Of course when I am wishing for cozy weather, my favorite quilt stories come to mind: The Keeping Quilt, by Patricia Polacco, Stitchen' and Pullin' by Patricia C. McKissack, Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson, Luka's Quilt by Gerogia Guback.
And when I think about picture books, I think of all the simple crafts I enjoyed with my little ones, crafts that helped them to delight in the potential of language. So read a book and quilt a Q with your little one and embark on a literary tradition.
Rickettsia is a Monera that is transmitted by Arthropods such as fleas, lice, and tics and can cause harmful diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. This. This particular class of Monera was as named after pathologist Howard Taylor Ricketts.
But what is Rickettsia? And why is it a Monera?
If you are working through our 8-week unit Taxonomy of Living Things: The Five Kingdoms, the week #4 lesson is all about Monera. In fact, during the last 5 weeks of the unit, students will explore the characteristics of each kingdom and then be set free to do some independent research of a representative species. Included in each week's research is the opportunity to practice close observation.
Close observation is not about developing art skills as much as it is about developing the concentrated skill of looking. The keys to close, scientific observations are to look purposefully, slow down, and keep going. Not everyone can draw like Leonardo, but everyone can draw.
To begin, the more materials at hand the better. Use a variety of pencils and pens, and always use more than one color. The more details the better. Think line, texture, value, shape, color and always notice the relationship between the five.
And if getting started is difficult, look to someone else and ask, "What did they do?" Take a few minutes to look at Marlo's Rickettsia. What do you notice? What types of lines do you see? And what is the quality of those lines (thick to think straight, curved, jagged, dotted)? How does she make use of color? Texture? Value? Shape? And so on. Make a list and incorporate those qualities in your drawing. Be sure to label all parts and make notes as necessary.
I hope, in the end, you are noticing all the questions involved in doing research. Science, after all, is an adventure that begins with a question and culminates in a quest.
When I saw this vegetable ate the market, I stopped to ogle. It was fun to learn that it is sometimes called Romanesco cauliflower, sometimes Romansch broccoli. Either way, I was not thinking of the thing as food, only sheer math!
Can you see it?
And then I thought to myself, "This is math my students can get behind." So I pulled out a book:
And later I stirred up some soup and called my family to dinner.
Our Earlybird Winter Discovery Guide finishes up during week #5 with a delightful story called, Snow by Uri Shulevitz that captures the magical effect of falling snow (something we long for on the central coast of California).
Why not write a snowy haiku?
Begin by learning about snow.
Find some quotes to inspire your writer, some haiku too.
Ben's family birth certificate says that he was born on January 6, 1706, but when the Colonies switched to a different calendar to keep pace with the seasons, his new birthday became January 17!
One of five men who crafted the Declaration of Independence.
Once, the Postmaster General.
Founded the idea of the public hospital and library.
Organized the first volunteer fire department which led to his concept of fire insurance.
The architect of Poor Richard's Almanac.
Inventor of the glass armonica, bifocals, swim fins, Franklin Stove, and, of course the lightning rod.
Honorary degrees from Harvard, Yale, University of St. Andrews, University of Oxford, and University of Edinburgh.
Spent 27 years of his life living abroad, crossing the Atlantic 8 times!
Earned his place on the $100 dollar bill.
All this more than 311 years ago!
Celebrate this life well spent one of two ways:
Ever wonder where inventors get their ideas? As it turns out, the great inventor Benjamin Franklin got his best ideas from a mouse named Amos (not really, but make for an adventurous historical fiction)! Consider this from historian David McCullah who read the book as a child:David McCullogh says "I can never be in Old Christ Church without wondering if perhaps some of Amos's line are still there, back behind the paneling." Pick up a bundle today. Who knows, you might cultivate a historian!
Early to bed and early to rise… you know the rest (I hope).
Benjamin Franklin was the youngest of seventeen children. He was the inventor whose thirst for knowledge led him to constantly seek to improve the lives of his fellow men. Follow his life as a leader in the American Revolution and ambassador to both Britain and France and learn why the French hailed him as the man who "tore the lightening from the sky and the scepter from tyrants." Explore this an so much more in the D'Aulaire recounting of the life of Ben Franklin. And over the course of 5 weeks you student will not only be guided through the crafting of an original essay, but will discover just how valuable a life can be.
Where I live there are NEVER snow days (sad face).
But there is ALWAYS white paint!
For this icy, project I decided to introduce the art of Jasper Johns to inspire my apprentice artists. I'm hoping to inspire yours too. We mad a really large, collaborative piece, but this would translate well into an individual work quite nicely. To begin, have your students gather a dozen or more really wonderful, extravagant words—a lexicon for winter.
You will need to gather the following supplies before you begin:
One large sheet of Cardboard (this one is 2' x 3').
A basket of assorted wood, cardboard, or sticker letters, many sizes and many different fonts.
One good pair of sharp scissors (we also used a heavy-duty paper cutter).
One hot glue gun with a large supply of glue.
A large quantity of white acrylic paint and a large paint brush.
Begin with the background, Create geometry using a random, collage technique, layering shapes on top of each other and glueing them to the background using the hot glue gun. When you are satisfied with the background, begin glueing down the words but it is a good idea to lay them all out before glueing to make sure you are satisfied with the placement. Mix and match type-faces, try placing words sideways and upside down. When the cardboard collaging is complete, the fun begins. Slather on a first layer of white paint. Let the coat dry completely then layer on a second coat, and a third! The trick to a really fun end result is to be courageously spontaneous while layering. When you think your done, keep going! Keep layering until the work of art feels snowed in. The you will know its winter.
Read Extra Yarn by Mac Bennett and illustrated by Jon Klassen and you'll soon see. Winner of the Caldecott, this contemporary fairy tale is bound to become a classic. Annabelle reminds that curiosity, determination, and generosity are three ways to thwart a villainous archduke!
Our Earlybird Winter Literature and Writing Discovery Guide's third book, The Mitten by Alvin Tresselt is re-telling of a folk tale about all kinds of animals trying to fit in a lost mitten! Hilarious! We love the theme that common needs can bring people together.
When my oldest son was a toddler, I watched him make his way toward our back yard fence toward a knothole. I watched to see what he would do. Funny thing, he just stood there. He stood there for the longest time in the silence of mid-morning. I wondered what my son was seeing. I wondered about the other side of the fence. So I tiptoed into the house, grabbed my film camera and made my way to the other side of the fence.
This is the face of wonderment.
So her's to wonderment. Find a knothole. Have a look see.
For an interdisciplinary approach to literature, dive into our Winter Earlybird Literature Discovery Guide that features an eclectic mix of wonderfully told stories. It begins with Snowballs by Lois Ehlert, where your child will discover the wonders of the water cycle and how snow comes into being.
Sparkle! And while you are at it sparkle and spin. Add capital letters to that phrase and you've got one bling-of-a-book!
Sparkle and Spin: A Book About Words by Ann Rand and Paul Rand is a mid-century treasure that I hope will oscillate its way into the heart of 21st century readers. Here words sparkle their images and spin their sounds and leave readers happy about the art of words. What better way to remind little and big alike that some words add sparkle to language?
Put together a kit containing Qtips, a bottle of white glue, a stack of assorted handcrafted pre-cut imaginary dinosaur skulls, and a stack of black construction paper. Make a sample to put in the kit. And be sure to include a book or two. Here are some ideas recommended by the Smithsonian and others: