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Parts of a Feather

As most of you are aware, we are in chicken mode right now with Gage’s business (Deluxe Clucks) starting and the brooder webcam up and running (see right sidebar and click play to watch).  We have been contacted by some local homeschoolers to come out for field trips, so we are in the process of getting ready for them to start.  As part of the homeschool field trips, I’m creating various works to help teach them more about chickens.  This lesson is about parts of a feather and it is one of a series of posts on basic Chicken Anatomy. Be sure to visit the other posts too!  You can find them here:  Hands On Chicken Anatomy Lessons and Bird’s Nest study.  

Parts of a Feather Free 3 part cardsFeathers are pretty amazing!  They are extremely strong, yet lightweight.  There are actually five basic types of feathers:  

  • Contour
  • Down
  • Semiplumes
  • Filoplumes
  • Bristles

This would be a great time to go on a nature scavenger hunt to find some feathers.  Grab a magnifying glass or a microscope to study your feathers more closely!  If you do not have access to feathers or a microscope, here are some pictures and another set is here for you to be able to see them up close.  For the Parts of a Feather study, I drew a contour feather.  I will be creating a work about the various types of feathers. Here is a set of nomenclature cards I drew and made for parts of a feather.

Most feathers have a couple of feathers in common:  

  • Most feathers have a thick hard pole down the center of the feather.  This is called the Shaft.  It is made of Keratin (the same material our fingernails are made of).  Birds cannot feel the shaft, therefore it does not hurt the bird to clip their wings.  
  • The Quill is where the feather attaches to the Bird.  Quills were used to write with long ago.  It was dipped into ink and the ink would go up the shaft a little way.  
  • The soft part of the feather is called the vane.  If you can look at this part through a microscope or magnifying glass, you will see that it has tiny hairs called barbs.  Those hairs also have tiny hairs called barbules.  They function like a hook and latch… making the wing vanes act like a zipper.  
  • Some feathers are fuzzy, these are called Down Feathers.  This  is where the barbs do not have barbules so they cannot hook (or zip) together.  Down feathers do not have a shaft.  Every bird has down feathers under it’s contour feathers.  

All birds molt.  It is where the bird loses its old feathers and grows new ones.  Why do birds molt?  Simply, because their feathers get old and beat up.  Most birds molt gradually losing a few feathers at a time.  There are a few birds that lose their feathers all at once.  Doesn’t that sounds like a great research project to figure out which ones do this?!?  

If you don’t know where to begin to teach zoology to your students, we used Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Zoology, Flying Creatures Book. For more information about how I take traditional curriculum and make them more hands-on and Montessori-ish, look here under the Zoology and Botany tags.   

I’ll be covering more basic anatomy information about chickens (and birds in general, like this lesson), so stay tuned!  

Until next time… 

Hands-on Chicken Anatomy Lessons

As most of you know, we are in full out chicken mode right now with Gage’s business assets arriving (chicks) and with the webcam up and running (see link in the right hand column, click play), I thought this would be a perfect time to start an in-depth, hands-on study about chickens!  I will even attempt to answer the proverbial question, “which came first, the chicken or the egg?”.  Read to the bottom for that one 🙂  In the meantime, let’s get to some hands-on chicken anatomy lessons!

Vocabulary Matching Chicken Family Tree

 

The first thing that I teach about chickens is the vocabulary.  Most areas of study or professions have a certain vocabulary that is associated with that particular topic.  Chickens are no exception.  Some of the vocabulary will be very familiar, but some won’t be.  I try to use the correct vocabulary for all the works in a particular area, so this is the first document to present to your students.  I call it the Chicken Family Tree because so much of it surrounds the names of the chickens at different stages of their life.

 

 

Chicken 3 Part Cards Montessori Print ShopThe next area I typically teach is the anatomy of a chicken.  Montessori Print Shop has a beautiful set you can purchase.  If you are not in a position to purchase them, here is another set of chicken anatomy that I found this is free.  Unfortunately, I don’t remember where I got these, if you know who to give credit to, please let me know!  

I know some people consider nomenclature (3 Part) cards to be just for young students, but I use them with my older boys all the time.  If you are a visual learner (I am and two of my boys are), we like to see it… so we continue to use nomenclature cards even though they are 9, 11, and 13  (and I’m 47) now.  It’s all about following the child to teach them the way they learn the best!  Anatomy is the same across breeds but not across gender.  So any set of chicken anatomy cards needs to distinguish if they are defining anatomy of a hen or a rooster.  Here is a great chart of the differences between hens and roosters.  

