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Posts Tagged With: art

Bonus: Plant Projects for Mom :-)

You saw what my kiddos have been busy with in the Plant Thematic Unit, but I’ve been testing my green thumb too!  I’m a big believer in using thematic units because they work for kids across a wide range of abilities, including siblings in a homeschool family.  So I’m sharing some of the projects I’ve been working on as classroom enrichment, extensions for older siblings, or fun projects for mom!

Fairy garden in the dinning room!   {DaddysTractor.com}

This bird cage came from Hobby Lobby (please note: everything in my life seems to come from Hobby Lobby!)  Last year I saw fairy gardens at Graber Greenhouse in Jamesport, MO and I knew as soon as I saw the bird house it was the perfect!  So I found one of those plastic things you put under a plant pot to catch the excess water (what is that?), some tiny plants, and fairy paraphernalia and assembled this vignette while the kids “helped.”

A Fairy garden inside a bird house  {DaddysTractor.com}

You could have lots of fun building your own fairy items (or shopping on Amazon!), you could write a story, or you could follow Anna’s lead and dance around the house like a fairy for a week.

Live centerpiece  {DaddysTractor.com}

Brett helped me with this “art” project.  The box is a shadow frame (Hobby Lobby) we turned upside down so the glass is on the bottom.  Using 4″ square pots Brett and I could arrange and rearrange the succulents to our heart’s content.  I  wanted to hang this on the wall, like I’d seen all over the internet.  BUT… it  is heavy!  So I think I’ll use it as table décor.

Moss basket

This planter is a cheapie basket (NOT from Hobby Lobby, but I’m sure you can find one there.) and moss paper (Hobby Lobby!  Look by the floral foam.)  wrapped around with string.  You’ll need to choose a basket with a large enough weave to fit a large darning needle through the spaces.  Hot glue helps too!  The basket came with a plastic liner but you could probably line the basket with plastic yourself too.  Then you just need soil and plants!

And finally,

Create your own moss wall art with this tutorial {DaddysTractor.com}

This is more of that moss paper (heart!), a simple frame and piece of foam board.  All from Hobby Lobby.  They should be paying me for this post.

Moss framed art {DaddysTractor.com}

This requires math, which makes it the perfect project for a student who thinks they are making art. 😉  First, design a stencil.  Nothing too complicated because you will trace, cut and glue this many times!  Trace the stencil onto the back of the moss paper and cut. Over and over.  I recommend watching a movie.

Moss framed art  {DaddysTractor.com}

Then create a grid on your foam board.  Get a rough idea of how far apart you want to space them and lightly mark the middle.  Measure the distance between the center of two stencils so you’ll know how far apart to make your lines.  Do the same thing with the offset lines.  You’ll have two sets of grid marks, because of the offset lines. Do check it to make sure the math matches up with your eye.

moss framed art  {DaddysTractor.com}

Then remove the paper backing from the moss and hot glue to the foam board.  I suggest using a high temp glue gun.  Trim the edges as necessary.  Carefully erase the grid lines.  Remove the glass from your frame if desired and put in your beautiful creation!

Plants never looked better!

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Categories: Thematic Unit | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Insect Thematic Unit

A few weeks ago I shared a lap book activity we did as part of our Insect Thematic Unit.  Since the creepy crawly bugs were a big hit at our house and the activity was at least noticed online 😉 I thought I’d post the whole thing.

Insect thematic unit—activities and printables {DaddysTractor.com}

We started by learning what makes a bug– three body parts, six legs, antenna.  And since no theme unit in our home is complete without making something out of play dough, we went ahead and got that part over with had lots of fun making bugs!

Insect thematic unit—activities and printables {DaddysTractor.com}

Our Insect unit was full of science, so it was nice to add some dramatic play for social studies.  The kiddos acted out a butterfly life cycle, starting as a bunched-up ball to represent the egg, then crawling on the floor like caterpillars, hanging upside down and being a chrysalis, and finally emerging and being butterflies.

Insect thematic unit—activities and printables {DaddysTractor.com}

After emerging and allowing our wings to dry, butterflies of course, must find food!  So we had a drink of flower nectar with our long, straw-like tounges!

Insect thematic unit—activities and printables {DaddysTractor.com}

(That’s lemonade in cups with a construction paper flower laid over the top.  I made holes in the middle of the flowers and gave them our smoothie straws for sipping!)

Insect thematic unit—activities and printables {DaddysTractor.com}

And because all lessons are learned better with food, we also learned how bees, butterflies and other insects pollinate flowers.  First the kids cut and glued petals to the outside of a brown paper lunch bag.  Then I filled them with (a small serving of baked) Cheetos.  They ate the snack and wiped their fingers on the front of the bags as if it were pollen– what’s not to love?!

