Mimi and the Grands

Educating Through Multiple Intelligences

In-home Day Camp Week 4: Water, Water Everywhere

This is the last week of In-Home Day Camp that I planned for my grandsons for the end of summer 2016. I’m a little late in posting Week 4 because the grands and I had so much fun during our In-home Day Camp Weeks,  that I was too busy to finish this last post. Additionally, I decided to extend the Week 4 theme of water into the school year because there were so many fun activities I found that I wanted to do with the grands and one week was just not enough. So this post includes some of the activities we completed during the Week 4 day camp as well as some activities I still want to do with the grands at the beginning of the school year.

To recap this In-home Day Camp series, I started planning for these activities early in the summer although I wouldn’t be watching the grandsons again until their parents went back to work in August (school teachers). That meant I would have several weeks to watch the grands, Tigger (8), Kona (6), and Tahoe (4), before their school year started. I decided to plan four different weeks of day camp activities for them. I chose four different themes and planned activities for each of the eight Multiple Intelligences when designing each day camp. 

If you would like to see the other three weeks of in-home day camp and their activities, you can find them here:

In-home Day Camp Week 1: Ice Cream Dreams

In-home Day Camp Week 2: The Game Plan

In-home Day Camp Week 3: We Like Bikes

With the hot days of August, the theme of “water” seemed appropriate for some “cooling” activities for the grands for Week 4 of the day camp. Besides a trip to the beach and a “water play” day at our house, I planned art projects and experiments with water to do with them.

Week Four: Water, Water, Everywhere

 The weekly schedule: Each day I will “dip into” the Read Aloud Book (see Linguistic Intelligence), and have the grands complete at least two other activities. I will choose activities so that all eight intelligences are covered by the end of this day camp unit. I will also mention any academic focus I plan on integrating into any of the activities.

Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

Read and discuss books- It’s always nice to include books as part of the day camp experience. I usually get my books from the library. During the week these books can be used to go along with the theme:

Read Aloud: 

the_thing_in_the_sewersThe Thing in the Sewers by Roberto Pavanello tells the story of a bat, named Echo, his three human friends, and how they solve mysteries. The mystery in this story concerns a foul smelling toxic waste that suddenly fills the pond in their local park and the town’s fountain. However, the bad smell and strange color are not the only problems with the water. Echo sees a large, slimy green arm reaching for the fish that are trying to escape from the polluted pond. (Special note: Tigger loved this book so much he read the book himself and has since read another book in this series.) Academic focus: Making Predictions:  At appropriate points in the story, I will have the grands make predictions on the solution of the mystery in the story.

Nonfiction : 

Liquid Planet: Exploring Water on Earth with Science Projects by Tammy Enz, Super Simple Things to Do with Water by Kelly Doudna, Water Wow! An Infographic Exploration by Antonia Banyard and Paula Ayer, and Explore Water! by Anita Yasuda are the four books I used to select experiments to do in this day camp with the grands. The books also provide basic information on topics as they relate to water such as density, air pressure, water cycle, weather, transpiration in plants, and waste water. While I won’t read the entire books to the grands, I will use them as reference books. Before and/or after I do some activities from the book, I will read information to explain why the experiments worked the way it did. Academic focus: Following Directions-As we work on some of the experiments, I will have the grands find the directions in the book, read them aloud (Tigger), or point to the steps as we work on them (Tahoe and Kona). Vocabulary-There are so many new vocabulary words in these books, so this will definitely be another academic focus.

Non-fiction that Read like Fiction:

Pitter and PatterPitter and Patter by Maratha Sullivan and illustrated by Cathy Morrison reads like a story, but can also be considered non-fiction since its focus is about explaining the water cycle using two raindrops who fall from a gray cloud. Before the drops change into a gas and become part of the gray cloud again, Pitter and Patter travel through different types of environments and say hello to the creatures they meet along their journey. This book has gorgeous illustrations and more activities in the back of the book for further investigations. Academic  Focus: Vocabulary- This is a vocabulary-rich story which includes the names of many of the creatures that Pitter and Patter encounter, such as herons, crayfish, and minks, as well as the types of environments through which the drops travel: meadows, caves, streams, and wetlands.

Water is WaterWater is Water by Miranda Paul is a book that beautifully illustrates the different ways water can be seen (steam, fog, snow, rain, etc.) It is written in a rhyming verse which adds to its charm. Academic focus: Rhyming Words-After reading each page, I will ask the grands to tell me the rhyming words.


 

 Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Spray bottle Exploration: I will give each grand a chance to use a spray bottle of water and send them outside by themselves to explore. Usually the grands love to water the plants, spray the block wall fence, and spray the rock garden to see how the water reacts.

Independent Reading: I leave the library books in a convenient place for the grandsons so they can browse or read them on their own.

Journal: I will give each day camper a little booklet, and have them write or draw their favorite experiences from this day camp theme.

 

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)


Drops on a Penny: I love this easy experiment on surface tension because it just requires an eyedropper (or medicine dropper), water, a penny, and a paper towel. I had the grands very slowly add drops of water onto the penny and count how many drops of water the penny would hold until the water spilled off the penny. The grands loved to do this experiment over and over.  If we do this again, I think I will have them try a nickel, a dime, and a quarter and then graph their results. We can also try adding some dishwashing detergent to the water to see if it makes a difference. You can find directions for this experiment at this website:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/measure-surface-tension-with-a-penny/

Stretching Water: I will have the grands explore the concept of cohesion by having them “stretch” some water. Directions: Place a few drops of water (add food color to make the water easier to see) on some waxed paper. Then with a toothpick, “stretch” the water to see how far it will move before the water separates. Measure how far you were able to stretch the water before it separated. Or create a water maze such as the one found on this website:

http://teachbesideme.com/water-drop-maze/

Who is Faster? I found this experiment in the book Explore Water! Make a hole with a pin in two paper cups. Balance each one cup in a sturdy glass that has a smaller diameter than the paper cups. Fill one paper cup with hot water and place an equal amount of ice water in the other paper cup. Time each cup to see which cup will leak out all if it’s water first. (Hint: Which molecules will move faster?)

 Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

What would a day camp experience be without camp songs!? Instead of creating my own, I found several websites that have songs about water:

“Water Clear, Water Bright” is one song I plan to teach the grands. It can be found here: http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/w067.html

Ocean and Beach Songs: Since I am also taking the grands to the beach, I wanted to teach them songs about the ocean: I found some here: http://www.preschooleducation.com/sbeach.shtml

Great Lakes Song: There are also songs about bodies of water, such as this one about the Great Lakes: http://www.songsforteaching.com/fosterbrown/greatlakesjack.htm

Water Cycle: I wanted to teach a song about the water cycle to the grands and found a really good one at this website which uses the tune “The Wheels on the Bus” to go along with the water cycle lyrics: http://www.naturallyeducational.com/2011/04/rain-songs-and-poems-for-children/

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

As I already mentioned, part of this week’s day camp will include a day at the beach. Besides enjoying the cooler weather and water at the beach, the grands will make sand castles and collect shells (or fragments of shells.) We will collect some ocean water before we leave the beach to use later in the week in a simple experiment. 

Experiment with Ocean Water: Using the ocean water that was collected during our beach trip, the grands will pour it into a square baking pan. I will have them taste the ocean water and describe it before putting the baking pan outside in the sun. After all the water is evaporated, we will see what is left in the baking pan. (Salt crystals)

20160914_102809Hole in Bottle Experiment: To help explain to the grands that air pressure can prevent water from leaking out of a bottle with a hole in it, I did the “Bottled Up” experiment from the book Super Simple Things to Do with Water. Make sure to use a plastic bottle that is at least 1 liter. I tried a regular plastic bottle and it didn’t work as well. You can also find directions for a similar experiment at this website:   http://magic-but-real-experiments.blogspot.com/2009/06/bottle-with-hole.html

Water Refraction Experiment: I have not tried this one yet with the grands, but I plan to do so in the future. It is a very simple experiment requiring a bottle of water, paper, and markers. You can find it here:

http://www.lookwerelearning.com/2014/03/simple-light-refraction-experiment/

Transpiration in Plants: I will adapt the directions for Experiment 3 in the Liquid Planet book. I will have the grands discover how much water comes from one of our outdoor plants. I will have them use a plastic storage bag with a zipper closing (can also use a tie twist on a regular plastic bag) to cover some leaves from an outdoor plant. After a few hours, we will check the experiment to see if any water from the plant has accumulated in the plastic bag. (I used to do this experiment as a classroom teacher and discovered the leaves of trees worked the best.)

 Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Craft projects: The grands love to do art projects, so I always have lots of activities in this intelligence.

Paper Towels and Markers: I had the grands use markers and draw a picture on a paper towel. When the picture was done, I had them spray the pictures with water and watch what happened. We talked about water absorption and why the ink from the markers had spread out on the paper towel. (I used an empty and clean spray bottle from a “green” all purpose cleaner as our water spray bottle.) This art project was adapted from another blog that I found online: http://happyhooligans.ca/paper-towel-art/

Watercolors and Oil: I still plan to do this art activity with the grands: http://babbledabbledo.com/easy-art-projects-for-kids-watercolors-oil/

Tissue Paper and Water: The grands will create pictures with tissue paper glued on construction paper, and then spray water on the picture to create an “impressionist” design. Another method for using tissue paper and water is explained here: http://theimaginationtree.com/2012/02/tissue-paper-bleeding-art.html

Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

States of Matter: The grands will have to work together to demonstrate the three states of water. I will tell them that each of them represents one molecule of water. For the solid (ice), I will have them hook elbows and stand still. For liquid (water) I will have them move about freely in a small room, like the den. For the gaseous state (steam), I will allow them to run around the backyard. Afterwards we will discuss what they learned about the molecules of water in each of the three states.

