Week at a Glance:
- Book of the Week GIVEAWAY: The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer
- Artistic Expression: Drawing a Habitat Room
- Habitat Pond Collage Art
- Incorporating Habitats into Journal Writing
- Habitat Investigation and Construction
- Book Recommendation: The Last Child in The Woods by Richard Louv
Book of the Week GIVEAWAY: The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer
Why we love this book:
The Salamander Room has been one of my favorite books since way back in the day, when I was a public school teacher. Little did I know that I would later have a son who would gladly live in a salamander room. When I read this book to MacGyver and Miss Enigma, they both went wild with dreams of a salamander room of their very own room. MacGyver exclaimed, That is awesome! That is my dream room. I WANT that room. I WANT a nature room! Oh my gosh, that is cool . . .
MacGyver is literally saving his money to build a butterfly house. He has recruited his friend Andrea Sanger, Owner of Hill Country Gardens. He has informed Ms. Sanger that he is saving his money so the two of them can create a butterfly house that will be open to the public. He was inspired by the butterfly garden at the Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg, Texas.
- MacGyver actually catches caterpillars and takes them through their entire life cycle until they emerge as a butterfly.
- He researches the caterpillar in his butterfly book and feeds it the correct type of plant.
- He houses them in his little butterfly house. (One of those pop-up kind)
- FREE printable book: The Butterfly Garden (The Life Cycle of a Butterfly)
- Caterpillar Rearing Kit & Resources
- Flight of the Butterflies IMAX Movie
Artistic Expression: Imagine Your Very Own Habitat Room
Step 1: Read Aloud The Salamander Room
Step 2: Imagine Your Very Own Habitat Room and Draw Your Bed
- Each of the children selected a Habitat Room.
- MacGyver Picked a Butterfly Room.
- His bed is a hammock made of leaves strung between two oak trees.
- Miss Enigma went big, she decided to make a Nature Room.
- I tried to get her to focus on a specific animal and it’s habitat.
- A teacher has to know when to give-in!
The Butterfly Room, colored pencils, by MacGyver, age 9
Step 3: Add Plants and Animals to Your Habitat Room
- MacGyver, was going CRAZY over his drawing. He took it very serious.
- MacGyver kept commenting, “I LOVE this room. I wish, wish, wish, I could live in this room.” His comments went on and on!
- I was going to list all of the scientific information he included in his drawing explaining why he selected specific plants, butterflies, a pond . . . but I need some sleep tonight and don’t have time to type all of his info in this post.
- Trust me, it was quite interesting.
Nature Room, Sharpie and watercolor paint by Miss Enigma, age 6
- This painting will definitely be framed and featured on Miss Enigma’s art shelf.
- This Mommy loves this colorful painting.
- Miss Enigma is hanging out at the pond with the turtles, frogs and salamanders.
- She’s also snuggling-up with her dog Autumn.
More Habitat Explorations
- Taking inspiration from the book Scoot! by Cathryn Falwell, the children created pond collage habitats to highlight the life cycle of a frog.
- Step by step lesson with photos including book recommendations, supplies, the writing process and collage art.
- After reading Move Over Rover by Karen Beaumont, MacGyver investigates and writes about the habitat in which he lives.
- After catching more than 30 baby frogs at Aunt Jennifer’s house, the kiddos created a frog habitat complete with a pond, boulders and plants.
Making a Habitat for a Red Eared Slider Turtle: (another catch and release adventure)
- One morning, our dog Shadow discovered a turtle in our yard. The children took full advantage of the situation, making an observation habitat for the turtle in our wheel barrow.
- One lucky summer, we experienced a walking stick invasion. Awesome! MacGyver was quick to construct a walking stick habitat out of a box.
- I have to add, our contractor was quit impressed. Just sayin.
These are just a few of our habitat adventures. The children almost always have a little critter they are observing. They keep it a few days, making it a lovely place to live and then release it. This is one of the joys of homeschooling. The kiddos play outside EVERY day and they get up close and personal with everything from butterflies to snakes. After school, the neighbor kiddos actually skip their video games, climb over the fence and help create habitats for little critters. Makes my heart smile.
To wrap up this post, I would like to recommend the book The Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. Mr Louv makes the case that while we Americans have become more and more “environmental” our children have begun to experience nature less and less. While reading I was saying, “Amen brother! Tell us why and how to save our children from nature deceit disorder!”
We’re GIVING AWAY one hardcover copy of The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer
To enter this contest, use the Rafflecopter to answer the following question. After you leave a comment, you can move ahead with more entries.
Answer the following question in the comments section of this post.
Imagine your very own habitat room. What would it be? A field of flowers? The wooded forest? A mountain top? A Caribbean blue ocean? Anyone who knows me, knows my answer! (Or just say “Hey.” We’re flexible around here.)
No entries after 11:59 pm Central Time, Thursday, April 4, 2013
The winner must be a resident of The United States.
Sharing this week at: