I worked on this chalk drawing last night, hurrying to finish it for the morning. I wanted it to be done when the dk's woke up! I was struggling to find a subject to start our school year that was brief and that would serve both children, who are at quite different levels. It hit me after a walk the other day, in which we saw a monarch, and then later that night. It seems that planning out our blocks and then the individual aspects of them, never ends. I spent half the summer planning our blocks - and this was a last minute addition, but a necessary one? I really needed something to sort of usher in the year. A family block.
We started by going for a hike through a forest preserve, which just so happened to (lucky us!) have a little plaque about monarchs - with a pretty drawing of one too! (We love art!) So we learned on our hike that monarchs only eat milkweed and that it makes them taste YUCKY to their would be predators. We stopped to LISTEN to the woods, SMELL the woods, and SEE what things we could scurrying about, or growing on the trees. We collected some leaves from an ash, since we want to learn to identify more trees. And we noticed that we don't usually see butterflies in the forest. hmmnn? Maybe they stick to the meadows?
When we came home, we read a nice nature story (read it, since I have a REAL difficult time memorizing anything) but I had read it twice over already - and that allowed me to at least do a very nice, inflected reading of it. I must say, despite my dd's protests, that she already knows all of this, she listened to the reading intently. I know that for her I am really going to have to search out at least some minor point that she doesn't already know, or in some other way, deepen this lesson for her. There was one little point in the nature story, which mentioned the tiny feathers on the butterflies wings. I am curious as to whether she noticed that point. I totally love that it is a story and not just spoon-fed bits of data.
I ordered a bunch of books from the library, and hope they arrive soon. Most are already on our bookshelves .