Monday, May 03, 2010

Paddle-to-the-Sea, lessons 1-5

We're reading Paddle-to-the-Sea as our Geography/Science study. I know there are a lot of other lesson plans already out on the internet, but I couldn't find the "perfect" one for I'm making my own.

I'm sharing what we're doing here, in case its a help to anyone else.

We're reading one chapter, which is just one page, together a day, then doing a short activity that relates to the chapter. I'm not going to include a chapter summary with each lesson. Here's what we've done so far:

1. How Paddle Came to Be
During the reading, we talked about what a rudder was and what a ballast was an how metals had differing melting points. After reading, I gave each child a bar of Ivory Soap and got out the vegetable peeler, a grater, a pumpkin carving knife, and some other misc kitchen tools. We had a quick safety lesson about how to carve away from our hands, and then they carved some rough canoes out of their bars of soap.

2. Long River Reaching to the Sea
I printed an unlabeled map of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. After reading, the kids traced the shoreline of each of the Great Lakes with a blue colored pencil. As Paddle goes along his journey, we'll use these to map his progress and label each lake he passes through.

3. Paddle Starts on His Journey
After reading, we looked up animal tracks in the Jedi's old Boy Scout Manuel. The kids hand drew the different types of tracks the boy found in the snow around Paddle.

4. Brook and Beaver Pond
After reading, we watched two BBC videos I had found on you tube.
This one on beavers building a dam and pond.
And then this one, about their lodge.
I was going to have Sweetling transfer the metric measurements given in the videos into standard for us, and have Toa of Boy draw a beaver lodge or a map of a beaver pond, but by the time we had read, watched the videos, and discussed them, it was time to move on.

5. Breakup of the River
For this lesson, we talked about how and why ice floats and how because ice floats, fish and other water animals can survive the winter underneath an insulating ice sheet. We talked about the composition of the water molecule and built little models with toothpicks and styrofoam pieces. First we put individual "molecules in a bowl to see how much space they would take up. Then, we took those same molecules out and started putting them together into a rough lattice work to compare how much space it now took up. (Yeah, the science isn't perfect.) Then, we filled up some plastic bathroom cups with varying levels of water. We marked the water level of each cup with a permanent marker on the outside of the cup. We put the cups in the freezer, so we could compare how much space the water will take up when it is frozen versus when it was a liquid.  

Paddle lessons continue here.


Holly@aiminghigh said...

Way cool! Hope you're going to post for all the chapters, I've got this book scheduled for next year for my family (or maybe the following year). Great to let you do all the planning work for me. :>)

Bethany, aka 40winkzzz said...

oh, i HEART the holling c holling books! we own that whole series. they are so informative and such a different way to learn all sorts of things. i love all the little side notes and sketches that accompany the story. because we tend to read the books in conjunction with our history or science studies, we haven't used them as a base for unit studies per se. but i've always thought it would be REALLY fun to do so. there is certainly more than enough material to bounce off!

btw, fuzz is currently reading minn of the mississippi (for the 2nd time) to go along with her science studies. she read pagoo a few weeks ago.

i'm glad you commented on my blog, bc it reminded me to add you to my reader. i thought i'd done that a long time ago, and every so often i'd think to myself, "hey, how come i never see anything from mrs. random?" but then i'd, like, fall asleep at the computer on my way to google reader. (i know that sounds weird, but i'm sure you totally understand.) now you're on.

(oh wow-- word verif ALMOST makes a naughty word. almost.)

Nicole said...

We are going to be starting a little book club with two 9 year olds and two 7 year olds. These activities are great! Thanks!


Mrs. Random said...

So glad you like them!