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.

story · topic

Bird Migration

Often when we begin talking about migration the first thing you think of is birds. It is easy because we can actually see birds migrating. So… let’s talk about birds!

Not all birds migrate for the winter. Here are some of the more well known migrating birds: geese, robins, hummingbirds, bluebirds, red winged blackbirds, doves and many more.

Migrating Geese by Veronica Angel.

Let’s watch some videos on why birds fly in a “v” shape

Geese Fly Together by National Geographic

The Real Reason Birds Fly in a V formation by DNews

Here is a fun experiment to test out why birds fly in a V if you have a fan that you can use … Why Do Birds Fly in a V from How Wee Learn

Let’s get outside. Can you find some birds flying in the sky? Are the foraging for foods? Are they flying in a group or alone? What types of birds do you see?

Have you researched what birds live in your areas? What ones migrate through your area?

In my backyard we have both birds that live here permanently and those that migrate through both in the spring and the fall. For migrating birds we see: hummingbirds, orioles, red winged blackbirds, geese, doves, sparrows and many more. We also have cardinals, blue jays, tufted titmouse, goldfinch, woodpeckers and more.

What does this mean? Feed the birds…even if you don’t have tuppence for a bag!

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.

math · topic

Topic Tuesday More Candy… and sorting

Let’s start by watching this segment from Unwrapped on How M&M’s are made. I always like sharing this type of information with children as they often have no concept of how the items are created. This episode give a bit of the backstory as well as a tour of the facility where the candy is produced!

Now lets read another M&M book… yes, another fun math book using M&Ms! This one is called More M&M Math by Barbara Barbieri McGrath. In this book you will sort and then graph candy… so guess what we are going to do today!?! Sort and graph!

You can check out a post I shared in April for how to sort and graph M&M candy.

Instead, I sorted the collection of odd Lego pieces I have in my kitchen. Don’t you have an odd Lego collection somewhere? No? Well sort any odd collection you have. Maybe you can then convince your child to put them away when they are done sorting?

Help your child create a graph grid to fill in with the materials you are choosing to graph. I was lazy and didn’t get out a ruler, but doing it with straight lines helps a bit. Now sort! Talk about what you see. Which is the least? Which is the most? Are any the same? How many more gray than red? How many fewer gold than clear?

art · topic · writing

Monster’s Underpants!

When we are nervous about life we are told to picture others in their underpants… maybe this helps children too if they think about monsters in underpants? Children love monsters… and they think underpants are too funny. So put monsters in their underpants and there is nothing that will bring more smiles, giggles and funny images!

Today listen to the story Monsters Love Underpants by Claire Freedman & Ben Cort.

Time to draw, paint… create a monster of your own!

My monster is wearing plaid underwear

Not sure how to get started or can’t think of a monster on your own? check out Art for Kit Hub’s paint a monster as inspiration… But, make sure to add underpants to your monster!

This is a great opportunity to encourage your child to write!! I guarantee your child has a story in his/her head about this underwear loving monster. You can provide words like monster, underpants, but encourage him/her to sound out the words the best they can. The purpose of children writing is not for them to spell every word correctly … it is for them to see him/herself as a writer. To put down their thoughts on paper. To see the connection between sounding out words to read and write. So encourage your child to write. Have them read what they wrote and praise the attempt, not criticize the imperfection.

art · story · topic

Jack O’Lantern Art

It’s Friday!! Did you have fun learning about pumpkins this week? You will have to let me know which activities you tried and which types you’d like to see more of in the weeks to come!

Today’s stories:

Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell– Tim carved the best pumpkin and named him Jack. He puts the pumpkin out into the garden as it begins to rot. Tim watches Jack change over time. Watch to see what becomes of Jack over the days, weeks and months.

Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden by George Levenson — in this informational text you follow the life cycle from seed to seed of a pumpkin. Story written in flowing and bouncy verse to match beautiful and vivid photographs.

Here is a fun song to learn and sing together.

Little Jack O’Lantern (sung to the Battle Hymn of the Republic)

  • Little Jack O’Lantern had a candle lit inside
  • Little Jack O’Lantern had a candle lit inside
  • Little Jack O’Lantern had a candle lit inside
  • Till somebody blew it out. (then blow out the “candle”)

Now let’s make a Jack O’Lantern!

For this activity in school I would typically give the children the option of drawing and cutting out their own pumpkin shape or using a tracer. At home, you can either let them create their own or trace something to make the basic shape (plate, bowl, or other roundish item).

  1. Determine if you want your pumpkin to be tall and skinny or short and plump.
  2. Trace/draw the outline of your pumpkin onto an orange sheet of paper… or make it a green pumpkin, or a white pumpkin… you pick!
  3. Does your pumpkin have a stem or is it a “stumpkin”?
  4. now cut out the pumpkin… only cut the outside (trust me say this as some will cut ALL the lines they drew!)
  5. Now design the face of your pumpkin.- you can either cut pieces out of yellow, white or black paper and glue it onto the pumpkin or cut the pieces out of the orange paper. I show the children how to bend the paper to start cutting into where you want the openings.
  6. Use markers or crayons to add the pumpkin lines, color in the steam, and add more details
  7. If you cut out the eyes, you can either leave them or back the pumpkin in yellow or black paper to see the depth.
STEAM · topic · writing

Pumpkins Can, Have, Need, Are

Today we will think about pumpkins! Today’s story is Little Boo by Stephen Wunderli. I hope you enjoy this story!

Today for our activity we will create a chart of facts about pumpkins. First, I encourage you to watch Dissect a Pumpkin from SciShow Kids. Watch Jessi and Squeeks learn more about pumpkins.

After learning a a bit more about pumpkins, lets chart some of our knowledge! In this example I created a four box page to collect information on what pumpkins can, have, need and are. You could also limit this to two or three concepts. The purpose of charts like this is to begin writing informative sentences: Pumpkins can rot. Pumpkins have seeds. Pumpkins need space to grow. Pumpkins are fruits.

In my Teachers Pay Teachers store, you will find a collection of Can, Are, Have charts for fall. In this kit, Fall Graphic Organizers, you will also find circle maps, writing pages and venn diagrams. Topics covered: apples, pumpkins, spiders, bats and owls.