 

Chicken Anatomy Cones Free 3 part CardsDid you know chickens can’t sweat? Since they do not sweat, they lose a primary way to cool their body down.  Instead, chickens have combs and wattles to help them regulate their body temperature. But not all combs and wattles are created the same. I have created a Chicken Anatomy Combs work to show the reason for the differences and variations.  The comb variations are usually based on breed and gender.  The comb is not just a means to cool off, it is also used to attract a mate.  In addition, when a young female chicken (called a pullet) is ready to start laying eggs, her comb will turn from pink to red.  

 

Since we are now discussing various chicken breeds, there is a great chart here to help your children see all the variations in each breed.

Now, back to the question about the chicken and the egg and which came first… if you believe in the Bible, it answers this question for us.  

Gen 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
Gen 1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
Gen 1:23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

Since I’m pretty sure there were not any eggs walking around, it would mean the chicken came first 🙂

I have so much more to cover regarding chickens, but this is a good place to stop for this study.  I’ll be posting much more on chickens since it appears we will be spending much of our time with our new chicks.  We recently received a request to host some homeschool field trip days, so we will be creating lots of works to teach our guests when these field trips start.  

Until next time….

Spring has Sprung and the Snakes are Awake!

Disclosure

If you know me, you know I HATE snakes!  I don’t mean I just don’t like snakes… I mean I hate snakes with a passion!  So spring to me means the snakes are awake!  They scare me to death!  When God said He was putting enmity between woman and the serpent, He was NOT kidding!  (Genesis 3:15)  

Today we spent the day helping Gage get his brooder box ready for the 30 chicks that are arriving this week.  When Gage and I were about to walk out of the garage, he calmly announced “SNAKE”.  There slithering off of our front walkway into the shrubs is THE snake.  I immediately froze.  My hubby, David, was there with us so he grabbed a shovel and a hoe.  When Hubby approached the snake, he could not immediately tell if it was poisonous or not because the snake was acting so aggressively.  Well, it turns out it was a two foot Hognose snake!  And, to make matters worse, David does not believe in killing the wretched things unless they are poisonous… but he will take it off, at least.  Even though I completely abhor snakes, there are some good lessons here to learn.  And yes, I took these pictures!  

Snake Identification HognoseHognose snakes are hard to tell apart from a Water Moccasin (Cotton Mouth) snake when they are little.  If you are like me, kill the darn thing and worry about if it is poisonous after the threat is gone … but that is not hubby’s mode of operation so we have to learn this stuff when he is around.  

The color of a Hognose snake varies widely, so using color as an identifier is not viable.  As always, we look at the face and eyes.  But this guy was so small, we couldn’t see his eyes.  We did, however, notice its snout was upturned. But that actually made it hard to determine if it had a triangular or round nose.

 

 

Hognose Snake Playing Dead When threatened, a hognose snake will flatten their neck and raise their head off the ground and hiss like a cobra … behaving quite aggressively.  This also makes it hard to determine if they have a triangular or round head.  Our little snake was doing a fabulous job at acting all aggressive, hissing, flaring, etc.  He almost lost his head cause he is such a good actor!  So, needless to say, putting our face down there to see its eyes was completely out of the question!  

If flattening and flaring their neck and hissing  fails to thwart their attacker, the Hognose snake will literally roll over and play dead, with their tongue hanging out of their gaping open mouth. (Ugh!!!  Have I mentioned I hate snakes… ).  

 

Hognose Snake playing deadThe Hognose Snake will continue to play dead until the threat has disappeared.  I can assure you, no snake was harmed during this event (although this one is an excellent actor at faking it).  This snake WAS personally escorted off the property, by my hubby.  

Something every family that lives in an area where there are snakes needs is a great snake identification book!  Just in case the internet is down when you stumble upon one of these!  (Note we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program.  Any money received via this relationship is used for our homeschool!  PS. I’ve made a grand total of $0.00 from affiliate marketing… but the FTC says I have to tell you that IF you buy it, I will make 4% of the sale as commission.) 

Side note:  There is some controversy over if the Hognose snake is venomous or not.  Here is a Quote from Wikipedia:

The venomous nature of Hognose snakes is controversial, however it is generally agreed upon that they are not venomous. A bite from a hognose can result in swelling and numbness at the site of the bite, though this is likely the result of a simple allergic reaction. Similar symptoms can result from dog and cat bites, and even from human saliva. There does not seem to have been any scientific studies to determine the existence or characterize the nature of hognose “venom.”

