Sunday, September 01, 2013

A is for animals and Africa

 At the Options school, they are starting out the year by spending two weeks on each vowel (long and short sound) and then they will move through the rest of the alphabet. Because of Labor Day, we miss a week of Options and so we get to start our year out with 3 weeks of A stuff.

On week 1, we focused on animals and then learned a little about Africa and then combined the two and did African animals.

 Our animal bin. I just dumped every little animal I could find in here for the girls to explore. Even Naomi has spent a little (very supervised) time in this bin.

 We borrowed this printers drawer from Andrew's mom. I gave the girls the animal bin, the drawer and no instructions. They quickly started sorting the animals. There was a horse section, a cow section and above you see a close up of the bird and insect sections.

This is an animal match up game - you match the word to the picture. Malia did not know all of the words but did a nice job figuring it out and self-corrected quiet a bit. After she matched them up, I challenged her to alphabetize them. She nailed the alphabetizing.

We got some books from the library about Africa. I thought it would be fun to focus on African animals but then decided that a broad overview of the continent would probably be good too.

I printed these cards and she had to match the names to the pictures. We borrowed wooden animals from Emmie and she matched them to the pictures too (the wooden animals didn't match up 100% but it was still fun to do).

 I had a map of the world out and kept referring to where Africa was.

I also had some cards (Target dollar spot) that had more information on them. She matched them and then we read some facts on the back. While reading about the 1.5-2 million wildebeests that migrate together, I was reminded of the Planet Earth DVD set that Andrew got for me for Christmas a couple of years ago. I decided it would be fun to see the African animals in their habitats (no offense to the zoo) so we watched some.

 We saw lions at the watering hole.

 And when the lions and elephants met at the same watering hole.

 And elephants swimming in the water.

 And baboons walking across the water (but trying not to get their top halves wet). 

 One of the books we read talked about mancala, so I got out a set that Erik brought us back from Nigeria. The girls really enjoyed playing it until one realized she was going to lose and broke into tears. Just keeping it real here folks!

I also found a lite (free) version of a Animals of Africa app that Malia enjoyed.

Week 2 of A coming soon (and probably will be a lot shorter!)

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