Insect thematic unit—activities and printables {DaddysTractor.com}

For art we painted a paper plate red, allowed it to dry, then cut it up the middle and attached the two pieces together with a brad.  Then they both glued a head and dots to their ladybug.  Naturally Brett added a face like the grouchy ladybug in the book.  While Anna worked on her gluing technique, Brett wrote down different ways to represent the dots on his ladybug.  He wrote a six first, then made an addition problem by adding the dots from each side of the body (3+3=6), then wrote a fraction showing how many of the bugs were on the left wing (3/6).

We added a few more things to our lap book.  There was the Grouchy Ladybug clock activity from the first post.Insect thematic unit—activities and printables {DaddysTractor.com}

Grouchy Ladybug 1   Grouchy Ladybug cards 1   Grouchy Ladybug cards 2

And then we had fun with a life cycle circle with Velcro pieces that can be put together over and over and over again!

Life cycle 1   Life cycle circle

Insect thematic unit—activities and printables {DaddysTractor.com}

We collected pictures from magazines and printed some from online and then sorted insects from non-insects.  Watch the pictures you choose, cutesy ladybugs don’t always have six legs or three body parts!  We taped these Bug Sorting pockets into our lap book and used them for storing our pieces.

Brett was interested (for a few minutes anyway) in watching YouTube videos of bees “dance” to show the other bees where the flowers are.  He had more fun gluing his own dancing bees into patterns on the back of his lap book.

Insect thematic unit—activities and printables {DaddysTractor.com}

And the Body Part activity on the top half of the folder was a funny way to teach “head,” “thorax,” and “abdomen.”  Making sure each body part touched the edges of the paper we took turns drawing insects.  Then we lifted the flaps to create funny, mix-matched bugs!  Anna wasn’t much help drawing, but she laughed uproariously each time we made a silly creature!

Naturally, books are the most important part of any unit!  Our library had lots of non-fiction books about butterflies, bees, ladybugs etc., for all reading levels and but our favorites were The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Grouchy Ladybug, both by Eric Carle and several Magic School Bus books.  Oh!  Try Nexflixing Sid the Science Kid Bug Club too.  Enjoy!

Categories: Homeschool, Thematic Unit | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

History of Agriculture Theme Unit

One of the best things about homeschooling is choosing to study what you like!  We recently completed a theme unit on the history of agriculture.  If this sounds like fun to you, here ya go!

HISTORY OF AGRICULTURE THEME UNIT

Reading

The American Family Farm by Joan Anderson

Farming Then and Now by Katie Roden

Pictures from the Farm by JC Allen and Son, Inc. (Brett loved this one!)

Case Photographic History by April Halberstadt

The Big Book of Tractors by John Deere

Tractor Mac Arrives at the Farm by Billy Steers (and other Tractor Mac books)

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingles Wilder, Chapters 10 &11

History of Agriculture Theme Unit

Writing

Keep a vocabulary list of all the new words you learn

Brainstorm facts you’ve learned about farming; choose one to write in your journal

Explore the poem “One for the Mouse, one for the crow, one to rot, one to grow”

Pretend you are living on a family farm __ years ago.  Write a letter to someone telling them about your day.

Math

Create a timeline of farm history (We started about 1800.).  Add to it through the unit.  These ready-made timelines were great resources!

“Plant” (glue) ears of corn in numerical order.  For older students, plant numbers by 2s, 5s, etc. or backwards.

Use this website from nps.gov to learn how many miles a man walked to plant one acre, how much a plow cost and billions of other math facts from the 19th Century!

Use the “one for the mouse” poem to do a little hands-on subtraction

History of Agriculture Theme Unit

Science

Try this experiment to learn why rubber tires were a great improvement over horses hooves and steel wheels.

Experiment with tying straw sheaves.  If you don’t have straw large weeds from the side of  the road will work as well.  Will your sheaves protect the straw from the rain?

Make a farm diorama with a shoe box, clay, plastic toy cowboys and horses (can you figure out a way to dress your cowboys to look like farmers?), and any other things you can imagine!

Social Studies

Try sowing seeds yourself.  Grass seed is a great choice.

Use a hand grinder to grind wheat.

Watch the archival footage on these John Deere DVDs. CombinesTractors

Field Trip!  The best part of homeschooling– right?!  Visit Missouri Town, an Amish community, or similar location

History of Agriculture Theme Unit

Art

Make a collage of seeds

Design a piece of machinery the could help farmers.  Use food boxes, paper towel tubes, brads, yarn, whatever!

Roll toy tractors in (washable) paint and create prints

Scripture

The Parable of the Sower, Luke 8:5-8

Other Internet Resources

Country Life vs. City Life from Home School Year Blog

Farm Theme Pinterest board

Fun on the Farm by Fabulous in First Blog

Counting 1-5 Grain Bins from Hands On: As We Grow Blog

Categories: Homeschool, Thematic Unit | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Harvest Photographs

Harvest photograph

Harvest Photographs

Harvest Photographs

Harvest Photographs

Harvest photograph

These are a few of my favorite pics I snapped during harvest season this year.  l.eave me a message and tell me which is your favorite!

