Saturday, May 26, 2007

What we are up to......
MAMA Reads:

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

Guerrilla Gardening: A Manualfesto

Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century

Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey--The Sweet Liquid Gold that Seduced the World

The Fourfold Path to Healing: Working with the Laws of Nutrition, Therapeutics, Movement and Meditation in the Art of Medicine

NEXT in line.....Foodwise: Understanding What We Eat and How It Affects Us : The Story of Human Nutrition

Zoe reads:

We just finished
The Complete Tales of Blackberry Farm

What a treat! We saw these stories at a friends house recently. I instantly fell in love with the sweet characters and illustrations. When looking them up due to cost ended up ordering this collection. All the animals Ernest Owl, Joe Robin, Mr and Mrs Nibble and their young bunnies Rosey, Posey and Christopher, Walter Duck, Little Martha the lamb and more are so sweet. Another great thing about this book is that the characters come to life and visit and live at our play farm! so it had led to hours of creative play. The stories are simple, 25 of them! The language is English (as opposed to American!) this was a plus for us having grown up in England reminiscent of my childhood.

A little warning as one or two of them are "old fashioned" a little politically incorrect! (mainly the adventures of Walter Duck) We just skip or update!

The Empty Pot

The Life and Times of the Honeybee

Belinda Bee's Busy Year

The Best Beekeeper of Lalibela: A Tale from Africa

Do you see a theme? We are about to start a mini unit on bees.....we will do it with our homeschooling coop.

To Be . . . A Bee! A Bee Unit

Here is the Beehive
Here is the beehive. Where are the bees? 
(hold up fist)
Hidden away where nobody sees. 
(move other hand around fist)
Watch and you’ll see them come out of the hive
(bend head close to fist)
One, two, three, four, five. 
(hold fingers up one at a time)
Bzzzzzzzz… all fly away!
(wave fingers)

1.  There are thousands of different kinds of bees.  BEE FACT: A bee has five eyes: two large compound eyes on each side of its head and three smaller eyes on top of its head.

2.  They are found everywhere in the world except the North and South Poles.  

3.  Bees are the only insects that make food that humans eat, (honey).  Honey is a natural and healthy sweetener. How Much Honey? On a single flight, a honeybee can visit more than 1,000 flowers, drinking nectar with a tongue that resembles a drinking straw. When its "honey stomach" — which holds only one-eyedropper's worth of nectar — is full, the bee deposits the nectar into hive cells. Tell children that each bee produces about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.

(Engage in a honey tasting activity or an easy recipe calling for honey as a main ingredient)

4.  Beeswax is used in making candles, and other products. (Make a salve/dipped candle)

5.  Bees live in large groups called colonies.

Siblings by Scent: Explain to children that honeybees of the same colony recognize their siblings by scent. When an unrelated bee tries to enter the hive, guard bees detect its foreign scent and sting it to death.

(Game to help understand how bees recognize one another, divide them into groups for this activity. First, gathersome cotton swabs and three clear food flavorings, such as peppermint, coconut, and lemon. Divide the cotton swabs into three groups, dip each group into a different flavoring, and randomly arrange the swabs on waxed paper. Have kids pick a cotton swab and form colonies (groups) by finding other "bees" with matching scented swabs. After they have identified their "bee siblings," share their experiences.)

BEE FACT: A bee smells, tastes, and feels with its two antennae. It also senses things with the hairs on its body and legs.

6.  Their dwellings (homes) are called hives. BEE FACT: A beehive is built with wax produced in special glands in the workers' abdomens.

7.  The leader of each hive is the queen.  She directs the activities of the other bees, the workers and the drones.  The queen bee lays up to 2,000 eggs per day to populate the hive. BEE FACT: Worker bees are female. They build the beehive and perform all the jobs necessary for the survival of the hive. Many people raise bees for the production of honey and wax or just as a hobby.

8.  The honey bee is important for the farming industry and natural settings in the process of pollination for the production of crops and growth of wild plants. 

Pollination: A bee traps pollen on its hairy legs as it gathers nectar from a flower blossom. When it visits another flower, pollen falls off the bee's legs and pollinates - or fertilizes - that flower. This cross-pollination allows plants to reproduce.

( To show how bees transport pollen, kids will make their own bees and cut out large flower shapes from construction paper. Sprinkle a thin coat of powdered paint in the center of the flowers, using a different color for each. Each paint color represents flower pollen. Children will be invited to gently land their bees on one flower center and then fly them to another. What happens as their bees move from flower to flower? Explain that real bees transport pollen in a similar fashion in order to cross-pollinate flowers in nature.)

Circle Dancing Directions
When a bee discovers a field of nectar-producing flowers, it communicates its find by dancing on the hive. A circle dance means that the flowers are nearby. A waggle dance, in which the bee wags its abdomen, indicates the flowers are far away. To further direct the colony, the dancing bee waggles in a straight line, to the left, or to the right. Invite children to communicate in a bee's language. First, write the names of different classroom objects on note cards, making sure the objects are visible to students. To play, group children into "colonies." Then secretly show one "bee" in each group the note card. Instruct that bee to perform circle and waggle dances to give its colony clues to the location of the mystery object. When a colony guesses the object, invite the dancing bee to fly to the object to confirm its location.

Zoe listens:

Uncle Wiggly

Mandy & The Magic Butterfly

Otherwise the big project is my office re-do.........finally picked the colors. Hopefully I'll paint this week!!!

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