Turtle Unit Study

Since we found turtles on our nature walk last week, we have decided that we would like to learn more about turtles. This isn’t what I had planned But, the FIAR title that I had planned isn’t in at the library, though I’ve had it on reserve for almost 2 months now! Basically, I have checked out about 12 books on turtles. I will go through them and choose 1-2 to read each day next week. Then, we will do some type of coloring page, craft or activity about turtles. It’s not going to be a full-blown very detailed unit plan – which is what I’m used to, but we will see how it goes! Generally the good books we read make up the most of our unit anyway, we learn a lot from reading good books! And, I have found a few lapbook components and coloring pages to keep us busy as well.

So, we will learn about turtles next week! Here are a few things on the agenda.

Books to read:

All About Turtles

Emma's Turtle

Turtle In The Sea

Little Turtle and the Song of the Sea

Activities and fun ideas:

*we will practice drawing turtles with our Usborne I Can Draw Animals book!

*HERE is a great picture of a sea turtle to color!

*Learn about the 3 main types of turtles: fresh-water, salt-water and land dwelling

*Of course we will walk back down to our turtle spot and observe the turtles there, we will try to draw them in our nature journals as well.

*HERE is a turtle report form page from HSS

*We will not be doing this entire unit, as it focuses on things other than turtles, but we will read the book and look at some of the facts found here on sea turtles! Turtle Bay unit on HSS

*vocabulary for a turtle study: hatchling = a baby turtle or animal that hatches from an egg, tortoise = turtle that lives on land, egg tooth = baby turtles (hatchlings) have an sharp tooth which they use to open the soft shell of their egg as they come out, ectotherm = an animal that relies on its environment to warm and cool their body, (turtles move to the sun to warm up and find shade to cool down) carapace = the top part of the turtle shell, plastron = the underside of the turtle shell

*Here is a turtle poem, you may know how the rhyme and motions go! I hope to write this poem in our nature journals and decorate the page with turtle drawings.

The Little Turtle

by Vachel Lindsay

There was a little turtle.

He lived in a box.

He swam in a puddle.

He climbed on the rocks.

He snapped at a mosquito.

He snapped at a flea.

He snapped at a minnow.

And he snapped at me.

He caught the mosquito.

He caught the flea.

He caught the minnow.

But he didn’t catch me.

Turtle facts:

*Turtles live on every continent except Antarctica – why not there? It is too cold!

*What kind of turtle is the biggest? The leatherback sea turtle, which can grow to be 8 feet long and can weigh up to 1900 pounds! Yikes! The smallest is the speckled cape tortoise, it grows to be 3 inches long.

*Do you know what a turtle’s shell is made out of? BONE! On top of that bone is a layer of horny scales called scutes. These scutes are made of keratin, which is the same material that is in your fingernails.

*Why does the turtle have a shell? 1)the shell protects the turtle from the sun, 2)the colors on the shell provide camouflage to protect them from their predators, 3)the shell provides a place for the turtle to withdraw in times of danger

*Do turtles have teeth? No! Instead sharp edges along their inner jaws cut and tear their food.

*Do turtles have ears? Not on the outside of their heads like we do! Instead, they have an inner eardrum that picks up low sounds and vibrations from the ground and water.

*Where do turtles nest? All turtles nest on land, even sea turtles! Turtles dig a nest in the dirt or sand to lay their eggs. All turtles lay eggs. A sea turtle lays between 80 and 200 eggs at one time!

*What are predators for baby turtles? raccoons, oposums, foxes, birds and humans. Predators of sea turtles are sea birds, sharks, fish and otters.

*Turtles have long lives. Freshwater turtles may live to be 40 yearsold. Sea turtlesl live to be 80 years or more. Tortoises can live up to 150 years old!

Little Nino’s Pizzaria

This coming week we will be rowing the FIAR title, Little Nino’s Pizzaria! I have been wanting to do this book for a long time and we are finally getting to it!

Here are a few of the books we are reading for this unit! There is another older book that explains how to make a pizza with a picture each step of the way, this book is called Pizza Man by Marjorie Pillar.

Little Nino's Pizzeria

Hold the Anchovies!: A Book About Pizza

Here are some fun ideas and activities we will be doing!

*Thursday – going to a local pizza place to watch them make pizza and then eat lunch there with friends!

*Survey various people and ask what their favorite kind of pizza is. Also, ask what their favorite place to eat pizza is, and then graph the results!

*Make a pizza book according to the directions on this page, a great pizza unit study for primaries!

*At beginning of week, have kids each tell me how to make a pizza. We will write this down and illustrate it. (then by the end of the week we will see how far off they were!)

*one day we will make English muffin pizzas for lunch!

*I had the idea to try a different kind/type of pizza each day we are rowing this book…but I’m not sure if I’ll be this brave or not! I do hope to try a dessert pizza at some point during the week!

*we are going to learn about the basic food groups. We will evaluate some meals we have had lately to see if they are nutricious. We are also going to make lists of foods that fit into each category.

*Math – we will do a little bit of math with fractions this week. I think I will do this with a frozen pizza one day for lunch!

*Here is a cute online game type page on making a pizza and the ingredients you need.

*Here is a P is for Pizza coloring page.

