Monday, July 30, 2012


Guess what this is?

Today we learned all about whales!

Web Sources:
Homeschool Share
Lapbook Lessons (this one is Orcas)
Whale printables
Sea World 

DK Whales
I can Read Whales
Baby Whales Drink Milk
Wild Whale Watch (Magic School Bus chapter book, lots of good facts in these)

We first talked about the difference between toothed whales, and baleen whales: because we had done this when we studied sharks, it was just a review.  Also another review on what makes a mammal.

Next, he did a worksheet (from the whale printables above) that was a reading comprehension activity.

We did a science experiment to see how whale blubber keeps whales warm.

You will need:
 - really cold water  (we put ice in water for a while, and then fished the ice out)
- Model magic (made by crayola, its a super lightweight clay that air drys)

1. Stick a finger in ice cold water and see how long you can comfortably keep it there.  Feel how cold it is!

2. Cover a finger with "blubber" (model magic).   You can also make this more fun by shaping it like a whale with fins and things.  

3. Dip it in the icy water and feel the difference!  The blubber will keep your finger nice and warm. 


Now use the model magic to make a model of a whale! 

Another project we did was to compare different whale spouts.   (he has his whale outfit on, and he is wearing a shirt for once!)    I drew the outline of different spouts, and he used a q-tip to fill them in.   Then, he added whale shapes and waves cut from paper, and glued on the name of each type of whale.

Auntie Shawn helped.


And these are the notebooking pages he completed for whales and dolphins:

We learned all about crabs today, and tomorrow we will also be starting some Olympic stuff, along with our next sea creature!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pizza Field Trip

Today we had another fun field trip, at the Pizza Gallery!
The kids got a tour of the kitchen saw their giant dishwasher and where all of the supplies are stored.  They got a close up view of the oven, and then got to help make their own mini pizza's.    And of course they got to eat their pizza's!  

Giant dishwasher:

Canned goods storage:  Olives and artichokes were on here, my favorites!  (Levi likes olives in particular)

Pots and pans (and a chocolate fountain) 

Pizza boxes:

The oven:

It has big circular shelves that spin around. 

Its HOT!

Garlic knots ready to bake:

MORE pans (they have a ton!), and the stovetop.

And here is Jr. Pizza Chef Levi making his pizza!

First the sauce, there is a special technique for spreading it. 

And then the soy mozzarella!

He actually made 2 pizzas, the first one had pepperoni on it!  He was up ahead of me and I didn't see him make it.  Levi has only ever had vegan pepperoni, so I don't think he realized that it usually comes in meat form, he didn't know it was a meat and was appalled when I told him (he has been a vegetarian his whole life).  Lucky for us, they had no problem with him making a new one, and I got to take pics the second time around too. 

Then some hat decorating while the pizza baked.

He did rainbows on one side and his name on the other.  He has been into coloring everything 'rainbow' lately.  

He made me take pics of both sides of course.  

And then pizza arrived!!!

He ate the whole thing.  He has NEVER eaten that much pizza before, he is usually not a big pizza eating kinda guy - we've been to the Pizza Gallery before,  and he will usually eat maybe 2 mini slices of his mini pizza.  Just another example of how getting kids involved in the cooking process makes them more excited about eating the food.
Mmmm.... Pizza for breakfast.... (this field trip was before the restaurant opened, so we were eating pizza at 10 in the morning!)

And now he is an official Jr. Pizza Chef, and has the certificate to prove it!

And his shirt?

Its another Little Sewing Shop Custom design.    This one was inspired by  cute pizza book/craft project I found. (there are some other fun pizza related ideas there too!)
For Levi, I went with a slim-fit, v-neck ringer style.  I don't normally make v-necks, but I like it! 


You can buy this shirt now at The Little Sewing Shop
(keep a lookout for the cargo shorts too, available soon!)

Also, thank you to Tonya Gensel for letting me borrow some of your pics for this post!  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ben and Jerry's Field trip and Ice Cream Unit Study

On Levi's birthday we went on a field trip to Ben and Jerry's, where we got to watch a video on ice cream making, see the back areas of the shop, learn how cones are made, ask question and EAT ice cream (the best part!)

We decided to learn a little more about ice cream at home as well.

Unit study sources:
Homeschool Share
2TeachingMommies  (used the graphing activity and dice game from here)
From Cow to Cone (these are the videos we watched on our field trip- they are pretty good!)

The Full Scoop
Ben and Jerry's, the Inside Scoop  
Ice Cream: Including Great Moments in Ice Cream History
Louis Pasteur Activity Book 

On our Ben and Jerry's tour, first the kids watched a video about how ice cream is made, "From Cow to Cone".   It really did explain the process well. 

 We got to go in the back and check out the freezer. 

A little sign they had on the door in the back room.

The back room

Supplies behind the counter

Then they did a cone making demo (the cones had dairy, so Levi couldn't taste them!).  
First pour the batter onto the greased cone maker. 

 Roll it up. 

Like this:

Or, put it in a mold to make a bowl.

The best part, of course was eating the ice cream. 

Over the weekend we learned more about ice cream and ice cream making.  We got out our trusty old ice cream maker, this one has a inner chamber that you stick in the freezer overnight.  It has an outer container, a paddle, a handle, and a lid and thats all you need!  You can dump pretty much anything in there and it will make ice cream in a short time.  

One of the projects Levi did was design his own ice cream carton label.   He decided on "Chocolate Freeze Pudding" flavor, so we recreated this with tofu mixed with cocoa powder and thinned with some almond milk.
We also learned that ice cream gets its texture from the air that gets mixed in.  So with this mixture, we put some directly into a tupperware and put it in the freezer, and the rest we made in the ice cream maker.

More on the ice cream experiment, as explained by Levi (by the way, it WAS soft to begin with, but got harder overnight.  Not sure why, maybe b/c it was a non-dairy mix or something, our other ice cream flavors stayed soft!)

We did some other activites as well: 

Alphabetizing ice cream ingredients (this is the first time he has put things in alphabetical order so we used a ABC board to put them on to help out):

A science experiment: What is the effect of salt on ice?   We put some ice in each cup, added salt to one and then observed.  The cup with salt melted faster, but felt colder.   We talked about how salt was used to make ice cream. 

After Levi went to bed, I tried to make myself a milkshake, and this is what happened.   So much for that!   After cleaning up the (huge) mess on the kitchen and myself, I skipped desert.  

We played an ice cream game, this one I found as a printable, but it would be super easy to make.  I couldn't find any dice for some reason so we used a spinner.    
For our version of the game, you spin, and then pick the appropriate piece.  If none were left, you took it from the other player.  To win, you had to have at least one of each flavor and 1 cone. 

We did a craft project, a spin on the "paint and marbles in a tray" painting technique.  We used ice! 

It came out kinda neat, with a rainbow sorbet sorta look.   Levi used the finished artwork to decorate a letter he wrote to Ben and Jerry's thanking them for our field trip.  We will have to drop it off to them at some point (and eat some more ice cream while we are there, of course).

He is getting a lot better at actually attempting to draw things with more detail instead of just a super simple super quick scribble of something.  He also carefully colored the cone in and had some pretty good handwriting for the note!
(sorry it looks orange, not sure whats going on with my camera lately)

And here is the finished lapbook!

We have friends with us all this week, so back to learning about Oceans again on the weekend!