I have pages already up on my website for both topics:
- Jataka Tales, which are traditionally done in second grade in the Waldorf curriculum, and
Wonder, Wish & Surprise, which is done in seventh grade.
By the way, I just found out Jamie York has a nice one-page sheet listing the common Block Rotations in Grades 1-8 (PDF) if you're looking for a handout.
The kids are having a wonderful time with both blocks, and definitely ready for a change of pace after our intense high-energy four weeks of Physics. The mood has shifted. The energy in the room is completely different.
Highlights from this week include:
- "Something from nothing: Group converts plastic bags into mats for homeless"
"Accessible nature: IDNR grant to fund improvements to nature preserve"
The Foolish Forest Sprite
The Deceitful Heron
The Monkey and the Crocodile
- Scratch Art with oil pastels and black acrylic paint, for the introduction and the dark cave with the animals' eyes glowing
Autumn Tree Perspective Drawing with colored pencils, for The Foolish Forest Sprite
Fish Printing with my collection of rubber fish and Daler Rowney acrylic ink, for The Deceitful Heron
Photography for our still life with figs, for The Monkey and the Crocodile
(On Monday we will finish the Still Life art project by doing our watercolor painting step.)
- nomenclature for the Landforms and Water Features
drawing your island including its landforms and water features
nomenclature for the biomes, looking at the biome maps for each of the eight continents
drawing your island again as a biome map, using the Map Legend Stamp to create a map key, thinking about the plants and animals which would live there
Fundamental Needs of Humans lesson (another of my beautiful new materials this year)
thinking about the people(s) on your island and how they would meet their needs (shelter, nutrition, clothing, defense, transportation, communication, art/culture, etc.) based on their biomes
using our absolutely luscious Faber Castell Gelatos -- this brand new art material is part crayon, part chalk pastel, part watercolor pencil -- to begin to create some 2-D art about your Imaginary Island
beginning to draft your first creative writing story
Dorit Winter's book on the "Wonder, Wish & Surprise" main lesson block (this book is called The Art and Science of Teaching Composition) emphasizes using activities which harness scientific thinking (such as the biome maps) to engage children and allow their creativity to flow. She feels that pre-teens will feel exposed, sensitive, and even silly if you just task them with writing creatively... which opens them up and makes them vulnerable. This way, she argues, they think they are engaged in something else and the pressure is off. In fact, her approach is spot-on and my entire group is entering very enthusiastically into writing stories which take place on their islands!
Our first week of creative writing (she also advises that you not call it "Wonder, Wish & Surprise" to the children, which will give away the different moods of the lessons in advance) focused on a sense of Wonder. What could be more wonder-filled than creating an imaginary world? (For those who are paying close attention, yes, the magical world of Terabithia served as a lovely transition into this block. That was intentional on my part.)
P.S. There WILL be a surprise or two in the third week of this block. If you're a parent of one of my students, I will be sending out an email about this.
My Science Club kids were here on Thursday. We've started doing a quick activity for the younger siblings (ages 2 - 4) between 3 and 3:30, and having the older kids (ages 6 - 9) do their Science Club at 3:30 pm. This is because the "littles" were feeling sad and left out that they couldn't stay for the very cool Science Club! This week, the "littles" did fish printing and the "big kids" designed and built their Balloon-Powered Cars and had a fun & exciting race.
This post contains affiliate links to the materials I actually use for homeschooling. I hope you find them helpful. Thank you for your support!