This week was supposed to be a run of the mill week, however, as you know they do, plans changed.
It turns out I have an unexpected, likely all day appointment on Thursday *grumble*.
So I wouldn’t have to drag all the kids to an office for heaven knows how long, I arranged with the children’s Dad to pick them up early which means losing both Thursday and Friday with the kids. SO I decided this week we’d do something a little different and have a three day mini-unit on seeds and fruit.
It seems a tricky thing, designing a unit study that will be useful to five different learners at wildly different levels but its very manageable. I don’t tease out subjects for unit studies, it concerns me little, if for example, we don’t end up doing much formal math in the next three days.
We watched Magic School Bus Gets Planted (season three episode 10) and Magic School Bus Goes to Seed (season one episode 11)
We talked about what makes a fruit, the parts of a fruit, and “dissected” and labeled the different parts of a fruit.
For story time we read:
Then we went to the park and gathered black walnuts to make ink and looked at hedge apples. This fruit smells like a cross between citrus and pine. While it is non-poisonous, I hear it tastes pretty bad.
I brought one home. It was far too hard to split in half,so I cut out a wedge. The inside (mesocarp layer) reminded me of pawpaw fruit and the seeds were sort of like pumpkin seeds, but smaller and not as flat.
Bee and a Hedge apple, also called an “osage orange.”
Aidan feels they’d make for almost certain brain injury if a person was unlucky enough to get hit in the head with one.
We continued to look for reptiles and amphibians for the Herp Atlas but only came up with earthworms and a slug.
Isn’t he the cutsy-wootsiest? I wanted to take him home. Not kidding.
As a child I brought home earthworms, slugs, dead crickets (hey, someone needed to look after them, being dead and all they couldn’t do it.) and various other creatures. I even kept a (live) mouse in the bottom drawer of my dresser. As usual mom found out about it. In the case of the mouse, it was because she was taping everyone’s phone calls. My friend and I worked out a secret code after that.
(Bringing home jars of shark embryo from the zoology lab.. her response was priceless. )
I’m strictly catch and release these days. Every living thing, including adorable earth worms belong “free and in the wild.”
As we walked along the trails, we talked about the many different ways seeds are dispersed and the adaptations that facilitate dispersal. (yummy fruit for the animal to eat, wisps to carry the seed on the wind, “helicopter” seeds, bur that stick to animals…etc.)
We also found a tire swing.
Tomorrow we’ll get a little more specific and talk about flower reproduction. Sexy times ahead.
How did your Monday go?