Monday, December 15, 2014

Owls/Birds/Animal Tracks unit

I was a slacker this week. We didn't do much at ALL. Hey, I have a 5 year old who is excited about Christmas coming. I was doing good to get in ANY schooling. :)  We tried, though. We were extending our unit on Owls from last week. This week, we talked about nocturnal animals, forests and animal tracks.

Our sensory bin was bird seed and forest-type animals. I even found a couple of trees to put in there.

We talked about nocturnal animals and diurnal animals. I found this little game on, and we played it. The first part of the game is to guess whether the animal is nocturnal or not. Lily wrote down her predictions in the first column. The game has pictures of animals, and when Lily lifted the flap, there was a yes or no, and she had to write the actual answer in the column next to her predictions. She got most of them right-we have talked about nocturnal animals before, and she remembered most of what she learned.

I DID succeed in getting math and phonics done every day this week. We have been using McRuffy phonics, and Lily enjoys it. It has lots of activities, and isn't just a worksheet type of curriculum. It took a few tries to find a program that Lily enjoys.

I posted these pictures of nocturnal animals on the wall. They were there all week, so Lily could look at them and remember which animals are nocturnal. I also printed out a little sheet to help with writing. Lily had to run to the wall to see how to spell the words, but she got the worksheet completed. I got this activity from

We talked about animal tracks, and how different animals have differently shaped feet. We discussed how you can tell what kind of animal has been close by just by looking at the tracks left behind. I found this animal tracks matching activity on

For a little bit of art fun, we got out the plastic animals and some paint, and made some animal tracks.

Of course, while discussing animals in the forest, and birds, we HAD to make bird feeders. Lily has noticed that there are not as many birds visiting us now that the weather has cooled off. We put these out front just in case a hungry bird comes by.

Lily LOVES to cook, so I try to incorporate a cooking project in our lessons somewhere. I looked in the Five In a Row cookbook, and the recipes for the story Owl Moon was chicken chili and corn muffins. We talked about how nice it would be to eat something warm like this when returning from an outdoor adventure, such as going owling.

Looks good, Lily!

Lily didn't care for it. She said the chicken was good, but the "soup" part wasn't.  She tried something new, though, and that is what matters!

Lily spent a LOT of time playing with her plastic animals this week. They weren't all forest animals, but she pretended that they were. I love watching her play and use her imagination based on what she is learning. 

We finished up the week with an animal track hunt by the lake. It was pretty warm outside this weekend, so we grabbed Lily's scooter, and off we went!  We saw some duck prints, and some dog prints. We even compared the dog prints we saw to the ones our little dog was making.

That was pretty much our week. Lily did watch a couple of movies about forests on, which led to a discussion on trees and recycling. We talked about how taking too many trees from the forest can harm the animals' habitat.  We had a fun week, and are ready to move on to talking about seasons and apples!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Moving Beyond the Page-Owl Babies

Our last unit was so much fun! We rowed Cranberry Thanksgiving, which is a FIAR book. I was kind of missing FIAR already, and rowing that book just made it worse. I love MBTP, too, though. Ugh! What to do? I decided that I will do both. There are a lot of topics/books with MBTP that will go well with a FIAR book. I will just extend our lessons. This time, the MBTP book was Owl Babies. This would pair perfectly with the FIAR unit Owl Moon, so it worked out well. It will just take us longer to get through both curriculum, but, that is the beauty of homeschooling. You get to do what you want, and what works best for your family. :)

The first week, we followed the MBTP curriculum, and read "Owl Babies." What a sweet book! Lily loved it.

We went to the library and found some books to go along with our Owl theme this week:

On our first day of the unit, I made Lily an owl shaped sandwich.

One of the first activities for the unit was to make owl cookies! Lily loves to cook, so this was super fun!

 How cute are these? Yum! Lily definitely approved of this activity.

Lily made an owl out of shapes.

The next activity was to go online and research owls. Lily found this very interesting. She learned a lot during this exercise.

Lily enjoyed this exercise so much, that we did the extended activity option, and did a little more in-depth research. We made a poster of different owls and facts about them. Lily really got a chance to practice her cutting skills with this. I am noticing a HUGE improvement in her cutting skills in the past couple of months.


For math, Lily used beans as owls. She would put them on the paper. The questions would be similar to: If 5 owls were in the tree, how many are still in the sky?  This was a cute activity, and we stayed on this for quite a while.

MBTP has a cutting/pasting sheet with every unit. It also has beginning letter sound sheets and handwriting sheets for each unit.

 I added a few extra activities into the unit to keep Lily interested, and because they were fun. :) We made owl Christmas ornaments out of clay. When the clay dried, she painted them silver and gold, and I sprayed them with clear sealer.

Lily painted an Owl Babies picture using a bath poof. They turned out so cute!

We had some owl pellets from a unit we did last year, and Lily kept asking if she could dissect one. So, she got to work with Daddy's help. After she was done exploring the pellet, she completed a little journal activity about it.

We added in a couple more extras. We played this board game, and watched a Wild Kratts episode about owls. All in all, it was a fun week, and Lily learned a lot about owls. :)

As we go through our units, and Lily completes projects, we put them on the walls. Our living room is overrun with all kinds of owl projects this week, but it just means we had a lot of fun. :)   I love that our walls are covered with her completed pictures and projects. It keeps everything fresh in her mind until we take it down to make room for the next topic.

So, that was our week of Owl Babies with MBTP. Next week, we are going to do Owl Moon as a FIAR unit. Since we have focused so much on owls this week, we are going to take it in a different direction. We will focus more on the forest habitat and forest animals. Stay tuned! :)