Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Beyond Co-op - George Washington Carver #3

I'm working on getting my pictures from our vacation uploaded and sorted, but thought I'd play a little catch-up until then.  I uploaded so many pictures before we left thinking I would just post some things while we were gone.  Instead, I spend most of the vacation off-line.  It was fine and we all had such a great time!!!

This is our 3rd meeting of the George Washington Carver co-op.  In this session we talked about composting, soil and worms.  These books were some of the resources that were used.  

We started our time together with a devotional.  The children had the opportunity to examine a very small seed with a magnifying glass.

Also some discussion about GWC and the work that he did as it ties in to our lesson.
This looks like a really great book on his life if you are wanting to check one out!
This co-op was a very messy one.  We were forewarned though and nobody minded at all!  The kids tore up newspapers to get things ready for their worm bins.
Joshua and Isaiah worked on making a small wormery to examine how they behaved.  We chose not to do the large bins as we don't have a garden and didn't really know what we would do with all of these worms!  It was a good choice for our family, though I do confess that I felt a bit guilty for not going for the large bin.  It didn't bother my boys at all though, so I quickly got over it too.
They added soil and then leaves to a large coke bottle.  Then came the night crawlers.  Big ones.
They enjoyed holding them and were surprised when I agreed to hold one too.  LOL  Its fun to surprise your kids sometimes so that their expectations of you can be shifted and broadened a little.  

This is the view from the top of the bottle.  We brought this home to watch.  

After finishing their bottle, they helped some friends with their bins.  Tearing up newspaper into strips and then getting it wet and placing it in the large bin.  The bins already had holes drilled into the bottom of them for drainage purposes.
These were very large bins.  You can see two of them under this table.  It held a LOT of paper ... and worms.
Everyone worked happily getting things ready.
After the paper came soil.
Then the real fun ... WORMS!  Lots  and lots of tiny worms.
Can you just see the mass of them here?
These were the night crawlers that we then got out to compare.  His expression just cracked me up!
Fun snack taking a cue from the seeds talked about earlier ... lentil stew.  Yum!
The next part of the co-op was focused on a messy art project.  We learned that George Washington Carver loved to paint and was quite talented at painting.  He even considered making a career out of painting.  Thankfully he chose differently as he impacted so many people with his contributions in the field of science as well as helping many to improve their living conditions.

We made our own paints and colors.  The bases were all the same and each child was given choices to add in paint to form their own colors - as light or dark as they wanted it to be.  It was neat seeing them experiment with shades and colors.  
And then they fingerprinted.  Just like George Washington Carver.  And had fun doing it too!
Enjoying the texture and feel of the paint while creating.
It was such a hit with the older kids, that I decided to try this out with Eliana soon thereafter and she loved it!
As always, learning in our co-op is fun and informative.  I always look forward to these days!