The most reliable identifier of the Hognose Snake is the upturned nose.  It uses it to dig out toads, their primary diet.   These snakes are stout bodied and do not grow very long, adults are from 14 to 40 inches long.  They are diurnal (means they are active during the daytime), and burrow into loose soil.  Hognose snakes are not constrictors, they are rear-fanged.  Their venom enables them to overcome toads to allow the snake to swallow the toad.  Hognose snakes have mild dispositions and rarely bite.  Apparently this makes them attractive for those that like to keep snakes.  

I can assure you, this is one pet this household will NOT have (at least not while they are living here)!  

Until next time….. 

Note we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. 

Homeschooling on the Beach Part 1

Homeschooling on the Beach Part 1

Disclosure

Are you in the process of planning your beach vacation?  If you are, be sure to not leave your homeschool at home.  Studying with the ocean as your backdrop can bring in almost any subject you can imagine.  And, if you don’t live in an area where saltwater creatures are geographically close, you don’t want to miss this opportunity to teach it while you are on location!  Since we homeschool, we are not limited to vacations when our children are “out of school”.  We get to be creative about the “out of school” and vacation timing which allows us to make the most of the discounts available for the off seasons.  So you might consider a longer stay to get even more homeschooling in!  We spent a month on the coast of North Carolina in August and we learned so much about zoology and saltwater life that we could only learn there at the beach!  We did get run off the beach due to two hurricanes, but the absolute best homeschooling occurred right after the storms.  The storms brought in fabulous sealife, amazing shells and treasures from the depths!  So don’t be afraid to go in the late summer months!  Because there are just so many great opportunities and activities to teach at the beach, I have decided to break this topic into several posts .  So, part one will be about some lessons you might want to teach leading up to your beach vacation.  

If you have been following our blog, you already know that we take traditional curriculum and make them more hands-on and tactile learning materials.  With Apologia Swimming Creatures it is already a hands-on learning text, but we have added even more experiments and activities to help make your beach vacation a great experience homeschooling on the beach!  (Note we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program.  Any money received via this relationship is used for our homeschool!  PS. I’ve made a grand total of $0.00 from affiliate marketing… but the FTC says I have to tell you that IF you buy it, I will make 4% of the sale as commission.)

Geography is one of those subjects that I like to teach before we leave.  I will assume you are heading to an ocean, if you are reading this article, so the first thing we want to cover is the oceans of the world!  

 

World Oceans Etc. Montessori

 

Etc. Montessori has a beautiful free set of hands-on materials to cover World Oceans.  Click here to download them from their site.  

 

 

 

 

Mapping Vacation with Martha Stewart

 

Another great way to teach geography is to map out the trip.  This is another project you can do before you leave.  I love building up the anticipation of going on vacation.  Believe it or not, Martha Stewart really adds a bit of an artistic flair to this one.  I LOVE this idea and will be doing this myself!  

 

 

 

 

Tides Teacher Vision

Another subject to teach before you go to the beach is about tides.  What causes the tides?  Here is a great print out from TeacherVision (if you are not using the Apologia Swimming Creatures textbook).  There is a great experiment on ehow to demonstrate how the gravitational pull creates the tides by using a magnet and metal shavings.  However, I can’t find a single picture of the experiment online.  So, I guess we’ll do it and post the pictures 🙂  When I do, I’ll add the link here.  

 

Animal Kingdom Nomenclature Montessori for Everyone

If you have not started studying Zoology yet, this would be a great time to introduce  animal classification, since so many ocean creatures are invertebrates (do not have backbones).  Montessori Materials has some free classification works here.  Matri Learning has a chart here.  The Helpful Garden has over 20 free sets of Zoology Materials to download including classification and sorting cards.  The Homeschool Den created some invertebrate cards and lots of other ocean activities! If you are in a position to purchase a beautiful set, Montessori for Everyone has wonderful nomenclature cards that are quite affordable.  

 

Here is a short “homeschooling on the beach” packing list.  If I have left anything off, please leave me a comment so I can add it! 

  • Nature Notebook to sketch / draw and journal in
  • Sketch Pencils
  • Magnifying Lens  
  • Binoculars
  • Camera (like we would go on vacation without one … )
  • Plastic Bags, Totes, Buckets, Bottles to take home some beach samples (sand, saltwater, shells, etc.)
  • Ocean Field Guide (can be borrowed from the library) 
  • Plain paper or a notebook and pencil
  • Ruler

Part two will be the various studies to do once you are at the beach!  I will add a link here once it is posted.    

