Sunday, April 20, 2014

Week Ending 20 April 2014 (Birds and Easter)

Here's some of what we've been up to this week. Birds and Easter seemed to feature in a variety of guises!

Miss 13 and I went on a mid-week bird ramble with our local birding group. The highlight was getting our first sighting of the Glossy Ibis this year. We'd made half a dozen previous attempts with no success so were delighted to finally spot it. We had great views of it feeding but sadly it was too far away to get any photos. But we did get photos of plenty of other birds - both the common (Mallards and Pukekos) and the rarer (White Heron).

The following day we enjoyed a great Poetry Teatime with freshly baked biscuits and hot chocolates. After spotting a White Heron yesterday, reading the book An Egret's Day was perfect - a picture book with a variety of poems  about the appearance, habit and behaviour of the Great Egret, more commonly known as the White Heron in our part of the world.

We spent a lot of time reviewing both cells and genetics for science. Last week I discovered a $1 deal for a month long membership at Supercharged Science, an online resource featuring readings, videos, quizzes and experiments. - so we decided to give it a go. Covering much the same material as our regular science programme but in a slightly different way has really helped Miss 13's understanding and retention. She's looking forward to trying out the bird related sections - just for fun. Fortuitously I also rediscovered an activity I'd pinned more than a year ago - Easter Egg genetics. Miss 13 enjoys working with Punnet Squares so the activity was a fun review. I think she would have enjoyed it more if I'd put M+Ms inside the eggs  as specified in the instructions! But I didn't have any and, with Easter coming up, I didn't feel we really needed any extra sugar entering the house.

Our fine arts focus continued with Modigliani and Dvorak. For Modigliani, as with all artists we study, we currently have some reproductions from old art calendars pinned to a section of our noticeboard. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery has a page devoted to Modigliani and it includes several lesson plans. So as well a learning about his life and times we  worked through two lessons - one focusing on his painting Servant Girl and the other his sculpture Head. For music we read the picture book Two Scarlet Songbirds, then read about the Scarlet Tanager and listened to its call. Finally we listened the third movement of Dvorak's American Quartet (also known as String Quartet No.12), which was partly inspired by the Scarlet Tanager, listening especially for the call.

A large proportion of Good Friday was spent in the kitchen making dozens of Hot Cross Buns. The weather was terrible  (as it was earlier in the week putting paid to our plans to observe the Blood Moon lunar eclipse) so a nice warm kitchen was a good place to be.

Thankfully the weather was much better on Saturday and Sunday so we got out and about.  I love autumn and these two sculptures always make me smile - especially at this time of the year.

We also enjoyed  The Big Egg Hunt. Apparently this is a world wide event, but the first time it has been held here. Giant eggs, decorated by local artists and designers are displayed in secret public locations. There are prizes for locating the eggs and they are eventually auctioned off with the money going to charity - in this case a children's hospital.

Regular readers will not be surprised to learn that Miss 13's favourite egg was bird themed - featuring a Tomtit on one side and a Kokako on the other.

Linking up with Kris's Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

1 comment:

  1. Look at those Easter eggs!!! LOVE them. I so love reading about your birding weeks. I tell myself every time I read about Poetry Teatime that we are going to do this and we never do! Happy week Sandra. :)