There are a whole slew of things happening right now in our classroom! We are hitting the books hard this month and finishing up many loose ends before our next world classroom adventure.
One method of schooling that we love and utilize weekly, is the thematic book theory. Every week (sometimes every other week) we start a new book. These books are comprised of all different kinds, genres, authors, publishers and award winners and not. The way it works for us;
On Mondays we start a new book, I introduce it to the boys and we read it aloud. We then make a list of things that we want to learn more about that were mentioned in the book.
On Tuesday evenings I lesson plan for the list that the boys helped me create.
On Wednesdays we begin introducing lessons inspired by the book and chosen by the boys.
This week we read ‘Eliza and the Dragonfly‘ and what a wonderful, lesson plan filled book this has been! It’s about a little girl, Eliza, who spends a lot of time with her Entomologist aunt. They find a dragonfly Nymph that they name Horace and they watch his life cycle unfold.
Because I let the boys dictate what they want to learn sometimes we get stranger ideas for lesson plans than what I would have chosen. For example their list for Eliza and the Dragonfly looks like this;
- Why Dragonflies are different colors?
- What is an Entomologist (I’m excited about this one)
- What is Metamorphosis?
- Life cycle of the dragonfly (mom’s obvious addition to the list)
- Making dragonfly crafts
- Dragon flies eat mosquitoes so do they like human blood? If so then why? What is in blood that they like so much? *blah why couldn’t we just paint dragonflies?*
- Making an underwater telescope to attempt to view Nymph/Dragonfly Larva in their first habitat. The boys wanted me to buy one they saw in a catalog, but we are going to attempt to make our own with a plastic bottle and plastic wrap first. Little do they know that there were already getting one for Ayyam-i-ha so you will see our experiments with both homemade and purchased.
We walked down to the little beach access in our neighborhood and put our homemade underwater telescopes to work. We used paper towel rolls, plastic wrap and electrical tape. The boys thought that the telescopes worked pretty well, but of course got soggy.
Then I brought out the big Guns
I confess, the underwater telescope is pretty cool. So cool in fact that it is now packed to head to Europe for the next 8 months, which was definitely not part of the original packing list. We will be using it to explore every beach we can find. This telescope is super light weight and comes with an awesome activity book, a built in thermometer to test water temperature, l.e.d. lights and a ruler to measure specimen. Any little scientists’ dream actually.
Full disclosure, if you purchase through the telescope photo link above I make a few pennies, but I am only reviewing things we actually love and enjoy. Our unit on Eliza and the Dragonfly turned out just as I had hoped. It would be a wonderful addition to your home library and/or classroom. Even if science is not your child’s forte there are a million indoor science activities and art projects to do with inspiration from this book.
Enjoy! Please tell us how you like it and what you chose to do with it in your classroom!