Circle Storytelling: Sit in a circle and start a story. Have the day campers take turns going around the circle and contribute to the story. An example of a story starter is: “Our grandparents surprised us with a canoe so we decided to all go together for a canoe trip down the local river. At first…”

Water Play Day: Grandpa Jim and I will have the grands over to our house where they can have a “water play” party. We will set out the wading pool, water table, and super soakers for them to use together. 

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

Swimming: Since the grands take swim lessons once a week, I will make sure to include a day at a local pool as part of the day camp.

Chasing the Waves: At the beach we will play a game where we run toward the waves when the tide is going in, and then run from the waves as they come towards the shore.

Water Balloon Toss: Trying to catch water balloons on a hot day is good for eye-hand coordination, but also can be very cooling!

More Water Play Ideas: I plan to use some of the ideas from this website too:  http://www.stillplayingschool.com/2015/04/outside-water-play-ideas-for-kids.html

 

I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.

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In-home Day Camp Week 3: We Like Bikes

I  have three active grandsons that I love to babysit several days a week, and I like to keep them busy with lots of activities that are enriching and possibly educational.  This summer I will watch the grands, Tigger (8), Kona (6), and Tahoe (4), for several weeks in August before the two older ones return to school in the fall, and I wanted to create an in-home day camp experience for them. I decided to plan a variety of day-camp-type activities by choosing a theme and planning activities for each of the eight Multiple Intelligences when designing the day camp. I also wanted some academic focus embedded in the activities I chose.

We really love our bikes in this family, and the grands are no exception. Their father, uncle, great uncle, and grandfather ride their own bikes on a regular basis, so the grandsons have great mentors. Of course, the grands all have bikes (although Tahoe still has training wheels).  Since my grandsons have lots more time to ride their bikes in the summer, I planned some fun “day camp” activities for them to enjoy their bikes and learn more about bike riding. 

I have planned four weeks of day camp activities altogether and this theme is for Week Three. If you would like to see Week One and Two’s day camp plans, you can find it here:   

In-home Day Camp Week 1: Ice Cream Dreams

In-home Day Camp Week 2: The Game Plan

Week Four: Water, Water, Everywhere (In the coming weeks I will also post my plans for Week Four.)

Week Three: We Like Bikes 

The weekly schedule: Each day I will “dip into” the Read Aloud Book (see Linguistic Intelligence), have the grands ride their bikes (see Bodily-Kinesthetic and Naturalist Intellgiences) and have them engage in at least two other activities a day (listed in the other intelligences). By the end of the week I will make sure that I have offered at least one activity from each intelligence so that all eight intelligences are covered by the end of this day camp unit. For my readers, I will also mention any academic focus I plan on integrating into any of the activities.

Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

Read and discuss books- It’s always nice to include a few books as part of the day camp experience, so I usually start my planning by getting some books for the grands at the library. Besides the Read Aloud Book, I will probably read and discuss some of these other books sometime during the week as time allows. 

Nonfiction:

safety on your bicycleSafety on Your Bicycle by Lucia Raatma is a book I definitely want to read and discuss with my grands as part of the day camp experience. It has great pictures and easy instructions for safety rules including the proper way to wear a bicycle helmet, how to check your bicycle for safety before you ride it, dangers on the road, intersections, and traffic rules. Academic focus: Vocabulary-This book has several important vocabulary words that the grands need to learn including chinstrap, reflector, and signal. Text features-I can also use this book to talk about text features such as Table of Contents and Index.

Pedal ItPedal It! How Bicycles Are Changing the World by Michelle Mulder has tons of information on bicycles: their history, their development, how people use bicycles in their places of work, and how bicycles are making positive changes in the quality of life for people throughout the world. This book includes many photographs and factoids that will catch the eye of many bike enthusiasts (Grandpa Jim was shown this book and couldn’t put it down.). It is written for grades 3-7, and is so full of information, I will read it to my grandsons in small sections. Academic Focus: “Book Walk”-Since this book may be too overwhelming to read in its entirety, I will show the grands how to do a “Book Walk” with it. That means we will look through the whole book first before reading it by checking out: the front and back cover, table of contents, chapter titles, and illustrations. Then I will have the grands choose a section or page of the book which interests them the most and read those pages to them.

Fiction:

The Best Bike Ride EverThe Best Bike Ride Ever by James Proimos and Johanna Wright tells the story of  Bonnie and her enthusiasm for her new bike. Bonnie loves her new bike so much that she immediately begins riding it over imagined bridges, mountains, canyons, and elephants. Unfortunately,  Bonnie hasn’t learned yet how to stop on her bike. This is an adorable story that makes the point that learning safety rules before riding a new bike can be a very good thing to do.  Academic Focus: Predictions-As Bonnie takes off on her new bike, I will ask the grands what they think will happen to Bonnie as she continues to ride her bike. How do they think the story will end? 

 

BenRidesOn-JacketBen Rides On by Matt Davies is a cute book about a third grader, named Ben, who loves to ride his bike to school. But once he arrives at school, another much bigger third grader, Adrian, decides he would like to ride Ben’s bike too. As Ben tries to retrieve his bicycle, he has to encounter some hard decisions to help Adrian who gets into a scary predicament.  Academic focus: Character traits– I will discuss how the reader learns about the characters in a story by finding the following clueswhat the characters say, what they do, and what others say about them. I will guide the grands to discuss the characters of Ben and Adrian using those three types of clues.

Read Aloud: 

the case of the bicycle banditThe Case of the Bicycle Bandit: A Jigsaw Jones Mystery by James Preller is book #14 in this series of mystery stories. In this chapter book, which is good for grades 1-3,  Jigsaw and Mila investigate the disappearance of Ralphie Jordan’s rusty, broken down, old bicycle that was chained to a bike rack at the library. The story is told with humor and lots of suspicious characters.  Academic focus: Details-I will discuss which details in the story helped Jigsaw and Mila to solve the mystery. Independent Reading-I also hope that Tigger will want to read this book on his own afterwards since it is written at his current reading level.

Storytelling or Writing Prompts: I will give my grandsons at least one of these prompts and have them tell me a story (or write it down depending on their interest or age level). Academic focus: Main Characters and Plot (Complete sentences if used as a written activity.)

  • On my last bike ride with my family, we …..
  • If you could design a vacation for your bicycle, where would it go?

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

These are some ways the grands can use their mathematical intelligence to understand their bicycles:

Measurement: Using a tape measure, I will have the grands measure the length and height of their bicycles and the different parts.

Graphing: I may have the grands compare the height and length of their bicycles by making bar graphs after they finish the measuring activity.

Radius and Diameter: I can introduce the concept of radius and diameter by having the grands measure them on the wheels of their bikes. I may even introduce the formula for finding the diameter of a circle using the radius by helping the grands analyze the measurements they took for their wheels.

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

I want my grandsons not only to enjoy playing on their bikes, but hopefully develop some physical skills as well. Here are some ideas:

How Slow Can You Go? http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/16780/outdoor-fun-bicycle-games

Driveway Games: http://www.bicycling.com/training/kids-cycling/kids-bike-skills

Leap Frog: https://www.trails.com/list_32894_bike-games-kids.html

Bike Rodeo: http://bicycling.about.com/od/organizedbikeevents/a/bikerodeo_event.htm

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

The grands always love arts and crafts so I looked up some ideas online that I could try with the boys:

 

Making a Bicycle with Pipe Cleaners: http://mykidcraft.com/pipe-cleaner-bicycle/

Bike Streamers and Plates: http://www.crayola.com/crafts/bike-streamers–plates-craft/

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

Songs about Bicycle Safety: I wrote some lyrics for the tune “The Farmer in the Dell” to teach the grands some safety rules I want them to remember:

We want to ride our bikes, We want to ride our bikes,

Helmets on, C’mon let’s go, We want to ride our bikes.

At corners we look right, At corners we look left,

Helmets on, C’mon let’s go, We’ll look both right and left.

Obey all traffic signs, Obey all traffic signs,

Helmets on, C’mon let’s go, Obey all traffic signs.

I found some other bicycle safety songs online that are really good and I might use with my grands:

http://writtenwiththewind.weebly.com/learn-bicycle-safety-by-singing-bicycle-safety-songs.html

Other Songs About Bicycles: Here are some other songs. Some of them can be found as videos online:

  • “Bike Safety Boogie” by Will Stroet, from his album “My Backyard.”
  • “On A Bicycle Built for Two” sung by Nat King Cole

Classical Music: Several music composers have been so inspired by their bicycles that they wrote music either about their bicycle experiences or using bicycles as musical instruments. They can be found at this link:

 http://www.classicfm.com/discover/music/bicycles-classical-music/#63tZBlMdGZz7dCKT.97

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

Playing with their bikes outdoors; what could be more natural? The grands will need to learn how to adapt their bicycle riding skills to different outdoor environments, so during the day camp week, Grandpa Jim and I will try to take them to a different outdoor area each day to ride their bikes. Here are some examples:

bicycle trail in Rancho CucamongaParks: There are many different playground/park areas in our vicinity, so we have lots of choices for their bicycle riding. Some of these parks are nearby and the boys can ride their bikes to them, under the watchful eye of an adult, of course. Other times, we’ll put their bikes in our car and drive them to one of the larger parks in our area that has a bike path next to a stream.

Bike Trails: I also found some local bike trails on the internet that we might try.

Cul De Sacs: There is a cul de sac near us where the grands can ride their bikes.

Empty parking lots: Some of the schools and churches in our area have empty parking lots in the early evening hours. They are often good places to allow the grands to ride without the worry of traffic.

 

Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

Bicycle Maintenance: I want the grands to learn how to work together to take care of their bicycles, so I will have Grandpa Jim show them how to clean their bikes, pump up tires, and “lube” the bicycle chains. Our focus will be to get the grands to work together on these chores, helping each other. (And pumping up tires includes some Logical/Mathematical activities too as the grands will need to look for the maximum air pressure which is printed on the side of the tire.)

