Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bravest of Us All - FIAR Vol 4 Co-op

Our other April co-op was using the book The Bravest of Us All.  As is true of the FIAR books, this was a delightful story with so many wonderful lessons.  I wanted to put in a plug for this unit.  The lessons for this book are available to purchase on the FIAR digital site.  It's just $9 and you get a 69 page book of lesson plans!  It's a great value and full of so many things to learn!

We were blessed with a beautiful day!  We started as always with reading the title.  Notice Daniel in the foreground of the picture.

He is playing with a tin of sunflower seeds.  A neat sensory activity.  I enjoyed watching him though because my sweet boy tends to avoid many sensory experiences (because they overwhelm him).  He had a grand time though sifting them through his fingers and then making designs with them on the table.  He has come a long way and for that I am thankful!

For our co-op, we chose to focus on a variety of science lessons.  For the first, we talked about yeast and its properties and then made a yeast mixture (fed to make it grow). 

Then we looked at the yeast through a microscope.  We used some of the small hand-held ones you can find at Radio Shack.  These are great little microscopes - portable, inexpensive and easy to use!

We also used a larger microscope so that they could see the yeast spores even closer.

We learned about tornados and then made one in a bottle.

So easy to make - just added some food coloring and glitter to the bottles and the kids all had a great time with it!  (You just need a tornado tube - I found mine at a local science store - and 2 2-liter bottles.)

We talked about how pumps work and had a short review of a simple machine.  We also tested out straws and suction to illustrate the pumps. 

We also talked about area and dimensions.  In the picture below, the kids are approximately the size of the horse pond in the story.

We also had rice and various dimensional shapes for the kids to play with.  As you can see, Daniel also had fun with this sensory activity.  He has come a long way!

We did one of the art lessons in the manual which was a calming activity for the children.  I always enjoy seeing their art too - it's always so unique and expressive of their personalities.

We talked about seeds and the children planted sunflower seeds to take home. 

We also had a yummy snack - roasted root vegetables, meatballs, sunflower seeds and bread.

It was another fun morning.  I'm looking forward to our next week.  We have just two left for the year and then we'll have finished volume 4!  This has been a fun way to work through the volume.

More later,