Hi, there! We’ve finished studying the early farmers and Old Kingdom Egypt. For both we made barley. It turns out my rice cooker that’s terrible for rice does a great job with barley if you set it on brown rice.
We also made and played Snake. Normally it’s made on a slab of clay with pebbles or little figures of gods and goddesses for pieces, but this one is printable and colorable. Click the picture below or this link to go to Flickr and download it. I included some animal hieroglyphs to use as pieces if you want, but we used Monopoly pieces.
You can use a die, a spinner or trivia/flash cards to run along the snake’s body from the mouth to the eye. Or you can color it to match Candyland and use those cards. It’s easy to get creative. We used the “Poster” setting in our printer properties to tile it on cardstock to make a bigger board.
We read “Me and My Family Tree” and turned it into a project. The girl in the book used crayon drawings of her relatives, but Sagan wanted words so I made a list, cut it apart and we stuck them on using the book as a guide. Sagan is an only child so we put him on the trunk to save space, and he has dozens of cousins so we only named the last two he played with to save our sanity. We made the branches with brown crayon and stuck hearts on to represent couples who are still married.
Our latest history lesson was nomadic prehistory, so we studied some cave art and did a cave painting, of course.
This is, “A boy and his cat-dragon“, wax medium (ha! crayon!) and acrylic on crumpled packing material. He drew the figures with black crayon, dotted yellow and red ochre acrylic paint on with a wad of damp paper towel, and Mom went over his black lines on a light box to make them darker (and to make them show up where they were painted over) once the paint was dry.
He says it’s Toothless and Hiccup, but as cave men. That’s why the sabre-tooth doesn’t have any teeth.
We used red and yellow ochre because they were the most common paint colors of the ancient world. You could also add lamp black and unbleached titanium. If you just want the fun and you’re not an ancient pigment nerd like me, just use black, white, yellow or beige and orange-red or reddish brown. Or for the Crayola fingerpaint version: black, white, red and yellow.
So this was our take for Wild, Spectacular, Imaginary eggs for the fable “The Milkmaid and Her Pail“, the origin of “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”
Wooden eggs sprayed with white primer
Markers (we used Crayola. Sharpie would also work.)
Rubbing alcohol for the grownup
Sparkle Mod Podge
A small paintbrush you don’t care about
Stuff to keep a mess from spreading. We used aluminum foil.
We scribbled splotches on the rice paper sitting on top of foil. The grownup dribbled rubbing alcohol on it.
We waited. And waited. And waited. Finally it dried.
TIP: You could probably skip this step completely if you have some fancy tissue paper in several colors, but then you don’t get to scribble. You can also use hand sanitizer for more control, but part of the fun is watching the colors bloom and learning about the Color Wheel.
We ripped the paper into pieces and decoupaged it onto the eggs with sparkle Mod Podge. Mom will probably go over them with resin while the Youngling sleeps for durability.
So we’re doing a Child-led Classical Core Unschooling thing, I guess. Anyway, I take a reading topic based on any number of free curricula (or celestial events… or birthdays of famous people) and add things that match for “playing school”. The Boy Who Cried Wolf was the first story in a free Core-based first grade curriculum at CoreKnowledge.org It fits in with Classical and the Young Master likes wolves, so here we are.
We read it, answered the plot questions, watched a Cat in the Hat video about a wolf named Grayson, “A Howling Good Time”. (I’d link to Netflix but it’s giving me a Silverlight error, so….) We colored and read wolf and sheep science worksheets from Enchanted Learning. I adapted a Cemrel math lesson from cats and mice to sheep and wolves (It may be the first lesson plan in the first grade file.)
We looked at Romulus and Remus art and learned some Latin in here somewhere.
We rewrote The Boy Who Cried Wolf and acted it out with him playing Batman (the townspeople), me playing Robin (the boy), and one of the cats playing a minion of Cat Woman (the wolf) coming to steal our ice cream (sheep).
After that we had art time. The promise of Art Time gets him to concentrate.
It’s not hard to figure out. Kraft greeting card, construction paper, googly eyes, cotton balls.
A three-year-old’s attention span being what it is, even though he likes “playing school” like Daniel Tiger, this took two days at 15-minutes to a half-hour here and there. That’s cool with me because the theme days are much more fun for both of us than filling in a stack of humorless worksheets. And we end up with a card to send to his grandparents!