 

Until next time… 

 

 

 

Apologia Homeschool Blogs

Apologia Science Bloggers List

Apologia Science Bloggers List

 

I love to learn from other homeschoolers and get inspiration from  their blog posts about experiments, projects, research, etc.  We use Apologia Science for all of our boys (13, 12 and 9).  We have taught every Apologia Elementary curriculum available to us (and are anxiously awaiting Jeannie’s newest book, Physics!).  Our blog will document many of our experiments  over the last 4 years, with a heavy focus on tactile hands-on learning.  I also wanted to keep a running Apologia homeschool blogs list of other homeschooling families using the Apologia Science curriculum.  If you are using any Apologia curriculum and blogging about it, please leave a comment below so I can add you to the list!  There are many families out there that are using Apologia… but most are not blogging about it.  So, I’m trying to keep this list focused on those families that are not just using Apologia, but those writing posts about it too!  Not taking anything away from the others… but just where I chose to focus this list 🙂   Thank you!!!  

 

Elementary Blogs:

http://chickensbunniesandhomeschool.blogspot.com/search?q=apologia

http://thehomeschoolscientist.com/?s=apologia

http://traciebauguess.blogspot.com/

http://garnergoingson.wordpress.com/

http://ourjourneywestward.com/

http://homeschoolingjustnextdoor.blogspot.com/search/label/Science

http://mudpiesandmakeup.blogspot.com/

http://adventuresinmommydom.org/

http://fieldschoolathome.blogspot.com/search?q=apologia

http://www.journalofmommak.blogspot.com/

http://angelicscalliwags.wordpress.com/

http://proverbs2pursuit.blogspot.com/

http://www.mamaofmanyblessings.com/

http://weshallobtaindeliveringgrace.blogspot.com/

http://homemakingwithheart.com/

 

Middle School / High School Apologia Blogs:

http://mindfulramblings.com/apologia-biology/

http://homeschoolersresources.blogspot.com/

http://traciebauguess.blogspot.com/

http://www.thedaisyhead.com/

http://bankwhitt.wordpress.com/biology/

http://homeschoolblogger.com/amnbooks/apologia-biology/

http://appliejuice.wordpress.com/apologia-biology/

http://appliejuice.wordpress.com/physical-science/

http://martysahm.blogspot.com/p/apologia-biology.html

 

Blend of both (elementary and middle / high school):  

www.LiveAndLearnFarm.com

http://oursideofthemtn.blogspot.com/

http://homeschooljournal-bergblog.blogspot.com/p/science.html

http://our4kiddos.blogspot.com/

http://lilliputstation.blogspot.com/

http://charlottemasonway.blogspot.com/

http://anniekateshomeschoolreviews.com/?s=apologia

 

Until next time…. 

Apologia Flying Creatures Bird Nest Study

Bird Nest Study

Apologia Flying Creatures – Bird Nest Study

This is another example of taking a traditional homeschool curriculum and supplementing with hands-on tactile materials to make it feel more Montessori. In Lesson 5 of Apologia’s Flying Creatures we studied Bird Nests.  Did you know birds only sleep in nests when they are incubating eggs and when their babies are young.  So, their nests are not their homes.  For most birds in North America, the nesting season starts in March and ends by the end of August.  Birds instinctively know, when the days are getting warmer and longer, that it is time to construct nests.   (Note we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program.  Any money received via this relationship is used for our homeschool!  PS. I’ve made a grand total of $0.00 from affiliate marketing… but the FTC says I have to tell you that IF you buy it, I will make 4% of the sale as commission.)

Nests are made with a variety of materials from the typical straw, hay, and leaves to yarn, string, and dryer lint.  Most birds like to fill the nest where the eggs and babies will be with soft materials.  Hummingbirds will even pull lichen off trees to soften their nests.  Nests are built by the female bird typically, with some assistance from the male.  

For our homeschool, I made Zoology Lesson 5 Nesting 3 part nomenclature cards that include all the different types of nests covered:

  • Bower Nests
  • Weaver Nests
  • No Nests
  • Ground Nests
  • Mound Nests
  • Earth-Hole Nests
  • Cavity Nests
  • Platform Nests
  • Cup Nests
  • Adherent Nests

The “Try This” for Lesson 5 is making nests.  I can tell you from experience, they are MUCH harder to make than you might think and certainly can make a huge mess!  

