Tuesday, 28 January 2014

SOTW - Chapter 1 - Earliest People

This week we studied Chapter 1: The Earliest People from Story of the World.
The children learned about the Nomads. What they ate, where they lived and how their houses looked like. They also learned how these Nomads become farmers and settled and developed villages.

Here is a look at a video From Nomades to Farmers.

After the more 'formal' lesson they started their activities. Here they made their own unique cave paintings (rock art).

Makayla's rock art
Matthew's rock art

Make your own rock art like this:
Take coloured paper and press it in a ball in your hand. Open it up. It give texture to the paper and a rock like appearance. With black paint let the kids do basic outline shapes of their figures. Then with an almost skintoned like colour let them fill the shape. After it is dried let them outline the black outlines with a reddish-brown paint colour. Let it dry and admire.

Here is a nice behind the scenes video of the cave painting scene from the movie The Groods while the film was being developed.

While I read the chapter to the kids they coloured in a picture of a Shaduf. A Shaduf is an implement they used in that era to gather water.

The kids made their own versions of a Shaduf.

The pictures below: The top one is a large scale one made by both of them. The branches was old broken off pieces, the pole in the middle is a swimming pool net. In the net was some bricks for the weights. Front a rope and that tied to an old bucket.

The pictures below that one: On the left is Matthew's smaller one. To the right in the garden Makayla's smaller one. The bucket was made from an egg carton. The last picture was the colouring picture as found in the Activity guide.

I never liked History at school. Now I enjoy it just as much as the kids. To be honest we never even studies world history the way the kids do now.

Make history exciting and share your projects.



Monday, 20 January 2014

SOTW Vol 1 - Introduction Archaeology

Introduction - Story of the World Volume 1 we are told what History and what Archaeology is.

This is how we did the lesson: First I read the introduction on what is History, Historian, Archaeology and an Archaeologist. Our home language is not English so I also explain to the kids what I have read in our native tongue even though they do understand.

On another day we looked at the videos below, did some writing in the little booklet I made further down and did some fun activities.
In this video clip you can see what an Archaeologist do as a career guideline.

In the next video you can see a full episode of Bill Nye the Science guy on Archaeology. The kids loved this video.

I made these little booklets. You can download it here.

In this little booklet they need to write the meaning of what is History, a Historian, Acheaology and what is an Archaeologist. They had to write where they made their discovery. After each activity they had to draw what they found. On the first drawing page they had to draw their findings from their hard 'stone' dig. The second drawing page, what they found in the soil. They only brushed the top part of the soil from the item and had to leave it in place and draw it out. Normally a real Archaeologist would also draw out in which grid he found what. The last drawing page they had the draw the items in more details after it was cleaned. In the last two pages they had to list their items and also explain what they learned about the people or place where they made the discovery.  

Below is just an example of what the kids did. Their books are in our home language which is Afrikaans.

Now lets have a look at some fun activities - time for the big dig.

Their first excavation was done from this hard 'stone'. Hubby made two forms for each. You mix some Crack Filler or Plaster of Paris into a nice thick consistency.  Put your items inside, leave it to dry. It need to become really hard.

This is what our hard stones looked like.

This is what they discovered inside.

The next dig was in the garden. We visted my folks and the garden soil space were very limited. (My dad got the most beautiful garden, so could not venture in there) I buried the items not too deep and made a grid with some yarn/rope.

Here is what they have found in their excavation. I would have loved to add some broken pottery pieces, but did not have any on hand. The idea would be for them to put it back together again. Maybe next time ;)

The kids had to work in their booklet after each activity before they moved on. They absolutely loved doing this. 

While the kids do their dig, you can explain to them what conclusions one can make when certain type of objects are found.

Happy learning.



Thursday, 9 January 2014

The wonder of the magnifying glass

There is nothing greater to a child than having dad teach them something new and doing something creative with them.

Hubby got a few pieces of scrap wood from a supplier close to us for free. Each with a magnifying glass in hand they started their new burning artwork.

Here is the first artwork. Matthew made a car's exhaust - who would have through of that. Makayla made the heart.

