Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Florida: Beach

It's been a while since we have worked on our "Reading Our Way Around the USA" project.  Last month, we spent a week and a half away enjoying the Florida beaches.  So, today, when we resumed our project, we chose to start back by learning about beaches.  Florida has 663 miles of beaches.  Florida has the second largest shoreline in the USA (first is Alaska).

Today we read several beach books:
Let's Take a Walk on the Beach by Karen O'Connor
Beach Play by Marsha Hayles
Beach Day by Patricia Lakin
My Beach Book (Smithsonian Book)
The Florida Water Story: From Raindrops to the Sea by Peggy Sias Lantz
To the Beach! by Linda Ashman
Beach is to Fun: a book of relationships by Pat Brisson
Beach by Elisha Cooper
Warm Sun, Soft Sand by Lenzi West
Beaches by Joann Macken
The Sand, The Sea and Me by M. Jean Craig
We also did several activities to go along with the beach theme.
I put some sand in a casserole dish and Arin practiced making some of her letters.  I had planned on working on the concept of vowels, but Arin was most interested in making Q's, so we just went with that instead.

Next we talked about beach erosion.  We packed some wet sand on one side of a casserole dish.  Then we poured some water into the dish.  Arin rocked the dish back and forth to make waves and to wash away the sand.

Next, Arin colored some sand.

With the colored sand, Arin made a layered sand bottle.

Ella loves to do school also, so she colored a picture of Florida.

Next, we printed out a coloring book picture of a sailboat.  We put the picture under a piece of glass (from a picture frame).  Arin traced the picture onto the glass.  Then, she painted the sections of the glass with glue.  Once she finished a section, she sprinkled colored sand onto that section. She repeated with the remaining sections until her picture was finished.

Next, we threw in a little science.  I filled a glass to the top with warm water.  Then, Arin, slowly poured in a half cup of salt.  The cup of water did not overflow because the salt took up the spaces between the water molecules.

Next, Arin made a wave in a bottle.  She filled a clear plastic bottle halfway with water, added a few drops of blue food coloring, and filled the rest of the bottle with oil.  Ella really liked these wave bottles and she carried her bottle with her for a long time.

The last project, seemed to be the most difficult for Arin.  A few nights ago, I was looking at the Montessori Moments blog.  On there, she had her children write stories using pages of magazines as writing prompts.  I tried this with Arin, but she wasn't grasping the concept too well.  I asked her to tell me a story about the picture that I cut out of the magazine.  She said she couldn't because she couldn't read.  So I told her an example of what I was looking for.  She still wasn't too interested in making up a story.  So I asked her several questions and got her talking that way.   We will be doing more of this type of activity in the future to get more creativity flowing.

Arin's much prompted story.
Mommy: What's happening in this picture.
Arin: There was a little girl and she blewed in a shell and she splashed in the water and then made a sand castle and then she went back home.
Mommy: What did she do when she got home?
Arin: She made a sandcastle.
Mommy: So she made a sandcastle at home and at the beach?
Arin: Yes
Mommy: What's the little girl's name?
Arin: Shelly
Mommy: How old's Shelly?
Arin: Three

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