Materials You Might Use to Try to Build Various Nests:

  • Grass
  • Twigs
  • Leaves
  • Straw
  • Mud
  • String
  • Cotton
  • Dryer Lint
  • Fishing Line

Directions:  

Now take the materials and try to build the various nests in the nomenclature cards.  Some are easier than others.  Here are some of our finished nests:

 

A Bower Nest:

Bower Nest edited

 

A Cup Nest (and a platform in the background):  

 

Cup and Platform Nests edited

 

And the mess we made 🙂

 

Nesting Pictures

 

Let me know if you do make any nests and use the nomenclature cards. Leave a comment below with a link to your blog so we can see!  

Until Next Time…..

Spring Weather Hands-on Study

 

@Sarah Jane Studios:  April Showers.  Used with Permission.

@Sarah Jane Studios: April Showers. Used with Permission.

We’ve all heard the phrase “April Showers Bring May Flowers” right about this time of year.  Out of curiosity  I did a bit of research on the quote (’cause that is what homeschool moms do… we research and then teach what we learn to our children, right?).  Anyway, I discovered this often quoted proverb usually leaves out the first part, which is the month of March.  Here is the full quote (per wikipedia):

March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers

It was first recorded in 1886, and is a common expression in English- speaking countries.

Wind in March is an understatement these days!  I don’t know about your area, but Spring usually brings with it some crazy weather here in West TN!  And this week has been a perfect example of the unpredictable weather!  Sunday, March 17th, we worked in our garden and I uncovered all of our strawberry plants after discovering our first strawberry blossoms peaking out.  Well, last night, March 21st, The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for SLEET for my area tonight!  THIS is typical spring weather for us!  

So, for the Montessori Mom’s Spring Montessori Blog Hop topic I decided to focus on the weather of Spring.  

To introduce this characteristic of unpredictable spring weather to younger students it is really just a matter of actually paying attention to the weather.  This Weather Tracking work is perfect for Early Childhood / Primary students.  It is so easy to make!  You need four jars that are the same size, a “weather” card tied to each jar with the weather word and an image that exemplifies that weather event, and some “thing” to put in the appropriate jar for each day that has that weather.  You could track the weather for any length of time, but for younger students, a week is a great “long project” for them.  At the end of the week, you could show them how to create a simple bar graph with the “things” from the jars lined up above the picture labels.

Montessori Design Weather Tracking Work

Weather Tracking Montessori Design

 

 

Another option to show just how unpredictable Spring weather really is pull historical weather data.  You could pull data for one specific day, say March 15th, for a series of years or a specific week for a series of years.  You might track the high temperature for that day, low temperature for that day, the amount of precipitation, wind speed, etc.  Just remember, the more variables, the more complex to graph the data.  The access historical date, I found that Wunderground has an historical data link where you can search by date all the way back to 1948!  Depending on the age of your child, graphing this data would be a great visual to understand the data and, in the process, teach them about different ways to display data.  Just remember the more variables to track and dates you track it for, the more complex the chart!  (Wouldn’t this be a fun activity for your child to do for their birthdays throughout their life?)  For younger students, you can use a graph with pictures like this one I found at Funaslearning:

FunAsLearning Weather Chart

FunAsLearning Weather Graph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

or for older students, you can use an advanced graph like this one found on Gringod.com:

Weather Graph - Advanced

Advanced Weather Graph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

or go somewhere in between like this one from North Conway Weather.  Also, you can bring in some math here by discussing ratios. How many days out of the total days researched had rain? had sunshine? etc. 

Spring is also a great time to do a cloud study.  Montessori Etc. Has some of the most beautiful and FREE Types of Cloud nomenclature card sets for the study of clouds:

Types of Clouds Etc Montessori

Etc Montessori Types of Clouds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t think any science study is complete without an experiment!  So I have to add at least one 🙂  This one would be fun for any age student …Making your own rain.  I first saw this experiment on Pinterest.  Weather Wiz Kid originally published it, but here it is with pictures of the different phases of the experiment on IcanTeachmychild.com:

Making it Rain from ICanTeachMyChild.com

Making it Rain from ICanTeachMyChild.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To bring another dimension to your study of Spring weather, Handbook of Nature Study Blogspot does a fabulous job of bringing art and journaling in with their Seasonal Weather Study project.  Students are conducting some research, spending time outside and drawing what they see.  You can find her post here and her Seasonal Weather Study project here.  All of this website’s experiments and studies are based off the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock If you don’t have this book, it is one of the absolute best books on nature study and experiments.  I highly recommend it!  