*How do you like your pizza? A cut and paste page!

*Here is a printable food pyramid for children. We will print this and go over what it means.

*Look for printable food pyramid to color and discuss with kids.

*Here is a free Italy lapbook if you would like to learn more about Italy with your pizza!

Butterfly Lapbook

I think this counts as our FIRST, official lapbook! This is the first time each girl has made her own and we have spent the week learning the different things about butterflies found in this lapbook. I admit, I was a bit skeptical about whether or not the girls would actually learn anything from doing school this way! I knew they would love the cutting, pasting and pretty pictures…but would they learn the information? But, my doubts were diminished as the girls told me facts about caterpillars and butterflies that I had never heard before! And today, they showed Nana their lapbooks and told her all about how caterpillars have 16 legs, they have no nose, they breathe through holes on their backs, butterflies have a proboscis – which is like a straw to drink nectar! These are their words, not mine! I am officially a new lapbook FAN! In the past I have printed off parts of lapbooks and we have put them in our school notebook. I am sure we will still continue to use both methods.

Most of these lapbook components came from homeschool share – remember the site I’m always telling you about with FREE literature based unit studies? Well, they also have a bunch of free lapbooks! Now all we need is a better printer!

Here are some pictures from the butterfly lapbooks we have worked on this week!

The front covers

The inside opened

Butterfly picture cards

Types of flowers that butterflies like

Hannah’s labeled butterfly

Hannah showing Nana her butterfly lapbook

Hannah is very proud of her work!

Emily is proud of her lapbook, too!


More thoughts after Alaska

I have had so many thoughts swirling around in my head (I know, what is new?) and I haven’t quite known how to put some of it into words. But, I want to try. I also want to say from the start that I do hope and pray none of what I’mfeeling makes anyone else feel less. It is not my intention to make anyone feel badly…these are just things the Lord is laying on my heart. I have wanted to get these feelings out there because I want to hear from others…am I off base? Do you agree? Disagree?

Over the past year, David and I have both sensed the Lord nudging us to come out of our comfort zones. We have been feeling convicted of living too comfortably, in a lot of ways. I think part of these convictions led us to go on this mission trip to Alaska. We felt like the Lord dropped it into our laps and said…GO.

Now that we are back, the feelings are even stronger…the feelings of having the “easy life” as a Christian. I don’t mean that life is easy…you all know how I have struggled over the past 2 years with simply being a mom and wife! But, our lives as Christians here in the Bible belt are significantly “easier” to live. Meaning, we don’t have doors shutting in our faces…quite as often anyway! We don’t have people rudely answering NO when we mention that we are having VBS at church. In fact, generally speaking, we can speak about Jesus to our friends and neighbors without too much negativity. (Note, this is not to say that they are all Christians by any means! But that “religion” is very accepted and “ok” here.)

On the other hand, in Alaska, 95% of the population is lost. Not only that, but they don’t attend church either. In the Bible belt you may have a pretty good percentage of lost people, but I’m willing to bet that of those lost people, at least half of them attend church at some point.

Another aspect to the “easy life” is the amount of people we have. I struggled with feeling guilty and spoiled coming back to my big church in TN. I look across the sanctuary and see ten, twenty if not more men there that could at anytime get up and preach a message or give the gospel presentation from the pulpit. In Alaska the state missionaries have a list of villages with NO CHURCHES…a list of churches with NO STAFF…a list of places that want churches with NO WILLING PEOPLE. And folks, this list is rather long.

I looked around our sanctuary and saw how blessed we are with talent. (I notice the music because that is my gifting.) We have a choir and band made up of instrumentalists, back-up instrumentalists, instrumentalist who don’t want to play every week, vocalists, praise band rotations, the list goes on. In Alaska, one of the churches we ministered to had been without anyone to help with music in a year, I think.

These are just 2 examples. The list goes on.

My struggle is this…why are so many of us HERE where it is comfortable, easy and we aren’t “needed” when the need around the world is staggering. Why are we sitting on the pew hoping they won’t call us for nursery duty, when children around the world don’t have anyone to share with them the love of Jesus? Why are we showing up late to church on Sundays hoping they won’t ask us to usher when in other parts of the world they are struggling to keep the church doors open? Why are we sitting in our comfortable pews being spoon fed each and every week when fellow brothers and sisters around the world don’t even have Bibles to read of their own?

(press pause on the music on the sidebar before you listen to this song.)

Since coming home from Alaska

I wonder…

Do the boys at the orphanage know the love of Jesus?

Do the boys at the orphanage know that we truly love them.?

Will the Lord send someone (soon) to walk alongside these boys and disciple and encourage them?

Were the seeds firmly planted in the children at VBS?

Who will help water them?

Do the pastors of the 2 churches we were at know we are praying for them?

Will God open more hearts in Alaska?

Will He send more of His people into the darkness? Soon?

Will the outermost villages ever see the Light of Christ fill their villages?

Will the suicide rate go down before Jesus comes back?

Will the LIGHT overtake the DARKNESS that is there?

Did those we came into contact with see Jesus in us?

Did Mark, Ricky, and Barry from the food bank hear the love of Jesus in our words?

Who will go?

The Lord is my LIGHT and my SALVATION…whom shall I fear?

Psalm 27:1