Vikings – An Interesting Topic – Part 1

Each term I ask my girls if there is anything they would like to learn as a topic.  This term they asked about Vikings. There is quite a lot of Viking history in the County we live in so I hit the internet to find a curriculum to base from then we went to the library  to borrow some books and we were ready.

The first thing we talked about was the most obvious. The longboats.  We talked about the history of them, the size, why they had the shields on the outside and why they burned them.  We completed some worksheets about them then made an origami one to finish that part of the topic. We went to Sheringham which had a replica (small), which they set light to in the evening.

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We talked about the different foods they would have eaten, then we made some Viking bread from a recipe we found in one of the books we got from the library. It was very salty 😀

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Next we talked about weapons and armour.  We visited our local museum where they have an extensive array of weapons and videos which was really interesting.

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Then we made a shield and some swords out of card.

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The display of work we have been doing.  This includes a timeline through history, some research on runes, food, longboats, weapons and armour, and where the Vikings attacked the UK.

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Science – DNA

In January we had a special science lesson with a DNA expert.  She explained all about DNA, how many there are, where it is, what it looks like and how big it is (it’s tiny).

We then did a DNA extraction experiment. We were extracting DNA from a banana. Firstly we had to peel, chop and crush the banana.

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We then added some warm water and mushed the banana some more.

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We then filtered it into a beaker so we just had the liquid.

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When we had just the liquid, the lady added some pure alcohol to it.  This caused the DNA strands to separate from the liquid.

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The DNA strands floated on the top of the liquid.

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They separated instantly from the liquid once the alcohol was added.

This lesson was lots of fun.

Tie Dyeing T-shirts

We did some tie dye because we have been learning about rainforests and all the colourful birds, flowers and animals that live there.

First we wet our t-shirts in warm water so that the dye would sink in to the t-shirt.

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We twisted our t-shirts into two different patterns.  In this one we have called it a sunflower fold and did it by twisting from the middle.  We had no rubber bands so we used string to stop it from undoing.

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We made the dye by mixing the dye powder with warm water and salt.  We put the dye in squeezy bottles so it was easy to put the dye on the t-shirts.  Next we dyed our t-shirts by squirting the dye in random places.  We suggest wearing gloves or something on your hands so you don’t end up with colourful hands.

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We put our t-shirts in a bucket of cold water to set the dye into the cotton.  Then we rinsed them in warm water to get rid of any dye that didn’t soak into the t-shirt.

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Final results.

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Left to dry on the washing line.

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We really enjoyed doing this, it was really fun and we had great results.  We didn’t think they would turn out this well but they did.  They look amazing.  We can’t wait to wear them.

Rainforest Cocoa Bean Madness Game

We have been learning about the Amazon rainforest.  Part of our topic was to create a game.

We brainstormed our ideas on a board about what we might see or come across if you were in the rainforest and then we chose the best ones to make our game.

We decided to make a game where you had to collect cocoa beans as you went through the forest, but you met good and bad things as you went.

We called our game Cocoa Bean Madness.

Firstly we cut out lots of cocoa beans and coloured stones and other bits, which we had printed from the internet.  We used the stones to design the game and we used various bugs, villages and animals as ‘to do’ spots.  We made our own spinner which worked well.   We chose and printed out our own explorers as our moveable piece.  We also decorated the board to make it more colourful, with trees, rivers and other animals and flowers.

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The rules were, you use the spinner to move around the board and every stone you land on you collect a cocoa bean, but if you landed on a tiger you had to go back to the start, or if you landed on a spider you had to lose all your beans.  If you landed on a village you collected 4 extra beans and if you landed on a parrot you get to go to the nearest village.  The winner was the person with the most cocoa beans when everyone had finished.

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It’s a lot of fun to play this game and the coolest thing about it is we created it and made it ourselves.

Making Big Bubbles

While we were in Wales, we bought some big bubbles but we decided to see if we could make own mixture for when we ran out.

We found a recipe on a website called Steph’s two girls and decided to see if it would work for us.

This is the recipe we used.

  • 6 cups of water
  • 1/2 a cup of cornflour
  • 1/2 a cup of washing up liquid
  • 1 tbsp. of glycerine
  • 1 tbsp. of baking powder

First we put 6 cups of water in a big bowl.

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Then we added cornflour  and stirred it well.

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Next we added baking powder, glycerine and washing up liquid.

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Then we stirred it gently and our spoons got caught together which made us giggle . 🙂

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While we left it for a hour to settle we used straws and string to make another big bubble blower. We slid the string through the straws.

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Then we pulled funny faces through the big bubble blower.

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We had fun, we managed to blow bubbles in all shapes and sizes.

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We made BIG BUBBLES which was fun.

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Some of our bubbles just floated about.

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WE LOVED IT!

Homemade Blackberry Jam

We live on a farming estate and therefore there are lots of lovely resources we can look at, find or use.  This time of year is good for wild fruits such as blackberries and elderberries.  We thought we’d make some jam.  I had never made any so it was experience for all of us.

First we picked some blackberries.  Anna proceeded to eat them as she picked but we still managed to collect plenty. We soaked them overnight in water and ice and a bit of salt to kill off any bugs.

