out . . . and strained to remove any bits of wax.

Taste test.  "It's a little good . . .and really sticky!" which was his polite way of saying he didn't like it.  H

I also bought a beeswax candle kit, but we just haven't gotten to that.  Maybe I'll have them make them for the next birthday coming up.  It was still a fun row.  Emory LOVED the science aspect, and they both liked helping with the honey.

Our next row is Paul Revere's Ride.  The kids enjoy books based on true stories, and I have a review coming up that will accompany it, which is why I timed it when I did.

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