Saturday, December 14, 2013

Winter in the Woods - Mouse

On Day 4 we learned all about mice.  I started the day by asking Lachlan the first discussion question.  What small places would you explore if you were a mouse?  He said something big, I think he said the backyard.  I told him I would want to explore the walls of the house and go inside the walls.  He looked at me, lifted an eyebrow just a bit and then went on to eating.  I thought I had him hooked, but nope, he was ready to move on.

I brought the new book to the table to read at breakfast, I thought it would be a good way to get into the day.  The book is titled Timber!.  It chronicles the story of a Lumberjack who is in the woods chopping down trees.

I just wanted to point out a couple of things about the illustrations and story.  First you can see on the left that it asks, how many trees do you see?  The boys and I counted the trees together.  Then the lumberjack swing! swing! chop! chop! swing! and down comes the forest tree.  On the next page where it shows the trees, it shows just 4 trees, one less than before with a stump in the place of the one he chopped down. 
Also, you can see that there is a little red bird on the top of one of the trees which happens to be the tree he chops down.  On the next page it shows the tree falling and the poor little bird losing his home.  Although the words to this book may be simple, the illustrations allow for a lot of conversation and counting.  He keeps chopping trees until he is down to only one.  Oh no what have I done? asks the lumberjack.  All the animals he displaced are hiding in the one remaining tree, until, the lumberjack starts to replant trees.  He plants a new tree for every tree he chopped down and the animals begin to rebuild their homes. At the very end there is a Did you know? page filled with facts about trees and logging.

This book very easily started a conversation about trees and not wasting.  I asked the boys, what are these made out of?  As I pointed to the chairs they were sitting in.  Wood, they answered.  Yes, and where does wood come from?  Trees!  Yep, so we need trees to make things, but we always have to plant new ones if we cut them down.

Honestly, one of the favorite things they picked up on from the book was the word TIMBER!  They spent many hours of that day yelling TIMBER and falling over. 

After breakfast we hopped up at the counter for our art Mouse Tracks.  I got out paint and asked them what color mouse they wanted to make.  I had the three primary colors out and Lachlan said he wanted to mix blue and red.  Peter chose yellow and red.  I squirted the two colors into their bowls and they mixed them up.  It was fun for them to recognize their new colors they created.  I painted their hands and pressed them to the page to make the mouse body.  Then I drew on the ears and tails.  Mother Goose Time provided us with these long q-tip things for them to paint a trail of crumbs because as a mouse eats they often leave a trail behind them. 

Next, for Missing Mittens I got out our only pair of mittens that I know of and asked Lachlan if he could put them on by himself.  He had fun trying and got them on and got them on no problem.  As he was putting them on I asked him how he thought a mouse might stay warm in the winter?  He said they build a nest.  You know, you are right.  They don't build a nest in a tree but they find soft, warm things and collect them.  Then they find a small place to put it all and make a little warm nest to cuddle up in.  Next I read Three Little Kittens from the Rhyme Time Poster.  The boys love these.  I am always surprised how tickled they get by these silly stories.  Again!  They exclaimed.  So I read through it a couple times.  I have been putting these posters up on the refrigerator every month so that I can have them to refer to when ever a moment arises. 

The last activity The Cycle of Snow, had story pieces to cut apart.  I had the sheet of paper and scissors sitting on the table to cut apart at the next meal.  I ended up not cutting it apart but we still walked through the water cycle.  The discussion question asked, where have you seen snow?  This was super easy, as we still had snow in our backyard.  This is rare and very special for the Pacific NW.  I pointed to the pictures as we walked through the process.  First the lake, when the water warms up it evaporates and goes up (as I point to the up arrow) to the clouds.  When the clouds get full of water it falls down as either rain, when it's warm or snow, when it's cold.  Lachlan was very interested and asked me to tell him how it works again.  Then I handed him the page of story pieces and he pointed to the pictures as he explained it to me.

When it get's cold and dry like it has been lately I like to run the humidifier in the living room.  So it turned out that I had it running as we were having this conversation.  I could show him the mist, or the water evaporating very easily. 

A couple days later Cody's grandma picked him up and they were standing by the humidifier.  She pointed out the mist to Lachlan and he started to explain to her the water cycle.  She was very impressed and I was very proud, especially since she and her husband run a farm.  If you know a farmer, you know how closely they study the weather. 

No comments:

Post a Comment