Lego Challenge #41: Mixed Media

Mixed Media means to combine one or more, other objects or art mediums with your LEGO creation. Your creation can be anything you like.
Inspired by Sam's Lego Quest, (which is no longer active),  I wanted to start a 
weekly Lego challenge 
that kids can do and you can link up to. 
This linky has been open for a whole year, and will be closed soon. If you want to link up, please do so this week.
With the photo, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation.This can be simple or extremely complex, it's up to you. The only real rule is that it has to be custom built. Your own creation, not a pre-designed one.


You can write a separate post for the challenge or you can just add the photo of your child's entry for the challenge to a weekly wrap-up post.

Lego Challenge #41: Mixed Media 
means to combine one or more other objects or art mediums with your LEGO creation. Your creation can be anything you like.

Here are other Lego Challenges You Can Do:

With the photo of your child's creation, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation.


If you don't have a blog and would like to share photos of your child's completed challenge, please feel free to send me your photos at bergenholtzfamily@gmail.com and I will post them in the next week's Challenge post.

Science Sunday #4: Prokaryotic Cells

We have studied plant and animal cells, or Eukaryotic cells,  on several occasions, but we have yet to study Prokaryotic cells with the younger boys. 
James' (age 11) notebook page, February 2013
The Eukaryotic cells have organelles, which each have their own tasks to perform in order to maintain the life of the cell, and the DNA is stored in the nucleus of the cell.
Sam's notebook page (10th grade), October 2012
A Prokaryotic cell, on the other hand, contains no organelles and the DNA strands are throughout the cell.
Bacteria in a homemade Petri dish from Kingdom Monera and Nature Study #206: Bacteria.
Kingdom Monera contains all organisms that have Prokaryotic cells. Bacteria are the most well known members of this family.
Next week, we will be exploring the factors that affect the growth of bacteria cells.

related posts:




I want to build a community of science educators and so I encourage you to check out the links and make a comment on the posts.
As always I hope that you continue to link your new (and old) posts with any science topic to this meme every Sunday.

What science studies have you been doing?

I am pinning all posts to Pinterest.

Please include All Things Beautiful Science Sunday Meme in your post with a link
All posts that do not link directly to a science related post will be deleted.

History and Geography Meme#144: Wampanoag Indian Activities

As the American holiday of  Thanksgiving is coming up, our thoughts are going to the Wampanoag Indians, the Native Americans that were at the "First Thanksgiving." 
"Wampanoag" means "Easterners" or literally "People of the Dawn."
Traditionally Wampanoag people have been semi-sedentary, with seasonal movements between fixed sites in present-day southern New England. The "three sisters," corn (maize), beans and squash were the staples of their diet, supplemented by fish and game.
Lately there is some debate about whether Thanksgiving should be celebrated at all since it marks the beginning of the European-American take over of the Native American territories. Many even argue against the romanticized story of the Wampanoag celebrating together with the colonists, claiming that colonial documents make no mention of such an event. But all these thoughts aside, the vision does celebrate our thanks and giving and that is an important tradition. The best fight against this negative treatment of other peoples is knowledge about how we are alike and how we are different. In light of this, I have put together a few activities you can do this week to celebrate the uniqueness of the Wampanoag people.





You can really give your kids an appreciation of how hard life was for the Pilgrims and American Indians by having them grind their own corn for corn meal.

Have you ever celebrated the Indians of the Thanksgiving celebration? Please link up any Thanksgiving history posts you have done.

I have really enjoyed the community of homeschoolers we have built here and I encourage you to check out the links you may not have seen and make a comment on the posts.
As always I hope that you continue to link your new (and old) posts with any history and geography topic to this meme every Thursday.

What history and geography studies have you been doing?

  Remember that I am pinning all posts to Pinterest.
You might want to check out the Pinterest board and see all the past posts.
Follow Phyllis Bergenholtz's board History and Geography Meme on Pinterest.

