Monday, January 23, 2012

Continuing Our American Studies

We are moving right along on our American studies with our Monday co-op. Adam's class is already up to the letter O. Today they learned about President Barack Obama and our home State of Ohio. Ray's class is "moving West" as they continue to learn about two States each week. Here's a look at the States they've covered so far. (This is a map done by one of my students in the older class. The colored States are the ones we've covered.)

The States for today were Wisconsin and Minnesota. After our initial classwork, we combined the classes (grades1/2 and 3/4). We celebrated Wisconsin's dairy industry with a cheese snack. Then we read excerpts from two of the Little House on the Prairie books which took place in WI and MN. Next, we separated the girls and boys for craft time.

The girls made these cute yarn dolls ---

The boys made covered wagons!

For this craft we started with a block of craft foam from the dollar store. I painted the blocks brown ahead of time.

The boys designed wheels for the wagon (pre-cut from a shoebox), poked holes in them with thumbtacks, and inserted them into the foam with toothpicks. We put dabs of glue on the toothpicks to keep the wheels from coming off.

Next they pushed four pipe cleaners into the foam, forming arches on top of the wagons.

Finally, we taped white tissue paper over the arches to form the top of the covered wagon.

As the boys worked on this project, they had fun brainstorming how to make horses to pull the wagons. We'll see what they come up with at home. They also have great plans of adding their Lego mini-figures and other toys to the wagons. ;)

Here's Ray with his wagon.

This project was a big hit! Several of the girls told me they're going to make their own at home. And Adam made me sit down and make one with him right after class.

Last year we read the first few books in the Little House series. I think we're going to pick up with those again. They are such great classic stories. All American kids should read them!

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