 

 Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Some activities should be planned for the grands that can be done by themselves such as:

  • Riding their bikes in our backyard.
  • Reading books about bicycles: I will have the books I used during the week available for the grands to use and look at throughout the week.
  • Journal Writing: I want to give each grand a chance to reflect on their day camp week by writing, drawing, or telling me what they enjoyed most about their bicycles this week. (This is an activity that is best done at the end of the day camp experience.) 

 

I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan day camps or lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.

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In-home Day Camp Week 2: The Game Plan

When I was a child, our entire neighborhood was filled with children around the same ages as my siblings and me. We loved to spend our summer days and evenings playing games: board games, kickball in the street, hide and go seek in the neighborhood, Red Light-Green Light, Red Rover, ping pong, etc. I want my grands to know and play lots of games too, so I planned an In-Home Day Camp experience for them that focuses on sports and games. Since this is also a Summer Olympic year, I decided to incorporate the Olympics into this day camp as well.

As I planned this day camp theme for the grands, Tigger (8), Kona (6), and Tahoe (4), I designed activities for each of the eight Multiple Intelligences.  I also incorporated some academic focus in the activities I chose.

I have planned four weeks of day camp activities altogether and this theme is for Week Two. If you would like to see Week One’s day camp plans, you can find it here:

In-home Day Camp Week 1: Ice Cream Dreams

 In the coming weeks I will also post my plans for Week Three and Week Four:

Week Three Theme: We Like Bikes 

Week Four: Water, Water, Everywhere

 Week Two: The Game Plan

The weekly schedule: Each day I will “dip into” the Read Aloud Book (see Linguistic Intelligence) and have the grands (or day campers) play at least two different games (found in several places in this post). By the end of the week I will make sure that I have offered at least one activity from each intelligence so that all eight intelligences are covered by the end of this day camp unit. I will also mention any academic focus I plan on integrating into any of the activities.

Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

Read and discuss books- It’s always nice to include books as part of the day camp experience. I usually get my books from the library. During the week these books may be used to go along with the theme:

Nonfiction:

Play With Us bookPlay With Us: 100 Games from Around the World by Oriol Ripoll is a great resource explaining both indoor and outdoor games from many countries. There are a variety of types of games too such as hopscotch, marble games, hide and seek, and tag. Academic Focus: Following written directions-First, I’ll point out that directions for games usually include the number of players, materials needed, and steps in the game. I’ll have the grands choose a few games from this book and follow the directions to play them. (The oldest grandson can read it to the other two grands.) 

The Fastest Game on Two FeetThe Fastest Game on Two Feet and other Poems about How Sports Began by Alice Low uses poetry to explain the origins of some sports and games that require legwork. (Many of these sports are also played during the Olympics). Some of the sports included are running, gymnastics, bowling, figure skating, and rugby. This book is written at a higher level, but I think my oldest grandson will enjoy it. Academic focus: Rhyming words: Many of the poems in this book are rhymes, so identifying rhyming words is definitely a literacy skill to practice when reading this book.

Fiction:

  • Let's Play bookLet’s Play: Poems about Sports and Games from Around the World edited by Debjaniu Chatterjee and Brian D’Arcy contains over thirty poems about a variety of sports, mostly from English speaking countries such as USA, UK, and India. Some of the poems were familiar to me: “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and “The Swing.” Most of the poems are new to me including: “The Skater Boys” and “Right Royal.” Sports and games that have inspired these poems include ping pong, judo, boxing, diving, cycling, American football, and cricket. Academic Focus: Context clues–Are there unfamiliar words in the poems, especially those written in other countries? What clues can we find in the prose to help us uncover the meaning of these unfamiliar words? 

The Mud Flats OlympicsThe Mud Flat Olympics by James Stevenson is an easy and adorable chapter book about some animals that are holding an Olympics. The events are varied including Digging the Deepest Hole (which featured the moles) and the All-Snail High Hurdles. Academic focus: Inferences–The animals don’t always win the races in the conventional way, so the grands will have to employ some inference skills to understand who (or how) the winners were determined.

 

Hit the Ball DuckHit the Ball Duck by Jez Alborough is an adorable rhyming picture book about a group of friends who want to play baseball. However, with duck’s first hit, the baseball gets stuck high in a tree, so the friends try different methods to get it down. Academic focus: Problem and Solution-This is a great book to discuss the main problem in the story and how it is finally solved. Rhyming-Since this book is written in rhymes, I will have the grandsons identify the rhyming words. Sight words–This will be a great book for Kona to identify his sight words.

Read Aloud: 

Going for Gold!Going for Gold! by Andrew Donkin tells the story of six Olympians: Jesse Owens, Shelley Mann, Mamo Wolde, Daley Thompson, Jennifer Capriati, and Kerri Strug. The book includes photographs and interesting sidebars giving facts about the Olympic Games. In addition, Going for Gold! includes information about the sport of each of these athletes. Academic focus: Main Character–Discuss each Olympians’ motivation and/or obstacles in achieving their gold medal.

Poetry Recitation: The grands are really into memorizing short poems at the moment (encouraged by their parents) so I’d like to have each of them choose one of the poems in Let’s Play: Poems about Sports and Games from Around the World or The Fastest Game on Two Feet and other Poems about How Sports Began and memorize it.

Storytelling or Writing Prompts: I will give my grandsons at least one of these prompts and have them tell me a story (or write it down depending on their interest or age level.) Academic focus: Main Characters and Plot (Complete sentences if used as a written activity.)

  • I wanted to be the best _______ player in town, so I made a plan.
  • Mom and Dad surprised us one morning by saying they had some tickets for the Summer Olympics.
  • I decided to create my own game. I called it ________ and these are the rules for the game:

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Most games use some type of math anyway, but here are some games I plan to use to engage the grands’ logical/mathematical intelligence:

Basketball Shots: One of the games I will play with the grands is shooting baskets. I will have the older grands, Kona and Tigger, practice counting by 2s amd 5s by making their baskets either worth 2 points each or 5 points each.

Dominoes: A set of dominoes has many options for using math skills.  First I will work with the basic rule in which the grands will have to match the number of dots on the end tiles to place a new domino. For the older grands, I will move onto the rule of 3s and 5s. For more information on this game and other ideas for using dominoes I will use this resource:

https://nrich.maths.org/1200

There are more ideas for game related math at this website:

http://www.mathgoodies.com/Webquests/sports/

 Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

Music has been written about games and is additionally an integral part of some games.

Songs about Games: Some samples of songs about games (baseball and Olympic in particular), that I will play for the grands are these:

  • “Centerfield” by John Fogerty 
  • “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” by Jack Norworth, and 
  • “Olympic Fanfare and Theme” by John Williams.

Singing Games: There are so many traditional games that involve singing such as “The Farmer in the Dell,” “London Bridges,” and “Skip to My Lou.” I found other sources of singing games to try at these links:

http://www.songsforteaching.com/movement.htm

http://www.ashleydanyew.com/2015/15-singing-games-for-childrens-choir/

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

So many games can be played outdoors, and I want my grands to learn a variety of them. I also want to show them that they can use natural materials as part of their play.

Shadow Tag: To play this game, find a large sunny area. Since the game requires players to step on other players’ shadows, it is probably best done in the late afternoon. This game can be done by only two  participants, but it is more fun with at least three players. Shadow tag is similar to other types of “tag” games except the only way that the child who is “it” can tag another player is to step on their shadow. Then that child becomes “it” and has to try and step on someone else’s shadow. There are lots of other variations of the “tag” game. I found a great resource here:

http://www.ultimatecampresource.com/site/camp-activities/tag-games.page-1.html

Other Classic Outdoor Games: I also want to teach my grandsons some outdoor games that I loved as a child such as Kick the Can, Red Rover, and Red Light, Green Light. I found this resource which has the rules for these games as well as several others that I might try: http://www.wired.com/2013/03/30-classic-games-for-simple-outdoor-play/

Tic-Tac-Toe: I want the grands to understand that natural materials can be used in place of paper and pencil to play some familiar games. For example, I’ll have the grands collect long sticks to make the grid for tic-tac-toe. Then the grands can gather natural items for the “X” and “O” pieces by collecting items such as rocks, bark, or pinecones.

Other games using natural materials can be found at this website: http://artfulparent.com/2014/05/10-diy-outdoor-games-to-make-rocks.html

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

One of my favorite childhood games uses the Spatial Intelligence as part of its playing area. 

Hopscotch: Information on the more traditional hopscotch games can be found at this hopscotchwebsite: http://www.parents.com/fun/activities/hopscotch/

I also found a different type of hopscotch using the book, Play With Us (see Linguistic Intelligence),  where the player kicks a stone instead of hopping from each numbered space. The game is called “Kicking the Pebbles” and uses a different type of hopscotch formation: a large square playing area that has been divided into 8 different five sided or four sided spaces with some chalk. The player throws a “pebble” into space #1 and then tries to kick the stone from space to space in number order until the player gets to the end. If the player is successful to getting to the end without kicking the stone out of a space, then they get a second round by throwing the “pebble” into space #2 and repeating the pattern of kicking the stone from space to space in number order. 

Treasure Hunt: My grandson, Kona, just loves to follow maps so I will include at least one treasure hunt during this day camp week. The first time we play the game, I will hide one of their toys as the “treasure” and draw a map for the boys to follow to find the toy. In subsequent games, I will have the grandsons take turns hiding the “treasure” and creating a map. (I’ll have someone help Tahoe when it is his turn.)

Olympic Ring Craft: I discovered an idea for a craft from another blogger. This idea uses bottle caps to create the Olympic rings. It can be found at this link: http://www.icanteachmychild.com/olympic-rings-cap-sorting/

Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

checkers playingMany of the games listed in other places in this post would also fit under the Interpersonal Intelligence because you need more that one person to play these games. Besides those activities, other examples of interpersonal games that I plan to include in my day camp week would be Hide and Seek, Mother May I, board games (like Checkers), and card games like “Go Fish.”

