(Repost from 2008. As I know many of us are in the planning stages for the new school year, I though it might be helpful to do a series of posts that added an element of fun and hands-on enjoyment in some of our year's past. This is great for Science and Research. Enjoy!!)
We having been enjoying the wonderful DVD's put out by the BBC on our Planet Earth and have led us to tremendous amounts of research and discovery of different biomes, habitats and many wondrous geographical features.
Along with the Advanced Landforms Kits and Research Materials from Montessori for Everyone, the children are making the research their own with enthusiasm and delight in their learning hands-on! Here is a sampling of what the three older children accomplished yesterday after I requested that they each gather materials and create one of the Biomes or Habitats they have seen on the DVDs.
Sean-Paul was right by my side working with the Landforms Trays. He loves pouring blue water for any project!
Violet chose to make a Baobab Forest found only in Madagascar and Australia. She formed her trunks with modeling clay and then added white lilac blossoms to represent the enormous "banana-shaped" flowers that open only at night peeling back in seconds to display thousands of stamens and brilliant hot pink blossoms. Then she added some animals that might live in her biome.
Here is an excerpt from her research and a closer look...
"...These interesting trees have very fat trunks with leaves only at the top to form a sort of canopy. They almost look like giant celery stalks. The trunks will hold up to 31,700 gallons of water to last them through any drought. During the rainy season when the Baobab is swelled with water, they undergo a magical transformation in the night. On the trees, there are banana shaped parts a foot long, which open up to reveal a gorgeous flower. The flower has yellow petals, a long pink pistil and millions of stamens. Many animals love to feast on the nectar of this flower..."
Matthias created a Asiatic grassland also with animals to represent his biome. I really like how creatively he chose his materials to image this habitat. The fun part for him happened later when we all realized that the dandelion stalks he chose opened into their seed plumes as they warmed up inside the house! A veritable transformation that added an element of surprise to his habitat.
Here's a closer look before the animals were installed...
And last but certainly not least, Seamus' Biome is the Tiaga Forest in the Northern hemisphere. He chose this all on his own and selected his materials accordingly. I especially liked his idea of using flour to represent the snow. He included a moose, bobcat, deer, wolverine, and wolf. Seamus especially loved this work and didn't stop talking about his creation and the Tiaga all afternoon!
And a closer look...
This was really fun and an easy hands-on activity to further our Biomes research and to trigger memory of things seen and learned from the Dvd's. Each time we sit down to view a particular Biome or Habitat we learn yet another interesting fact about our beloved Planet Earth! I hope you'll try this with your sweeties and see what wonders they can create!
Have the best day and may God bless you always!