Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What starts with the letter E?

Cohen and I have had so much fun last week learning all about the letter E. If you don't have a half hour to devote to my blog today, you may want to read this later. I've packed this blog post full! I don't think I could possibly fit more stuff into one post.

Our animal alphabet friend was an elephant so we started with a fun elephant craft.

Thanks to Pinterest for this great idea. If you are interested in finding out where my ideas come from, please follow me on pinterest.

We actually turned our cute elephant handprint into a card and mailed it to Cohen's grandparents. I also LOVE elephant jokes, so we found one that both Cohen and I enjoyed and we sent that to them as well.

Next we moved on to England. It was fun learning about England, but I didn't do any crafts for this country. Instead we read several books about travelling and other languages. It was fun pretending to travel around the world without ever leaving our playroom.

The next day we had to cram two of our Language Development cards into one day (because we only do school 3 days a week, and I really wanted to cover all 4 cards provided. Most weeks I just omit one card, but not this week). Anyway, we covered Eskimos and Eggs.

Cohen does not love to color, but every now and then I convince him it would be a good idea. Look at what a great job he did on his eskimo!!

We made a fun paper plate Eskimo.

Cohen's finished product...this may be upside down, I'm not sure. I'll have to ask him about this later.

And it looked like so much fun, I joined Cohen and made my own Eskimo.

Then we made some Faberge Eggs. This was probably one of my most favorite crafts yet. It included paint, glue, sequins, and gem stones. It was a lot of fun to make and it was very messy! I also loved this one because it gave me another chance to talk to Cohen about Russia. We looked up pictures of real Faberge Eggs on the internet, learned about how these were made many many years ago for the Russian Czar, then we made our own eggs.

On our last day of school, we learned about Thomas Edison. This was a lot of fun for us, because we LOVE science! We made sugar crystals, wrote with invisible ink, and learned how to put out a candle without blowing it. We watched a short cartoon on YouTube about Thomas Edison (another reason I love schooling at home, I can pull from all different resources. When I taught at the preschool, we never would have been able to incorporate a video like this one).

Before I go into explaining our experiments, please remember that I'm teaching a preschooler! We did not learn all the chemistry that goes along with these things. Also, I realize that Thomas Edison is known for inventing things that use electricity such as the light bulb, but Cohen doesn't understand electricity…so again, I'm working on his level.

So for our first Thomas Edison experiment, we made sugar crystals. You need sugar, a glass or jar, cotton thread, small pot, pencil (or knife), measuring cup and spoon for stirring.
First you boil 1 cup of water. When it starts to boil, turn off heat and add 1 ½ cups of sugar and stir. If all the sugar dissolves, add more and keep stirring until no more sugar will dissolve. (This is the exact instructions from our Thomas Edison Experiment book – listed below – I actually only made half of this recipe).

After the solution has cooled, pour it into the drinking glass or jar. Hang cotton thread all the way into the solution, using a pencil or knife to hold it at the top. Put the glass or jar in a safe place.
Cohen and I added food coloring, because that makes everything more fun! And it gave us a chance to work on our colors.

Here are our sugar crystals on Day 1:

Our next experiment was writing with invisible ink. We learned that when things are heated, sometimes it changes the way they look. This was more fun for me than Cohen, because I got to play with the fire. To do this experiment, you will need a toothpick (with one end cut off so that it is thicker), some milk or lemon juice (we used both and the lemon juice didn't work at all, but the milk worked great…so I would suggest going with the milk). To write with the invisible ink, just dip the thick end of the toothpick into your ink (aka: milk) and write on some paper. You can't see what you are writing, so be careful!

Then you take the paper and pass it over a candle and heat the ink…then it magically appears! Cohen and I loved watching our drawings turn come to life!

Cohen got a little fusterated with not being able to see what he was drawing and kind of dumped some of the milk on his paper....looks neat, right?

Our final experiment was snuffing out a candle. This experiment taught us that without fresh air (or oxygen) a candle cannot burn.

I shot a short video of Cohen explaining how this works.

Reading list for the week:
Walt Disney's Dumbo (Disney Wonderful World of Reading) by Inc. Disney Enterprises
Babar's World Tour (Babar (Harry N. Abrams)) by Laurent de Brunhoff
Busy, Busy World by Richard Scarry (I couldn't find this one on Amazon, and we did not rent it from the library…we own it, so good luck finding a copy).
North American Indian (DK Eyewitness Books) by David Hamilton Murdoch
Very Last First Time by Jan Andrews and Ian Wallace
Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse and Barbara Lavallee
Egg Drop by Mini Grey
Inventing the Future: A Photobiography of Thomas Alva Edison (Photobiographies) by Marfe Ferguson Delano
From Egg to Robin (Welcome Books: How Things Grow) by Jan Kottke
From Tadpole to Frog (How Things Grow) by Jan Kottke
The Thomas Edison Book of Easy and Incredible Experiments (Wiley Science Editions) by James G. Cook (this book is not for reading…but this is where we got all of our experiments from…so it's a must have if you want to learn about Thomas Edison).

1 comment:

  1. I love his explanation of Thomas Edison and the experiment. Can you and Cohen come to my class and do some experiments for my students?
    We could have a hands on day!!!!