Week In Review: The Salamander Room

Grandma and Grandpa came down last weekend, and we were so busy having fun, that I forgot all about blogging, so here's our week in review, just a few days behind schedule.  :)

The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer is a sweet story about a little boy, named Brian, who brings home a salamander from the forest and his attempt to make the salamander comfortable there.  This book was the perfect opportunity for us to be outside studying nature in our beautiful Spring weather!

We started our week by going through Lesson 7 in "Behold Your Little Ones" and learning about how Jesus created the world for us.  We also learned a few songs about our beautiful world.  The favorites were definitely, "In the Leafy Treetops" and "My Heavenly Father Loves Me".  We choose Genesis 1:1 for our scripture memorization, it seemed like a perfect one for this week!  The children were THRILLED to go out exploring nature!
 Social Studies/Science
Our Social Studies and Science seemed to become one in many ways this week.  We talked about the importance of caring for living creatures, and how to offer hospitality to guests.  We were able to practice our hospitality by setting up a bed for grandma and grandpa and making sure they had a comfortable place to rest while they were here.

We took a field trip to a local nature center, and the first thing we saw on the side of their building were two lizards.  Unfortunately that's as close as we can get to a salamander in this area.
We got to see how tall we were compared to a snake, see a tarantula, and look at several displays of animals.
There was a beautiful lagoon where we sat and watched the minnows swim.  I loved this moment, and I'm so glad I could freeze it forever in my camera!
Lettie loved being able to touch everything she saw, and believe me she touched EVERYTHING!
We learned about the lifecycle of a salamander.
I love that little tongue!  It comes out whenever she is working hard.
We studied the five classifications of vertebrate, and practiced grouping animal flashcards in to the appropriate group.  (Mammal, fish, bird, amphibian, and reptile, in case you need a refresher.  I sure did!)
They worked together to cut out pictures to classify.
We also put the stickers in our little Dover "Insects Stickers" book.

Art
Our art combined with science as well this week, when we did some tree bark rubbings.  They used scrapbook paper to do the rubbings so I can use it for the journal pages of this "row".
We attempted to make "lace leaves" following the directions in our "Nature Explorers: Forest and Woods" book.  Notice I say attempted...  On rereading the directions I think that may have been the intended outcome, but it certainly wasn't what was pictured.  In any even, the little ones did enjoy the process, and looking at the leaves when they were still wet.
When we took the leaves out of their baking soda and water soak, they were pretty translucent, but a few hours later they had mostly turned black and had dried and crumbled. 
The same book had directions on how to make your own bird's nest with mud and grass, and while I contemplated giving it a try, we decided to make a yarn bird's nest instead.  
We finished our nest off with some wooden eggs that Bitsy and Manly painted, a little bird I picked up at the craft store, and some wood shavings.  It's made a cute little centerpiece on our table, and is a fun reminder of our week.
Before we made our nest, we studied a nest that had been abandoned on one of our window sills.  The children loved seeing the little feathers, and some of the bark from their play stumps.

Language Arts
We made a list of all of the things Brian was going to bring to make his new salamander at home.  I love lists, so anytime the manual recommends lists, we always make one!  :)

We also looked through the illustrations and noticed how Brian had been reading a book to learn how to take care of his new salamander, and discussed how much information we can learn from reading good books.

I think our favorite indoor activity was our lesson on parallel construction using blocks!  (I got the idea from Walking by the Way.)  It was an outstanding visual display of how an author can use balance as a tool to make a story interesting.
The most amazing part of this for me though, was when I read the mother's question, and Manly would recite verbatim the boys response from the book, after having read it twice.  I was stunned, and of course thrilled to know that all of the effort is paying off!
Just For Fun 
Because Grandma and Grandpa were here I got a little carried away with our meal again, so I will do a separate post later this week.
Grandma played Snail's Pace Race with Bisy, and Wildcraft with Manly and Bitsy.  They love board games, and I was so happy to remember that we had so many that fit in with our theme.  Our Camp board game would have been a fun one too.  Maybe we'll pull it out this week.
 We also read lots of books, especially when Grandma and Grandpa got here!
This story gave us the wonderful opportunity to spend more time out in the beautiful world the Father has given us, and to spend more time noticing and learning about His creations.  It was a week filled with memories and fun.

Links
Walking By The Way "Salamander Room" Ideas
Homeschool Share Printables
Yarn Bird's Nest (I love the brown paint added to the glue, we did it and the children loved it!)



JDaniel4's Mom  – (March 30, 2012 at 1:49 PM)  

What a wonderful week! I love your nest! What fun to get to spend time with grandparents!

Thank you for linking to Read.Explore.Learn. I have pinned this post.

JDaniel4's Mom  – (April 1, 2012 at 2:44 PM)  

Your post is being so loved on Pinterest!

Leslie  – (April 23, 2012 at 12:48 AM)  

We are going to row this book this week and I found your blog post about your fun time. What a great time y'all had with this book! Thanks for sharing!

Blessings
Leslie

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