Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fine Art Detective

We looked at forged fine artwork and solved a crime.

Art Fraud Detective: Spot the Difference, Solve the Crime!is a sort of I Spy book of fine art, but better. The book contains 32 works of art along with a brief explanation of each piece.
 


Readers compare museum pieces on the top of the pages, with original photographs from the museum's catalog on the bottom of the pages, to find differences. Each work of art has up to four differences as well as a fish, bird, star or tree identifying the gang who created the forgery.

There are four forgers in each gang who created two false paintings each, and four gangs in all resulting in the 32 works of art in the book. One gang member is a good guy/gal and did not create any forgeries.

By closely looking at each picture, readers can identify the good guy/gal as well as four works of art which were not forged.

The kids were very motivated to find the original works of art and solve the crime.







* I did not receive any compensation for this recommendation. I'm just a homeschooling mom who has found many products that I like. If you're interested in the products I recommend on this blog I want to make it easy for you to find them. 
** I am an Amazon associate and receive a small portion of the sales on orders made after clicking in from this site, which I promptly spend on homeschooling books and supplies for my children.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Paul Klee - Person from one Line - Art Project for Kids

We created pictures similar to Paul Klee's The Groom's Arrival.

Paul Klee was a European abstract artist who lived at the same time as Wassily Kandinsky in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Much of his art is very childlike and therefore easy to imitate. He loved bright colors and simple shapes.

The Groom's Arrival looks like it was created with one long continuous like plus a few circles and ovals. Inspired by Art Projects for Kids, we used the same technique to create pictures of people.

One continuous line was drawn to create the figure of a person.

A few simple shapes were added to complete the sketch. Then some were outlined with black marker and the shapes were filled in with oil pastels.

Daughter age 7 years

Daughter age 12 years

Mom age XX years

In conjunction with creating Paul Klee drawings, we read the book Paul Klee (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists). I highly recommend this artist/musician series.



This is the first post in a three project series imitating the art of Paul Klee.




* I did not receive any compensation for this recommendation. I'm just a homeschooling mom who has found many products that I like. If you're interested in the products I recommend on this blog I want to make it easy for you to find them. 
** I am an Amazon associate and receive a small portion of the sales on orders made after clicking in from this site, which I promptly spend on homeschooling books and supplies for my children.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Math Designed to Make Kids Think

I have posted several math problems designed to invoke thinking, on the refrigerator with out saying a word. The kids are enjoying it thoroughly.






Each sheet remains up for 3-6 days while everyone has a chance to ponder, explore and write down their thoughts and solutions.

Here's what's being posted.
Algebra on Rectangles from Let's Play Math and Math Pickle
Visual Patterns from Let's Play Math and VisualPatterns.org
Math Without Words from James Tanton (this website also contains many excellent videos)
Pondering Large Numbers from Let's Play Math
How many ways can you make 12? - from a homeschooling mom on a Math message board

Those are the ideas I have so far. If you have any suggestions I would love a comment.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

How do rivers flow when it doesn't rain?

Earth Science Unit Study

Week 20: We did an experiment to show how rivers flow when it doesn't rain.

Water always flows down hill. On it's way to the ocean water may flow over a water fall, through a canyon, or into a delta. When it rains, much water seeps into the ground where it is stored. If the ground is saturated, after the rain, some water continues to trickle out of the ground and flow into streams. If the ground can hold the water, additional water is not released. That's why sometimes rivers dry up during periods with no rain, but other rivers continue to flow.


We have been using the book Rocks, rivers & the changing earth,: A first book about geology as a reference. It is a chapter book, written in story format, and packed with experiments that have to do with Earth Science. In addition, the book Geography from A to Z: A Picture Glossary (Trophy Picture Books) gives simple definitions of different land and water forms. By repeating this simple experiment waterfall, river, delta, lake and island among others were visible.
 
To demonstrate how water always flows down hill and how it flows during periods without rain we used a washcloth to represent the ground, a plate to represent the hill, a crumpled up sheet of wax paper so the ground wasn't smooth, some water and a few drops of food coloring.

The wax paper was placed on a plate resting in a tilted position. Water was poured onto the upper end of the plate and the flow of the water was observed.

 Here it formed a river.

After adding more water a lake was formed at the base of the river.