Finally, no weather study would be complete with a discussion of the water cycle. This felt water cycle looks easy enough to make and would be a great project for the students to make and give a presentation on!  I love how felt “sticks” to each other, but to save money, it could certainly be made from construction paper!  

Felt Water Cycle

Felt Water Cycle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To help students remember details about the water cycle, here is a catchy little Water Cycle song.  This version is being performed by a precious 4 year old at a Montessori School:

 

Here are the words and hand movements that go with the water cycle song:  

(Sing it to the tune of She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain)

Water travels in a cycle, yes it does 
(use pointer finger to make a big circle)

Water travels in a cycle, yes it does
(repeat finger circle)

It goes up as evaporation
(moves hands up to the sky)

Forms clouds as condensation
(make a cloud overhead with arms)

Then comes down as precipitation, yes it does!
(sprinkle with fingers while bringing arms down in front of you)

And last but not least, here is a Free Water Cycle Study by Montessori Materials:  

Water Cycle Montessori Materials

Water Cycle Montessori Materials

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


For older students, I encourage my children to research and dig deeper with this Exploring Weather with Blooms unit. 

(By the way, isn’t the introduction picture for this post just adorable?!  I contacted Sarah Jane to get permission to use this image for this blog hop, it just goes with a post about spring weather!  She has the most adorable artwork at http://shop.sarahjanestudios.com/pages/shop.  Isn’t she amazingly talented!?!  I guess when you lack in the creative arts department, you appreciate talent even more!!   (And no, she is not a sponsor nor am I financially benefiting from saying this  🙂  )

Montessori in the Springtime Blog Hop
Please join us for the Montessori Spring Blog Hop! You can link up your Montessori-inspired spring posts anytime during the next 30 days. 

 

Hosted by:
Confessions of a Montessori Mom

Creative Care
The Education of Ours

JDaniel4’s Mom
Live And Learn Farm
Living Montessori Now
Making Montessori Ours
Montessori Messy
Montessori Nature’s Smile
Montessori on a Budget
Montessori Tidbits
Natural Beach Living
Our Montessori Home

Smiling Like Sunshine

Apologia Exploring Creation with Botany Supplemental Resources

Apologia Botany edited 2

Apologia Exploring Creation with Botany Supplemental Resources.  We modify traditional homeschool curriculum to make it more Montessori, more hands-on.  Apologia Botany was one of the easiest curriculums to accomplish this with.  This curriculum seemed to dovetail perfectly with the Montessori Botany works.  If you have students that like to do workbooks, they have one.  Although we did not use it.  I’ll detail how we did this below. First let me reiterate here, Apologia is such a well-rounded and full curriculum, you would not have to add one thing to their curriculum for it to be a full science curriculum. These additions are not because this curriculum lacked a thing… it is because we chose to teach our children with a Montessori pedagogy… which is a LITTLE (not a lot) more hands-on. At the link below, not only will you find the Table of Contents, but you will also find a sample chapter for botany. Go check it out, you will understand what I mean about not needing to add much to this curriculum.

Before starting, I highly recommend you first read Michael Olaf’s description  of Montessori Botany from 0 – 12 years old.  It really helps us have a goal in mind when teaching Botany.  Maria Montessori said it so beautifully:

How often is the soul of man, especially that of the child, deprived because one does not put him in contact with nature.

There is no description, no image in any book, that is capable of replacing the sight of real trees, and all the life to be found around them, in a real forest. Something emanates from those trees which speaks to the soul, something no book, no museum is capable of giving. The wood reveals that it is not only the trees that exist, but a whole, interrelated collection of lives. And this earth, this climate, this cosmic power are necessary for the development of all these lives.

The myriad lives around the trees, the majesty, the variety are things one must hunt for, and which no one can bring into the school. — Maria Montessori

Now that you understand what we are trying to accomplish and I have pointed you to the foundation of a botany curriculum, lets dive into Apologia Exploring Creation Botany curriculum.  Here is a link to the Apologia Table of Contents

I have copied the details from the Table of Contents onto this post to make it easy to reference the supplemental works (if any) that we used for each section. One of the first things we (my best friend and I) made were the nomenclature (3 part cards) for each chapter. I will create a link for these at each of the chapter headings below.

Botany Lesson 1 (note, I have to upload them as pdfs, the word files are too large). A large part of Lesson 1 is introducing language and concepts, so there will not be much in addition to the nomenclature cards for this lesson). I will do my best to provide free resources, but some of the works we used were not free, I will link to the products that we used if you choose to purchase them.

