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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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.

Human Body – Our Insides

After completing our skeleton we next decided to do our insides, so Elsa drew around Anna (the keeping still part was pretty difficult) 🙂

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We had already ordered some information from the British Heart Foundation, which was brilliant and free (donation if you choose).

We discussed the different organs and what they did, then I asked the girls to put the internal organs where they thought they went.

Anna’s attempt was not bad, but I guess having your brain in your neck could cause a problem and maybe having the oesophagus that way round might make it difficult to eat. 🙂  Elsa’s was near on perfect with the placing of them, not the order though.  Well done girls.

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Next we drew the organs onto the life size drawing of Anna, which the girls had fun doing.

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We discussed the large and small intestines in a bit more in depth.  To give perspective, we measured out the actual lengths of them with wool.  The small intestine is 4 times as long as you are tall, and the large intestine is as long as you are tall,  The girls found it fascinating trying to fit it all in the little space in the body.  As you can see we did it perfectly 😉  We also watched a short video which shows the route of the digestive system, which was funny.

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Next job was talking more about the heart and what job it does (very important if you didn’t know) 😉 We did an experiment involving pulse rates, we took resting pulse, then did a minute each of star jumps, running, skipping and dancing to see what happened to our heart rates.  The girls enjoyed doing this and even made me do it.

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We talked about the respiratory system and how that works.  We drew and labelled the parts on our body drawing.

The final part of this topic was a discussion about muscles and tendons.  We talked about how they work in pairs, how many there are, what the tendons are there for and then we made a tendon hand which was fun, then Elsa wrote down what she remembered about what we had learned.

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Our completed drawings look great (and very busy) 🙂

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This has been a very interesting topic and we will come back to it in more depth in the future.

Human Body – Skeleton

Elsa decided that this terms topic would be the Human Body.  We had already completed a sub topic on teeth before Easter due to the fact that we had all been to the dentist.

The last couple of weeks we have been learning about the skeleton bones.  Firstly, we chatted about the skeleton as a whole and what we needed it for.  Then I downloaded a skeleton labelling sheet from Twinkl.  Finally, I drew around Elsa so we had a life sized shape to stick our bones on to, (which was obviously very tickly).

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I asked Elsa where she wanted to start and she said hands and arms.  So we started there, using cotton buds as the phalanges.  Elsa said she didn’t realise there were so many bones in the hands and wrists.

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Next we did the bones in the arms.  We stuck on the labels off the Twinkl sheet (which uses the proper bone names), she also labelled them with the common names we use for them too.

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The next day, we did the skull, shoulders and collar bones.  Anna was here to help us this time, so it was nice for Elsa to explain to her the bones we had already completed.

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Next, we added the spine and ribs and sternum.

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Finally, it was the pelvis and legs, feet and toes.

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Our finished skeleton.

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Next stop the internal organs 🙂

 

Human Body – Teeth

Our new topic is the human body which we will be starting after the Easter holidays, but as we had been to the dentist this week, I thought it might be a good idea to learn about teeth while the visit was still fresh in the girls minds.

We talked about the number of teeth we had and the girls counted each others teeth while using a torch to look at the different types of teeth.

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We talked about which foods were good for your teeth and which ones weren’t, then I printed off some pages of foods and drew some teeth for the girls to decide which foods should go where. Anna drew a happy tooth and a sad face on her teeth. 🙂

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Elsa designed her foods into sad and happy faces on her teeth. 🙂

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I asked Elsa to create a leaflet to help people to look after their teeth.  She decided to explain what were good and bad things to eat and then described how to brush your teeth properly.  She was really pleased with how it came out (and so was I), clever little thing. 🙂

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We chatted about the various adult teeth and the jobs they did.  Then I asked the girls to colour in the different teeth different colours.  Elsa had to write her own text about the teeth and we discussed the use (or not) of wisdom teeth.

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What an interesting start our Human Body topic. 🙂

 

Roman Roads

One of the things I love most about home educating is the fact we can be really spontaneous.  So when we were finishing off our Romans topic this week we were learning about why, where and how they built their roads.

During our research we found out they used a groma which was a Roman surveying instrument, to help them build them in straight lines.

Spontaneous head on I asked ‘would you like to make a groma Elsa’?

‘Yes please’ came the excited reply (anything to get out of writing). 🙂

So we discussed what we would need to make one and collected everything together.

Firstly, Elsa created her cross beams (out of cardboard) and used wool to fix them together.  She then made a hole at the end of each of the pieces of card.

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She put a piece of wool at through the holes in the card to hang the weights off.  She created 4 weights out of clay and took bits off them to ensure it was straight.

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Using her knowledge of Roman numerals she wrote the date 🙂

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I’m not sure if this is exactly how you used it in Roman times, however Elsa put it up high so she could see when the opposite weights were in a straight line.

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This was great fun to make and we used it to see if it worked.  It did 🙂

 

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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Topic – Romans – Mosaics

Elsa mentioned that she’d enjoyed learning about Romans when she was at school, but told me it was taught a bit quickly for her, so she wanted to go over it again.

I think this is a great opportunity to do a load of crafts (mosaics, make a seal etc) and to go on a couple of field trips (the castle to look at artefacts and a local Roman castle building)

As it turned out our first day ended up changing a little bit as Anna wasn’t at nursery as I’d expected, so we decided to design and create our own mosaics, which both girls enjoyed.

Firstly, we chatted about where Romans would have used mosaics, what they were often made from, and what common pictures were made.

Then both girls designed their own mosaic  on some squared paper.

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They used some cardboard as a base as it is sturdy and squares of different coloured card to make the designs.

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Finished mosaics.  As you can see the designs of the mosaics weren’t exactly as their templates (not the same at all 🙂 ), however, that’s the beauty of it, the ideas evolve as they are creating.

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Diwali

Another subject Elsa asked to do back in the summer was Diwali.  I know she had covered it at school, so I asked her why she wanted to do it again.  She explained she found it interesting. 🙂

I found out it was on 11th November this year so we started the topic the week previous.

I thought it was would be best to find out why Diwali is celebrated so we watched a video and read a story. To make sure Elsa had remembered this, I asked her to filled in some worksheets I’d downloaded from Activity Village and Twinkl, while Anna completed a maze.

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We then made Diya’s out of beads (from Activity Village) and clay.

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We talked about henna patterns and both Elsa and Anna created one on paper then painted it onto their arms with face paints.

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We made lanterns 🙂

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We also discussed Rangoli patterns, where they are used and why and then both girls coloured one in downloaded from Twinkl.

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Finally we made coconut squares.

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An interesting week of learning 🙂