 

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

I want my grandsons not only to enjoy playing these games, but hopefully develop some physical skills as well. That is why I will include “lead up games” in my day camp for the grands.

Red Light, Green Light Dribble: This basketball lead up game will allow the grands to practice dribbling a basketball. To play the game, each player needs a basketball. Then the grands will line up on one side of the basketball playing area and the “Leader” will be on the other side. When the “Leader” calls “Green Light” the day campers move forward while dribbling the basketball. The players must stop when the “Leader” calls “Red Light.” If a player doesn’t stop at “Red Light,” they are sent back to the beginning. The first player to catch up to the “Leader” is the winner. (I may have the youngest grandson start the game closer to the “Leader” since this skill will be more difficult for him.) I found other basketball lead up games that I might use with my grandsons at this website: http://www.csosports.org/4-fun-basketball-dribbling-games-for-young-players

Water Balloon Toss: Besides being a very cooling game for a hot summer day, this game teaches skills such as catching with two water balloonshands and throwing with accuracy. You will need even numbers of players for this game. Day campers play with a partner and stand about three feet away from each other. Each partnership has one water balloon. At a signal, the player with the water balloon tosses it to their partner. If the partner is successful in catching the water balloon, they take a small step back and then throw the water balloon back. Play continues like this until the water balloon breaks. I plan to have lots of water balloons ready for this game so the grands get plenty of practice in throwing and catching.

Soccer Pirate Attack: This lead up game will help my day campers to practice their soccer dribbling skills. To play this game, you will need several hula hoops and several soccer balls. Using a large flat playing area, place the hula hoops (Safe Islands) about the field. All players start the game at the edge of the playing area. The child who is the “Pirate” has to turn around and count to ten before “attacking” the other players. Meanwhile the other players are allowed to roam and/or dribble the soccer ball around the field. Players are not allowed to touch the soccer balls with their hands. When the “Pirate” finishes counting to ten, the “Pirate” calls out “Attack” and runs to tag the players with the soccer balls. To be safe, the players with soccer balls must be inside a Safe Island with their soccer ball. Anyone who is tagged by the “Pirate” before reaching the safety of the Safe Islands (or who doesn’t have a soccer ball) becomes the new “Pirate” and the game starts over again.

 Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

While most of the games that are in this post require other people as part of the activity, there are some games and projects for this day camp experience that are Intrapersonal:

  • Some games can be played with one person such as shooting baskets, single jump roping, playing with a hula hoop, hopscotch, and hitting a ball against a wall.
  • Reading books about games: I will have the books I used during the week available for the grands to use and look at throughout the week.
  • Journal Writing: I want to give each grand a chance to reflect on their day camp week by writing, drawing, or telling me what they enjoyed most about the games this week. (This is an activity that is best done at the end of the day camp experience.) 

 

I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan day camps or lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.

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In-home Day Camp Week 1: Ice Cream Dreams

I  have three active grandsons that I love to babysit several days a week, and I like to keep them busy with lots of activities that are enriching and possibly educational.  This summer I will watch the grands, Tigger (8), Kona (6), and Tahoe (4), for several weeks before the two older ones return to school in the fall and I wanted to create an in-home day camp experience for them. I decided to plan a variety of day-camp-type activities by choosing a theme and planning activities for each of the eight Multiple Intelligences when designing the day camp. I also wanted some academic focus embedded in the activities I chose.

I have planned four weeks of day camp activities and will make each week a separate post. Here are the four themes that I will offer in this series:

Week One Theme:  Ice Cream Dreams

Week Two Theme: The Game Plan

Week Three Theme: We Like Bikes 

Week Four: Water, Water, Everywhere

 

Week One: Ice Cream Dreams

ice-cream-picture

The weekly schedule: Each day I will “dip into” the Read Aloud Book (see Linguistic Intelligence), have the grands (or day campers) make ice cream using a different recipe or method (see Mathematics Intelligence), and offer a craft project (see Spatial Intelligence). I will prepare at least one activity from the other intelligences sometime during the week, so that all eight intelligences are covered by the end of this day camp unit. I will also mention any academic focus I plan on integrating into any of the activities.

Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

Read and discuss books- It’s always nice to include books as part of the day camp experience. I usually get my books from the library. During the week these books can be used to go along with the theme:

How to Make Ice CreamNonfiction: How to Make Ice Cream by Tom Greve is a book that gives directions for making ice cream using  zipper type plastic bags. There is also some information on the science used in making ice cream. It is especially good for grades 1-3. Academic focus: Following Directions or Sequencing-If I use the method for making ice cream described in the book, then the academic focus will be on following written directions. Otherwise, I will use this book as a sequencing activity. Since there is also a table of contents and picture glossary in this book, I will make sure to point those features out to my grands as well.

Ice Cream SummerFiction: Ice Cream Summer by Peter Sis: This is such a cute story of a little boy who writes a letter to his grandfather about all his adventures during the summer. Interestingly, all of his summer activities seem to involve ice cream in some way. He practices his math, spelling, reading, and even learns about other countries and some history…all in the pursuit of his favorite pursuit: ice cream. The pictures are adorable because they use the ice cream cone motif in the illustrations of  sand castles, airplanes, and even maps. Academic Focus: Details-I’ll have the grands give me a few details from the story.


Boxcar Children Choc. Sundae MysteryRead Aloud: The Boxcar Children-The Chocolate Sundae Mystery  by Gertrude Chandler Warner explains the story of four siblings (Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny) who help out at a local ice cream shoppe during the summer and solve several mysteries regarding missing parfait glasses, chocolate syrup, broken windows, and spoiled whipped cream. My grandsons love this series already, but this story is certainly a favorite since it deals with ice cream. I love how the Alden children enjoy helping others and the thought processes they use to solve the mystery. This is a great read aloud book, and is also available as an audible book (which is great to use when traveling in the car with children). Academic focus: Making Predictions:  At appropriate points in the story, I will have the grands make predictions on the solution of the mystery in the story.

Storytelling or Writing Prompts: I will give my grandsons at least one of these prompts and have them tell me a story (or write it down depending on their interest or age level.) Academic focus: Main Characters and Plot (Complete sentences if used as a written activity.)

  • The Ice Cream Shoppe down the street was having a contest to see who could make the yummiest new kind of ice cream. The winner got free ice cream sundaes for the whole family. I decided to enter the contest and went right to work… 
  • Yesterday afternoon, I accidentally left a carton of ice cream on the kitchen table and went out to play. When I returned two hours later, I couldn’t believe what I saw in the kitchen…
  • The ice cream truck was parked next to the playground so I asked my dad for some money to buy an ice cream. But when I walked up to the ice cream truck, there was no one inside…

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Make Ice Cream: There are many ways to make ice cream, even if you do not own an ice cream maker. Even if you have an ice cream maker, I think it is fun to have the children learn different ways of making this cold and yummy treat. Why not make a different recipe or method each day? Academic Focus: As part of making ice cream, day campers have to use measuring spoons, measuring cups, etc. so they are using math as part of the process.  

Here are some different recipes and methods for making ice cream:Measuring cups and spoons

Using coffee cans: http://www.food.com/recipe/homemade-ice-cream-in-a-coffee-can-244054

Using Zipper type baggies: http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/edible-innovations/ice-cream3.htm

Using a blender: http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-blender-ice-cream-recipes/coconut-bliss

Using an ice cream maker: There are plenty of recipes on the internet for making ice cream with an ice cream maker. Some require cooking first, but I like to use recipes with my grandsons that are easier than that. Here is one of my grandsons favorite ice cream recipes: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/140877/easy-eggless-strawberry-ice-cream/

 Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

ice-cream-cone-1What would a day camp experience be without camp songs!? Instead of creating my own, I found several websites that have songs about ice cream that I can teach my grands (or day campers):

http://www.preschooleducation.com/sicecream.shtml

http://bussongs.com/songs/chocolate-ice-cream-song.php

http://www.prekfun.com/themes/prekthemes/g-m/IceCream/IceCream__Songs.htm

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

Where do the ingredients for an ice cream sundae come from? This is a great discussion or research topic for the grands (day campers). I’ll have the grands list the ingredients for ice cream and some of the other foods that might be used to make an ice cream sundae and then either tell them or have the oldest grandson look this information up on his computer. Academic focus: Use a map or atlas to identify the origins of some of these foods used to make ice cream.

Here are some ingredients we might discuss:

Cream: Cream can be produced by cattle or goats. Cattle that grazes on natural pasture usually gives cream with a slight yellow tone. Indoor fed cattle or goats produce cream that is more white. 

Vanilla: This delicious spice comes from the vanilla orchid, a vine that grows up in trees. It originally grew in Mexico and Central America, but now is grown around the world.

Sugar: Most sugar in the United States comes from sugar beets. Modern sugar beets were first cultivated in Prussia. The sugar is made in the leaves of the sugar beet plant during the photosynthesis process and then stored in the taproot of the sugar beet plant. Another popular source of sugar is from sugar cane which is a tall grass native to tropical and subtropical areas of South Asia.

Chocolate: This comes from the seed pods of a small tropical tree, the Theobroma cacao, which is native to Central and South America. It is grown in many places in the world now, with about 70% of the world’s chocolate being grown in Africa. 

Strawberry: The garden strawberry can be grown in many places in the world, but was first cultivated from wild strawberry plants in France. This compact plant can grow in small areas that get at least eight hours of full sun. (Another project could be to plant some strawberry plants in the backyard to grow strawberries to use in recipes or to top ice cream sundaes.)

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Craft projects: The grands love to do art projects, so I always have lots of activities in this intelligence. Lot of materials that you already have around the house can be used to make the crafts including egg cartons, cotton balls, paper plates, and playdough.

