Posts Tagged With: lesson

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 ūüėČ I thought I’d post the whole thing.

Insect thematic unit‚ÄĒactivities and printables {}

We started by learning what makes a bugРthree 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‚ÄĒactivities and printables {}

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‚ÄĒactivities and printables {}

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‚ÄĒactivities and printables {}

(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‚ÄĒactivities and printables {}

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‚ÄĒactivities and printables {}

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‚ÄĒactivities and printables {}

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‚ÄĒactivities and printables {}

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‚ÄĒactivities and printables {}

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

Grouchy Ladybug Insect Activity or Lapbook

The Grouchy Ladybug lapbook or center activity {}

If I ask you what bugs eat you might say “leaves!”¬† In which case you would be partly right.¬† Many bugs eat leaves; tree leaves, soybean leaves, corn plant leaves.¬† These types of bugs can be a problem at times.¬† There are other bugs, however, that can be a farmer’s best friend.¬† One of these is the ladybug, which is why we had to include “The Grouchy Ladybug” by Eric Carle in our recent¬†insect lessons!

The Grouch Ladybug lapbook or center activities {}

Eric Carle dedicates the book with an explanation of how ladybugs eat aphids, a rather destructive little critter.

So in honor of ladybugs, here is a free Grouchy Ladybug Insect Activity that works great as a center in your classroom or in a lapbook like we did for homeschool.

Grouchy Ladybug lapbook or center activity

The Grouchy Ladybug activity for centers or lapbook

Grouchy Ladybug 1

Grouchy Ladybug cards 1

Grouchy Ladybug cards 2

{Update!  To see an entire lesson plan for insects, click here!}

Insect thematic unit‚ÄĒactivities and printables {}

Categories: Homeschool, Thematic Unit | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Book for Your Tractor Lesson

You know that great feeling when you stumble on something great completely by accident?¬† I have it today!¬† We were at the library looking for books for school, which means I’m scribbling down reference numbers and chasing children’s books from all their misplaced places, when the title of this book caught my eye.

A great book for your tractor lesson plan!

Being “Daddy’s Tractor” of course, we had to check this one out.¬† And we’ll¬†probably renew it too!¬† Its a¬†whimsical book with bright illustrations and a¬†bit of nostalgia for the by-gone era of small¬†family farms.¬† Grandpa takes his grandson out to the old homestead, now fallen into decay.¬† There they find a forgotten (red!) Farmall tractor growing up with¬†weeds.

A great farm book for a tractor lesson plan

Please note that Farmall is¬†a predecessor to Case IH.¬† And if you don’t know what Case IH is,¬†kindly refer to the photos in the blog title.¬† And for all of you¬†cheering for green and yellow,¬†just allow¬†me this moment.¬† It is hard for all of us in ag to find truly good literature, but do you know¬†how¬†hard it is¬†to find books with red tractors?!

But back to the actual point…¬† Grandpa tells his grandson all about the work the tractor used to do on the farm when he was a boy, making this book a fantastic addition to our History of Agriculture Theme Unit.

A great book for a tractor lesson plan

The author/illustrator is not a farmer (or even remotely connected with ag in any way) and it was not written to be a scientifically, historically, or otherwise perfectly accurate portrait of farm life, but I thought Michael Garland did a nice job and avoided any of the usual mistakes of drawing all roosters instead of hens etc..   And the story of how this book came to be, featured on the last page, is probably my favorite part of all.

So now you can be as excited as I am :-).

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

Can You Spot the Differences?

There are five insignificant differences between these two photos.  Can you spot them?

anhydrous originalanhydrous changed

Little differences can be hard to spot.¬† In fact it is possible for someone to change something so slightly that others don’t even notice it isn’t the original.

I was thinking of that this week as I wondered how to teach my children how Satan attempts to confuse issues by making the smallest of changes.  A misused verse of scriptures.  A common phrase attributed to the Bible.  A tiny sin.

Did you find the changes?

anhydrous answers

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

St. Patrick’s Day, A Missionary’s Story Lesson Plan

I love St. Patrick’s Day.¬† I’m not really sure why.¬† But I do know that most of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration seems to revolve around things that are… not as “G” as I’d like them to be for my family.¬† So I did a little hop, skip, and jump when I read Teaching the Trinity for St. Patrick’s Day from I Have No Greater Joy.¬† That post and a few quick searches later and this is the St. Patrick’s Day lesson plan we’re working from!

St. Patrick's Day, a missionary's story

We checked out Patrick, Ireland’s Patron Saint from the library (even before I read the Trinity lesson plan!) and it was the perfect book for introducing the kids to Patrick the missionary.¬† Did you know Patrick was held as a slave in Ireland, escaped home, and later returned to share the gospel?

St. Patrick, a missionary's story lesson plan

Then we made shamrocks from bits of scrapbook paper by cutting three hearts and gluing them to a craft stick.  Its not in the photo, but we also added ribbons to them to make them pretty.

St. Patrick's Day, a missionary's story lesson plan

We talked about the shamrock shape and how St. Patrick might have taught the trinity with it.¬† Anna didn’t understand at all, but Brett was able to follow along enough that at least he understands there is such a confusing concept, even if he can’t yet grasp it!¬† We sang the song “God the Father” as posted in the Trinity lesson and that was a great hit.¬† It was so easy for them to learn!

