The children were trying to figure out how they might convert our loft into a more comfortable spot for hibernating or adapting through the winter. A few ideas sprang forward including making a burrow under the bottom, creating cave walls on the lower portion, and making beds in all areas. While a few debated the possibilities, another group began scouting out the top of the loft. They explained that they needed to find materials to make a nest that they wouldn’t fall out of. Their plan was to create a nest and suspend it from the balcony banister. Thankfully, they realized the trouble with flimsy grass-like materials in creating suspension beds before any human trials were put forward.
Feeling that I might be able to provide them with some more safe examples of nest building, we pulled up good ‘ole Google images and perused nests of all sorts. Now our interest became more fully grounded in materials. Our quest to create the perfect nest began.
This project is not yet done, but if you’re interested in making your own, here are the materials we used so far:
- brown paper (grass)
- yellow paper (sticks)
- many colors and lengths of raffia string
- white and red Basket Box & Bag shred
We moved it into the box as none of the children have yet come up with a plan for “sewing” (their words) or sticking the nest together, yet. Although one enterprising student did suggest that I could tie all of the pieces together…. I think we’ll see if they come up with another suggestion.
Looking more closely at the winter homes we saw illustrated in yesterday’s book, we decided to try our hand at creating our own. Today we explored creating caves and burrows using supplies in our block area.
Child A: “We almost had the same idea, but then we didn’t.”
Child B: “Yeah, but we were building the same thing, but I didn’t have enough blocks.”
“Now….how do we make roofs?”
Child A: “Oh my gosh! I know how to make this!”
Child B: ” Me, too! I have a great idea!”
Child A: “No, no…I have a great idea.”
Child B: “We need a little help. It’s like, falling over.”
Child B: “How about we slide it in and it holds it?”
Child A: “There we go! And put these here.”
Child A and B: “Yea! We did it!!!!”
Child A: “We need that roof on there.”
Child B: “We need something to block them.”
Child A: “We…..aaaaaaaaa [blocks fall down]…That’s ok!”
Child B: “This is the shelter so the relaxing place doesn’t get rained on.”
Child A: “This is where the garage is and this is where the balance beam for them to walk on.”
“We have two animals and they are separate.”
“I’m making a nice cave for my bear to live in.”
“I’m going to change my burrow, now. My cave is going to be different from my burrow. Caves are on the Earth, up top, and burrows are underground.”
Our trip to the aquarium today went quite well. The sea life we most wanted to see was up and about, wiggling and swimming for all to view. The almost unanimous favorite? Drum roll, please…….
(hmmm…taking pictures in the dark is hard….)
Our boat accidentally coasted into a swarm of sharks! Oh my! Luckily, there weren’t any injuries. When one child decided to make a fin, others quickly followed.
With sharks came questions.
- What kinds of fish do they eat?
- How strong are shark teeth?
- Is a shark’s fin always long?
- How do sharks swim?
- How do they breathe underwater?
- Why do they swim underwater so long?
- Do they eat fries?
- Why can’t they go on the beach?
The children decided we could look through books, talk to experts, and check the computer to find our answers.
Our studies have taken a new direction. The other day, we noticed that some sharks were swimming around our boat. Luckily, they were nice sharks and didn’t bite anyone. However, it became apparent that the children maintained an interest in all things ocean. One child suggested that we needed to make our room into an ocean using paper hanging from the ceiling.
Beginning our research with some non-fiction seemed like an appropriate idea. Unfortunately, Blobfish appears to have written all over our Deep Sea Book. Oh well, nonetheless, we were able to glean some interesting tidbits about the Hadalpelagic Zone.
***Ask your child about the size of the Giant Spider Crab or the light on the front of an anglerfish. See if they can find anything in your house that is bioluminescent. ****
The barnacles of information that stuck:
“I never knew a squid could grow and I never even knew this animal was in the world.”
“[A submersible]…goes under water.”
“That kind of fish can open it’s mouth really wide. And this octopus glows.”
“I learned that fish light up in the dark”
“I learned that fish can glow.”
A while ago, one of the students posed a curious question about what happens to the water after it rains. We discussed many possibilities, but eventually came to the conclusion that somehow it ended up in the clouds. One of the most creative methods for this molecular travel was via invisible pipes in the trees that carry the water from the ground to the sky.
This week, we read more information about where water goes and how it travels. The water cycle made sense, but it was still a bit confusing. Hmmm…maybe a little music can help?
Enter Tom Chapin’s The Wheel of the Water:
Following the song, we made up our own motions to help us remember the journey of water as it recycle’s across our planet. This song has now become an oft requested favorite.
Yesterday, I asked the children to write about their favorite part of the water cycle.
Luckily, the weather has been cooperative, providing lots of direct observation opportunities. Who knew playing in the rain could garner so much learning?