  • Gymnosperms
  • Seedless Vascular Plants
  • Nonvascular Plants
  • What Do You Remember?
  • Notebook Activity

 

 Project Note:  Some Items above are linked to my Amazon affiliate account.  The very small amount of money that we make from our affiliation with Amazon is used to augment our curriculum needs.  Some photos shared are courtesy of Amazon.

Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy Supplemental Materials

these Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy Supplemental materials are centered around bringing an even stronger hands-on approach to this great curriculum.  Astronomy can be introduced as early as preschool … so it’s never too early to talk about Astronomy  We loved Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy!  It was one of our first studies after I brought the boys home from the Montessori school to homeschool.  I was scared to death about homeschooling but had heard such fabulous things about Apologia’s Science curriculum, I was sure we would love it.  And we did!  We added all the supplemental materials  that centered around the Montessori hands-on piece and made an already vibrant curriculum absolutely perfect for our homeschool.  As I have time, I will take the Apologia Astronomy supplemental resources that we used to make this curriculum more Montessori and post them all here, like I’m doing for Botany.  In the meantime, I’ll add a piece here and a piece there until I have time to work on the entire book.  

Every year, we circle back through parts of this curriculum, every time a topic is discussed or we study something that relates to astronomy.  Here lately there has been quite a bit in the news … such as the meteorite close fly-by and then the unexpected one that landed in Russia, Mars space mission, comets visible to the naked eye, etc.  So we have had our book out regularly the last few months.  

Anyway, I thought I would start with some of the basic solar system materials that are available free.  

 

Solar System

Solar system Cards from Enchanted Learning; Planet Cards from Montessori Mom; The Helpful Garden Also has free Nomenclature Cards for the Solar System.  This set could easily be made into three part cards.  A way to make the study of Astronomy more challenging and thought provoking is to add in Exploring planets with Blooms Taxonomy.  A great hands-on activity is painting and hanging solar systems!  Here is one of our solar systems:

Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy

Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stars and Constellations

NAMC (North American Montessori Center) has the MOST beautiful Montessori Teacher albums I’ve ever seen!  I purchased both the Lower and Upper Elementary manuals.  Here is a sample from their Astronomy album for The Lifecycle of Stars.   Constellation nomenclature cards can be found at Montessori for Everyone; Here is a constellation set of cards that I think are so beautiful, I wonder how hard it would be to make?  And one last set by Nature Watch.  Here is an accordion style foldout for constellations.  Love this one too!  

 

Moon

Phases of the Moon is a fun study!  Here are free nomenclature cards and the control card from Etc Montessori.  The kiddos will love recreating the phases of the moon with Oreo cookies!  A SURE hit with the kiddos 🙂  

 

Copernicus and Ptolemy Models

The Copernicus versus the Ptolemy Model of the solar system has a great Copernicus Model to compare to the Ptolemy Model.  We did not do these as lap books, but as a control for using the planets to create the two different models.  Planets are easy to make out of felt, or you can purchase them pretty inexpensively on Etsy.  This set is BEAUTIFUL… but VERY expensive…   One set that I first saw in the Montessori Child Magazine published by Tim Seldin, and that we eventually purchased (and still have) is from Priority Montessori.  They are beautiful and sturdy!  But, expensive.

 

Sun

Sun Nomenclature cards can be purchased inexpensively from Montessori Print Shop and they are beautiful!  Also from Montessori for Everyone.  We actually purchased the entire CD of their works from Montessori for Everyone.  It was very affordable compared to buying them one by one and you have pretty much all the cards you have to have to teach.  We made lots more and purchased more… but we didn’t have to, we wanted to.

 

Layers of the Atmosphere

There are only a few places creating the Layers of the Atmosphere, and Montessori for Everyone has them for free.  

 

Layers of the Earth

Layers of the Earth nomenclature cards are beautiful and Cultivating Dharma has them for free!  and creating this with play-doh was one of the more memorable experiments we did!  We didn’t do this for the layers of the sun, but should have! 

 

Clouds

Finally Types of Clouds is provided by Etc. Montessori and they are beautiful!

 

Math

A way to bring in some math to the astronomy study is to calculate your My Weight on Other Planets and My Age on other Planets!

I think I have given you all I have except the Apologia Chapter’s 3 part cards.  I’ll have to pdf them because they are too large to post word documents.  I’ll try to get the loaded in the next few weeks.  

Until then… 

Note:  Items above are linked to my Amazon affiliate account.  The very small amount of money that we make from our affiliation with Amazon is used to augment our curriculum needs.  

