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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week in Review -- Sea snakes and Chinese writing

I have been so hit-or-miss with my weekly wrap ups.  But you're okay with that, right?

This week we studied medieval Asia.  We learned about the Sui dynasty uniting China, and the Tang dynasty. The Flour Children took a stab at some Chinese writing.  We also discussed Japan and Korea, and their relationship with China during the medieval period.

Practicing Chinese character drawing.

We had a great week of science!  We read about ocean-dwelling dinosaurs.  There were 4 main types, and the kids drew pictures of them at the end of the unit.  We also talked about sea reptiles, specifically sea snakes and sea turtles.  The Flour Children made some turtles and snakes out of Model Magic.

Scrappy is making a sea turtle out of Crayola's Model Magic
 (which I cannot say enough good things about).

Goofy with his sea turtle and sea snake.  Note the flattened tail on the snake.
That's a good way to tell a sea snake from a land snake that just happens to be taking a swim.

Prolific as ever.  Funny's sea turtles and sea snakes.

Funny wants you to know that sea snakes are mostly venomous.
But you're probably safe, as you don't normally find them near North America.

This is an experiment we did to determine why it can be difficult to find good fish (such as the now-extinct ichthyiosaur) fossils.  We had 2 cups; 1 had a shell in it representing a clam, and the other a Cheerio, representing the dead fish.  (The Cheerio works because fish and Cheerios are mostly air.)  We put a little water in the cups, and then mixed up some mud and poured it over top.  The kids discovered that the "clam" still was at the bottom of its cup, but the "fish" floated!  So it would be more susceptible to scavengers and the currents, and therefore, less likely to become fossilized.
Scrappy mixes up some mud for our science experiment.

Funny covers our ichthyosaur (aka the Cheerio) with mud.

Goofy drawing a picture of the 4 sea dinosaurs we studied.

Goofy dug out our formerly abandoned dino dig kit.
He says he's going to be a paleontologist when he grows up.

There were a few inches of snow this week, so the kids played outside everyday. I even went out one day and played tag with them, and made a snow angel.  But only for a little bit.  It was coooold.

Goofy climbs a giant snowy pile of rocks and logs.

We also studied a bit about Vincent Van Gogh and I have plans for the kids to take a stab at painting their own picture full of dots, dashes and swirls.  We were at Red Robin one night and Funny actually noticed "Starry Night" hanging on the wall and could identify it!  She then told her dad she didn't think it was a good idea for a man to send someone an ear.  She's so right.

We had a field trip this week.  It was our first trip in many weeks.  We went to the Carnegie Natural History Museum.  I was so excited (I am a geek, yes) because they had a mosasaur skeleton and we could identify it!  Long neck, body like a turtle, swimming dinosaur=mosasaur.  I love it when things stick!  We also toured the bird section and that was great fun.  We studied birds last year, and it was great to see so many of the species we had discussed, as well as the different types of eggs and nests.

Be careful, Silly!

Some nice dinosaur fossils.

That's a mosasaur!

Goofy is STILL digging for bones.

Fancy plumage.

Some raptors.  These are kestrels.


Books read:  Vincent Van Gogh: Sunflowers and Swirly Stars (Smart About Art)Long Is a Dragon: Chinese Writing for ChildrenMisty of ChincoteagueArabian Nights

Foods cooked:  carrot cake cupcakes, cream cheese icing

1 comment:

  1. Oh man, your kids are going to be so smart. You are learning along with them, right? I mean, where do you get your knowledge of Chinese dynasties and dinosaurs? *sigh*

    BTW (or not BYW -- I don't think this is related), I do have to agree with you about those choco-chip cookies. I have made four batches now... one with all butter and cheap chocochips (wonderful good in spite of cheap choco), one with 1/2 butter, same chocochips, and two with 1/2 butter (can't tell the difference) and Ghirardelli bittersweet, which you recommended. Delish. Just need walnuts, and we'll be in heaven. (Almost. Heaven would be chocochip cookies and a skinny body.) The bittersweet were on clearance at Kroger for $1.69/pkg! Hurry, maybe there are some left! That is now my fave recipe. Thank you for making me fatter. (T-Tapp.com, here I come.)

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