Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cloudy w/ A Chance of Meatballs Unit Study

We put together our own unit study last week using the theme Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. First of all we love to do theme studies; our brains naturally organize information in themes not to mention everything kids do these days seems to have a theme. Our unit study focused on weather and sustainability.

I found an excellent printable weather unit study @ The Teacher's Guide. The study was complete including vocabulary, a very simple introduction to formula calculation (4th grade), explanation of Celsius and Fahrenheit conversion, a review of the boiling point of water, an introduction to the root words of clouds in Latin, a poetry lesson and a comprehensive study of clouds. Although the lesson plans sound advanced they were quite simple to understand by my 8 year old and my 5 year old learned quite a bit about the water cycle and different types of clouds.

We began the week reading about clouds in an Abeka 3rd Grade Science book. My son is in Kindergarten/1st grade and my daughter is in 4th/5th; since we are a one room school, I sometimes give basic lessons from the 3rd grade manual to keep every one's attention. I have also found that if I give my son coloring pages to work on during the lesson he is a better listener. I used coloring pages on the water cycle @ Kid Zone. On day one we also wrote poems about clouds per the lesson plans.

In regards to sustainability, we have been working on another project @ Considering frugal. We have been previewing several grocery stores to see what kind of organic merchandise is available. After a discussion about sustainability, we set out to the local supermarket, I gave my daughter a clipboard with a chart of the foods we stock most often and asked her to locate organic versions and mark the price. I am proud to say that by the end of the week both children could identify organic labels and had a better understanding of how factory produced foods effect the sustainable food supply. If you are interested in what we found, you can read the full report @ Considering frugal.

So Monday through Thursday we continued to work through the lesson and preview grocery stores for sustainability. On Friday I gave them an art project titled "Snowy with a Chance of Meatballs." I was inspired by a snowman project posted @ Fairy Dust Teaching, she has such great ideas. Anyway, I told them the title and then provided the "ingredients" with a list of what the picture must include.

We finished the day by making spaghetti and meatballs (we chose a vegan recipe in keeping with our  sustainable living theme) and homemade pizza and a movie viewing...can you guess what movie we watched? But you can read the book if you like.

Some variations I came across were themed cupcakes and play doe spaghetti and meatballs.

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How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day, and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I didn't consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I'm normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. We succeed in changing some of our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming. You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

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"...for your Father knows what you need before you ask." Matthew 6:8