The wax paper was repositioned and the experiment was repeated several times. In this version the water formed several waterfalls.

 In this photo, the water formed a lake which split in two to reach the sea. - A Delta

Next the washcloth was added to the top of the hill to allow the ground to soak up the water.

When the rain ceased, the rivers continued to flow.




* I did not receive any compensation for this recommendation. I'm just a homeschooling mom who has found many products that I like. If you're interested in the products I recommend on this blog I want to make it easy for you to find them. 
** I am an Amazon associate and receive a small portion of the sales on orders made after clicking in from this site, which I promptly spend on homeschooling books and supplies for my children.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Make Your Own Candles

Middle Ages Unit Study
Week 19: We made beeswax candles.

Some chandlers during the middle ages made tallow candles and others made beeswax candles. It was a highly competitive business. Tallow candles, made from animal fat were cheap and used by most people since the materials were readily available. They burned quickly, smelled like meat and were quite smoky. Beeswax candles, on the other hand, were used by the wealthy. They smelled like honey, lasted longer and were quite a bit more expensive.

We made our candles from beeswax.

First beeswax was melted in a crock pot.

 Next a candle wick was wrapped around a skewer.

 Then the wicks were repeatedly dipped into the beeswax.

During the process we learned that candles grow thicker faster by dipping quickly and waiting at least 30 seconds before dipping again. This is opposite to the natural tendency as it seems like holding the wick in the wax a longer time would make more wax stick. Instead, when the wick was left to sit in the wax, the wax melted and fell off the wick negating all previous work. In addition, when the candles were dipped before the previous dipping had time to cool and harden a little, the wax again melted off the wick back into the crock pot.

Lessons learned
- Dip quick
- Wait 30 seconds for candles to cool before re-dipping!




Visit our History Page for other Middle Ages hands-on activity ideas and be sure to come back next week for more.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Best Music Picture Books

Do you have any favorite children's picture books with a musical theme? Leave me a comment below. Here are some we have enjoyed.


Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue - George Gerschwin was a talented musician who knew a little bit about composing music. A friend of his signed him up to create a modern concerto for a festival celebrating American Music. Would the piece be done on time? Would George even agree to compose it?

AIDA is a tragic opera love story written in picture book format for children. When the Ethiopian princess goes exploring she is captured by enemy Egyptians and becomes a slave to the princess. After years in slavery she falls in love, but is soon torn over loyalty to country and love as is her lover.

Opera Cat: When a famous singer gets laryngitis, her biggest fan, her cat, steps in to save the show.
 
Ty's One-Man Band tells the story of a one legged man who wanders into a town making music. The book is filled with rhythm and rhythm words and gets the reader listening.

Gabriella's Song (Aladdin Picture Books) - Set in Venice, Italy, Gabriella, a little girl puts sounds she hears throughout the city into a song. When others hear her song some think it sounds happy, others think it sounds like a love song and others think it's sad. This book is entertaining and a good way to introduce children to the sounds of major and minor keys.

Be sure to check out these blog hops for more great kid educational activities.



* I did not receive any compensation for this recommendation. I'm just a homeschooling mom who has found many products that I like. If you're interested in the products I recommend on this blog I want to make it easy for you to find them. 
** I am an Amazon associate and receive a small portion of the sales on orders made after clicking in from this site, which I promptly spend on homeschooling books and supplies for my children.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Origami Icosahedron

We made origami icosahedrons from 30 sheets of folded square paper.

As part of our creative hands-on math studies we have been studying icosahedrons. Icosahedrons are 20 sided three-dimensional solid figures. When the faces of solid figures protrude to form more complex solids, the shapes become star-like and are known as stellations. The icosahedron we created is the small triambic icosahedron, also known as the first stellation of the icosahedron.


This video tutorial on how to construct a small triambic icosahedron.

Thirty square sheets of paper are folded exactly the same way.

Then they are slid together in groups of five. The above photo shows the inside of five points of the stellated icosahedron.

This photo shows the outside of five points of the stellated icosahedron.

Assembled, twenty points protruded from the twenty faces of the icosahedron.

The same basic origami shape used to construct the icosahedron can be assembled in various ways to construct other figures as shown in the above video.

Here's a link to a similar Twenty-Point Origami Star Icosahedron.




Be sure to check out these blog hops for more great kid educational activities.
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