Archive for the ‘beach and ocean’ Category

When C spotted this interactive Discoverlogy title on the library shelf, she said we must get it. And she was right, both girls have been fascinated by Creatures of the Deep by John Woodward.  Each page spread covers a different topic on deep ocean science from early diving equipment to modern research to bioluminescence. The pages are filled with flaps, pull tabs, pop-ups, and wheels that bring the reader into a journey to the deep ocean and accentuate the fascinating photos and illustrations of animals that live in the ocean’s deepest waters.

This week’s Non-Fiction Monday is hosted by Apples With Many Seeds.


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I thought our summer would slow down after the 4th but we’ve immersed ourselves in summer as if we need to take in all the swimming, wading, and mudding we can get.  We’ve been ridiculously busy but in a wonderful way.  I’d planned to continue with schoolwork through the summer but other than a few weeks of messy science experiments, some fun math topics on weeks when M doesn’t have camps or scheduled activities and plenty of reading, we’ve ended up dropping all formal work. That’s not to say we aren’t learning but I’ve realized we really need a break, a time away, an old-fashioned summer.

Perhaps it comes from re-reading so many books that touch on the old-fashioned spirit of summer vacation – Half Magic, Magic By The Lake, and The Time Garden by Edward Eager, The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, The Middle Moffat by Eleanor Estes, Canadian Summer by Hilda Van Stockum and probably more I’ve forgotten.

Our last five weeks have included a trip to the beach which including two stops at Riverbanks Zoo, visits to the Museum of the Coastal Carolinas and Ingram Planetarium, trips to the pool, two sleepovers, trips to a fantastic park with a creek and woods to explore, exploring a butterfly tent, catching fireflies, eating milkshakes and root beer floats, a family day at Brent’s work, playing in babypools, M perfecting her scootering technique, the start of M’s Eco-Dectectives camp at the NC Arboretum, and five birthday parties. No wonder I haven’t had much time for blogging. I forgot my camera (sometimes intentionally so I could just participate) for many of these events but here are some pictorial highlights:

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We’re in the midst of our tidepool/beach unit study.  We’ve finished up our other work for the year, so we’re focusing on science experiments, reading about creatures who live on the beach, in tidepools or further out in the ocean and watching Blue Planet.

Here’s a list of the books we’ve used so far.  I’ve reviewed several of them for Non-Fiction Monday so I put in links for those.


Awesome Ocean Science

One Small Square: Seashore by Donald Silver

Take A Beach Walk by Jane Kirkland

One Small Place by the Sea by Barbara Brenner

DK Eyewitness: Seashore


What the Sea Saw by Stephanie St. Pierre

The Seaside Switch by Kathleen Kudlinski

How Will We Get to the Beach? by Brigitte Luciani

Wave By Suzy Lee

A House for a Hermit Crab by Eric Carle

Other booklists and information about beach and ocean studies can be found by searching my beach and ocean category.

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This week, we’ve been focusing on our study of tide pools and doing lots of art.  We combined the two by making tide pools using paper plates and plastic wrap.  Inspired by these two projects, I made up my own version of the project to suit our needs.

First the girls painted the inside of a paper plate blue while I cut out the center of two plates and taping plastic wrap to cover the holes.  (Yes, we segued from breakfast into art so they are still drinking their smoothies.)

Next, the girls used markers to color small pictures of tide pool creatures. I printed them out from here and here. Then we used watered-down glue to cover the paint, shook glitter over the surface, then glued the animals on.

After they were dry, we covered the pool with the second plate and stapled them together. M painted rocks around the edge of her pool.

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What’s in the Tide Pool? by Anne Hunter does a wonderful job of simply describing common creature found in tide pools on a rocky shore.  C kept it in her bed for several days, looking through the pictures, and she can name all the creatures.  We’ve used it for reference several times during our tide pool study as we compare rocky shores and sandy beaches and consider what creatures live in tide pool vs coral reefs vs the open ocean.

This week’s Non-Fiction Monday Round Up is at Lori Calabrese Writes!

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We had so much fun the morning we studied Scottish terriers after reading Angus Lost that M suggested we have lots more animals days.  We’ve had a horse day soon thereafter, and a few weeks ago, we had a dolphin day.

After breakfast, we watched several You Tube videos about dolphins including one where they play with bubbles, an IMAX dolphin movie trailer, this one of a dolphin and a killer whale at seaworld, and this one on dolphin parenting by National Geographic.

Next, we read a few chapters from Dolphins and Sharks (A Magic Tree House Research Guide) by Mary Pope Osborne,  by Seymour Simon, and Dolphin Talk (Let’s Read and Find Out Science Series) by Wendy Pfeffer.

After our reading time, we did two art projects. I printed out a dolphin similar to the first image here (I can’t find the one I originally printed but any simply dolphin image will do).  The girls colored them with colored pencils.  Then we cut them out and glued them on ocean backgrounds they’d painted with watercolors.  M went for a magical rainbow ocean look for hers.

We also made handprint dolphins from one of our favorite craft books, Handprint Animal Art by Carolyn Carreiro.

Finally, the girls used fabric scraps passed on to us by my wonderful sister-in-law to make a pretend ocean. They pretended to swim like dolphins, make dolphin sounds, and dance on their “tails”.  Later the scraps became fish and they took turns playing dolphin and dolphin trainer.

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5143B0E12NL._SL500_AA240_M requested more science experiments for our homeschool days and when I ran across Awesome Ocean Science: Investigating teh Secrets of the Underwater World, I knew it would be a hit since it would fulfill her request and fit into our ongoing ocean study. All the experiments can be done with simple materials you likely have around the house, and they do not require close proximity to an ocean.

M grabbed it immediately and began flipping through it and making requests for experiments.  So far we’ve learned about the effects of deep ocean currents, watched how waves affect steep beaches more than flat ones, made a tropical ocean rain storm in a jar, watched fresh water float across the top of denser salt water, and made a carrot float by adding salt to a jar of water.   We’ll definitely be doing more experiments today.

This week’s Non-Fiction Monday Round-Up is at Bookends, A Booklist Blog.

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