Anatomy lesson #1.

MP900438746Today starts our anatomy lessons. I do call it anatomy. I have no problems calling it anatomy.

I wrote “anatomy” in big letters on a piece of butcher paper and stuck it on our wall. As we learn about the different parts of the body, we will put up different images on the butcher paper. Since this is our first lesson, it’s just a blank sheet of paper at the moment.

To review the basics, I downloaded this worksheet and had my children fill it out. For Abby, I printed the names of the different body parts on stickers (the kind you get for return addresses at Staples). Then I peel them off, give them to her and tell her what they say. She’s responsible for putting them in the right spot. Nicholas has to read his own words and put them in the right spot. I’m not above helping if he needs it, but he has shown me he can read when he wants to – so now he has to learn to read on demand.


Here’s a great website to help plan your lessons on bones:

This is the skeleton we used for our "Name that Bone" game.

This is the skeleton we used for our “Name that Bone” game.

Then we moved onto the skeletal system. First we covered what our bones do. Our bones do many things:

1. They give our body structure.

2. They help us move.

3. They protect organs.

I printed these three things out on a sheet of paper and the kids got to cut them out and paste them onto a picture of a bone. While they were cutting and pasting, we talked about what bones are made of (calcium and bone marrow were as deep into the topic as we got) and how you can get strong bones (fruits, vegetables, milk).

Then we got to play “Name that Bone.” I printed out an image of a skeleton and cut apart the bones and laminated them. Then the kids go to pick them up and name them – I helped the first two rounds, but then Nicholas had them down. After we named them, he had to tape them in order onto our Anatomy poster. This took a bit longer, but he eventually got it.

In addition to the labeled bones, I added the phalanges, carpals, and metacarpals.

What else did we do for our lesson? We continued our math book and practiced some more subtraction and addition. He’s not paying attention to the operational signs in math, and just assumes he can do what he wants with the numbers, so I’m making worksheets that mix up the operations. When he gets 100% on the worksheet he gets a penny. I leave him alone to do it and make his own mistakes. Sometimes he does 3 or 4 math worksheets in a day trying to get his penny. I’m wondering when he’ll learn it is simply easier to pay attention the first time around.

We did our reading an phonics books too. I have the Spectrum books for reading and phonics for 1st grade and we work our way through, one page at a time. Reading time was spent reading the new Transformers book Nicholas got on sale at Barnes and Noble and the Sophia the Princess book.

We also did our word wall with -et, -at, -ob, -ot, -it, -id, and -ee words. Abby like this because she gets the extra words and a magnet board and gets to play too.

Lastly, we finished our German sticker book today. Once we finished it, we went through and had to read each page of German words.


Ocean animals: Review and wrap up.

Nicholas likes crawling through a sea turtle's shell.

Nicholas likes crawling through a sea turtle’s shell.

We are finishing sea animals with a quick review today and moving on. I made a crossword with one of those random crossword generators. The great thing about crosswords is that they can test knowledge, teach spelling, and work on handwriting all at the same time.

Here are the clues I used for the crossword:

Octopus: Has 8 arms
Coral: Groups of small organisms that make a reef
Water: What the ocean is made of
Jellyfish: Has long tentacles and no bones
Waves: Movement of ocean water
Ocra: Black and white whale
Kelp: Anchored in rocka and grows in forests
Dolphin: A smart mammal that swims in pods
Walrus: Likes cold water and has lots of fat to keep it warm
Fish: Swims in schools
Sand: Found on the bottom of the ocean


Our next set of lessons is going to be on the 5 senses and finishing our orchestra lessons. At any given time, we have two themes going on so I get to choose between the various themes to make things fun. Also, I get to find various worksheets. I like making my own worksheets, but I also don’t like reinventing the wheel.

What else are we doing?

We are working on math out  of the 2nd grade textbook and practicing place values.

For writing and reading we are working off these worksheets on He likes these sentence worksheets because they give a topic, and help you draw the animal at the bottom. I also print one off for Abby and she writes all over the page, tries to draw the animal, and tries to trace the letters.

All of our art projects this week will be Valentine’s Day themed. We will be writing valentines to our family and friends, and making wonderful pictures to decorate with.

Ocean lessons: more creatures of the sea.

Here's a picture of part of our ocean wall. The whole thing takes up a lot of space on our wall, but this shows how we are doing.

Here’s a picture of part of our ocean wall. The whole thing takes up a lot of space on our wall, but this shows how we are doing.

We are finishing up ocean lessons this week. I haven’t been very good about posting everything online (sorry). But here’s the general format we have taken:

1. Pick an animal

2. Find facts on the animal and a coloring page for the animal (generally from the Learning Page)

3. Read facts to kids while the kids color the animal

4. Kids cut out the animal and stick it on our ocean wall

5. We point to all the animals and say their names, what they eat, what a family of them is called, and their names in German

6. Then we go to the Kids National Geographic site and watch their videos of the animals and listen to what the animals sound like

This format has worked for us – very well. The kids know what is expected of them while we are doing our animal lessons. What is more, we can play the “Vo ist?” game with the animals because we know their names in German (I say, “Vo ist……” and they point to the right animal).

After we do our lesson on animals, we go do our math and other worksheets. I’ve started a box of file folders – Abby has one pattern and Nicholas has the other. Abby’s are numbered (1 = Monday, 2= Tuesday) and Nicholas’ have the days of the week on them. I put all the worksheets into them on Sunday night, and they do them every day after the animal lesson. We have math, reading, writing, and phonics worksheets. I also include a maze, logic problem, and dot-to-dot in each one. The kids get to decide the order we do them in. I set the timer for 10 minutes and we go. After 10 minutes we play for 10 minutes, then work again. We do this cycle until the worksheets are done. The system has been working out well for us.

Here’s the list of animals we have done:

Starfish, penguin, sea lion, coral, kelp, whale, orca, dolphin, fish, octopus, walrus, shark, sea turtle (which has the longest name in German ever), jellyfish, eel, and sting ray.

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