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Today we rinsed and put them in the blender and then added jam sugar. Next we put it on the hob to melt the sugar.  When the sugar had melted we added some butter and let that melt.

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When the butter had melted, we brought it to boiling and let it boil for 4 minutes.

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We put it in some jars to cool down.

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Then we had some on tiger loaf for lunch.

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The verdict was, it was easy to make and delicious to eat.

How Hill Adventure Time

I think I say this a lot but the beauty of home education is the freedom it gives us to try different things.  One thing that came up was a day out at How Hill in Norfolk.  What a fun place.

The children were able to try things they would never normally get to do such as thatching.

Thatching

We smashed the reed on the floor to make the bottom angled so it would look nicer and so it would line up with the roof. Then we put it on the roof with some special nail hooks called bottom layer hooks and hammered them down. On the second layer we needed different hooks called top layer hooks. After we had done three layers we had to stand underneath our roof while he threw a tub of cold water to see if it leaked but it DIDN’T luckily.

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Dry and Wet Woods

We went on a nature walk into the dry woods to do some tree spotting and log turning to spot bugs.  Anna found lots of little bugs.  Elsa played a game where her eyes were closed and she was led to a tree to touch it, then led back to the middle, then she had to open her eyes and try and find her tree again.

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We walked through some pretty gardens to the wet wood where the bogs, and the reed beds are.  There and lots of bugs on the river.  This was such a lovely walk.

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They wanted to show us how deep some of the bogs are in the wet wood, so Emma showed us a stick in the ground which was the tallest stick they could find and she pulled it out of the bog and it kept on going up to about 2m high.

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We all then went into a bird hide to spot birds on the broad. Anna didn’t see any, but Elsa saw a moorhen.  So not too many birds about that day.

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Pond Dipping

Finally we did some pond dipping and Elsa found a massive snail and some water boatman along with lots of other bugs and larvae.

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We had a GREAT day!

Our Nature walk 1

Another thing we are doing is learning about nature.  We are lucky to live on a beautiful farming estate so we have lovely walks available to us when we want to go on one.  Normally though, someone always gets stung while we are closely looking at something.

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This walk consisted of looking at the different types of grasses that are out this time of year.  Sadly, it has been very cold and we think that the normal spring grasses are going to be a few weeks late this year.

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On our walk, we came to the end of our lane and found a lovely lake which was covered in lily pads. We have done a Monet inspired painting from this.

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On the way home we came across this skeleton which we think was missing a few limbs and possibly the top of it’s jaw, so Elsa thought it was a possibly a fox or deer and Anna thought it was a kangaroo or a bear, which Elsa thought was funny but I thought made sense really, as it was missing two legs.  After a bit of research at home we found out that it is a muntjac deer.

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We had collected lots of moss and stones and pine cones this time so we made a little fairy garden which looked really cute.  The girls picked lots of flowers from our garden to pretty it up a lot.

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We had a lovely day.

KidZania London visit

On Tuesday we went to London to go to kidZania.  KidZania is a City for 4 – 14 year olds with more than 60 real life role play adventures.  It is in the Westfield Shopping Centre.

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When you go in you get given 50 kidzos, which is money you can spend around kidZania’s City and you also get a bracelet that links to your parent so you can’t get lost, as they can’t go into the activities with you.

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First I made some chocolate, the lady told us where the coco beans grow and we even got to feel them. My favourite part was when I put my chocolate on the vibrating table.

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I went to the art place next and painted a picture of our garden.

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So far I had spent Kidzos, so I went to earn some at the hairdressers, that was fun.

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Next I made an Eat Natural bar, which was yummy. I made it with apricots, raisons, rice, honey and chocolate.

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I made a stop start animation film which was fun and I got paid to do it.

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Next I was an estate agent which I got paid to do. I had to measure a house and put in details. I also got business cards and a wallet.

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After that, I was a post girl where I had to deliver some parcels which I got paid to do.

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The last thing I did was H and M fashion where I got to dress-up in different outfits, I put on a hat, skirt and t shirt.

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I got a passport which means next time we go I get more money when I go in, because they stamp it when I go in to a room.

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I liked it so much that we are going back again in September 2016.

 

Burgh Castle Field Trip

Our recent topic is Romans and we have done a variety of subjects on it including Boudicca, mosaics, Hadrian’s Wall and Gods.

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To find out about Roman buildings we went to Burgh Castle. Mummy made a field trip sheet to fill in, but Anna didn’t do it so Nanny did it for her.

The sheet asked us to see what it was made of and I thought it was made of stone, clay, brick and flint.

I took some pictures of the layers in the wall.

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Next we had to look for the bastions. A bastion is there to help defend the castle. We saw 6 bastions but there would have been more.

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These are my pictures of the different bastions we could see.

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These are holes in the walls where the bricks have fallen out and they are not supposed to be there. You could see a bastion through one of the holes. Can you see which one?

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I think this hole might be something to hold a roof up with a wood pillar. There were 7 and they were square so looked like they should be there.

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These walls have either fallen down or are wonky.

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We learnt a lot and had fun exploring!

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