STEAM · story · topic

Do Bees Buzz in the Winter?

Many animals who migrate or hibernate depend on insects for food… so what happens to insects in the winter? Well we know that butterflies migrate, so do dragonflies. What about everything else? Well the best answer to this is… it depends on the insect. Check out this information from the Smithsonian. You will see that some survive as larva, pupa, eggs and even some as adults hibernating. The key they have is by being able to create their own anti-freeze.

Let’s watch some videos

Scientific America What Do Honeybees Do in the Winter?

ScienceOnline Honeybees in Winter an Amazing Sound

So what do bees do? They huddle together and move their wings to stay warm. So while they are not hibernating in the sense of lowering their body functions, they still are not doing anything but staying warm. They put all their energy in keeping the queen warm. It’s almost like the other bees are trying to be a blanket around the queen. A queen bee quilt?

So… today make your own queen bee quilt. Will you use squares, rectangles, triangles or even hexagons, just like the bee hive? Will you draw it or make it out of cut paper? Will you have one pattern or a collection of patterns? It is up to you… it is your quilt

STEAM · story · topic

Bears Hibernate for the Winter

When people talk about hibernation typically the first animal to come to mind is the bear. Bears actually do not truly hibernate, but do slow down their heart and lungs. When animals truly hibernate, they cannot be woken up, but bears brains stay alert enough to be aware of their surroundings. Bears go into a state called torpor.

Torpor involves physiological changes related especially to body temperature, metabolism, and water balance. Hibernation is when an organism spends the winter in a state of dormancy

science direct.com

Why do bears hibernate by Mystery Doug

Hibernation Video by Keeley Johnson

Baby Bear’s Not Hibernating by Lynn Plourde — read by Lynn Plourde

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson (as told by Between the Lions)

Talk about what bears can, need and are for hibernation/torpor and then write and draw about it.

STEAM · topic

Hibernating Animals

I hope you enjoyed learning about migration. This week we will work on hibernation. Today we will learn about the concept of hibernation.

Snuggle Down Deep by Diane Ohanesian

Why Do Animals Hibernate by David Martin

Getting Ready for Hibernation from SciShow Kids

So why do animals hibernate? Here are some facts Hibernation fact from Scholastic and 10 Fascinating Facts about Hibernation from National Geographic Kids.

Most animals hibernate because of a lack of food. They are unable to store enough food to have enough food to eat through the winter. Most hibernating animals are warm blooded (bears, groundhogs, chipmunks and other), but there are also some cold blooded animals who hibernate (frogs, snails and snakes)

Hibernation allows an animals body to slow down, this is not sleep. The animals whole body slows down, including their lungs, heart and other essential organs. They use the energy they stored to use keep their organs functioning at a slower rate than normal. Some hibernating animals sleep through the winter, others wake from time to time to “use the bathroom” and eat some food they have stored.

Ask your child… Would you want to hibernate for the winter? Now draw and write about your answer. I really do like winter, it’s cold, but it is pretty!

STEAM · story · topic

Butterfly Migration

For our final look at migration, lets look at butterflies! Did you ever wonder where the butterflies go in the winter? Let’s take a look!

Great Migration Butterflies by Laura Marsh

Winged Wonders by Meeg Pincus

Monarch Butterflies: Great Migration

I hope you enjoyed these facts about butterflies. So, lets have fun with butterflies. Butterflies as symmetrical, meaning they are the same on both sides. So, I thought it would be a good time to build some symmetrical butterflies!

I used Lego blocks and pattern blocks, but you can use any resources you have at home, even just crayons and paper. Notice in the last picture, I only made half a butterfly and used a mirror to create the line of symmetry.

STEAM · story · topic

Whales and Manatees Migrating

Today we will focus on two sea animals who migrate… whales and manatees. I have given you info on whales and manatees separately in case you want to do one or do it on separate days.

Whales:

Following Papa’s Song by Gianna Marino

Let’s learn about the migrations!

