Sea & Sky Extras


June 8, 2009

Otter is finally better now, so we are back to doing schoolwork. Today he finished up his sea and sky mobile that symbolizes the major themes we'll be studying this year:

Sea and Sky mobil

Today's drawing lesson was a humpback whale to go with this week's science "extras":

Mom's whale drawing

Humpback whale

Otter's humpback whale drawing

Humpback whale

June 16, 2009

It seems like a whole week got away from me and passed in the blink of an eye! We are finding our groove with Sea & Sky and things are progressing rather nicely. Most of the books we are reading through are pretty interesting and Otter is really enjoying the extras. Here are some pictures of last week's lapbook work. We finished up studying about whales.

A whale of a tale contains a story Otter wrote about pirates that sounds very closely related to the Treasure Island story we've been reading lately. wink The pocket showcases the different lengths of various whales.

Whale lapbook

Here is little file folder with some whale info... and yes, he forgot to put a period at the end of his sentence!

Whales lapbook

Here are a few more elements of our whales lapbook. Things were kind of getting crowded so we decided we would paste things into the file folder at the END of our lapbooking units from now on so we can better plan out where everything goes. We also learned something rather interesting - orcas are NOT whales! They are actually dolphins.

lapbook about whales

This week we've started a new lapbook about Vikings. Otter is reading two books that go along with it:

Usborne Living Long Ago
Viking Adventure

You can download the lapbook for free from Homeschool Share. Each chapter has several lapbook components to go along with it to help your child get even more out of the story.

Here is a picture of the items Otter put together for chapter one:

Vikings lapbook

June 17, 2009

Awesome Ocean Science Today we did some experiments from the book Awesome Ocean Science. The first experiment demonstrated how fresh water floats on top of salt water. We learned that when rivers dump their water into the ocean, it takes awhile before the water mixes. This brackish water is perfect for plants like saltgrass and other organisms.

To demonstrate how salt water is more dense than fresh water, we did two different activities. For the first experiment we had one glass of fresh water and one glass of colored salt water. (Excuse the terrible hard water deposits on our glasses!!)

Salt water experiment

Using a dropper, we gently placed some of the salt water into the glass with the fresh water. It immediately settled to the bottom of the glass! You can see the distinct layers in the glass to the right.

Salt water experiment 2

For the other experiment we placed a chunk of carrot into a glass of fresh water. The carrot quickly sank to the bottom. Otter then started adding in quarter teaspoons of salt to the water to see what would happen.

Density experiment

As the salt content increased, the carrot began to rise! At the end of our experiment the carrot was bobbing at the top of the water and staying there. That reminded us of our time in Utah at the Great Salt Lake. It was almost impossible to sink when we went swimming there!

Density experiment 2

Otter also finished up his papier-mâché octopus from several weeks back. I think it's kinda cute!

paper mache octopus

July 6, 2009

Here are some pics of things Otter has worked on lately.

His WinterPromise Viking shield notebook page:

Viking sheild

He also continued working on the viking lapbook we started a couple weeks ago. We are a bit behind in it, but that's the nice thing about homeschool - it doesn't really matter!

He pointed out to me that the I in the middle booklet wasn't originally capitalized. He "fixed" it and said, "Mom, maybe you ought to tell WinterPromise they made a mistake." I informed him that WP didn't make the lapbooks but that they are extra elements I scheduled in. He exclaimed, "What?? You mean all the fun stuff isn't really WinterPromise??"

I had to remind him of all the great books and other activities we've been doing lately that ARE WinterPromise.

Viking lapbook

This week we are reading these books during our "adventure reading time":




The Strange Intruder

The Strange Intruder

Otter doesn't really like Stowaway because the story is in a "journal" style with daily/weekly entries. Here is an example from p. 58:

" Saturday 4th ...Mr. Banks is unwell, and Mr. Perry says it's the scurvy, the disease Captain most fears. I helped Surgeon Monkhouse prepare for Mr. Banks a drink the doctor calls a rob, made from the juice of lemons and oranges."

I'm going to continue with it as it gives a good account of what it was like on Captain Cook's ship voyaging around the world in the 1700's. The story is fiction, but it's based on actual journal entries and is about real people, including the main character, an 11 year old boy. I don't blame Otter for not liking it though. Despite winning awards and getting good reviews, it is a bit slow and sometimes slightly tedious.

