I don't know if it was just my teaching abilities today or what, but Alex was just not getting this. I started out by showing him pictures of a cow, pig, chicken, turkey, and the ocean and we talked about what kinds of meat came from which place. Here are the animals I used if you want it:
Then we read the book Meat and Protein.
It talks about all different kinds of meat and proteins and has all the pictures labeled. It was a pretty good overview. (I actually had a REALLY hard time finding books about meat for today.)
Then we played fishing for food. I printed out a bunch of different meats and cut them apart and put paperclips on them.
Then we rigged up our fishing pole with a magnet on the end. I put the foods in a box and let Alex fish for them.
Daddy ended up having to help a bit because Alex just couldn't get the paperclips to stick to his magnet. When he would catch one I would have him tell me what animal (or ocean) it came from and then he put it in a baggie with that animal's picture on the front (the same animals I showed him at the beginning).
He had fun with this, but I had to tell him what animal every piece of meat came from. He just doesn't get the different between beef and pork and cows and pigs. It's not sticking in his little head.
We read Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs next, the original one.
Then since I had to go to the grocery store anyway we piled in the car and went to check out the meat at the store. He was able to tell me what most of the seafoods were, but packaged meats were beyond him. I was going to let him pick one for us to buy and take home and cook, but he was being a brat so he lost his meat privileges.
So I'm not sure what I could have done differently, but this just wasn't the best subject. Maybe if we keep playing the fishing game over and over again he'll finally get it!
Day 2: Grains
I got four small bowls and filled them each with rice, oats, wheat, and popcorn. I showed them each to Alex and let him feel them and we talked about the kinds of foods we make with each one. We read the book The Grain Group to back this all up.
Next we did our science project. We got a quart baggie, a paper towel, and a stapler. We put the paper towel into the baggie then stapled it across the middle to make it stay put.
(My awesome staple helper.) Then we put enough water in the bag to soak the paper towel and leave about half an inch of water in the bottom. The we lined up a row of popcorn kernels along the staple line.
And then we hung it in the window.
The idea here is that they are supposed to grow. We live in a basement, so hopefully it will work!
Next we read the book One Grain of Rice.
It's about rice and math, so two birds with one stone! I really liked the illustrations in it. Every page has gold on it.
Then it was craft time. We used craft glue and our four bowls of grains to make grain "collages." I guess that's what you'd call it.
Just put down the glue, dump on the grains, then pour off the extras. The kids have been doing this for a few days now. It was a big hit.
Putting the paper and bowls in an edged tray kept the mess contained.
We had to take a break for lunch and to run errands, but when we got back we listened to the story of The Little Red Hen.
The book we got had a CD, otherwise we would have just read it.
And then what does one do when discussing grains and you've just read The Little Red Hen? Why make bread of course! We ground the wheat and everything. The kids love helping me make bread. My dad calls it wheat cake because he likes it so much. A tasty way to end the grain day!
Day 3: Water
So water isn't really a food group, but this is where is got stuck anyways. I had high hopes for all the fun water experiments there are out there, but Alex just wasn't into our activities today.
I gave him a glass of water to start with and had him smell it and feel it and drink it. Then I gave him a glass of ice and we talked about how ice is solid water. Then we put the ice into a pan and melted it on the stove until we could see the steam and talked about evaporation and water vapor.
We read the book The Magic School Bus Wet All Over about the water cycle.
We sang Give Said the Little Stream and It's Raining, It's Pouring. Then we looked at the pictures in the book A Drop of Water.
It talks about a bunch of different experiments you can do, but most of them were over Alex's head. But the pictures are good for discussing the properties of water.
Next we played sink or float. I filled a big bowl with water and got a bunch of stuff that was similar (like a plastic spoon and a metal spoon or a foam ball and a marble) but one would float and one would sink. We tested them all, guessing ahead of time whether they would float or sink. In case you were wondering, tomatoes sink. Who'd have thought?
Then for a final water experiment we got a clear 2-liter bottle and filled it with water. Then we dropped red, yellow, and blue food coloring into it and watched it swirl around. This shows how water molecules are constantly moving. By using the three colors you end up with a rainbow swirl. Alex didn't care about molecules, he just wanted to dump it out at the end. Oh well. Anton and I thought it was cool.
After Ella got home from school I sent the kids outside with a bucket of water and paintbrushes and let them paint the sidewalk. The kids have loved doing this for a long time. It keeps them busy forever. They try to paint the whole sidewalk but the sun keeps drying the water so they never finish! Good stuff.
And that ends our Food unit!