Here are links to some crafts that I will use for the day camp:

http://artasticartists.blogspot.com/2012/03/we-scream-for-ice-cream-and-cupcakes.html

http://intheplayroom.co.uk/2015/04/18/egg-carton-ice-cream-cones/

 

I will be using a few more craft ideas from these links:

http://www.playideas.com/25-ice-cream-crafts-for-kids/

http://www.hellowonderful.co/post/12-OF-THE-SWEETEST-ICE-CREAM-CRAFTS-EVER

 

Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

Circle Storytelling: Sit in a circle and start a story. Have the day campers take turns going around the circle and contribute to the story. An example of a story starter is: The ice cream store down the street has so many new flavors. Each day last week I went to the ice cream store and tried a different flavor. On Monday I ordered……

Dramatic play: Running an Ice Cream Parlor-I will have the grands pretend that they own an ice cream shop. Besides using household objects to create their ice cream parlor, I will have my three grandsons design a menu of ice cream cones and sundaes for this shop. Besides having them plan their own special items for the menu, I will encourage them to name each of the items using the names of book titles or storybook characters, such as “Pete the Cat’s Too Cool Banana Blast.” Then the grands can work together to make a poster of the featured items at their ice cream shop.

Ice Cream Social: Plan a party for friends, family, or neighbors using ice cream that the day campers make themselves. 

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

running-children-cartoon

Racing for Toppings: In this physical activity, the grands (day campers) will have to run back and forth a few times to pick out the toppings they want on an ice cream sundae. The winner, of course, gets their ice cream sundae made first. To prepare for the race: Find a place to hold the race, whether it is in your backyard, playground, or playroom. Make pictures of the different toppings and/or ice cream flavors from which the day campers can choose such as  chopped walnuts, chocolate syrup, strawberries, cherries, whipped cream, etc. (The day campers can make the pictures or you can find pictures on the internet and paste them onto paper. I will make multiple pictures of each item so more than one grand can choose the same topping during the race.) Spread the pictures out at one end of the racing lanes. Then decide how many toppings you want the day campers to have on their sundaes. The object of the race is to run and pick up one topping each time the day camper runs to the end of the lane. So if you have allowed each child to have three toppings on their sundaes, they will have to run back and forth three times.

Ice Cream Exercises: To prepare ahead of time: Cut out eight paper circles (to represent scoops of ice cream). On one side of the circles, write a letter from the word ice cream. On the back of each circle, list an exercise. Put these circles in a container such as a bag or basket. To play: I will have the grands take turns picking a circle out of the container. They will read the letter on one side and then read the exercise on the other side.  Then all the grands will do the exercise before the next child gets to pick out another circle. Here are suggestions of exercises I will use for my grands (day campers):

  • Ten jumping jacks0523160737a-1
  • Two forward somersaults
  • Run in place for 20 seconds
  • Hop on one foot ten times
  • Ten mountain climbers
  • Hold plank position for ten seconds
  • Hold downward facing dog position for ten seconds
  • Do a crab walk for ten feet

 Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

  • Discuss individually with each grand: What is your favorite ice cream? Why?
  • I leave the library books in a convenient place for the grandsons so they can browse or read them on their own.
  • Journal: I will give each day camper a little booklet, and have them write or draw their favorite experiences from this day camp theme.

 

For more activities and books based on an ice cream theme, look at these links from educators:

http://thefirstgradeparade.blogspot.com/2015/05/ice-cream-day-end-of-year-theme-days.html

http://www.theclassroomcreative.com/2013/07/ice-cream-craft-and-activity-ideas/

 

I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.

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Books About Butterflies: Lesson Plans for Ages 3-7

Our local botanical garden has a butterfly pavilion that opens in early May. In anticipation of a field trip with my grandsons to this event, I planned a unit of study on butterflies.

After ordering several books from the local library, I created some lesson plans that I will share with you in this post.  As always, I planned a variety of lessons in each intelligence to have differentiated activities for each grandson: Tigger (7), Kona (5), and Tahoe (who just turned 4 in the middle of this unit). I have more time with Tahoe, since his brothers go to a charter school, so he did more activities than his brothers in this unit. I had planned to spend three weeks on this unit of study, but it has been two months and we are still in the middle of this study unit because there were so many activities that I wanted to complete with them (and the books were so good, too). When using a study unit, I want the grands to complete at least one activity for each intelligence.

I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.

Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

Read and discuss books- I read and discussed at least one of these books to the grands each day during the study unit. The first few times I read the books to the grands, our discussion centered on vocabulary. After those initial discussions, I  had specific reading skills I used as a focus for each book, depending on my grandsons’ individual needs. These are the books I borrowed from the library and the skills I chose for further discussion:

TravelingButterfliesTraveling Butterflies by Susumu Shingu is a great introductory book to explain the life cycle and migration of monarch butterflies. Besides the simple explanations in the book, the illustrations are gorgeous. This was an especially good book for Tahoe.

Discussion Focus: Sequencing-This was the main book I used to explain the sequence of events in the life cycle of butterflies. All the grands could tell me the sequence of events after reading this book to them several times.

 

Summer BirdsSummer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian by Margarita Engle tells the story of a seventeenth century girl who became a famous scientist, artist, and explorer. The book explains how by careful observation, Maria Merian discovered that metamorphosis was a natural process, and that insects did not spring forth “spontaneously” from mud.

Discussion Focus: Fact and Fiction-Because this book explains how Maria Merian used observation to uncover the natural process of metamorphosis, it is a good book to use to explain the difference between facts (which can be proved somehow) and fiction (which is an imagined creation).

Butterfly ParkButterfly Park by Elly MacKay is a beautiful story of a little girl who moves to a new town and brings a community together as they revitalize a butterfly park. The paper-cut illustrations are remarkable in this book!

Discussion Focus: Identifying Main Ideas Themes: Children need lots and lots of examples of the thinking process involved in identifying the main idea of a story (what the story is mostly about) and theme (the underlying message). This is a good book to use as you model how you use details in the story to uncover both the main idea and the theme. 

 

Elmer and the ButterlyElmer and Butterfly by David McKee is a cute fictional story of an elephant and a butterfly who help each other out of dangerous situations. This is a great book for preschoolers, including Tahoe, aged 4.

Discussion Focus: Story Elements-I used this book to practice identifying main characters, setting, problem, and solution with the grands. For Tahoe, (4), I modeled my thought process in identifying these story elements. Kona and Tahoe were able to identify the story elements with just a little discussion reminding them how to find the problem and solution.

 

Butterfly CountingButterfly Counting by Jerry Pallotta and Shennen Bersani  is not only a counting book (using numbers 0 to 25), but it includes information on a variety of butterflies and offers the word “butterfly” in different languages. The illustrations in this book are absolutely magnificent as well.

Discussion Focus: Finding details-With this book, I would have the grands discuss at least one detail they had learned about the butterfly on each page. The older grands were also asked afterwards if they could remember any of the foreign language words for “butterfly” from the book. (Tigger loved the word German word for butterfly: schmetterling.)

 

Butterflies and MothsWhat’s the Difference? Butterflies and Moths by Lisa M. Herrington is a terrific non-fiction book for the early grades that explains the differences between moths and butterflies.

Discussion Focus: Glossary and Sight Words-Since Tigger (7) has pretty much mastered sight words, we discussed how to use the glossary at the back of the book. We looked in the glossary to see if the words he didn’t understand could be found there. I had Kona (5) pick a a page and tell me all the sight words he knew (he knows about 50 now). For Tahoe (4) I showed him the word “butterfly” when we came across it in the book. 

 

Inside ButterfliesInside Butterflies by Hazel Davies is a book that I should just buy for the grands because there is so much information in it. This book includes information on butterfly senses, the life cycle, eating habits, defense systems, camouflage, silk, migration and several other topics. Each page unfolds with more beautiful photographs, illustrations, and facts. There is also a table of contents and glossary in this book. 

Discussion Focus: Table of Contents-There is a lot to read in this book, so I had Kona and Tigger use the Table of Contents to pick a topic to read and we just focused on that page each day.

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

  • I used the Butterfly Counting book with Tahoe to practice his counting up to 25. (He is getting pretty good at counting objects up to 30 at the moment.) With Kona, he chose two pages and I had him add the numbers of butterflies on those pages. This way, if he needed “counters” to do the addition, he could count all the butterflies on the two pages.
  • Create math problems with butterfly themes such as: Three Monarch butterflies landed on the milkweed plants in the backyard. Each butterfly laid five eggs. How many eggs in all were placed on the milkweed plants by the butterflies?

 Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

  • “The Butterfly Cycle” song: I taught Tahoe this song about  butterflies:

“The Butterfly Cycle” sung to “The Farmer in the Dell”

The butterfly cycle, the butterfly cycle,

1-2-3-4, the butterfly cycle.

First there is an egg, first there is an egg,

1-2-3-4, first there is an egg.

Then a caterpillar, then a caterpillar,

1-2-3-4, then a caterpillar.

It makes a chrysalis, it makes a chrysalis

1-2-3-4, it makes a chrysalis.

Last a butterfly, last a butterfly,

1,2,3,4, last a butterfly.

The butterfly lays eggs, the butterfly lays eggs,

The cycle starts over again, the butterfly lays eggs.

The butterfly cycle, the butterfly cycle,

1-2-3-4, the butterfly cycle.

Other songs: The older grands enjoyed the rap song “Butterfly, Butterfly” which I found online from Harry Kindergarten Music.

Classical Music: These pieces are inspired by the butterfly: Moritz Rosenthal – Papillons and  Edvard Grieg – Schmetterling, Op. 43/1. I played these pieces for the grands as they worked on their art projects.