Please include this button on either the post you have linked or your sidebar or mention All Things Beautiful History and Geography meme in your post with a link. All posts that do not link directly to a history or geography post will be deleted.
All Things Beautiful

Lego Challenge #40: Thanksgiving

Inspired by Sam's Lego Quest, (which is no longer active),  I wanted to start a 
weekly Lego challenge 
that kids can do and you can link up to. 
his linky has been open for a whole year, and will be closed soon. If you want to link up, please do so this week.
With the photo, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation.This can be simple or extremely complex, it's up to you. The only real rule is that it has to be custom built. Your own creation, not a pre-designed one.


You can write a separate post for the challenge or you can just add the photo of your child's entry for the challenge to a weekly wrap-up post.

Lego Challenge #40: Thanksgiving
What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Using Legos, show us the things you are thankful for, or something that symbolizes thanksgiving, such as a turkey, friends and family gathering or a fancy meal. 

Here are other Lego Challenges You Can Do:

With the photo of your child's creation, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation.



If you don't have a blog and would like to share photos of your child's completed challenge, please feel free to send me your photos at bergenholtzfamily@gmail.com and I will post them in the next week's Challenge post.

A Month of Thanks and Giving

My plans for this year's Thanksgiving activities have been foiled by the fact that we have been sick for the last three weeks. I had planned for the time from the beginning of November to Thanksgiving for us to do acts as a family that show thanks and giving. We have done a few things on the list, but not nearly as many as I had wished. Perhaps we will get to them next month instead, or perhaps we will do them next year (or both) but either way I thought you might enjoy our list. We tried to make them either no-cost or low cost and do-able for all ages.
    1. Load bags of groceries into cars for shoppers.
    2. Leave coins at the playground for children to find.
    3. Thank you cards and doughnuts for the fire station.
    4. Leave happy notes on the windshields of cars in a parking lot.
    5. Leave quarters at the Laundromat.
    6. Deliver cards to nursing home.
    7. Write a letter to a friend, telling them how thankful you are for them.
    8. Leave note (and treat?) for mailman.
    9. Make bags for the homeless, for we are thankful for our home.
    10. Send a thank you note to servicemen.
    11. Make a meal for someone and deliver it to them.
    12. Do you have a talent that you can share with someone? Either give the products of that talent or teach the talent to someone.
    13. Make copies of pictures of friends and send them to them.
    14. Write a note to a person who has made a difference in your life telling them that they have done so.
    15. Give out lollipops to children at co-op.
    16. Do a chore or a task that someone else doesn't want to do.
    17. Bake a treat for someone.
    18. Call or write to a grandparent.
    19. Write a kind note to a neighbor.
    20. Send a surprise package to someone.
    21. Make a freezer meal for someone to use when they need it.
    22. Pray for a neighbor, especially someone you don't particularly care for.
    23. Write an anonymous note to a family member, telling them something you admire about them and mail it!
    24. Anonymously leave some art work for a stranger at a public place.
    25. Buy a gift from the dollar store and leave it for someone you appreciate anonymously.
    26. Think you your own act of thanks and giving.
    27. Happy Thanksgiving.

Science Sunday #3: Science Investigations with Multiple Ages


In our home, we like to think of school as a family activity. We don't send each child with their own age-appropriate texts to their own corner to do their work alone. I don't find out how they are doing by correcting the test at the end of the unit. We, instead, all study the same topic, which leads to rich and interesting discussions. The topics are picked by the oldest student's material. That is not to say, of course, that I teach the same material to all the different ages and grades. We are just all on the same topics. For example, when we were studying how the structure of the cell helps keep plants standing in my oldest's student's work, it was easy to do the same experiment with all of my students, extracting out of the experiment what is best for their individual ages.
So, we set up the classic celery in colored water demonstration. You could use any plant, such as white carnations, as well.


