Friday, January 20, 2012

Studying Birds @ the Phoenix Zoo

We used our Phoenix Zoo membership to study birds this week and it turned into a fabulous unit study. On Tuesday we took school out of the house and over to the zoo with a small project that packed a big punch. We packed a picnic lunch, some water colors, worksheets and clip boards.

As our week was about birds, I had each child pick a bird to study and after completing a worksheet about habitat, diet etc. they used a blank sheet of paper to draw the bird.

I talked each child through the drawing process using geometric shapes (you can view a great tutorial on how to do this over at Fairy Dust Teaching). After their drawing was complete they used water colors to get just the right look.

Not only did they have a blast but their brains were deeply analyzing the details of every animal we looked at following the activity. This was such a great project I am thinking of working it into our regular routine.

On Wednesday we used play doe to make our own birds

and cut outs to build bird pictures (well mostly), my youngest was "board of birds" so he constructed "a mouse wearing a jet pack."

We also launched airplanes in the backyard (jet airplanes). @ 'high tea' we feasted on traditional bird food; nectar, bird seed pate' (I think that is what those forks are for), ants on a log, and carrot and cheese nests.

We also used cardboard and  Christmas lights to construct our own light up bird, an idea I found @ Roar.

We finished the study on Thursday with a reading and writing assignment guessed it, birds. Here is Chloe's short report.

January 19, 2012


Do you realize God created all animals including you? “You have given man dominion over…the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea” (Psalm 8:8). My paper is especially about birds.

Birds are the only animals that have feathers.  We  saw a black swan  at the zoo and it was pretty. Quails are very very elegant. Bald eagles are very smart and their wing span is about 72 to 90 inches long. The hummingbird is a small bird that buzzes like a bee. I know that because I have watched them. They like nectar and also sugar and water colored red because we did that. Parrots are very colorful and they eat nuts, fruit and seeds. Pelicans live near the water, they have a pouch in their beak and they are big. They eat fish. The woodpecker uses it’s beak to drill a hole in a tree to make it’s nest. Seagulls have a plan to fight. One attacked my mom at Sea World. She dropped her food.

Habitats; some live in the jungle some live beside the sea some live in trees. Some live in swamps. Birds live all over the world and they are very very pretty. I love birds. They live all around you just look outside and see if you can see some, like a dove.


(1997).Exploring God’s World Grade 3. Abeka Book: USA


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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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