Saturday, January 15, 2011

Pizza Party Unit Study

We used Amanda Bennett's Download and Go entitled Pizza Party this past week and had a lot of fun with it! We used the following resources in addition to the internet links in the unit study:

Each day we discussed something that had to do with pizza:

The main ingredients make a pizza - crust, sauce, toppings, cheese and spices.
Pizza means pie and was invented in Naples, Italy.
The boys each drew pictures of their favorite pizzas and favorite toppings from other countries.

These are favorite toppings from other countries

We looked at the food groups and wrote down what ingredients from our favorite pizza are in each food group. (We discovered that we are only missing fruit in our favorite pizza.)
The boys each wrote an acrostic poem using the word pizza:

Nicolas's acrostic

Alex's acrostic

Pizza trivia: The longest pizza delivery was from London to Melbourne in 2004 and mapped it.

Each day we also studied a city of Italy, and mapped it.
And Mount Etna, Italy's most active volcano

The boys each made their own salt dough maps of Italy:



We also talked about a person from Italy each day:
Marco Polo - and watched a movie about him.
Leonardo Da Vinci
Antonio Vivaldi - and listened to the Four Seasons
Galileo Galilei

Summaries in pictures:



And finally... the most fun from this week was the food:
Monday, we made a breakfast pizza and had it for supper:

Tuesday, we made a fruit pizza: (This one was a hit and I have a feeling we will make it MANY more times!)

Wednesday, we made a chocolate pizza - It was similar to a s'more on top of a peanut butter cookie.

Thursday, we made personal pizzas:

And Friday, we had an Italian meal:

And Saturday, the boys invited their cousins (and Aunt and Uncle) over for our pizza party. I forgot to take pictures of all the pizzas before we cut them (because we were hungry), but the 4 kids shared making a pizza together. Then each couple made their own pizzas. Here are the 2 adult pizzas (with some pieces missing.)

We had a lot of fun with this unit and we're already looking forward to our next country and doing something similar with the food.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What is Snow? unit study

We've been trying to study snow all week. The beginning of the week, I wondered if that was such a good idea since there was no snow on the ground, but we plowed through anyway. Wednesday morning, I woke up to frost, but knew by the time we got to that point in our school day, it would be gone. So I searched outside for something that I could bring in that had frost on it. Luckily, the boys had left a small football outside that had frost on it, so I brought it in and put it into the deep freeze before the boys got up. When we got to our snow study that day, I got out the football and a couple magnifying glasses. We got to look at it for about 5 minutes before the frost melted. However, the boys - being the boys that they are - discovered the art of using a magnifying glass to burn things. Here are a couple of pictures from that experiment (which had nothing to do with snow, but fun for them none the less.)

And here is an unfortunate plastic frog that now has a hole in his body.

Today we had a small amount of snow fall. We used a cold piece of paper to collect some snow and bring it to the freezer. We tried to take a look under the microscope with a cold slide, but our house is too warm, or we are not fast enough. The snowflakes melted before we got a look. We will most likely have to take the microscope outside to have a good look.

We talked about the volume of snow compared to the volume of rain (water.) We were able to fill a jelly jar with snow and let it melt. It was amazing how little water that left us!

We made paper snowflakes and 3-d snowflakes, so our house looks more like winter now. Unfortunately, it stopped snowing and we only ended up with about 1/2 inch, more or less. We'll finish up our study tomorrow with the "life cycle" of a snowflake.

(These snowflakes were made yesterday, before today's snow.)

Alex's 3-D snowflake.

It's hard to see the colors on Nicolas's because of the light behind it, but it's blue and purple.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A new year = a new schedule

We started our schooling back up yesterday. It was a little rough, but today has been better.

In contemplating the new year, I have made some changes in our school schedule. Every year I want to get some "elective" type classes included in our schooling, but I have discovered that the fall semester is not a good time to do that. Every fall I try to work those things in and every fall I get discouraged that they are not getting done. A couple main reasons - 1) it's still nice outside, therefore, our garden is still producing, 2) after the weather turns, the holidays are upon us. So, I have decided that the beginning of the spring semester will be the time to add in these types of things because there is not as much going on and it's too cold and windy to be out (most days.)

So, for this semester this will be our schedule (at least until it gets warmer outside.)
- Bible Reading aloud - we are all taking turns reading aloud through a chapter a day. We are beginning in John. It's a little different reading aloud from the Bible than a novel or fiction book. And I have discovered that my boys aren't reading aloud very often at all.

- Along with our devotions, I have purchased the Seeds Family Worship CDs for the boys for Christmas. We are listening to 2 per week and memorizing those verses to song.

- Math, Grammar, History, Science (Apologia's Zoology 2), Writing, Reading, Read aloud (The standards that we have to keep.)

- Along with reading, Alex will be reading aloud to me on Tuesdays and Nicolas on Wednesday. Otherwise, they may read to themselves.

- 30 minutes of fitness each day. I needed to add fitness into my schedule, so what better way to make it happen than to add it into their's as well. We have Wii Fit Plus, Leslie Sansone's Walk DVDs and Just Dance 2 for the Wii. These all get us moving. When it's nice, we can go for a walk outside and on Mondays, after co-op, I plan to stop at our local university (where my husband works) to walk their indoor track.

- Also on Mondays after co-op, we will have a daily library day. We did this last year, but since we sold our house in town, we have not been able to use the public library for free. I got a library card there for Christmas, so we can now go back. The boys are super excited to be able to use the library again. (I should mention that we were not without any library access. We are able to use the local university library for free, but it's children's section is not near what the public library has.)

- Electives - Tuesdays are computer time (typing, power point, etc.), Wednesdays are music (music theory, practicing instruments, etc) and Thursdays are nature study (not necessarily outside observing something as we've done in the past and I will not turn them loose like I've done in the past. There will be an actual assignment and it might be researching something in a nature book.)

- Unit Studies - Of course I can't these out. They are so fun and get us studying topics we might not normally do. Right now we're doing snow, next week we'll do the Pizza Download and Go which goes in depth with Italy also. And I'm sure we'll make a pizza or two next week!

- Fridays will be creative writing day. I have downloaded some neat writing prompts books from Scholastic (one of which is Comic Writing prompts. It has a comic strip at the top and then some questions about the topic to get them thinking. Garfield is one of the comic strips they use - and both boys LOVE Garfield!) We will not do grammar or our other writing on those days. They will each start a spelling notebook to add words they are misspelling on these writing days. Also on Fridays, we will do English from the Roots up - which introduces Latin and Greek words that are common in our English language which helps to boost vocabulary.

I'm looking forward to the next 2 - 2 1/2 months. By the middle to end of March, the weather will be turning and it will be time to get out into the garden. The a lot of these things will pass to leave more room for outdoor time!