 

 

Categories: Science | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Pumpkin Theme Ideas for Pre-school and Kindergarten

Pumpkin puzzle for pumpkin theme ideas

You may have read about the visitors to our farm a few weeks ago.  You may not have the opportunity to ride on a combine during harvest, but almost anyone can visit and farm this time of year!  Pumpkin patches abound with great opportunities for everyone to see bits and pieces of farm life.  And since we just did a homeschool unit about fall for my preschooler and kindergartener, here are some pumpkin theme ideas for you to use– and hopefully you can visit a pumpkin patch as well!

Of course, cutting open a pumpkin and playing with the seeds are a must.  But instead of carving a face, try these math and science ideas instead.

Clean the seeds, layer them on a baking sheet, sprinkle lightly with salt, and roast at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Eat and enjoy!

Pumpkin seeds, idea for pumpkin theme unit

OR put the seeds in a plastic tub and let the kiddos squeeze and squish the squash 😉

Make a pumpkin puzzle!  We tried a few different designs and the best puzzles were pumpkins cut in horizontal “slices.”  For older kids talk about how puzzle pieces lock together and have them help design the puzzle.  For little ones just cut simple waves around the pumpkin to be used like stacking rings.

Pumpkin puzzle, pumpkin theme ideas

Design a pumpkin patch of your own.  We made fall leaves with my cricut, added a variety of pretty pumpkins, painted pumpkin leaves and vines, added a plastic rake from our summer sand toys, and talked about the pumpkin life cycle.

Pumpkin patch, pumpkin theme ideas

And speaking of pumpkin life cycles, we designed our own pumpkin life cycle chart with a paper plate, a seed, and tissue paper flowers.

Throw bean bags into a pumpkin.

Make a pumpkin smoothie.

And then when you are done with the pumpkins, place pieces in a plastic tub (you’ll want a lid for this one!) and watch the pumpkin decompose.  We journaled about our observations in our science journal.

Observe pumpkin decay, pumpkin theme idea

Categories: Homeschool, Thematic Unit | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Farm Photo

It’s the time of year of State Fairs!  This farm photograph was on display at the Missouri Farm Bureau building at the State Fair.  It won 1st prize in the “animals” category, but I think you’ll agree the little girl in it is priceless as well.

Farm Photo

Photography is one of my favorite types of art, and on the farm we have so many beautiful things to take pictures of!  Great photographs need great lighting as well, which makes the outdoors the best place for taking pictures.  Take your camera outside and see what you can come up with!

For more farm photos, check out the Mo Farm Bureau contest webpage!

Categories: Animals | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

The Modern Farmer

a modern farmer

Is this what you think of when you picture a farmer?  Maybe a man wearing overalls and a baseball cap, mud boots and a trusty dog?  Does he have a straw hat and carry a pitch fork?  Is he riding a tractor or a horse?  Try drawing, painting, or sketching your own picture of what you see in your mind when you think of a “farmer.”

For many farmers mud boots will always be a fact of life, but the modern farmer might not be what you think.  This is a picture of Daddy in his tractor.

face of the modern farmer

Yes, he sometimes wears coveralls (mostly in the winter) but check out this tractor cab!  If the flashing screens and hands-free headset weren’t in your original drawing, you are not alone.  Most people don’t understand the technology involved in modern agriculture.

Did you know farmers use some of the most advanced technology on the planet?  In fact the level of research being done to help farmers feed the world is matched only by the military.  Have you ever seen a car driving without a person behind the wheel?  This technology is still a dream for the future, but today Daddy can sit in his tractor, watch his monitors, check the seed spacing, and control the planters functions and not even touch the steering wheel.

face of the modern farmer

In this picture you see the planter’s  Precision 20/20 monitor, which shows all kinds of information about how the seeds are going in the ground.  The GPS monitor shows a picture of the field, where he needs to plant, what has been planted, and how fast he is going.  You can also see the ipad, which records all of that information and allows Daddy to add in more data, like how much fertilizer was added to the field and what the yield turns out to be in the fall.  Using the apps on this ipad Daddy can see which kinds of seed did well, exactly where we need more fertilizer (preventing excess chemical use), what kind of fertilizer (making your food more nutritious), and lots more!  You can’t see it, but also in the cab is an ipod, where Daddy can listen to both music and pod casts of radio farm shows.  The smart phone hangs from the window, allowing Daddy to check the weather with a radar app or make a call to the person running the seed tender with his hands-free jaw bone.  And yes, he can also post to facebook if he wants!

So tell me– is this what you expected the modern farmer to look like?

*Painting from risingartist.com, Artshop 77

Categories: Technology | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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