Sunday, November 23, 2014

Ancient Bling

I think Egypt has the most interesting history of any country we've studied so far.  We keep jumping back there and learning interesting things about what the ancient people of that country did.  We found out that they really liked gold and jewels (who doesn't, right?), so much so that they took over the African country of Nubia so they could take their valuables.  The people of Nubia also introduced incense to the Egyptians.  

The craft for this lesson is pretty obvious.  We made Nubian jewelry out of toilet paper rolls, paint, glitter, and rhinestones.  

Apparently, Naomi thought she was an Egyptian and I was a Nubian because she took my bracelets from me!

Eli didn't feel like participating in this activity, so he hung out by the incense.  I think he was still able to have a very deep, profound experience.

Friday, November 21, 2014

After visiting ancient Africa, we made a stop in China.  We learned about pictograms and tried our hand at creating our own.  Leah's pictograms are on the right.  The top right is her way of writing family.  The bottom right has a variety of her other pictograms.  Noah's pictograms are in the center, right above Leah's head.  I can't translate them into English.  Perhaps you can.  Mine are on the left.  A few pictograms I'm especially proud of are: Dog,--which is right next to the one for rice (it looks like the dog pooped); dragon--which looks like an angry muppet; cow--which my kids say is really a devil-horned, dog-eared, pig-nosed cow; and sushi--which actually looks like sushi, but is not a Chinese food; it's Japanese.  Oops

Thursday, November 20, 2014

See?? Coloring on yourself can be educational!

Recently, we studied a little bit about the people in ancient Africa.  There isn't much known about the people of this place and time, but that didn't stop us from really diving in to the little lesson we had.  I actually can't really remember what we learned about, but I do remember the activity we had.

We did learn that ancient Africans would paint geometric shapes on their hands, probably for important rituals and ceremonies.

Eli thought these red creeper things from mine craft would definitely be the kind of design ancient Africans would go for.

Noah was the only one to get it right.  His shapes are actually geometric.

Leah's more of a party person and she went for the traditional ice cream and party hat designs.

Have you noticed that I like to participate in the activities as well?  That's permanent marker and it took a few days for it to come off.  That didn't stop me!

To go along with our hand art, we had an African feast.  I made chicken legs baked with lemons and figs, papaya fried rice, and fried plantains.  It was very different from what we normally eat.  Noah loved the chicken.  Leah loved the plantains.  Eli didn't love anything.  It's fun to make ethnic food once in a while, but this won't be included as part of our meal rotation any time soon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Happy Halloween!!

With a sour patch kid, two ninjas and a puppy leading the way, we went out trick-or-treating on Halloween.  The kids had lots of fun. I had fun too, sorting through their piles of candy, taking note of all the chocolate they collected this year!

Monday, November 10, 2014

There's got to be something we can learn from this

During the month of October, Thanksgiving Point puts on a Halloween festival kind of thing called Cornbelly's.  We've lived in the area for 5 years and have never been able to go, until this year.  Mike took the day off and we spent the entire day learning how to play and have fun together.  I think that's a very important lesson that we need to repeat often.  Here are a bunch of pictures from the day:

That's corn kernels the kids are sitting in.  I stuck my feet in.  It felt really cool!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

This science lesson practically crawled out and bit us

A few weeks ago, we were doing yard work at my in-laws' house.  Noah was in the backyard and saw something dead, floating in the pond.  It was this:

(Unfortunately, I didn't put anything in the picture next to it to give you an idea of it's size.  It is sitting on a regular napkin.  It's about 2 1/2 inches long.)

This is the grossest bug I have ever seen.  It's called the Dark Jerusalem Cricket or Creepy, as Noah named it.  When I saw it, I decided there was only one thing to it out and keep it!  Well, maybe not the "keep it" part.  I did fish it out though.  

We had just learned not too long before that our local kids museum has a trading post.  They take things kids find in nature, ask them questions about it, and award points that can be used to get some neat things.  We did keep the bug long enough to do some research and dry it out, so the kids could trade it in.  In case you're wondering, it smelled really bad, so I kept it outside while it was drying.

I don't remember much about Creepy.  The kids were the ones taking the notes and really internalizing the information.  I do remember two important things, though.  We were able to identify it as male, which I thought was pretty neat.  And I learned something funny about the word Jerusalem.  

Apparently, a long time ago, that word used to be a bit of a derogatory exclamation.  You can imaging that if you were out, minding your own business, and something as ugly as this crawled up to you, you'd yell something like, "Holy Jerusalem!!"

The whole experience was so fun and a really great science lesson.  It really got the kids excited about nature and doing research.  Because it has made such an impression on the kids, we currently have two more bugs of other types dried, tacked to our bulletin board, and waiting to be traded.