Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Banana Boy's 2nd Science Unit (Backtracking here)

I mentioned in the Safari post that the African Savanna was BB's 3rd science unit. I don't think I posted about his Space unit.

It also, was fairly low key. He worked through a packet I made him from You can get an idea of the pages from the Space Gallery page. If you are a member (free, just sign up), you have access to all of the theme pages. They have units on Zoo animals, dinosaurs, the ocean, space, and insects. There are complete lesson plans for a unit, including book suggestions and a giant wall mural you can print and make.

In the past, I have used these plans (with Rose Bud when she was in Kindergarten), but this time, I just pulled out selected pages from the science, language arts and math sections. I also chose from a variety of grade levels from K-2, based on his skills (in other words, I didn't use all the first grade math pages, but just those I thought he could use practice on and I also added in a few K and 2nd grade math pages).

I also made him some little booklets from the Giant Science Resource Book by Evan-Moor and from Evan-Moor's ScienceWorks for Kids: Exploring Space.

I didn't use the whole unit from the space book, but just limited it to a few lessons on the sun and the planets, since that was BB's main focus and interest. I'm (in my old age) getting much better about not overplanning units and adding in every possible resource in the universe. I figure he has a lot of years left to learn about the way the Earth tilts on its axis. The kid just wanted to know about the planets.

So he filled out some mini-books, colored some planets, unscrambled their names and memorized the Solar System song from Audio Memory's Geography Songs. Oh, and we watched Ms. Frizzle about 10 times!

Math Cat

Safari Unit

Banana Boy's 3rd science unit was the African Savanna. This one was pretty informal and he watched a lot of movies. Some of our favorites were
Mama Mirabelle's Home Movies
Wildebeest: The Great African Migration (you can read my review of this movie at Amazon)
and some National Geographic movies.

We also read the One Small Square: African Savanna

I promised him (foolishly) that he could make a diorama of the savanna when he was done. This would have been a great and fun project for the girls, who love to draw from Draw Write Now books. BB, however, spends a lot of time looking at this book, making some marks with a pencil, then crumpling the paper, throwing it at the wall and stomping around the room.

So one morning, we made a very quicky diorama, with Mom doing much of the work. Now BB is happy to have his African scene and he took it up to the attic where he adds the little plastic African animals from the drawer to his scene.