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

  • I purchased a kit to so the grands could watch real caterpillars eat and grow, form a chrysalis, and transform into butterflies. We are still in the middle of this project, and the grands are so excited to check the cup where the caterpillars are growing throughout the day. Their caterpillars are nearing the pupa stage, where they will each become wrapped into a chrysalis. Update: All five caterpillars formed a chrysalis and 7 days later we had five butterflies. The grands are enjoying them for a few more days before we release them in the backyard where their mom has planted some milkweed and cosmos for these butterflies and their potential offspring.
  • Walk around your neighborhood and see if you can find butterflies. 
  • To encourage butterflies in your backyard, add plants to your garden that attract the local butterflies. I am going to have the grands plant some varieties for the Painted Ladies butterfly which are the type of butterfly that will emerge from the caterpillars I purchased in the kit.
  • Visit butterfly pavilions in your area. Often they are offered seasonally at local botanical gardens, zoos, and natural history museums. Our local botanical garden offers a butterfly pavilion from mid-May through mid-August. This is the field trip that we have yet to do, but will be the culminating activity of this study unit.

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Craft projects: The grands love to do art projects, so I always have lots of activities in this intelligence.

Butterfly Eggs on a Leaf: 

Tahoe completed two of these projects. For the first one, I drew a leaf on some green construction paper for Tahoe. He cut it out himself. Then I had him make small balls from PlayDough to represent the eggs that will eventually hatch and become the butterfly.

For the second leaf and egg activity, I cut out a leaf pattern from white construction paper and had Tahoe use his green dot paints. When those were dry, he glued pom poms onto the painted leaf to represent the eggs.

Caterpillar

I helped Tahoe make a caterpillar out of an 8 ” length of ribbon, a milk bottle cap, strips of construction paper, googly eyes, glue, tape, and a permanent marker. Glue was not strong enough to keep the milk bottle cap on the ribbon, so I used tape. Tahoe used glue for all the googly eyes and construction paper.

Butterfly

Since my grands love to use the circle punches I own, I use them in a lot of my craft projects. To make the butterfly, I drew the outline of a butterfly on a piece of manila construction paper. Then Tahoe was able to punch out his own circles from several different colors of construction paper and glue them inside the butterfly outline.

 

 

Videos: I also showed short videos to the grands regarding the life cycle of the butterfly.

Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

  • Circle Storytelling: After the grands understand the life cycle of the butterfly, have them take turns explaining it in a story. This can be done as circle time, or around a meal. Start the story with, “One day I found some small eggs on the milkweed plants in the backyard.” Then have each child take their turn to add to the story.
  • Dramatic play: The grands often use the topics we have been discussing in their “pretend” play, or dramatic play. One day I saw two of the grands playing together and using their toy cars and pretending that they were caterpillars and  butterflies. Just watching them play together like this can tell me a lot about their understanding of this study unit.

Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

I had the grands use their bodies to show me each stage of the butterfly. Here are some of the ways they demonstrated the life cycle of the butterfly: 

Fingerplays with songs: I also found several fingerplays and songs (incorporating the music intelligence with the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence) at this website that I use frequently to get ideas: 

http://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/caterpillar-and-butterfly-themed-finger-play-songs/

Exercises: I also found this idea online which uses a variety of physical exercises to demonstrate the life cycle of the butterfly:

http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/4afacf34-958c-455e-bc4e-fe8e6f9ca53d/butterfly-life-cycle-lesson-plan/

 Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

  • Discuss individually with each grand: What is your favorite part of the butterfly’s life cycle? Show (from our library books) or tell me which butterfly you like the best?
  • I leave the library books in a convenient place for the grandsons so they can browse or read them on their own.

 

 

I hope the children in your care enjoy these activities as much as my grandsons did. 

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Books About Clouds: Lesson Plans for Ages 3-7

We’re in the middle of winter, and so in our “neck of the woods” we have more clouds in the sky than at other times of the year. This is when I would usually schedule my “weather” units when I taught fourth and fifth grades. Now that I am retired and watch my grandsons several days a week, it was the right time to plan some weather related units to use with them.

I decided to start by creating “Cloud” themed lessons for the grands. After ordering several books from the local library, I created some multiple intelligence lesson plans on clouds that I will share with you in this post.

As always, I planned a variety of lessons in each intelligence to have differentiated activities for each grandson: Tigger (7), Kona (5), and Tahoe (3). Since I am an “afterschooler” for my two oldest grands, and a “homeschooler” for Tahoe, I don’t spend the same amount of time on these lessons with each grandchild. However, during the  three weeks I spent on this study unit, I tried to complete at least one activity for each intelligence during that time. 

I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.

Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

Read and discuss books- I read and discussed at least one of these books each day during the three week period. The first few times I read the books to the grands, our discussion centered on vocabulary, discussing the photographs or pictures to predict or better understand the content in the book, and pointing out “describing” words such as colors, shapes, and numbers. After those initial discussions, I  had specific reading skills I used as a focus for each book, depending on my grandsons’ individual needs. These are the books I borrowed from the library and the skills I chose for further discussion:

It's Cloudy Today bookIt’s Cloudy Today by Kristin Sterling is a good book to introduce the cloud theme. It provides basic information and beautiful photographs on the three types of clouds and the type of weather they bring. Additionally, this book contains an activity using shaving cream to form clouds. (We used this activity as part of the Spatial Intelligence). There was also information on the Latin root words that are used to describe clouds (cirrus, cumulus, stratus, and nimbus).This was a good book to use with all three grandsons.

Discussion Focus: Latin Roots-This skill was adapted for each grandson. With Tahoe (3), I introduced the pronunciation of the Latin roots for each cloud and had him repeat them aloud.  After introducing the Latin roots to Kona and Tigger, I had them match the Latin roots with the cloud type and why those particular Latin roots were chosen to name each cloud.

Clouds Weather Wise book

The Weather Wise book, Clouds, by Helen Cox Cannons, is another good book to use to provide basic information on clouds for all three grands. The illustrations and pictures are very informative in explaining water droplets, water vapor, and the types of clouds. This book has a table of contents and index too.

Discussion Focus: Table of Contents and Index-I discussed how useful it is to know how to use the table of contents and the index. Tahoe was more interested in the numbers, while Tigger and Kona were able to use them to find topics in the book.

The Cloud Book

The Cloud Book by Tomie de Paola starts with the three basic cloud types and then adds word parts (Latin roots) to make ten categories of clouds. Cloud mythology and  common sayings regarding clouds and weather are also part of the story.  

Discussion Focus: Rhyming Words: Many of the common sayings were in rhymed verse. With Tahoe I read the rhyming words aloud and had him repeat them.  For Kona, I would give him one of the words from a rhyming pair on each page, and he would have to listen and tell me the rhyming word that matched. Tigger had to give me the rhyming pair as I finished (or he finished) reading each page. Sight WordsI had Kona (5) pick a few pages and tell me (or write down on a white board) all the sight words he knew (a, and, the, it, see, of, are, up, can, by,

look, there, ). Tigger (7) and I reviewed the Latin roots and how they were used to create new cloud names in this book. (Tahoe is still learning his letters so we focused on finding the letter “C” on some pages.) 

Freddie and Gingersnap fina a cloud to keepFreddie and Gingersnap Find a Cloud to Keep by Vincent X. Kirsch is a fanciful story about two dragons who look for clouds. One of the dragons wants to keep a cloud, while the other dragon tries to explain that he can’t keep it. Or can he? This was Tahoe’s favorite book of all the “cloud” themed books and he asked me to read it to him over and over again. It has “A Cloud’s Song” as part of the story, which is found in its entirety at the back of the book. (See Musical Intelligence to listen to the song on the author’s website.)

Discussion Focus: Main Character (Who) and Setting (Where and When): I still need to break down “Setting” into “Where” and “When” for Kona and Tigger. I have Kona discuss these with me, while I have Tigger write them down. Tahoe and I talk about who, where, and when as I read this book to him.

Cloudette pictureCloudette by Tom Lichtenheld tells the story of a little cloud who watches the big clouds water crops and make mighty rivers flow. Cloudette dreams of making a difference too, but what can a small cloud do? 

Discussion Focus: Finding Details – I had the grands find the details to answer the major theme of the book: Why are clouds important? The younger grands discussed their answers with me, and I had Tigger write his answers on a white dry erase board.

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

  • Lie down in your yard, look up at the sky, and classify the types of clouds that can be seen that day. You can even do this for several days, keep track of them each day, and see if the children can find all three types of clouds in the sky during the length of this unit of study.
  • Watch a cloud in the sky and time it to see if it is moving. In which direction does it move?  Do all clouds move at this speed? If not, what might make the cloud go slower or faster?
  • With the oldest grandson, I can discuss larger numbers, so we discussed the height of clouds using the chart found on this website: http://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-clouds.htm

 Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

  • Listen to “A Cloud’s Song” that goes with the book Freddie and Gingersnap Find A Cloud to Keep. You can find it on the author’s website: http://www.vincentxkirsch.com/listen-to-a-clouds-song/
  • I taught my grandsons some songs and rhymes about clouds that I found at this link: http://www.preschoolexpress.com/music-station08/cloud-songs-rhymes-mar08.shtml

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

  • Creating Cloud Pictures 1: I have several sizes of circle punches that I use for many of the craft projects I do with the grands. They love punching out the circles themselves, so it is a good fine motor activity for them as well. This craft was very simple to create, but helped Tahoe to understand that the rain was going to come from the darker cloud.
  • Creating Cloud Pictures 2: I drew a simple cloud for Tahoe to cut out. Then he painted it a dark color. In the meantime, I cut up some linguine and placed them in a cup of blue paint to turn the linguine into a bluish color. Once the linguine pieces were dyed, I pulled them out of the paint and set them on a paper towel to dry. When the cloud and linguine were both dry, Tahoe glued them onto construction paper to create a rain cloud.
  • Making Clouds from Shaving Cream: Using the activity on p. 28 of It’s Cloudy Today, I had Kona make the three main types of clouds using some shaving cream. I also had him practice his handwriting by tracing the names of these clouds to label the shaving cream creations. (I placed blue construction paper under a clear plastic tablecloth for this activity. It was easy to clean up afterwards.)

