Sunday, May 6, 2012

Little House in the Big Woods (part 2)

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More on The Little House in the Big Woods...

The next part of the book describes winter in the Big Woods... much colder than our Florida winters!
Laura and Mary wake up to frost on their windows, with designed scratched into it.  We did a Florida version, using white window paint and then scratching into it.  We also made some paper snowflakes, my mom thought we were weird for doing "winter" activities when its been 80* out. 

Next we learned about the process of churning butter.  We got the opportunity to try this when we went on a homeschool field trip to Fort Christmas, but unfortunately, with Levi's milk allergy, there wasn't much point in doing it at home (its very easy, just put heavy cream into a jar with a couple marbles, and shake away!).   
But we did get to try something else.  In Little House in the Big Woods, Ma uses grated carrot to color the butter a yellow color.  

So, we grated some carrot...   

And put it in Almond milk!   We heated it up a bit until it turned yellow, and then squeezed the carrot shreds out using a bit of clean cloth. 
And lastly tasted the grated "milky" carrot, just like Laura and Mary did in the book.  
They also molded the butter using a strawberry shaped mold - so we spent some time in the sand box (well, sand and dirt), using sand molds to demonstrate the process. 

We also made a mini book where Levi wrote down all of the butter making steps.  

The fire and fireplace is a big thing in the Little House - they used it to keep warm, and to cook.  
We did a simple marble art craft to make a "fire".  Just put some paper in a tray or box, add globs of paint, and some marbles - roll to make the design. 

Next we learned all about gun safety.  I am not a gun fan, but I think its important for kids to learn about gun safety, so I found a little song on youtube.  

Don't touch
Leave the area
Tell an adult 

Catchy, and to the point.   For our lapbook, we learned that Pa kept his gun up high above the door - where he could reach it if he needed it, and where the kids couldn't touch it.   We also discussed why Pa has a gun in the Big Woods, and what he does with it (protection from wild animals, hunting for meat to eat). 

To tie into that, we learned about all of the animals in the Big Woods.  Levi's favorite is the panther, and he spent several days crouching behind things and 'pouncing' on unsuspecting people.  Including some poor lifeguard at the Yacht Club when his grandparents took him out to eat! 
We compared animal tracks, and also traced some animal names.  I tried to get him to color the animals, but he is still not into coloring at all. 

We made an owl craft as well, I found the idea on another blog, Meet the Dubiens, its very cute, with handprints for the wings and simple cutouts that Levi did himself.

Next in the book, its Christmas time!  Pa carves Ma a beautiful wooden shelf, so Levi tried his hand at carving as well, but using soap.  First he planned his design, and then carved it.
He is using my stamp carving tool, but lots of different things would work.  

When done, we popped it in the microwave to make a soap cloud.  This only works with Ivory soap!  We've done this one a few times, still fun every time.  

Part 1 of The Little House in the Big Woods project can be found here.

Part 3 is up now too!

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