Tuesday, October 4, 2011
"Leaf" it to Me
The rain mostly held off for us today as we set out to learn about leaves in autumn. We started the morning with a Hitchcock favorite, Colored Eggs. After kids got their running fix we went inside for morning circle. We began with a leaf greeting, in which everyone was given a laminated leaf. They then had to walk around the circle looking for their match. When they found the person holding the same leaf as them, the partners sat down and greeted one another. Homeschoolers are doing a fantastic job with eye contact and remembering everyone's name!
We also did a rule review, rating ourselves on how we've been doing with rule following. Our score? We gave ourselves a thumbs (mostly) up! Next we shared our home projects. Kids showed the class their migration stories, telling each other where they would migrate to, why, and how they would travel there. People were very creative! I love seeing how the kids interpret the daily theme and make it their own.
After that we did a group stretch, then read the morning message. Today's theme was all about exploring fall leaves. The password was chlorophyll, which comes from words meaning "green" and "leaf". We learned that in the fall, when the days grow shorter and trees are exposed to less sunlight, chlorophyll starts to break down and leaves lose their green color. Other different-colored compounds (such as tannins, anthocyanins and carotenoids) are left behind, showing through when the green is no longer there. Awesome!
On our outdoor adventure, homeschoolers first did a tree scavenger hunt, searching for items such as a shaggy bark, pinecones on the ground, and a plant with thorns. Then we collected the most beautifully colored leaves we could find for our craft. Amazingly, the sun came out and we tromped through the mud and grass to the farm pond, where we found praying mantises, crickets, and a crazy Canada goose that we thought might crash into us as it came in for a landing! All the while we were looking out for which leaves were still full of chlorophyll and which were losing chlorophyll. We found some poison ivy that was beginning to turn yellow, orange and purple!
Soon it was time to head back and work on our two leaf crafts. The rain held off at first as we set up our projects outside. The first was a splatter print, where homeschoolers used fabric paint and toothbrushes to paint the edges of leaves onto muslin sqares. The second was a hammer print, where kids got to pound the images of colorful leaves into muslin. One craft was messy, one was loud, and both were fun!
The rain returned as we were finishing up and heading inside for journal time. Kids recorded the date, theme, password, and the weather, then drew leaf pictures, made leaf rubbings, and taped leaves to the pages. At our closing circle kids shared their favorite part of the day. Colored eggs and the hammering craft were each a huge hit!
Please note that there is no class next Tuesday, October 11. We will meet again on October 18, and it is a field trip day to an apple orchard! Please send along a travelable lunch and a booster seat if your child uses one. Have a great holiday weekend!