January 2010
Even though it was the oldest's lesson, I began with the youngest student and worked my way up. I showed him the holes in the end of a freshly cut piece of celery... and ask him what they think will happen if...
January 2010
you make cups of colored water...
January 2010
and put the celery in them.
January 2010
Split one stalk in the middle and put the two ends into cups of colored water.
In a few days, I had him draw what he saw.
January 2010
That he understood that the plant draws the colored water up through these tubes is all that is necessary for my (at that time) Pre-K-2nd grade student.


January 2010
When I set up a science demonstration like this, I have all my student's present. It helps everyone be on the same page and it reviews concepts for the older students. Too often I have seen students learn for the test and forget it afterwards. This kind of subtle review keeps the concepts learned earlier fresh.

January 2010
For the middle school aged student, I included a wilted celery stalk, but I will talk about that later.

January 2010
For my older elementary aged student, when I showed them the holes at the bottom of the celery stalk, I had him imagine these holes running through the stalk and had him sketch what he imagined. In a few days, when they see the coloring in the celery stalks, you can talk to your upper elementary aged student about how the "veins" in plants are called xylem, and that the xylem takes water and minerals from the roots to other parts of the plant. You can also tell them that there are other tubes in plants called Phloem, which take the sugars (the plant's "food") created during the process of photosynthesis to other parts of the plant. Using this information, your child can add to their original sketch, adding color and labels. 
(This information is in Apologia's Exploring Creation with Botany, for 3-6 grade students.)

January 2010
Now back to the concepts I want my middle school student to learn. When they see that the wilted stalk stands up again, you can talk with the middle school aged student about how plant and animal cells are different. Animal cells are round and the nucleus, which contains the DNA, are in the center. Plant cells are more square in shape and have a cell wall. The nucleus is not in the center, but have something called the central vacuole in the center. This vacuole is like a water balloon and when the cells have plenty of water, this vacuole fills up and presses against the cell wall, causing rigidity in the cell. This rigidity in the cells makes the plant in general stand up straight. It is the water leaving the cells that make plants wilt. They can sketch what they have learned in their lab reports. 
(This is an experiment done in Apologia's Exploring Creation with General Science, a book for 6-8th grade students.)

One experiment; three levels of learning.


I want to build a community of science educators and so I encourage you to check out the links and make a comment on the posts.
As always I hope that you continue to link your new (and old) posts with any science topic to this meme every Sunday.

What science studies have you been doing?

I am pinning all posts to Pinterest.

Please include All Things Beautiful Science Sunday Meme in your post with a link
All posts that do not link directly to a science related post will be deleted.

World Geography: Western India

This week we traveled to Western India in our studies.
Pushkar Camel Fair, Rajasthan, India.
source
Pushkar Camel Fair
"In the wild district...bordering Pakistan...the desert tribes are semi-nomadic, traveling in family groups with camels and goats."

IMG_7239
source
Marketplace
"The western states...are perhaps the most visually exciting in India. The stark beauty of desert landscapes is offset by brightly dressed and bejeweled women and fine featured men with noble mustaches and multi-colored turbans."
Indigo city of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
source
Blue houses of Jodhpur.
 "Fairy-tale palaces and dramatic forts dominate towns of tiny blue, pink and white house squeezed together in narrow alleys. In the countryside, thatched mud huts have dung-floor courtyards populated with buffalo, camels and goats."

chandibai_jat_pots
source
Clay cooking pots.

For our meal to represent Western India, we made three different dishes. I forgot to take pictures until we were almost finished eating our meal. I quickly snapped a few pictures, before it was all gone.
"This Guiarati dish blends the sweetness of pumpkin with jaggery with the sourness of tamarind and amchoor. "
We made Gujarati Pumpkin with Tamarind, which had several ingredients foreign to us. One of the benefits of making dishes from foreign countries is that you become familiar with unfamiliar ingredients. In the Gukarati Pumpkin, the recipe calls for tamarind paste, jaggery and amchoor, none of which I was familiar with prior to our studies. I have discussed tamarind paste, but if you do not have it available, I have found that you can do a fairly accurate substitute by using lime juice and brown sugar in equal proportions. Jaggery is a concentrated combination of date, cane juice, or palm sap without separation of the molasses and crystals, which can make it vary from golden brown to dark brown in color. If you cannot find it, a good substitute for this is brown sugar. Amchoor is a powder made from unripe mangoes. If you cannot locate this, lime juice is an acceptable substitute.
"Coconut milk is a perfect accompaniment to corn."