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Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

  • Science Demonstration in a Group: Make a cloud in a bottle with adult supervision. The directions can be found here: http://www.weatherwizkids.com/experiments-cloud.htm
  • Cloud Recognition Game: Using the illustrations or pictures of clouds in the books from the library, make copies (or draw pictures) of the three types of clouds. Play a game in a small group to see who can say the correct name of the cloud as you hold up each picture.
  • Finding a Cloud Game: Hide pictures of the three main types of clouds around the house (or in your yard). Have children take turns finding a cloud, bring it  back to you , and tell you the type of cloud they found.

Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

  • Pantomimes: I planned a simple activity to help Tahoe remember which clouds are highest and which are lowest. I had Tahoe place his hands over his head and make his hands pantomime a feather. Then I had him say “Cirrus.” Next he pantomimed a big puffy cloud in front of his tummy and I had him say “Cumulus.” Finally he bent down and waved his hands back and forth in front of his knees and said “Stratus.”
  • Cloud Relay: This can be done with one child or a small group of children. Place pictures of each type of cloud at one end of the playing area (or hallway). Have the children start at the other end. Call out a child’s name along with a cloud’s name, and have that child run to get the correct picture and return it to the starting place.
  • Water Cycle Game: I found a more complicated “Cloud” game on this website but haven’t yet played it with my grandsons.  http://teachers.net/lessonplans/posts/1663.html

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

  • I had the grands go outside to look at the clouds. I asked them if they saw pictures in the clouds. Kona saw a dragon and a snake.

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  • Observe the clouds outside. Have the children describe the clouds they see. They might even take pictures of them and later make a Cloud Journal.

 Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

  • Discuss: Which is your favorite type of clouds in the books that we have read?
  • I showed the grands “Giant in the Clouds” by N. C. Wyeth, which can be found on the internet. Then I had the grandsons go outside with blue construction paper and a white crayon to draw the clouds and try to find a picture in the clouds they had drawn.
  • I leave the library books in a convenient place for the grandsons so they can browse or read them on their own.

 

I hope the children in your care enjoy these activities as much as my grandsons did. 

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Elf on the Shelf Book Study-Age 44 months

My daughter and son-in-law have been doing The Elf on the Shelf tradition for several years with their three boys, and my older grandsons named their elf Graham Cracker. So my youngest grandson,  3 1/2 years, is already familiar with looking for the elf’s location each morning. However, this Christmas he is ready to understand more fully The Elf on the Shelf story.

That is why I created this Multiple Intelligence Book Study just for my youngest grandson, Tahoe. I have read the book aloud to him several times, and additionally planned at least one activity for him in each intelligence. I thought I would share this with others to show how I turned this book study into an enriching educational experience for Tahoe. I used at least one activity for each intelligence, but often we did more than one.

1202150823-1~2Linguistic Intelligence/Word Smart

  • I read the book, The Elf on the Shelf by Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda A. Bell, aloud to Tahoe each day of the study unit.
  • In subsequent readings, I focused on the letter “L” which was one of the letters I am currently teaching Tahoe. I gave him a letter “L” from one of his puzzles, and he easily found two letter Ls in the title of the book.
  • Since this is a rhyming book, I pointed out the rhyming words as we read the book.

Musical Intelligence/Music Smart

  • I found a video online of musical selections from Elf, the Musical, and showed them to Tahoe. 
  • I played a recording of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” which has a similar theme to The Elf on the Shelf and we sang it together.

Interpersonal Intelligence/People Smart

  • Elf-Friendly Wassail: I love to cook with the grands, so Tahoe and I made a simple recipe of wassail for our elf. This recipe made enough for Tahoe and me to have some too. Here is the recipe we followed: Put 2 cups apple cider, 1 cup orange juice, a stick of cinnamon and a pinch of ground cloves in a pot and stir. With adult supervision, let the mixture simmer on the stove for 20-45 minutes. Let it cool a bit so the elf doesn’t burn his tongue. Great for a cold winter night! (For older children, this could be a mathematical and linguistic activity too.)
  • Dramatic Play: With another person, I had Tahoe reenact some of the pages in the story. (For example, Tahoe would be the elf, and I would be the child looking for the elf in the house.) 
  • Hide and Seek: This is similar to the dramatic play activity, however, in this game, Tahoe got to choose where to hide, and didn’t have to rely on the book for ideas. This game could be played with his brothers and parents as well. Whoever was the elf got to wear an “elf cap” my daughter had at the house.

 

 Spatial Intelligence/Picture Smart

  • Play Dough Mat-I created a Play Dough mat by drawing the elf on white paper, adding a title, and slipping the paper into a plastic sheet protector. I thought Tahoe could use the Play Dough to create a place for the elf to hide. However, Tahoe decided he wanted to dress up the elf instead of creating a hiding place for him.  I also had him make “snakes” of Play Dough to fill in the letters “e-l-f” on the mat. 

 

  • I used geometric shapes to design an “elf” for Tahoe to put together. He cut out most of the shapes, drew a face on the elf, and glued all the parts together. 

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence/Body Smart

  • I found motions for “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” on the Internet which I used to teach Tahoe some cute moves to use as we sang the song together, but you could also create your own moves to teach the children in your care.
  • We danced to the music in Elf, the Musical.

Logical/mathematical Intelligence/Number Smart

We discussed which number was "more" and he circled that number.

We discussed which number was “more” and he circled that number.

I had Tahoe glue paper circles to each elf cap to match the number I had written under each hat.

I had Tahoe glue paper circles to each elf cap to match the number I had written under each hat.


  • I had Tahoe count the elves on each page of the book. 
  • As we worked on the art activity (see Spatial section), I had him identify the shapes we were using to make the elf.
  • Using an “elf cap” cut-out, I had Tahoe glue paper “pom poms” to each hat to match the number I had written under them. Then we discussed which cap had more “pom poms” and he circled that number.

 

 

Intrapersonal Intelligence/Self Smart

  • After Tahoe found the elf one day, I had him tell the elf his wishes.
  • I gave Tahoe the opportunity to “read” the book to himself.1202151012a-1~2

Naturalist Intelligence/Nature Smart

  • Neighborhood Walk-We took a walk in our neighborhood and looked for good places for the elf to hide in order to watch Tahoe and his brothers at play outdoors (such as inside the slide at the local playground).

 

I hope you find some ideas in this study unit that will work for the children in your care. If you are interested in seeing more lesson plans using multiple intelligence strategies, please sign up to follow my blog.

 

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Books About Autumn: Lesson Plans for Ages 3-7

Fall 2015: I’ve always loved the autumn season, even though I live in Southern California where the start of the this season does not segue into cooler temperatures. But leaves and acorns do fall from the trees, and Grandpa Jim rakes the leaves in our backyard into piles so the grands can jump into them.

We visit an apple orchard in the local mountains and take hikes. In October we carve pumpkins (and this year our garden produced four of them) and make pumpkin pies. So, yes, autumn is still a wonderful experience for all of us.

I decided to build upon these experiences by creating “autumn” themed lessons for the grands. After ordering several books from the local library, and looking at the plethora of autumn activities that other educators and homeschoolers are posting, I created some lesson plans that I will share with you in this post.

As always, I planned a variety of lessons in each intelligence to have differentiated activities for each grandson: Tigger (7), Kona (5), and Tahoe (3). We spent three weeks on this study unit, and completed at least one activity for each intelligence during that time. 

Fall 2016: I revisited this topic with the grands this month and so I have updated the post with more books and activities that I used with the grands in 2016. (In the fall of 2016 the grands are ages 4, 6, and 8.)

I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.

Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

Read and discuss books- I read and discussed at least one of these books to the grands each day during the three week period. The first few times I read the books to the grands, our discussion centered on vocabulary, using pictures to predict what was going to happen next in the story, and then pointing out “describing” words such as colors, shapes, and numbers. After those initial discussions, I  had specific reading skills I used as a focus for each book, depending on my grandsons’ individual needs. These are the books I borrowed from the library and the skills I chose for further discussion:

Countdown to FallCount Down to Fall by Fran Hawk is a great (backwards) counting book, mostly about autumn leaves, with amazing illustrations. Each page focuses on a different type of leaf and has rhyming verses.

Discussion Focus: Rhyming Words-This skill was adapted for each grandson. With Tahoe, I explained the rhyming words on each page and had him repeat them after me. For Kona, I would give him one of the words from a rhyming pair on each page, and he would have to listen and tell me the rhyming word that matched. Tigger had to give me the rhyming pair as I finished (or he finished) reading each page.

Fall by Cynthia AmorosoFall (Seasons of the Year) by Cynthia Amoroso and Robert B. Noyed covers other aspects of autumn such as picking apples at orchards, birds flying south, and squirrels gathering food for the winter . Beautiful photographs accompany the text.

Discussion Focus: Sight Words-I had Kona (5) pick a few pages and tell me (and write down) all the sight words he knew (a, and, the, it, see). For Tahoe (3) I showed him the sight word “a” when we came across it in the book. (Tigger has pretty much mastered sight words.)

Mouse's First FallMouse’s First Fall by Lauren Thompson is another beautifully illustrated fiction book about two mice playing in some autumn leaves. This is a great book for preschoolers, including Tahoe, aged 3.

Discussion Focus: Main Character (Who) and Setting (Where and When): I still need to break down “Setting” into “Where” and “When” for Kona and Tigger. I have Kona discuss these with me, while I have Tigger write them down. Tahoe and I talk about who, where, and when as I read this book to                                              him.

Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber focuses on the different types of trees and their leaves. This book is Leaf Jumpersnice for younger children interested in matching the fallen leaves with their trees. It has lovely illustrations.

Discussion Focus: Finding details-This was more of a discussion only item for Tahoe, but with Kona and Tigger, I chose three different leaves and after reading the page on each leaf, they had to tell me at least two details. I had Tigger write down the details.

