December 9, 2013

Some Plant Books We've Read So Far

We've been doing a fair amount for our plant unit but I haven't posted anything because my cord that allows me to upload my pics to the computer isn't working.  I asked my techie husband (he's a computer programmer) for help and he said, "That cord always seemed junky to me."  Hmm.

In the meantime, here's a review for some of the books we've read so far--all available from the Davis County Library System.

We really liked this book: Look What I Did With a Leaf by Morteza E. Sohi.  The book discusses how to make pictures out of leaves, including how to prep your leaves.  We tried this (pics to come) but we waited a tad too long in the season and couldn't find many high quality leaves.

Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins was chock full of pretty fall photography.  It was extremely helpful to us when we made our Types of Leaves chart.  This is a great book for anyone, whether you're studying plants or not.

My children adore the book Plantzilla by Jerdine Nolen.  We've checked it out before but had to read it again for our plant unit.  This is not an educational book--but it is loads of fun.

Freaky Plant Facts: Extreme Greens by Ellen Lawrence is not as "extreme" as the cover makes out, but it does showcase some really interesting plants.  I read this book and Plantzilla on our "build interest" first day of the unit.

Another good one that we read on the "build interest" day is Celebritrees: Historic and Famous Trees of the World by Margi Preus.

The next four books we read on the same day and then made a 3D model of a flower (pics to follow eventually).  I liked them all and would recommend reading all four, even though From Bird Poop to Wind and Flip, Float, Fly cover the same material.  I thought the two books reinforced each other without boring the kids because they are polar opposite in style.
 Once There Was a Seed by Judith Anderson and Mike Gordan.
 The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds by Joanna Cole.
 From Bird Poop to Wind: How Seeds Get Around by Ellen Lawrence.

Flip, Float, Fly: Seeds on the Move by JoAnn Early Macken.

The rest of the books we've read for plants have not been recommend worthy.

December 5, 2013

Field Trip: Oolitic Sand Gathering

 Geologic information: Oolitic sand is an unusual sediment that is found in and around the Great Salt Lake. Instead of forming from grains of mineral fragments washed down from higher ground, this sand formed within the Great Salt Lake. It is composed of tiny, light-brown, rounded oolites.
 An oolite has a shell of concentric layers of calcium carbonate that precipitated around a nucleus or central core. The nucleus is usually a tiny brine shrimp fecal pellet or a mineral fragment. Oolites form in shallow, wave-agitated water, rolling along the lake bottom and gradually accumulating more and more layers.
 In addition to the Great Salt Lake, oolites also form in Baffin Bay (Texas), the eastern Mediterranean Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the waters surrounding the Bahamas. Although oolitic sand is collected for its uniqueness, it has also been used to dry flowers and as flux in mining operations.

 My husband wanted some for his fish tank and I wanted some for the terrariums we are making during our plant unit.  Plus, we just really like field trips!

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December 3, 2013

Germinating Plant Unit

 We are almost completely finished with rocks (we're still working on our rock song) and have moved on to botany or plant biology or plants.  You can call it whatever you want.  We started out by reading through the book Eli is so happily holding up in the photo below.  I bought it at Smiths.  It was on a stand in their produce section.  I am positive there is a better fruit and vegetable encyclopedia out there somewhere, but this was handy and I'm lazy.
 My kids really loved looking through the pictures and talking about why different plants were put into the different categories.  I tried to interest them in some of the nutritional info but it didn't spark their curiosity.  Next time.
 After reading through the vegetable guide, we read, "Tops and Bottoms" by Janet Stevens.  It is really cute and my children loved it.  We did several activities based around the book.  I downloaded a teacher's unit materials and I highly recommend it--totally worth the $4.00.  You can find it here:
 Above: A tops and bottoms matching game.  Below: Harriet liked the book!
 Below: My niece, Ruth, was our visiting scholar.  She liked the glue.

I'd hoped to post a bunch of stuff about our plant activities today but things didn't go quite as planned and my camera battery died.  Where is the cord to recharge?????  One of many great mysteries in my life.  Hopefully my hubby will find it for me tonight and I can post some pics tomorrow.