Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Busy As a Beaver

Well, besides the Pet Expo coming up this weekend, we are still in responsibility but transitioned out of pet care and into learning all about beavers!! After renewing my son's library card because 50 book limit is no use to us, we have quite the stack of beaver books. 

The Beaver's Lodge: Building with Leftovers (Spectacular Animal Towns)There's Always Room for One MoreBeaver at Long PondBeavers (Worldlife Library Series)We began this morning by reading a few fiction and non fiction books on beavers. I found this cool amazon site that let's me put the books we read online so here you go!One of the most exciting things about using real books is that you create more of a connection and interest in the topic you are learning about. The possibilities are endless. The library is such a phenomenal place for information and I am soo thankful for mine- its amazing!

Ok, I asked the kids a bunch of questions on beavers prior to our reading to see how much preknowledge they had. Some of my favorite answers were, what types of enemies do beavers have? " Fish?"-Austen :)  love that boy even though he has been a tad frustrating today. Another one, how deep do ponds need to be for beavers? Again, Austen, " 1,000,000 feet deep?"- haha. Oh, Austen, you are so creative. This whole time he is giving me this perplexed look like please stop asking me questions. Finally, I told him he could color while we were reading, this seemed to please him much more. After going through the pre questions, we read the above books and I learned something new today. I'm sure most of you know that dams and lodges are different, serve different purpose and are in different locations. I did not! No mam, I used the two words interchangeably until I'm reading to the kids and I'm like, " Ohmigosh did you hear that. A lodge is their home that they build in the middle of the pond that was created by the dam that the beaver made!" How amazing! One more reason you mamas out there need not fret about gaps in your child's education- I have plenty, went to public school, and seem to be managing just fine :)

We set the timer for 15 minutes and talked about that is how long a beaver can hold its breath. We also experimented to see how how long each child could hold their breath- twelve seconds above air, 20 seconds in the pool for Austen. Finally, after the timer went off the kids couldn't believe how much time had passed. Jayden also informed us that crocodiles, too, could submerge for 15 minutes at a time. That little tidbit, ladies and gentleman was extra.

We looked at cross sections of a beaver lodge and later this week we will be constructing our own lodge out of sticks and mud. A few other things we will strive to accomplish this week are reading Character Sketches' lesson on beavers, practice being " busy as a beaver", playing a beaver vs predator game, making a beaver hat and doing an experiment with fur and oil. Should be fun! Now to clean my kitchen so I can practice what I preach :)

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