Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Joy School - Reptiles

I am so ridiculously behind on my Joy School posts! We haven't quit; we're still going strong. I have just let myself get all caught up in all the fun of raising my kids, rather than documenting it. But today I am devoting nap time to the blog.

Some monthly themes we change out, and some we repeat every year. The Animal Kingdom is such a favourite that it is an every-year unit. There are so many things to learn and discover and have fun with. So yes, you may have read a similar post last year, but it won't be exactly the same.

Our first week in the unit was Reptiles.

Lesson: We learned the difference between warm blooded animals, (like us) and cold blooded animals (like reptiles)
- reptiles are usually hatched from eggs, have tough dry scales, and breathe with lungs.
-We learned that snakes can live in almost every environment on earth, the largest snake is the anaconda, (which can get up to 15m) they smell with their tongues, and that they can have up to 400 vertebrae.
-We learned that turtles can have soft or hard shells, can live a very long time, and are carnivores
-We learned the difference between crocodiles and alligators, that these animals lived with the dinosaurs, mothers guard their nests, and that the saltwater crocodile is the biggest reptile on the earth (can be 23 feet and up to 1000 lbs)
-We learned that lizards can be poisonous, but most aren't. We learned they usually live in hot climates, most are carnivores, and that the dwarf gecko is so small, it can fit on your thumbnail.

Video Clip:
We watched a segment on sea snakes from the Planet Earth DVD series.

Science Time:
We learned what a pattern is and how to recognize one.

I had made long paper slips and drawn different patterns on each. Then I had snipped off a section of them and shuffled them around on the table. The children were then given the task of finding the matching segments of the pattern and putting them back together.

Then we looked through several books of snakes and observed that many snakes had patterns on their skins.


Continuing on from our science time, we used beads to create patterns.

They got to choose any pattern they wanted to. It could be any length, with any number of repeating units. In the end each child had a bracelet to help them remember the day.

Snack Time: cheese stick snakes

Story Time:

Art Time:

I found dot-to-dot pages of different reptiles online. the kids each chose one and connected the dots to reveal the animal, and then we coloured them.

Music Time:

We used puppets to sing Three Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree. We also sang a Sharon, Lois and Bram song about a lady who went sailing on the back of a crocodile. I know the words, but not the title. We also did a turtle finger rhyme:

There was a little turtle who lived in a box. (trace fingers in the air to make a square)
He swam in the puddles, (mime swimming)
And he climbed on the rocks. (put hand over hand to show climbing)
He snapped at the minnow, (clap)
He snapped at the flea, (clap)
He snapped at the mosquito, (clap)
And he snapped at me! (clap on each word, 'snapped at me')
He caught the mosquito, (clap)
He caught the flea, (clap)
He caught the minnow, (clap)
But he didn't catch me! (wave finger back and forth and shake head)

Wiggle Time:

We wrapped the kids up in a blanket and had them lay on the floor. They had to wiggle their way out, just like a snake shedding his skin. LOTS of giggles here!

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