We made Diu Corn Curry. It is a simpler tasting, sweeter curry and was a good contrast to the complex sweet-sour taste of the Gujarati Pumpkin with Tamarind.


source
Market Square, Diu
Diu is a small island in the Arabian Sea, just offshore from India's Gujarat. "Diu's pastel houses, narrow cobbled lands, tavernas and beaches are more reminiscent of the Mediterranean than India."

"A zingy fruit salad makes a perfect accompaniment to a spicy curry."
I had never had a savory fruit salad before, but was glad for the fruit's tart notes to off-set the heat and sweetness of the other dishes.

All quotes are from World Food Cafe by Chris and Carolyn Caldicott.

I have also linked up to the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop.

History and Geography Meme#143: Cultural Geography

When I went to school, geography consisted of memorizing all the countries or capitals on a map. I remember spending my entire 7th grade memorizing all the countries in the Middle East and their capitals. Of course, many of those have changed since the 1970's.
That is why I have taken a different approach to our geography studies.
 
Oh, sure, we still use maps, and we learn about the landforms on those maps, but it is the people I want my students to learn about.
The maps just help to facilitate learning about the people, maps are not an activity unto themselves. We look at them to learn about the where of this area of the world's study and we look at the landforms in terms of how they have affected the people.
We learn about the religion and other things that have influenced how the people think.
We learn about their culture through the foods they eat, 
the clothing they wear, 
the holidays they celebrate,
the art they make. 
It is not necessarily all hands-on, 
but it is the discussions we have that is at the heart of our studies, and sometimes that is hard to show in pictures.

How do you do your geography studies?

I have really enjoyed the community of homeschoolers we have built here and I encourage you to check out the links you may not have seen and make a comment on the posts.
As always I hope that you continue to link your new (and old) posts with any history and geography topic to this meme every Thursday.

What history and geography studies have you been doing?

  Remember that I am pinning all posts to Pinterest.
You might want to check out the Pinterest board and see all the past posts.
Follow Phyllis Bergenholtz's board History and Geography Meme on Pinterest.

Please include this button on either the post you have linked or your sidebar or mention All Things Beautiful History and Geography meme in your post with a link. All posts that do not link directly to a history or geography post will be deleted.
All Things Beautiful

Lego Challenge #39: Collaboration

Inspired by Sam's Lego Quest, (which is no longer active),  I wanted to start a 
weekly Lego challenge 
that kids can do and you can link up to. 
his linky has been open for a whole year, and will be closed soon. If you want to link up, please do so this week.
With the photo, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation.This can be simple or extremely complex, it's up to you. The only real rule is that it has to be custom built. Your own creation, not a pre-designed one.


You can write a separate post for the challenge or you can just add the photo of your child's entry for the challenge to a weekly wrap-up post.

Lego Challenge #39: Collaboration
This weeks quest is called Collaboration. Sometimes working together can be difficult, because everyone can have different ideas of what the final design is going to look like, but often times, working with other people on a creation can bring your design to new, greater places, places you wouldn't have found if you were doing it alone. What you decide to build, is totally up to you and the person or people you are working with. Anything goes as long as it's built with LEGO and it is an original design. 

Here are other Lego Challenges You Can Do:

With the photo of your child's creation, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation.




If you don't have a blog and would like to share photos of your child's completed challenges, please feel free to send me your photos (bergenholtzfamily@gmail.com) and I will post them in the next challenge's post.