View gray whales migrate from Alaska to Mexico and back

Whales spend their summers by the poles and the migrate to warmer waters near the equator for the winter. A large reason for this migration is to have their young in the warmer waters since babies are born with less blubber and would not survive the cold waters near the poles.

Whales do not eat during their migration and what they eat depends on the type of whale. There are two large categories of whales toothed whales, which have teeth (which include the beluga, narwhal, dolphins and other porpoise). These whales are predators and eat other animals. The other group of whales are baleen whales (including blue, humpback and gray whales). These whale eat by sifting out prey in the waters they swim.

Baleen whales are larger and most migrate long distances to protect their new calves. Such as these migration paths below:

Gray whales, which migrate between Alaska and Russia and Baja California

North Atlantic right whales, which appear to move between cold waters off the Northeastern US and Canada to waters off South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Humpback whales, which move between northern feeding grounds and southern breeding grounds. 

Blue whales. In the Pacific, blue whales migrate from California to Mexico and Costa Rica.

facts from ThoughtCo Whale Migration

http://kids.britannica.com/comptons/art-54617/Breeding-grounds-and-migration -routes-of-the-humpback-whale | Humpback whale, Whale facts, Humpback whale  facts

Manatees:

Manatee Winter by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld

See video of manatee in their winter migration area, Blue Springs State Park in Orange City, FL.

Manatees are gentle marine mammals. They cannot survive in waters below 60F (16C) and barely tolerate temperatures below 68F (20C).

In the summers Florida Manatees, a subread of the West Indian Manatee, can be typically be found from the coast off Virginia and then around Florida and over to Texas. But in the winter months they can only be found off the coast of Florida. They need to move inland towards more natural springs to find warmer waters and food.

So why do manatees migrate? Even though they weight nearly 1/2 a ton, they do not have much body fat. So they are unable to withstand the temperature changes in the water during the winter. Manatees are herbivores who munch on sea grass and can move between fresh and salt water areas. They move slowly and spend half the day sleeping.

Migration - Save the Manatee Club
STEAM · topic · writing

What is migration?

This week we will focus on the topic of migration. So…. what is migration? Migration is when animals move from one place to another to survive. This is done to find the resources needed to survive (food, water, shelter, and space). Check out this and more facts here.

Amazing Animal Migrations by Land, Air and Sea by Nat Geo Wild. You will need to read this to your children, but there is fantastic images of desert elephants of Africa, black-browed albatrosses, and great white sharks migrating.

Migrations: Big Animal Trips from SciShow Kids explains the concept of migration and then shares the migration maps of some of the furthest traveling animals by land, sea and sky.

Animal Migration: Move It from Science Trek explains migration, discusses various animals that migrate and why.

Today we will make a can, are, need chart for animals that migrate. Create a chart and have your child illustrate or dictate the things that migrating animals can, are and need. Such as migrating animals can travel long distances. Migrating animals are moving to meet their basic needs. Migrating animals need to find sources of food. (or in simpler terms… Migrating animals can walk, fly, swim, move etc…. Migrating animals are deer, whale, birds etc.. Migrating animals need food, water, shelter, etc…)

STEAM · story · teaching thoughts · topic

What do animals do to get ready for the winter? (graphic organizers)

Over the next few weeks, we will explore what animals do to get ready for the winter. Today we will do an overview of this topic and then tomorrow we will begin our week long focus on migration.

Did you ever think about what animals need to do to get ready for the winter months? Ask your child what they think animals need to do. Let’s use a graphic organizer to get our thoughts in order! I have suggested 3 different types from easy to complicated (from simple information to a collection of knowledge)

