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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Plants & Insects Week (June 13-17)

Objective: To introduce my children to a wide variety of plants and insects. Teach them patience in observation, and awareness in the little things all around them.

By The End of the Week My Kids Will Be Able To:

*Identify a few local plants

*Tell me about the physical parts of several insects

*Understand the things a plant needs to survive

*Write their first book report (or picture book, for my nearly-kindergartener)

*Understand even and odd numbers

Math Activities Planned for the Week:

a href="">>*Dice Addition! - A dice rolling game that encourages quick addition skills. Add up your dice rolls and be the first one to 30!

a href="">>*"Subtraction Bowling" - You'll notice when you click on the link that the real way to play this game is with addition, but I wanted to practice subtraction. So here's hohw I changed the rules. Everyone starts with 100 points. I will label the 10 water bottles with ten points each. When you bowl over a water bottle (I will partially fill mine with rocks or sand to weight them a bit), you can subtract it from your 100 point beginning total. Closest to zero wins! This will be a good way to practice the "greater than"/"less than" concept, too. Plus my 2 year old will love this game!

*"Slap It!" - A game to reinforce the concept of even and odd numbers. Divide a deck of cards between two players. At the same time, each player will (not peaking!) take the first card off their personal deck of shuffled cards and create a pile in front of them. Slap your own pile, or your opponents pile if you see an ODD number. Did you slap it first? Take the card you slapped and every card under it. If there is not an odd number, leave the cards there for the next round. Keep going until someone has won all the cards.

Science Activities Planned for the Week:

*How does a flower drink its water? - Purchase two white carnation flowers at our local flower shop. Cut the end of each stem off (a little more than an inch), and quickly place it in a vase of water that has been heavily colored with food coloring. Within two or three days, you will observe the flower petals tips taking on the color of the water. Flowers absorb their water through the stem and it travels through the entire flower.

*Bug Collecting - I don't suppose instructions are truly needed here. We're just going to search for as many different types of bugs as we can, and try to catch them! Or maybe take pictures of them with our camera if it seems unsafe (wasps, for example).

*Parts of an insect - Here is a worksheet your child can fill in on the anatomy of an ant (warning, no answers provided).

*Reading and Writing Skills While Learning About Insects - Here is a website with so much information I can't possibly write about it all. It includes lesson plans for ten days about insects, including poems your children can re-write for handwriting practice, some fun websites to view, and even some quizes.

Arts & Crafts Activities Planned for the Week:

*Make a leaf stamp. Collect a variety of leaves, weeds or flowers. Paint them with paint, and stamp them onto brown paper bags, or large sheets of paper.

*Learn about Claude Monet's "Poppyfield near Argenteuil". Make a homemade stamp by carving a potato to look the shape of a poppy. Let the kids make their own rendition of this masterpiece.

*I have yet to track down a large enough butterfly paper punch, but I would love to do this activity with my children. You simply punch out a butterfly shape using a variety of coordinating scrapbook papers. Then glue the body only onto a paper, and pull the wings towards you for a 3-d effect. Frame in a shadow box for a beautiful bedroom decoration! Here is the same concept, without the frame, at

Language Arts Activities Planned for the Week:

*Teach them how to organize their book report on any bug or insect they choose. Help them map out where the bug lives, how to identify it, what it eats, how long it lives, where it hatches its eggs, etc...

*These Daily Worksheets will be most of their language arts skill practice for the week:

*Grade Level K
*Grade Level 1

Computer Activities Planned for the Week:

*Try for some fun information and activities about lady bugs.

*This might be a fun week to try some typing exercises. While not bug or plant related, it's a good skill to practice:

PE Activities Planned for the Week:

I brainstormed about this for awhile, and came to realize that all the insects-related PE activities would seem a bit too young for my nearly second-grader. We might just go rollerskating, swimming at the pool, or play at the park this week. Sorry so boring.

Field Trips Planned for the Week:

*Go to a local greenhouse, maybe even asking a staff member to tell you a little about some of the local plants. If they have Venus Fly-Traps it would be a good way to demonstrate a link between the plants and insects this week :)

*Take a hike, observe plants and insects

*Go to Witt's Lake and try to scoop up signs of life from the lake. Draw what we find. Use a magnifying glass to observe them.

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