Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bananas, Mangoes and Coconuts!

"Aruba, Jamaica, ooo I wanna take ya to Bermuda, Bahama, Come my pretty Mama..." Now that I have that song stuck in your head I will begin :) I think buying a coconut at the store for our week was one of my highlights! I have never purchased a real coconut and had so much fun thinking of all the activities that we would do soon. Yesterday, after the kids enjoyed bike riding for about an hour we started in on our lessons. Our theme this week is centered around the book, " Call It Courage". It is about a boy, Mafatu, who has an intense fear of the ocean due to losing his mother to it when he was a young boy. He is growing up a couple of hundred years ago in the Polynesian Islands where the ocean is their life. He decides to show everyone, as a now older boy at age 12, that he can move past his fear by confronting it. So, on a solo journey into the South Pacific he begins with only his dog Uri for company.

While reading each chapter, or half a chapter, we are enjoying a light snack of mangoes ( Hannah's new favorite), bananas, pineapple and yesterday, coconut. I placed the coconut high up in a tree where the boys had to think up a way to maneuver it down or climb the tree to obtain their source of food and water for that moment. They were pretty cute to watch, commenting back and forth on what they felt would work and shimmying up the tree like monkeys.

After they retrieved the coconut, we drilled one hole and then two holes into the shell to get the coconut milk out. We talked about air flow and why two holes allowed a faster flow of milk. Finally, much to the boys delight they went out front and smashed the coconut on a rock to break it open. They brought it inside to eat as we read.

Today, I had the kids close their eyes and using each sense: taste, touch, feel, hear and sight describe what their deserted island looks like. What they hear, the birds, animals rustling in the bushes, what they see, etc. We then made a list of what we would need to be able to survive on the island if we were all alone. Jayden immediately thought of knife, Austen mangoes and Riah drew some pretty intense pictures but I'm not quite sure what they were of :)

Finally, after each reading yesterday and today, I am having the kids color pictures of what I am reading about ( this book is a bit above Riah and probably some of Austen's level) and describe it to me when I am finished. Today, we talked about how we would feel if we were Mafatu, stranded now in the middle of the South Pacific, after a huge storm with no sail, mast, knife, coconuts and fishing spear. Hopefully, if I can keep track of all their pictures I will make a little book of what they were able to take away from the book, when we are completed.

Now, off to put makeup on for the day- its a new record, makeup and shower before 2 pm! We will then finish math and language arts and Spanish.

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