Edible Cells & Poetry Journals

by Amy on September 21, 2012

Edible plant cell science project

Edible Plant and Animal Cells Activity

The hands-down highlight of this week’s learning activities was the creating (and eating!) of edible animal and plant cells. I saw this project at Se7en’s blog, and knew the girls would love it.

Using jello as our cytoplasm, we added various fruits and candies to represent some of the major components of the cell. We practiced saying tricky words, like mitochondria and nucleolus. The diagrams at Classroom Jr. were our reference for creating our cells.

We weren’t caught up in memorizing the cell components’ names and functions, but rather focused on how intricate and complicated cells are! The girls really enjoyed comparing the similarities and differences between plant and animal cells, too.

Before digging into our cells for snack time, I took photos of each one. I printed the photos and the girls labelled the cell parts. The girls are already scheming what other things they can make out of food – a map of Europe, perhaps?

Poetry Journals

We love reading poetry, and usually read poems together at least once a week (lunch time is perfect for this, or try Tuesday Teatime like Julie at Brave Writer suggests.) Last year, we chose one special poem a week to practice reading aloud fluently, plus to have more in-depth discussions about patterns, rhyming, imagery, etc. The girls would usually illustrate these poems, and we kept them in a binder, which they frequently pulled out to read.

This year, we’re trying poetry journals. We still have a poem of the week, which we glue in our journal. We’re writing a response to each poem – just a couple sentences about parts we like, interesting words we notice, or what the poem reminds us of. We’re still adding illustrations to our poems, too.

The key to making this work (and not seem like busy work), is having a rich discussion about the poem before hand. Then, the girls have plenty of ideas and material for writing.

So far, poetry journals are one of the first activities they choose to do each week. I’ll be sharing our poetry response sentence starters and favorite poets in another post soon.

Other highlights from our home school this week:

We’re almost finished with The Secret Zoo by Brian Chick. The girls are loving this fantasy/adventure book with unusual settings, friendly animals, and plenty of mystery. It was a little slow to get into, but the action picks up as the book goes on. Natalie bought the second book with her own money, just so she could be ready to read it right away when we finish.

My girls love it when I put stickers on their work – I had no idea they were still into that! I need to replenish my cute sticker supply, for sure.

The girls can’t get enough of the Schoolhouse Rock videos (we watch them on You Tube). From The Tale of Mr. Morton (subject/predicate) to Do the Circulation, these are a fun, light-hearted way to introduce a topic.

Feel free to share or link-up to your learning moments from the week.
Have a wonderful weekend!

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