Our final 6-week session for the 2018/2019 school year kicked off this Monday. New this session is our Wednesday class! It’s always so great to be able to welcome new homeschooling families to our #sparkfam and get to know them as they start their journey with us in our enrichment class. Despite the whirlwind that is typical of the first week our days were filled with songs and laughter, and a lot of learning too, of course, With…
Science! Our human body science activity was a 3-parter this week. We started with a “contest” to see who could create the tallest tower out of Play-Doh. It had to stand unassisted without falling over. Alliances and teams formed quickly to see if combining their Play-Doh could create a taller structure. As you can imagine the structures were nothing to write home about, (most of them going no higher than 3 inches) and the students were soon asking if they could use pencils or something to help it stand up straight.
At this point I handed out straws and told our intrepid scientist to try again using the straws to help them. This time the average height of the play-doh towers was significantly higher (nearly 7 inches!). I asked them to state their observations after the experiment. They all mentioned some version of how the straw provided structure and their “towers” were much taller with the straw than their play-doh-only counter parts.
From there I asked them to turn and talk to their newly created teams about what this could tell us about our bodies. The (loudish) whispers began and when decisions had been made the final answer was revealed…BONES! Now that the discovery phase was done it was time for some discussion, coordination and team work. I presented a stack of bone cutouts and instructed them to work together to try and put “Mr. Bones” back together again. After several reworks and with some gentle guidance our class skeleton came together.
I found the whole project quite humerus and it was fun tibia part of it ;-P (I’m shamelessly punny and I refuse to apologize)
It wouldn’t be a Spark day without some crafts, so in staying with our bones theme we used cotton swabs on black paper to create “X-rays” of our hands. We talked about how the cotton swabs were similar to the actual bones in our hands and how they are different. We played music while we glued them down (just a dot, not a lot!)
This session’s special lessons are all about Puppetry Arts. To begin our exploration we started reading “I am Jim Henson” by Bradley Meltzer (Available here). And if we’re being honest: I’m probably enjoying this book as much if not more than the kids!
Then, thanks to the wonderful materials provided by Scholastic along with some classic brown paper lunch bags we were able to create our own paper-bag puppets and to let our creative side come out. Even though we all used the same turtle print-out, each puppet captures so much of each student’s personality!
There was so much more, between learning some greetings in American Sign Language, shaking our sillies out after enjoying Show and Tell and of course, free-play fun during morning recess, lunch break and snack time. What a great first week!