Friday, October 9, 2009

Pennsylvania Week 3 (The Weatherman Cometh)

This week in our Pennsylvania study we started off by learning about  the Liberty Bell.  I thought it was interesting that it cracked the first time it was used, and it was melted down and remade twice with the same results.   Researching online I found a lovely connect the dot drawing of the Liberty Bell on abcteach.   We also used the following books from the library:

American Symbols The Liberty Bell, by Debbie L. Yanuck
The Liberty Bell, Gail Sakurai

We then moved on to studying Ben Franklin.   This made for a very hands on week!  We used the following books from our library:

Let Freedom Ring Benjamin Franklin, by Susan r. Gregson
Benjamin Franklin A Man of Many Talents, by the editors of TIME for Kids
The Ben Franklin Book of Easy & Incredible Experiments, A Frank Institute Science Museum Book

Using the Book of Easy & Incredible Experiments, we built our own weather station this week.   First we made a thermometer using rubbing alcohol, water, food coloring a clear bottle, a straw and some homemade playdoh.  As the temperature increased the colored mixture would move up the straw, and then back down as the temperature fell.

Next we made a barometer out of a wide mouthed glass jar, a rubber band, a balloon, a straw and some tape and an index card.   The air pressure pushing on the top of the balloon would cause the straw to move.  So we marked our starting spot and checked it each day.

A wind vane was next on our agenda, so that we could see the direction of the wind.  This was pretty simple, consisting of an index card, 2 hollow coffee stirrers (the guy at the coffee shop was very interested when I told him why I needed them), a paper clip, pushpin, playdoh and plain paper.  Obviously, we used this to tell the direction the wind was blowing. 

To measure the speed of the wind, we built this lovely anemometer using 4 small paper cups, 2 strips of corrugated cardboard, a pushpin, stapler, pencil with and eraser and more homemade playdoh.  We colored one cup, and used it to count rotations in a 1 minute period.

I had never heard of a hygrometer until now, so we made that too!  (It measures humidity.)  All we used were 2 index cards, a brass paper fastener, a 6 inch strand of Olivia's hair and some masking tape.  The hair would expand and/or contract depending on the humidity level in the air, causing the arm to move up and down.   The hygrometer is the index car at the bottom of the photo above, you have to look closely to see the hair just to the left edge.

We already had a rain catcher, so I didn't see any point in making another.  We also didn't have any rain this week so there was nothing to note.

For our read aloud time, we read the book Bread and Butter Indian by Anne Colver.  For those not familiar with the story, it takes place in the Lancaster area, shortly after Pennsylvania became a state.  The fact that there was an indian in the story was enough to hold my audience captive throughout the entire reading.    We read the entire 96 pages in one sitting, over a huge bowl of popcorn and some hot cocoa!

This week is the fall baseball picnic, and Olivia wanted to make something special for her coach.  He loves dogs (raises show dogs), and Olivia loves pink, which is why the coach nicknamed her "Pinkie".  We decided to mix up some homemade puffy paint, from a recent post by Jolanthe over at Homeschool Creations.  LOVE IT!   The recipe is simple enough, 3/4 cup shaving cream, 1/4 cup white glue and some paint to add color.

It looks tasty...almost.

So her gift for Coach David is this lovely pink puffy paint dog.  I personally see it more as a pig, but she says it's a dog, who am I to argue with an artist?

Not to be outdone, Lindsey made a cat.  The difference, is all in the ears my friend.

Nothing else overly exciting to report here.  Tomorrow is co-op, although I've already gotten word that there are a lot of teachers (and students) out tomorrow because swine flu is making its rounds through our area.   

Head over to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers for Kris' weekly wrap up!

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