Sunday, October 25, 2015

FIAR: When I Was Young in the Mountains

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Our most recent row was When I Was Young in the Mountains.  The book is set in Appalachia, as the author grew up in the hills of West Virginia, so it gave us an opportunity to do some WV state history.

Social Studies
Appalachia-West Virginia, Occupations-Coal Mining
When we studied West Virginia we used our jumbo state fact cards and Don't Know Much About the 50 States to learn the basics like state flower, bird, tree, and when WV became a state.

We also completed a couple simple pages about West Virginia for our portfolios.

West Virginia coloring page
State Birds

Language Arts
We wrote our own "When I Was Young . . . " stories, using the template from the When I Was Young in the Mountains Printables & Acitvities.  Emory wrote one for our state, and Elliott titled his When I Was Young on the Farm.

Additional Reading
     Poppleton by Cynthia Rylant
     The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant
     Let's Go Home: The Wonderful Things About a House by Cynthia Rylant
     Henry and Mudge series by Cynthia Rylant

We spent a couple days on science.  The first week we spent some time learning about snakes.  First we read about/reviewed reptiles from My First Book of Animals, then we read the next several pages about different types of snakes.  I know this sounds like a toddler's animal vocabulary book, but it's actually an elementary level, encyclopedia style book that introduces animal groups and discusses a variety of species within each group.  The three sections on snakes are cobras and coral snakes, rattlesnakes, and sea snakes, boas and pythons.  It's a much loved resource in our home.  After we read about snakes, we watched a ton of YouTube videos of snakes.  Emory was fascinated.

Additional Reading
     Snakes and Crocs and other Reptiles (reader-Step 2)

Snake Egg-speriment
Okay, not really an experiment, more of a demonstration . . . but I saw this snake egg activity and thought it looked fun.  I knew my Emory would love it.  We talked about snake eggs, and how they aren't hard like bird eggs, but 'leathery' instead.  We soaked the egg in vinegar.

This would be Emory, hissing at his baby egg to help it grow!  This kid cracks me up!

After about an hour or so, you could already see the vinegar hard at work.

 When we took the egg out, it had residue, so I rinsed it off and you could feel some of the shell washing away.  Our egg wasn't the same as the pictures we'd seen, not as "naked" I guess.  I don't know if we should have left it in longer (we did the 24 hours recommended) since it was a fresh egg and not store-bought, or if it would have made a difference.  It was still leathery and pliable, so we got the effect.

Animal Fact Files
I found this animal fact file and I love how it can be used for any row.  I intended for both boys to choose a snake to research.  Emory chose the king cobra, but Elliott didn't want to learn more about snakes.  I suggested the bobwhite (we had already looked up its call at his request), but he asked to research the cardinal more since it's the state bird of West Virginia.

Since coal mining is a big industry in the state of West Virginia, and was specifically mentioned as Grandfather's occupation, we learned about coal and coal mining.  I had requested coal samples and their arrival was why I timed this book when I did.  (They are sometimes out of stock, and they take awhile to come, but it was worth the wait.)  We examined all four samples, but did the lesson on Field Testing Coal Samples on one coal type.

Math, Art and Cooking
Although we didn't do the full math lesson on measurement, we did use a scale like in the book.  My kids haven't been keen on the art lessons from FIAR but we spent some time drawing the snake from Art For Kids Hub.  I also made pinto beans and corn bread, and let's just kids don't like pinto beans.  Oh well, the husband and I do!

Next Up:  The Giraffe That Walked to Paris

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