Autumn Leaves book

Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins is a terrific non-fiction book that also matches the autumn leaves with their trees. It would be better for school-aged children rather than preschoolers. The photographs and text cover such trees as the sweet gum, hickory, red oak, linden, and dogwood. It would be a nice resource to take on hikes or trips to the park.

Discussion Focus: Finding Details- I had the grands look for details on the “shapes of leaves” as I read Autumn Leaves with them. Tigger had to write this information in his journal.

Why DWhy do leaves change colorso Leaves Change Colors by Terry Allan Hicks is a non-fiction book that is full of scientific explanations, photographs, and an activity for older elementary aged children. It was a wonderful resource book for me, and I did read a few pages to my grandsons and show them the illustrations. However, the grands weren’t ready to have the entire book read to them, even though it is only 30 pages long.

Discussion Focus: New Words-I used this book with Tigger to pick out words that were new to him and had him write them down so we could discuss them.

 

fall-harvest-bookFall Harvest by Gail Saunders-Smith is a great short book for vocabulary development and for early readers. It has wonderful photographs of people and machines harvesting a variety of foods including pumpkins, apples, sugar beets, wheat, corn, potatoes, and cranberries. There are short sentences on each page, so it is a good book for those children who are just beginning to read books and a glossary in the back. 

Discussion Focus: How is Food Grown- I used this book with Tahoe to help him understand how food is grown (some in the ground, some on stalks of leaves, some on trees). Since the sentences are short, Kona was able to read most of the sentences once I had read the book to him several times and he began to recognize words such as harvest, people, and machines. Tigger and I discussed how many non-fiction books have a glossary in the back of it.

animals-in-fallAnimals in Fall by Martha E. H. Rustad (All About Fall series) is similar to Fall Harvest with its fantastic photographs and short sentences on each page. This book differs because it focuses on the many ways animals prepare in the fall for the upcoming winter season.

 Discussion Focus: Similarities and Differences-I had the grands give me details from each animal that was discussed in the book and discussed how these preparations for similar or different from each other.

 

fall-ball-bookFall Ball by Peter McCarty is a cute story about some children who can’t wait to get off the school bus so they can enjoy their favorite fall sport: football. As the children get of the bus, they start organizing a football game at the park, although one boy decides to stay behind because there are too many leaves on the ground. Another character in the story is their dog, Sparky, who also loves football. My grands loved the dog’s antics during the football game.

Discussion Focus: Making Predictions-There are many opportunities in the story to ask, “What do you think will happen next?” so this a great way to practice making predictions with all of the grands.

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

  • Walk around neighborhood and pick up some of the fallen autumn leaves. The children can later categorize them by color, shape, or even tree.
  • Create math problems with autumn themes such as: The squirrels in the neighborhood park are collecting acorns to store for winter. If five squirrels each collect six acorns today, how many will that be? What if one of these squirrels is very ambitious and collects nine acorns instead of six. How many acorns would be collected by all five squirrels now?
  • Have the grands throw a football and measure the distance it was thrown.

 Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

  • Play Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons-Autumn”  as you read one of the stories aloud.
  • I found some great rhymes and songs including “All the Leaves are Falling Down” using the tune
     “London Bridge is Falling Down” and “Saw a Leaf” using the melody from “My Darling Clementine” at this link:

http://www.preschoolexpress.com/music_station07/fall-leaves-songs-rhymes-sep07.shtml

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Autumn Leaf craft projects-Since most of the books focused on leaves, I designed some autumn leaf crafts for Tahoe (3). Among the art supplies that I frequently use are Creatology foam stickers and circle punches. I buy the buckets of foam stickers from the craft store whenever they are on sale or I have a 50% off coupon because the boys love to work with them. I also have three different sizes of circle punches because (again) the grands enjoy punching out circles from construction paper and the circles can be used in so many craft projects.

Scarecrow and Spider Crafts-My grandsons also enjoyed making autumn themed crafts for a scarecrow and a spider.

 

You can get the directions here from my other blog posts:

Kid Craft Challenge #2-Craft Stick Scarecrow

Kid Craft Challenge #1-Paper Plate Spider Web

Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

  • Dramatic play-Reenact the story of  Mouse’s First Fall  or Fall Ball with siblings.
  • Work together with others (such as siblings) to rake the leaves and create a large pile of them. Then take turns jumping in the leaves.

Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

I found several physical activities on websites for autumn and created one of my own. 

  • Acorn Race: I gave my grandsons one acorn and a wooden spoon. I had them hit the acorns with the spoons to move the acorns from one side of our front sidewalk to the other side. They got to practice first before an “official” race began.
  • Leaf Blowers: My grandsons were given each a leaf and a straw. The object of the game was to blow the leaf across the width of the table. After they raced several times and were getting really good at this, I challenged them to race along the length of the outdoor table.
  • I found the Leaf Blower idea and many other physical activities for autumn at this link: 

http://www.kidactivities.net/category/Games-AutumnFall.aspx

Football Activities: Since one of the books we read together about autumn is focused around the game of football, I have included some bodily-kinesthetic ideas for football. One idea is to have the grands practice throwing a football through a hula hoop. Of course, the grands are at a good age to start passing the football to each other as well. I looked for other easy activities they could do with a football and discovered some excellent ideas on this website: http://fitfamilytogether.com/fun-games-for-kids-football

 Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

  • What is your favorite autumn activity? Draw a picture or write about it in a journal.
  • Discuss: Which is your favorite autumn leaf in the books that we have read?
  • I leave the library books in a convenient place for the grandsons so they can browse or read them on their own.

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

  • Visit a pumpkin farm or an apple orchard. Grandpa Jim and I usually take our grandsons to the local apple orchards for a picnic, hiking, and buying apples. We also visit a nearby pumpkin patch.

 

  • Walk around your neighborhood and collect fallen leaves, seed pods, acorns, or other natural materials. I had the grands start a nature journal using natural materials we found on our walks or hikes.

 

I hope the children in your care enjoy these activities as much as my grandsons did. 

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Kid Craft Challenge #2-Craft Stick Scarecrow

As part of the Kid Craft Challenge #2, sponsored by The Resourceful Mama, I planned a scarecrow project for my five year old and seven year old grandsons using some craft sticks and leftover ribbon (from a Halloween project).

This is how one of the finished projects looked:

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Materials Needed:

6 craft sticks

Glue (I used wood glue and glue sticks)

Leftover ribbon (fabric would work too)

Circle from construction paper

Crayons or markers

Wiggly eyes

Yellow yarn

 

Steps:

 Take the glue and six craft sticks and make the outline of a scarecrow. (I made the outline with one of the craft sticks lower than the legs in case we wanted to stick the scarecrow into the ground.) Glue the craft sticks into place and allow to dry for about 30 minutes.

 

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Make the scarecrow’s face out of the circles of construction paper. One grandson chose to follow the sample I made and used the yarn, wiggly eyes, ribbon, and red crayon to make the face, while the older grandson preferred to draw most of the scarecrow’s (multiple) faces.

Glue the face to the top of the scarecrow outline. Finish the scarecrow by gluing ribbon (or fabric) to the craft stick outline to make clothing for the body, arms, and legs.

Finished Scarecrows

Here are my two grandsons’ finished projects. (As you can see, one of the grandsons put heads on all the legs and arms. He told me he was making a “zombie” scarecrow.) I’m thinking both scarecrows would look cute stuck in ceramic pots with fall foliage.

I hope to contribute other crafts to the Kid Craft Challenge in the coming months.

Kid-Craft-Challenge-23

 

 

 

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Kid Craft Challenge #1-Paper Plate Spider Web

As part of the Kid Craft Challenge #1, sponsored by The Resourceful Mama, I used a paper plate to make a spider web craft that would be both a spatial and a bodily-kinesthetic activity for my three year old grandson, Tahoe. Since we sang “The Eensy, Weensy Spider” as we crafted, which is using a musical intelligence, I believe I can safely say that my grandson used three multiple intelligences in making this project. (I always try to consider Multiple Intelligences when I plan learning projects for my grandsons.)

Because Tahoe is 3 years old, I had to do some of the prep work. My older grandsons (ages 5 and 7) could probably do most of this themselves.

This is how the finished project looked, (although without the baseball clip that was used to hang the project in Tahoe’s bedroom):

Spider web craft 1

 

So here are the steps to make this craft project:

Materials Needed:

1 black paper plate (or have the child paint a paper plate with black paint)

Yellow (or light colored) yarn

Tape (like duct tape)

Wiggly eyes

Glue stick

Hole Punch

Circle Punch (optional)

 

Steps:

First I cut out a circle in the center of a paper plate. I saved the circle that was cut out from the middle for later.

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Using a hole punch, I punched holes around the plate. Later I had to punch more holes, so it is best to have double the amount of punched holes than what is pictured below.

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From the middle circle that I saved, I cut out four long strips and used a circle punch to get a smaller circle that would become the spider’s body. (You could trace a small circle from the bottom of a cup and cut it out with scissors instead of using a circle punch.) I also cut three long pieces of yarn and wrapped some duct tape around the ends to make the yarn easier to thread through the holes I had punched in the paper plate.

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To make the spider’s web I had Tahoe thread the yarn into the punched holes. He secured the ends of the yarn to the back of the plate with small pieces of duct tape.

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To make the spider, I had my grandson crisscross and duct tape the four strips of paper plate to the back of the small black circle. Then he glued some wiggly eyes onto the spider. Lastly, he taped the spider to the yarn (or web) with the duct tape.

 

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My grandson loved this project so much that I had to hang it on the wall in his bedroom right away, rather than place it on the refrigerator which is where his newly crafted projects are usually displayed. He was so proud of it!

I hope to contribute other crafts to the Kid Craft Challenge in the coming months.

Kid-Craft-Challenge-23

 

 

 

8 Comments »

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