The goal behind doing this is not only to show the kids how to make artwork in a different way. They also learn a valuable survival tip - what to do when you only have a piece of glass or maybe eye-glasses with you and you have to make a fire. It also demonstrates how powerful the sun is. Very important that a magnifying glass in the sun is not a toy, it can be dangerous and cause massive fires. 

Have you done this with your children?



Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Pottery fun

Both my kids love to be creative (can you see the big smile on my face). Makayla got this Pottery wheel set for Christmas.

This Pottery wheel is battery operated and we bought it at CNA. With the set you get paint, a brush, a special plastic knife and 2 packets of potters clay.

In the picture above you can see what the box look like. If you look really close you can see the hippo's head Makayla made (it is on her finger). You can also see a first attempt at making a pot. Kids can be so creative.

Matthew will obviously not sit and watch while his sister has all the fun. He uses only a few fingers to create a small little pot. He is concentrating very hard that is why mom only got half a smile for the picture.

We hope to develop this new talent. We will use this pottery wheel in our ventures in learning about various countries and making some great artifacts.

A word of caution: This is a very messy business, ensure you cover your table with plastic and you have a bowl of water close by to wet your hands and clay to be able to form the pots.

Now over to you, come and showcase what your kids do and make.



Saturday, 4 January 2014

Book Review: Die Goue Reeks Leesboeke - Afrikaans

I taught my children to read in Afrikaans using Die Goue Reeks readingbooks, published by Nasou - Viaafrika. Those who do not know it. It is about a brother, sister, mother, father, cat, dog, friends and much more.

These books are wonderful for children who are just starting to read in Afrikaans or who needs some remedial work. With every book the words become more and harder. In the back of the books you will find a 'dictionary'. These are words with pictures. There are also word sound lists and new words that were read in that particular book. 

The entire series consist of 26 books and are divided in 8 levels. The first book of each level is full colour and the additional books in that level black and white. It is critical that the additional books should also be read and not just the first book in each level.

In each level there is also a workbook. In the picture below the last block you can see an example of one of the pages (not all pages have pictures) Die principle behind the workbook is to enable the child to recognise words in a visual manner with sentences, match work and word recognition.

The series consist of the following books:
Vlak Een: Boek Een: Boet en Saartjie
                Werkboek Een A
                Werkboek Een B
                Aanvullende Boek: Dwergie

Vlak Twee: Boek Twee: Ons speel lekker saam
                  Werkboek Twee
                  Aanvullende Boek: Hanswors

Vlak Drie: Boek Drie: Die Sewe Maats
                 (Geen werkboek)
                Aanvullende Boek: Die Rooi Bal
                Aanvullende Boek: Geel Trein en Blou Trein

Vlak Vier: Boek Vier: 'n Dag op Skool
                Werkboek Vier
                 Aanvullende Boek: Pottie Potlood
                 Aanvullende Boek: Hannie Haar

Vlak Vyf: Boek Vyf: Seestories
               Aanvullende Boek: Vader Son
               Aanvullende Boek:  Vissie - Duikboot
               Aanvullende Boek: Jannie huil
               Werkboek Vyf

Vlak Ses: Boek Ses: Plaasstories
               Werkboek Ses
               Aanvullende Boek: Die Hen en die Jakkals 
               - Die Grondboontjie
               Aanvullende Boek: Die Stout Lam
               Aanvullende Boek: Eendjie Eend

Vlak Sewe: Boek Sewe: Die Nuwe Huis
                   Werkboek Sewe
                   Aanvullende Boek: Die Verjaarsdagpresent
                   Aanvullende Boek: Die Tweede Venster
                   Aanvullende Boek: Sannie die Sandkorrel

Vlak Agt: Boek Agt: Wildtuin en Ander Stories
               Werkboek Agt
               Aanvullende Boek: Toe Oom Langnek Siek Was
               Aanvullende Boek: Gelukkig Giel
               Aanvullende Boek: Manie Maan

My children love to read from these books. It is easy to follow and well put together. I will recommend these books to anyone, even to those who study Afrikaans as a second language.

You can purchase these books from Galileo Books by sending an e-mail to ronelle@galileobooks.co.za. These books are available separately.

Happy reading and enjoy it.