2012-2013 Homeschool Curriculum

 

We have homeschooled now for four years.  This is our 2012-2013 Homeschool Curriculum.  Prior to homeschooling, our boys attended a small local private Montessori school, where I was on the board for the school. Our boys have reached the point of thinking and working abstractly, so most of the Montessori materials are no longer used in our curriculum. So what do we now?  Come & see!!

I am very thankful that we stumbled blindly into a Montessori school! It has been a complete blessing to our family and continues to be … it is how we approach learning, education and life in general. So, although we have very traditional homeschool material now, our approach is still firmly grounded in the Montessori pedagogy.

 

#1 (oldest son) 7th Grade:

Exercises in English G
Grammar / English: Loyola Press Exercises in English G
Writing:IEW / Beautiful Feet Geography Study
IEW Beutiful Feet Geography Literature
Literature: GA Henty Books (Cat of Bubastes) and Jim Hodges Study GuideCat of Bubastes
Spelling: All About Spelling 3-5All About Spelling 3
Vocabulary: Loyola Press Vocabulary in Action GVocabulary in Action G
 
Algebra: Video Text Algebra II (CLEP when complete!)VideoText Algebra
World History / Geography: Mystery of History IIMOH 2
American History / Geography: Paths of Exploration /Trail Guide to LearningPOE TGTL
Civics: God and Government Volume 1God and Government 1
Science: Apologia Physical ScienceApologia Physical Science
Logic: Fallacy DetectiveFallacy Detective
Foreign Language: Croghan Language Academy SpanishCroghan Language Academy
Economics: Starting a Micro Business for Teensmicrobus-workbk
Physical Education: Soccer, Karate
Scripture Studies: Torah, Writings, Prophets, NT
Electives: Art, PhotographyVirtual homeschool group name

 

 

 

(Middle Son) 6th Grade:

Grammar / English: Loyola Press Exercises in English FExercises in English F
Writing:IEW / Beautiful Feet Geography Study
IEW Beutiful Feet Geography Literature
Literature: GA Henty Books (Cat of Bubastes) and Jim Hodges Study Guide Cat of Bubastes
Spelling: All About Spelling 3-5All About Spelling 3
Vocabulary: Loyola Press Vocabulary in Action EVocabulary in Action E
Creative Writing: IEW / Beautiful Feet Geography Study
Algebra: Video Text Algebra I (CLEP when completes II!)VideoText Algebra
World History / Geography: Mystery of History IIMOH 2
American History / Geography: Paths of Exploration /Trail Guide to LearningPOE TGTL
Civics: God and Government Volume 1God and Government 1
Science: Apologia General ScienceGeneral Science
Logic: Fallacy DetectiveFallacy Detective
Foreign Language: Croghan Language Academy SpanishCroghan Language Academy
Economics: Starting a Micro Business for Teensmicrobus-workbk
Physical Education: Soccer, Karate
Scripture Studies: Torah, Writings, Prophets, NT
Electives: Art, PhotographyVirtual homeschool group name

 

 

#3 (Youngest Son) 3rd Grade

Grammar / English: Loyola Press Exercises in English DExercises in English D
Writing:IEW / Beautiful Feet Geography Study
IEW Beutiful Feet Geography Literature
Literature: GA Henty Books (Cat of Bubastes) and Jim Hodges Study GuideCat of Bubastes
Spelling: All About Spelling 3-5All About Spelling 3
Vocabulary: Loyola Press Vocabulary in Action DVocabulary in Action D
Creative Writing: IEW / Beautiful Feet Geography Study
Teaching Textbooks Pre-AlgebraTeaching Textbooks Pre Algebra Montessori Measurement (EDUTC)Edutc Measurement    Montessori Area and Volume from Houston Montessori Center
World History / Geography: Mystery of History IIMOH 2
American History / Geography: Paths of Exploration /Trail Guide to LearningPOE TGTL
Science: Apologia Exploring Creation Zoology 3Exploring Creation Zoology 3
Logic: Fallacy DetectiveFallacy Detective
Foreign Language: Croghan Language Academy SpanishCroghan Language Academy
Economics: Starting a Micro Business for Teensmicrobus-workbk
Physical Education: Soccer, Karate
Scripture Studies: Torah, Writings, Prophets, NT
Electives: Art, PhotographyVirtual homeschool group name

 

Note:  Items above are linked to my Amazon affiliate account.  The very small amount of money that we make from our affiliation with Amazon is used to augment our curriculum needs.  Photos are shared from Amazon.

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