  • Create a circle map. Draw two circles inside the other. On the inner circle write How animals get ready for winter.
    • Brainstorm ways you know animals get ready for winter and write it on the inside of the outer circle.
    • Ask… how do you know that? Write this information on the outside of the outer circle.
  • Create a KWL (know, want to know, learned) chart with your child.
    • K–Brainstorm with your child what they already know about animals getting ready for the winter. (there are no wrong answers here)
    • W–Brainstorm what they want to learn about this how animals get ready for the winter. (there are no wrong answers)
    • L-What did you learn about animals getting ready for the winter. Review new information and misconceptions on the K part.
  • Create a Schema Map (what I know, connections to what I learned and enlightenment of misconceptions). Divide a wall, window, chart paper whatever into 3 sections (schema, new knowledge and misconceptions)
    • On post it notes write down your schema (prior knowledge) one thought per post it
    • As you learn (listen to stories, participate in experiments and experiences, and other research), write down new learning on a different color post it. Connect the knowledge to schema when you expand on prior knowledge.
    • Move schema post it’s into misconceptions as you disprove the misconception (use another color sticky note to show the why)

Now listen to these stories and see what information you have learned, confirmed or now can disprove a misconception… add these facts to your charts!

STEAM · story · topic

Beans to Chocolate!

For thinking Thursday today, we will learn about how chocolate is made! Beans to Chocolate by Lisa M. Herrington shows the process of taking cacao beans and transforming them into the chocolate we love. Where Does Chocolate Come From? From SciShow Kids Jessi and Squeeks talk about the process of transformation. Take a trip to a chocolate factory with KidVision.

Have your child draw and/or write out the steps they remember in the processes. This is about looking at things step by step. If they miss a major detail, ask questions.

family activity · STEAM · story

Monster Trap!

Today listen to the stories “How to Catch a Monster” by Michael Yu and “How to Catch a Monster” by Adam Wallace. While both these stories have the same title they are actually very different. In the first book, the child is excited to play with his monster as he gets ready for bed. In the second, the child wants to overcome his fear of monsters. But I decided that thinking Thursday is a great day to design a monster trap!

This becomes a great STEAM project! You can use anything, yes anything in your house to build a monster trap. So… let your kiddo get creative. I would encourage him/her devise a plan. Let’s draw out what you think a monster trap should look like. What resources will you need? How will you lure the monster into the trap? Where will you set it up.

Now get working… let your child be creative and provide limited support in this adventure. Your roll is to be the scribe (lots of writing for this one), ask questions!, and encourage creativity. How does the monster…? What happens next? Why will that happen? How do you… ? How else can you…?

This is a great project to work on over a few days or at least a few chunks of time. In school we would probably devise the plan on one day and make the traps another. For younger children (3/4) I would have him/her make the trap and then draw the plan. For older children (kindergarten and up) I would have them make the plan and then make the trap. You are flipping the purpose of the plan in this case.

But remember, the main purpose it to have fun!

art · math · STEAM · teachers pay teacher

Monster Math!

This week is all about MONSTERS! This is such a fun topic for children as they can be both fun and scary. But we will focus on the fun side! Today’s story Monster Math by Anne Miranda… read by Anne Miranda! This is a story about a Monster’s birthday and how many monsters join the fun!

Shape Monster created by Adam Ray Daniels’ Cartoons for my TPT store kits

So … it’s time for a favorite activity and character: Shape Monster! Shape Monster Shape Monster munch, munch, munch? How about about a (color) (shape) for your lunch! This is a common kindergarten shape activity, but can so easily be adapted!

I’ll share with you a few ideas on how you can use the shape monster today.

Create simple shape monsters (or complex if you want). Put them onto bags or onto empty boxes to make the shape monster’s lunch bag/box. Label each monster with a shape. (circle monster, square monster, rectangle monster etc…). Have your child find items around they can put into the shape monster’s lunch bag.

Provide your child with construction paper, either already cut into shapes or have your child cut his/her own shapes. Use the shapes to create a monster out of shapes… a shape monster! Or if you do not have construction paper, they can just draw a monster out of shapes!

Want more shape monster fun? I have two kits in my store that use Shape Monster!

Show preview image 3

Shape Monster’s 2D lunch time mini book ($2)… Help shape monster find the shapes he wants to for lunch. Each page focuses on one shape and provides a color for each shape. And, Shape Monster himself describes the shapes attributes.

Shape Graphing with Shape Monster ($1)… This kit has your child(ren) sorting and graphing shapes. The kit includes four different graphing pages (spin and graph, color and graph, grab and graph and find and graph)