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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Catching Up

What a busy month!  We learned about Life Long Ago, America, the election, and American symbols, and realized that we are extremely thankful.

For our Life Long Ago unit, we learned about how things were different in the past.  As students came in Monday, their desks were transformed into covered wagons.  This was a special treat for them (I did it when I taught fifth grade too and surprisingly it is as equally as exciting for both ages.)  Oh, so many uses for pvp pipe and so easy to store! We learned all about how people traveled a long time ago to get from place to place using trains, covered wagons, horses, etc.  We also talked about the Pony Express and just how long it would take to get a letter from a family member that lived a few states away.
We made a covered wagon writing craft focusing on the topic sentence and then two details about it.  Here’s a few….

The White House is where the President lives and works.  It symbolizes leadership.  -Reese
The White House is where the President lives.  It symbolizes a dream. -Elijah
So cute! His dream is to be the President one day. 
The White House is where the President lives.  It symbolizes hard work.  -Kai
The White House is where the President eats and sleeps. It symbolizes freedom. -Aleena

Here’s the writing page I made for it (click on the picture below to get it.)
        We also learned about clothing, cooking, and daily life.  We made butter during a read aloud about Abe Lincoln’s upbringing. 
    Butter is surprisingly easy to make, here’s what we did:
In a large mason jar, we put in one pint of heavy whipping cream, added some salt, and shook like crazy.  Once one student couldn’t shake any more, they passed it to the next person.  It went around about 1½ times until we got this very thick, thick cream.  We placed it in the fridge and let it harden even more.  We of course had to discuss though that back in the “old days” it would have been a lot harder- they would have had to milk the cow, boil down salt water for the salt or trade for it, and of course they couldn’t pass it between 23 of them, so they would have been a lot more tired by churning it, and then since there was no electricity, they wouldn’t have had the refrigerator to put it in. We then discussed more on where food items came from back then and how you would get them (grow them, etc.)
         We also went to the Old School House in “Old Town” Sacramento where students learned what it was like at school a long, long, time ago. One kiddo said, bless his heart, “I never would have made it back then!”  Too Funny! They also had to stand up and bow or curtsy before they spoke, it was adorable. 
         We hit up the Railroad Museum while we were there and learned further about travel a long time ago, saw some great photos of “way back when” and got up close and in some really old trains.  Everyone's favorite was the moving sleep train we talked through.  What a great trip!  Surprisingly, after lunchtime and before the bus picked us up, we saw a pirate ship on the river.  I know! What great luck! (and yes...people were really dressed up as pirates...it was pretty awesome, if I say so myself.) The kids were so excited and what a great tie-in to travel a long time ago!  On our trip in Old Sacramento, we saw a ship, trains, a stagecoach, people riding horses (the police officers), and people taking a horse-drawn carriage (we also walked too).

Here's some great pioneer websites to learn more about pioneers:

      We also went to the pumpkin patch since I last posted and learned more about plants and animals.  With a tragic bus breakdown, we made it back!  You can view the pumpkin patch photos on the regular website- click on "Meet the Class"

We additionally learned about the election, America, and American Symbols. Here’s a quick look in pictures of just what we did with one of the symbols we studied and wrote on (the White House). 
Here's the writing page (click on the picture below)
and the White House Craft from BusyBeeKidsCrafts (click on the picture below to get it)

This week is Scarecrows and compound words and we are already having a lot of fun! I'll make sure to take some pictures!   Hope everyone enjoyed the break! 


Unknown said...

I LOVE your PVC pipe covered wagons. Do you have instructions on how you did that? My second graders would love it, too! :-)

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of covered wagons. I am also a Ms. Martin teaching in Texas. I will start following you. Thanks.

saurav kumar raj said...

Very impressive article. Thank you for Sharing.
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Unknown said...

I absolutely LOVE the white house activity. Can you please make it shareable? When I clicked on it, it says I need to request access. Thank you!