Wonderful Wednesday is back! It felt good to get a week under our belt and sing those familiar CC songs, see the kids fantastic history dress ups and enjoy the fun and fellowship of exploring this weeks' topic through experimentation mixed with silliness and a 3D model! It was a great start to what I hope will be a terrific year for everyone!
We started out our morning singing, writing and hand-motioning through the memory work together! We then moved into our fun experiments I had planned out for the kids. I chose to focus on the skin specifically, this week for our experiments. The topic was easy to come up with activities for and I thought of an simple, fun 3D model for the skin as well.
We began by discussing the purpose of skin and then explored the concept of body temperature being maintained through sweat. We had the kids get a partner. Then the kids closed their eyes as their partner wet one arm with rubbing alcohol and one with the water - and then blew on them. The kids identified the arm that felt the coldest.
I handed each child a piece of paper with their name on it and they took turns pressing their thumb in ink and making a thumbprint on their paper. Next I had an identification sheet, showing the 9 finger print types or patterns. Each child had an opportunity to use a magnifying glass and investigate their fingerprint, figuring out which pattern they had. You can see a pattern identification chart and information about it here. They saved their papers for a "mystery" later on that they would all have a hand in solving...
We then did a really oozy and gooey experiment that they all loved, which was to make a pretend blister! It was an easy experiment to do and it had a big wow factor for the kids. All it takes is some food coloring (we used natural -dye free), tissue paper, vaseline and a toothpick. You rub red food coloring the size of a quarter, on the back of their hand. Then you take vaseline and add a drop of yellow food dye to it and stir it with a toothpick, till it becomes yellow. Then you put enough of the vaseline on the back of the red spot on their hand, to bubble up. Next, add a piece of tissue paper on top of the vaseline and spread a thin layer of vaseline on top of that - until the tissue paper becomes transparent. Viola! You have a pretend blister. The most fun? Having someone else "pop" it with a toothpick!
Over the summer, I had purchased a 25pc Assorted Specimen Collection of Prepared Microscope Slides (basic biology slides). These had samples of all the tissue types for the kids to observe under the microscope. They also swabbed the inside of their cheek to then mount on a slide and observe their own epithelial skin cells as well. Those didn't work unless you really scrubbed quite vigorously with a q-tip on the inside of their cheek. We had some do the observing with the microscope, while the others were making their 3D models of skin! I only had one microscope and two glue guns -so for logistics, they split into two teams and swapped activities when they were done.
The 3D models were simple and inexpensive to make. I used thick sponges, pipe cleaners, rubber bands, raffia, toothpicks, hot glue gun and some labels I made. The model was meant to be a cross-section of skin. So the kids labeled the epidermis, dermis, pores, hair follicles, sweat glands, touch receptors, nerves and blood vessels. The epidermis was a thin paper bag, I used a yellow scrunched up pipe cleaner for a sweat gland, a red and blue pipe cleaner twisted together, for the blood supply, a piece of raffia split and bent to look like a nerve and a green rubber band split with black dots that I wrote on the ends - to be the touch receptors. The kids poked pores into the skin with a toothpick and then labeled with a toothpick their dermis and epidermis layers. We just hot glued everything on and the labels on as well. They looked great when they were all done!
Our last activity was a Mystery Fingerprint Game! This was a lot of fun. I used recycled glass jars and placed two labels on opposite sides of each jar. Then I labeled them 1 through 8 for each child. Next we blind folded the kids, put some hand lotion on them rubbing it in good and then pressed their fingerprint onto a jar, under the number label. Someone wrote the number and the child's name down on a separate sheet of paper to be our "answer key" for later on. Once all the kids were fingerprinted onto the glass containers, then they were given a partner and some paint brushes and cornstarch. They gently dusted the fingerprint with cornstarch and then taking a piece of tape, lifted the fingerprint off and placed it onto a black piece of paper provided to them. Next, they were given all the fingerprint cards from earlier they had made, with each child's name on it and were told to use the magnifying glasses and their expert detective skills - to identify who's print they had lifted from the jar! They then wrote down the number from their jar and their guess of who's fingerprint it was, onto their black paper in the corner white label provided. We then went around the room with the key we had made earlier and announced who would be getting off "free" and who would be caught and going to "jail"! It was a hoot and the kids really got into the idea of sending each other to "jail" if they identified correctly!
Since this weeks' history was on Christopher Columbus, we had a themed snack from one of our talented Mommas! It was three cleverly done pineapple boats sailing in blueberry water. The kids loved the creativity and the snack!
To end the time, the kids all played a review game of week one. They played "war" and had a great end to their day.The dress up was Christopher Columbus -to go along with our history theme as well! We had some role playing scenes as well throughout the morning. It feels good to be back!
It was a Wonderful Wednesday! Hope yours was too!