Sea & Sky Extras


August 6, 2009

Otter finished up his shark lapbook today. He also read a couple of books about sharks to help wrap up our couple of shark themed weeks from my "extras" study.

Great White Shark

The Great White Shark: King of the Ocean

This book was easy to read with large text and full page color pictures. Afterwards we watched National Geographic's Great White Shark for free online over at Snagfilms.

Great White Shark Ruler of the Sea

The other book Otter read was Great White Shark: Ruler of the Sea.

This book is chock full of great verbs like: feast, rip, scavenge, launches, gorge, dives, hunts, twitches, struggles, protect, grazes, etc.

We had a little impromptu language arts lesson when I had Otter point some out to me.

We're really enjoying all of the free lapbooks I've found online. I'm so thankful to all of the moms who share their hard work and talent with the rest of the homeschooling community. This particular lapbook is available at Homeschool Share.

Here are some pics of some of the shark lapbook elements Otter completed:

Shark cards

Shark safety

Shark lapbook

Shark tabbed book

Shark anatomy

I like how you can incorporate lots of different subjects in lapbooks: reading (information), dictation, writing, handwriting, copywork, science, history, art and even math:

Shark graph

Putting up pics of Otter's work has really been a recent motivator in his quality of handwriting. So thank you all for are helping me out! LOL! All it takes it just a little reminder, "You know this is going up on the blog..."

Shark pop-up:

shark pop-up

3 tabbed booklet:

shark lapbook

Match-up shark cards we downloaded for free from Ellen McHenry's website.

We finally finished reading Stowaway in our Sea & Sky program. It turns out in the end that Otter decided he liked it. I'm glad we stuck with it. Although there were parts that were tedious at times, I don't think either one of us will soon forget Captain Cook's first voyage around the world and the discovery of Australia.

Raiders of the SeaOur new book is Raiders of the Sea, a story about some children captured by Viking raiders. The book is written from a Christian perspective and so far Otter really loves it.

I think it should be switched out as a reader and Voyage of Ice (which is a reader) be made a read-aloud. The text and reading level of Raiders of the Sea is more appropriate, in my opinion, for the target S&S age and I haven't found anything inappropriate in it.





August 20, 2009

We are on week 12 in Adventures in Sea & Sky and currently learning about pirates. To add a hands-on element to that part of our learning, I added in a fun component: historical replica coins! I got the Treasure Coin Set awhile back in anticipation of our getting to this point in our studies.


Otter loves coins and has a small collection so I thought these replicas would be a fun addition to our studies. I pulled them out today and he LOVED them. It really made history "come alive". After looking at them, we looked each one up on the Internet to get more information and found out where some of them were made and how they were used as well as how much they would be worth today, if they were real (as well as how much they would have been worth then).

Here is one site we looked at for some of the information: New World Treasures.

The coins were such a hit I'm thinking about ordering the other sets for our future studies:

  • Coins of the Bible
  • Colonial Coins
  • American Revolution Coins
  • California Gold Rush Coins

You can order them from Rainbow Resource. Search for coin and/or coins to find the sets.

In the past, when the big kids studied the Romans I ordered some REAL Roman coins from Dirty Old Coins. The kit (Emperor in a Box) is expensive, but it's really something to hold a genuine, coin that was used in ancient times. I plan on re-ordering a kit for Otter so he can experience the excitement of restoring a coin himself.

I highly recommend using real coins (or replicas when the real coins are too cost prohibitive) to add to your history studies. The real coins are not only fun but also a small investment in a real and potentially valuable collection. Most kids really enjoy collecting coins and there is a lot to learn from them. It's also fun to imagine who might have held each coin and wonder about where it might have been and what it might have been spent on.

August 20, 2009

Today in Sea & Sky we did an experiment that demonstrates how bioluminescent fish camouflage themselves when they swim in mid-ocean depths where there's scattered light.

Camouflaged fish activity

Otter punched a bunch of holes into one end of a shoe box. He then took two identically shaped fish cut outs and placed them into the box in front of the holes. The paper fish on the left is solid and you can see how a predator can more easily see the outline of the fish. The paper fish on the right has holes punched into it to simulate the bioluminescent camouflage of some deep sea fish. It's outline is harder to see, especially when there is movement and different parts of the fish "twinkle".


The Great Pirate Activity BookWe also have a book scheduled to start this week called The Great Pirate Activity Book. It has nice illustrations and some interesting information but it encourages kids to pretend to be pirates (which is all about stealing and so on). I didn't feel 100% comfortable with encouraging that, so instead Bear set up all the pirate Playmobil. Now otter is playing that the good guys are capturing the bad pirates.

This book will give me some good opportunities to discuss some things with Otter like the title of one of the pages: A Short Life But A Merry One. Sometimes doing bad things IS fun. I'm going to talk to him about that particular issue. There are also some other things I will go over with him like the following quotes from the book:

"Others had run away from jail, slave owners, or unhappy marriages!"

From that I'm going to discuss running away from things, trying to get out of consequences and about what God says about marriage.

"Pirates could make more money out of one lucky raid than an honest sailor could earn in all his years at sea!"

We're going to discuss "getting rich quick" and how doing it the honest way usually takes a lot of time and hard work and why it's worth it to do it God's way.

"They also liked to dance and sing, and to drink rum and brandy - when they could get it!"

This one's pretty obvious. Our family doesn't drink alcohol. That doesn't mean we condemn responsible drinking, but we personally have decided to abstain. I will go over what the Bible says about drinking and specifically drunkenness. We'll go over some of the popular pirate songs that feature drinking and they way pirates approached alcohol (like in the book Treasure Island where the pirates do some really stupid things and make some mistakes in their plan because they were all dead drunk). We'll talk about what alcohol does to your body and brain.

We'll still do some of the crafts in the book like make a sword (good guys need swords too!), make a porthole, create an ancient map and so on. I think it's an easy book to adapt to our own personal beliefs.

Here are some picture of Otter's Playmobil pirates (with a few Fisher Price pirate stuff left over from when Emily was about 6, LOL):

Pirate playmobil

playmobil pirates


playmobil pirates

I don't think you can get the pirate island we have anymore (I bought it for Emily and Bear YEARS ago), but Amazon has some pirate sets:

Playmobil SuperSet Pirate Island

Playmobil Pirate Corsair

Playmobil Pirate Dinghy

Playmobil is a fun way to act out what you are learning. I REALLY love the new Egypt and Roman sets. I think we have so much Playmobil now though that I won't be able to justify getting anymore, LOL!

August 24, 2009

Today as an extra activity for science to go with Adventures in Sea & Sky, Otter made a pop-up barnacle:


You can get the free printout from Ellen J. McHenry's website.

He also worked on a coral reef lapbook we got for free from Homeschool Share. Today he mapped out where coral reefs are in the world and learned why they are important.

The top part of the picture below is blurry but I was too lazy to take it again!

Coral reef lapbook





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