Saturday, March 1, 2014

Year 2 - Week 19 - Korean Lamb Towels & Silly First Law of Thermodynamics "Magic"

This week we dressed for our history sentence in our best attempts at Korean hanbok dresses and made  lamb towels for the kids to wear!  What a hoot!  They are so easy and fun!  All you need is a hand towel.  Here are the visual directions and written ones below pictures....

  1.  Lay out your towel
  2.  Hot dog fold both sides into the middle - overlapping
  3.  Roll each end up like a cuff on a sleeve  
  4.  Open it up in the middle and place it over the head 
Now you have a Korean Lamb Towel!  

We started our Wonderful Wednesday's like most, doing our lapbooks and hand motions for the timeline song.
We then moved into what I labeled to the kids as silly thermodynamics "magic" tricks.  I made sure to build it up so they would think these "magic tricks" were going to be really something they could take home and do on their Dad or siblings to impress them -but after two or three, they caught on to the silliness and it became very funny.  So to start, I brought out a flashlight and a small candle inside a holder.  I lit the candle and then told them that we were going to place them off to the side until the end of the day and see what happens.
Next, I had my first volunteer come up to assist me with the first magic trick!  I whispered in her ear that when I said "ta-da" she would turn the lights on and then off!  So I gave the word and she turned them on and then off.  The kids waiting in anticipation for some great magic trick still....then I said "Wow!   Did you see that!  She just converted electricity to light, give her a hand, Woohoo!"  And so the rest of the silliness went as we did all the following "magic tricks"...
Converting electricity
We did the same thing with lighting a match - ta-da!  Converting chemical energy!

Converting chemical energy
Next we ran around the room as fast as we could and then stopped!  They converted food into mechanical energy and heat!
Chemical & Mechanical energy
Then we had our next magician come up and convert chemical energy to sound and light by turning on and of, a toy!  Ta-da!
Chemical (battery) energy
Then I gave each child a rubber band and they placed it up against their forehead (which was our sensor) and then were told to note how warm or cold it was.  
Next they were told to quickly stretch it back and forth as fast as they could and place it up to their forehead and see if it felt different.  It became warm.  We converted mechanical energy to heat. 
Mechanical energy to heat
Then we did a final experiment which I named Mrs. Leonard's Magic Sound Machine - it was an empty oatmeal container and lid where I cut a circle the size of a penny out of the lid.  Then I lit a candle and placed it in front of the hole about 3" away from the opening.  The kids then took turns hitting the back of the box and watching it move the flame on the candle with the goal of blowing out the flame!  It was quite the hit and easy to make/do!  This was an example of sound (vibration) and how it can change energy.
We also did the song Johnny Works With One Hammer with the kids and talked about what foods (what they had for breakfast) they converted to mechanical and heat energy while doing the song!

Once our silly "magic tricks" were done, we sat down to discuss the concepts that we had explored and make the connection to our science topic for today, which was the First Law of Thermodynamics!  Due to the ages of the kids and the complexity of the topic, my goal was to just provide some broad brush strokes of understanding to the concepts involved and provide some sort of touchpoint for later use.  
We focused in on a few key vocabulary words after we defined the first law.  The ideas were finding energy and converting energy.  We also discussed what renewable verses non-renewable, energy was.  We talked about the latin word "ex-nihilo" and how it was used in Genesis.  I shared that the term ex-nihilo meant - to create literally "out of nothing" - which of course, only God can do.  We can only change energy He has already put in place throughout the Universe.  I had found this MRS CHEN acronym and while it's not quite scientifically perfect - for this age and purpose, it worked fine.  We described each of the forms of energy here.  We talked about the main physical source of all energy and life on earth - the Sun and then tied that into the Son (Jesus) as our source of all Spiritual life here on earth.  Then we did two small projects to allow the kids to utilize these concepts -applying them to the task given.
The next activity was taking a circle and adding strips of paper as "rays" to become our son.  On the sun we wrote in the middle "ENERGY" and then on each strip the kids wrote forms and sources of energy.
So what happened to our flashlight and candle we lit at the beginning of the silly magic trick and project time?  Well, the candle burned all the way out and the battery lit flashlight continued to shine.  We talked about which had greater stored (potential) energy the battery had compared to the candle wax, as well as the idea of non-renewable energy -there are additional concepts that can be touched on such as energy conservation etc.  

If you would like the source of the information I pulled together for this day, you can check out the following link

We ended our day with a review game - using Rock Paper Scissors.  I've been playing this with my class and it's a big hit!  Easy review game for those Tutors out there.  Here is how we do it - divide into two teams and each team faces off against the opponent across from them.  You go around in order asking the review questions.  If it's a correct answer you say "rock, paper, scissors shoot!" and everyone plays against the person across from them.  Then you ask the winners on both sides, to raise their hands and on a white board, give a tick mark for each winner who has their hands raised.  If the answers incorrect, then you move on to the next person and no one shoots/gets any points.  My camera batter ran out -so I couldn't get any pictures playing!

It was a Wonderful Wednesday!

Linked up to Carnival of Homeschooling!


  1. Wow. I am so amazed at all you got done in one day!! The costumes are awesome!!

    1. Thank you Lisa - it went pretty quick - fast and silly for most of it. I'm glad you like the costumes - it's so much fun to come up with stuff each week - especially for some topics of study. :)

  2. What a great day! It's crazy you pull this off every week! I want to use your review game on Monday. I'm trying to picture in my head how it works. I have 8 kids. So, I would have 4 seated in two lines facing each other? Do all 8 play rock paper scissors at the same time? Or is it just two kids going against each other? And rock paper scissors is only played when there is a correct answer? Thank you for your tips!

    Nice to see you at the A Nurse's Wildflowers Weekly Moments and Musings Linkup! :)

    1. Hi Heather - thank you. You are correct - 4 kids on a side opposing one another for the game. They all shoot when someone gets the answer correct. Then you add up the winners on each side and give points. At the end of review, they see which team had the most tick marks and won! Easy - requires no additional supplies to bring in for Tutors and the kids love it! :) Let me know how it goes!

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  4. I like all the ideas about energy, its different forms and converting between them. I also like the lamb towels although my first though was why do they all have Princess Leia hair.

  5. Chris - haha - funny you should say that because one of the Moms said she is going to get brown towels and use that for a Star Wars costume this fall! LOL :)

  6. I wish I could come to every last one of your wonderful Wednesdays. They ALL look like so much educational fun. Very inspiring...Will be mentioning your blog at a weekend workshop I am doing on Hands-On Homeschooling. Blessings, Joanna

    1. Joanna - I wish you could too! We'd have some big time crafting fun, now wouldn't we together?? I appreciate so much, the shout out this weekend at your workshop. Blessings - Colleen :)

  7. I love that mnemonic. How much fun is it? You put together a great collection of ideas and ways to really learn energy.

  8. What simple, but perfect ways to show the first law of thermodynamics! Thanks for sharing all the ideas!