At the end of the Patrick book is a short section on the legends of St. Patrick.¬† Brett enjoyed the story about the snakes (of course) and he loved the gross motor activity we¬†created to go¬†with it.¬† I had the kids take their shamrocks outside and¬†chase pretend snakes out of the yard.¬† If there¬†had been any real ones… well, they’d be gone too¬†;-).

St. Patrick's Day, a missionary's story lesson plan

The kids also enjoyed this video I found on Pinterest.

I bought some dot paints from Hobby Lobby last fall, and if you haven’t tried them, they’re great.¬† All the fun of painting (mostly!) without the fuss and mess.¬† When I saw this it seemed like a great idea for the preschool kids in my Homeschool Co-Op class.

St. Patrick's Day, a missionary story lesson plan

And then I used those same leftover bits of scrapbook paper to cut out shamrocks– two of each design.¬† One shamrock I glued to a paper and the other I left loose.¬† Tomorrow I’ll have the preschoolers match the paper’s designs, then Monday I’ll make it a math lesson for Brett by writing simple addition facts on the loose shamrocks and the answers on the glued down ones.¬† Hmm, or maybe capital letters with a lowercase match?¬† Might need more scraps…

St.Patrick's day, a missionary's story lesson plan

And this has nothing to do with missionaries, trinities, or Christ in anyway, but I couldn’t resist.¬† Remember that whole me just liking St. Patty’s thing?¬† Well, I also love Lucky Charms.


I just admitted it.


I love them.

When I taught kindergarten I always bought one box for my class to sort the shapes and then I ATE THE REST!

Once a year.

But I haven’t taught kindergarten in six years.¬† So its been a looooong time since I’ve eaten Lucky Charms.¬† And I couldn’t resist.¬† Today we sorted the shapes.

It was so educational.

And tasty.

St. Patrick's Day, a missionary's story lesson plan

And then I gave them each a missionary penny.

St. Patrick's Day, a missionary's story lesson plan

What is that?¬† Well, a missionary penny is one SENT.¬† All people are sent to spread the gospel, some in foreign countries and under heroic circumstances like Patrick, but all of us are called.¬†¬†Funny enough, the penny is also considered “lucky,” but plainly states “In God¬†We Trust.”¬† We¬†discussed that it is not luck but God who¬†gives us all good things– which was important to me in a St. Patty’s Day lesson!

If you have other ideas for making Christ a part of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration, leave them below!

Categories: Homeschool, Thematic Unit | Tags: , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A Farm Lesson Plan; Who Grew My Soup

One of the great things about winter is going to farm conferences.¬† A few weeks ago we attended the MO Farm Bureau¬†Young Farmer and Rancher conference.¬† Daddy and¬†I learned lots¬†from our seminars and speakers, but Brett probably had the most fun ;-).¬†¬† He was finally old enough to join the grade school kids at the children’s seminars, provided by the Promotion and Education committee,¬†directed by Diane Olson, Barbra Wilson, and Terribeth Spargo.¬† They came up with this fun farm lesson plan and Brett loved it.

The activities were based on the book, Who Grew My Soup, by Tom Darbyshire.

Who Grew My Soup, a Farm Lesson plan

Its a silly story with hilarious illustrations that look like something you’d create with an app on your iPad.¬† Basically this kid decides he’s not eating his healthy soup until he knows what’s in it.¬† So, because isn’t this what happens every time you declare war on vegetables, a hot air balloon¬†(actually tomato) swoops down and carries¬†him off to the fields where the soup was grown.

Farm Lesson Plan, Who Grew My Soup

Next they had the kids sort plastic food by plant part.¬† For example, the tomatoes in the soup are the fruit of plant, but carrots are the roots and corn and peas are¬†the seeds.¬† This chart can get you started if you’re stuck with that one!

Farm Lesson Plan, Parts of the Plant we use for food

The kids also got to vote on their favorite kind of soup.¬† This, of course, would be a great thing to graph.¬† If we had more people (one hurdle for homeschooling!) I wanted to make a “live” graph where everyone used an actual can of soup to represent their vote and stack them on the floor¬†as a bar graph.¬† If you try it, send me a picture please :-).

They ended the seminar by making their own Who Grew My Soup Mix.

Farm Lesson Plan, make your own soup

1/3 cup beef bouillon granules
1/4 cup dried minced onion
1/2 cup dried split peas (green and yellow if possible)
1/2 cup lentils (red and green for variety)
1/2 rice (white or brown but NOT instant)
1 cup tri-colored spiral pasta

Directions for Mix
Layer these ingredients in the order given into a 1 quart canning jar.  Pack each layer in place before adding the next ingredient.  Attach a gift tag with the following:

Soup Recipe
1 jar Who Grew My Soup mix
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained

Remove pasta from mix and set aside.  Place the remaining soup mix in a large soup pot.  Add 12 cups of water.  Bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer 45 minutes.  Add pasta and ground beef and simmer an additional 15 minutes.

Thanks so much to the P&E committee for such a fun seminar.  Especially when it comes to farm lessons, Brett prefers to learn from someone other than mom :-).  I mean really, what does she know about soup?!

Categories: Science | Tags: , , , , | 16 Comments

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