He likes the other book, The Strange Intruder much better probably because the writing style is a bit more action oriented. WP scheduled it as a reader, but I'm actually reading it out loud.
We got totally sidetracked and looked up the Faeroe Islands (where the story takes place) on Google Earth and then ended up watching a 20 minute video on YouTube. What a neat place! The Faeroe islands were settled by the Vikings a thousand years ago and look like a place out of a fairy tale with sod roofed houses, etc. I like being able to take rabbit trails!

We had an experiment to do in our Awesome Ocean Science book last week. We took two tuna cans, made a mark on them with waterproof marker in the same location and placed them in two same sized bowls. Then we put ice on top of one can (simulating a glacier) and put ice directly into the water around the other can (simulating ice bergs). After this, we filled the bowls with water up to the marks on the cans. Otter had to guess which water level would rise the most after all the ice had melted. You can't really tell by the picture, but we started out with about an equal amount of ice in the two bowls.


Otter was surprised to see the bowl with the ice on the TOP of the tuna can caused the water to rise the most. Thus he learned that melting glaciers would cause more of a sea level rise than melting ice bergs.

July 23, 2009

Here are some pics of Otter's viking lapbook he's been working on:


Viking lapbook

Don't you just love the messy handwriting and the lack of capitalization? (To Otter's credit, he does have some processing difficulties and writing is one specific area we continue to work on).

Viking lapbook

If you lift up the big flap, there is a drawing of a longhouse underneath. The other flaps will be answered when we glue everything into the lapbook folder. One thing we've learned is to WAIT to glue lapbook components down until the very end of a project. Otherwise, sometimes things don't "fit" as well as they could have.

Viking longhous

Lift the flaps

lapbook items

Inside the little red booklet is a map. Inside the other are some questions Otter had to answer about Vikings and education. He decided today he'd like to be a Viking since Vikings got to farm and learn how to fight with swords instead of do school.

Viking lapbook

Below is a lapbook element with a fold out area for a story. Otter actually got into it and even included a moral at the end Aesop style: "Never underestimate someone and don't be greedy." After writing his story, he said he wanted to rewrite it tomorrow. You would have to understand his history with writing to know how totally thrilled I was to hear those words. The cool thing about it too is that it didn't take an expensive writing curriculum to get that result! Maybe the moral of "this" story should be never underestimate free homeschooling stuff... or at least to sometimes be creative and not afraid to try something new or different (like lapbooking, etc.).

This time we have a capital letter, but no period....hmmm.....

I don't know why, but I love these little matchbooks:


Here is part of the inside of one of the lapbook components about Viking weapons:

Viking weapons

All of the above components and more are available for FREE from Homeschool Share.

We are in week 8 in Adventures in Sea & Sky. This week's history is about Columbus and this week's science is about ocean currents.

Otter still likes to do little crafty things so he made this stand-up Columbus:


He also did an experiment from Awesome Ocean Science that demonstrated how deep water ocean currents move. He took a pan of warm water and then placed an ice pack at one end. We put a drop of food coloring in front of the ice pack and waited to see what would happen. As you can see in the pictures below, the colored water began to move toward the other end of the pan.

Deep Water currents experiment

Last week, when we were studying some maritime medieval history, Otter made a T-O map:


You can get FREE instructions on making the map from Ellen Mc Henry's Mapping the World program. Just click on the link for chapters 4-6 and look at pages 19-20 of the pdf.

July 27, 2009

This week in Sea & Sky we are studying the "Age of Exploration" for the history portion and how the ocean affects the weather for the science portion. Today we did an experiment: "rain in a jar".

Rain in a jar

As the hot water from jar evaporated, it hit the plastic bag containing ice, condensed and fell back down as "rain drops".

Before our experiment we watched a movie about the water cycle over at BrainPop. I tend to use BrainPop a lot because the explanations are short, easy to understand and entertaining. I also like it that I can check Otter's comprehension afterwards with an interactive 10 question quiz.

Bear also finished one of his projects he did for Sea & Sky (not scheduled via WinterPromise), a model ship:

Model ship

Paper model ship

It's constructed entirely out of paper and you can get the printables and instructions to make it for free from the Canon Website.

Otter also started a new lapbook. As an extra, he is studying sharks. There is a free lapbook over at Homeschool Share I printed out for him to work on. One of the elements he made today is a little vocabulary book:

Shark vocabulary

He also read a printable book from A to Z reading: Sharks.

A to Z reading is a site with lots of printable books with accompanying worksheets and other activities. The levels span from beginning phonics an approximate 5th grade reading level. The books are great for Otter and very helpful for building fluency. They aren't too long, there are lots of different and interesting subjects covered (as well as some non fiction) and there are tons of books spanning different levels that work very well with our Sea & Sky program this year.





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