Homeschool Reading Blog

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General Goals

  • To seek information through observation, exploration, and investigations.
  • To use simple tools and equipment to enhance observation and gather data.
  • To investigate & understand that some materials sink in water while others float.
  • To develop an awareness that a map is a drawing of a place to show where things are located and that a globe is a round model of the Earth.
  • To explore beginning map skills through manipulation of objects.
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  • Somewhere in the Ocean - Jennifer Ward
  • Moonlight Ocean - Elizabeth Golding 
  • Sounds of the Wild: Ocean - Maurice Pledger 
  • My First Biography: Christopher Columbus - Marion Dane Bauer
  • I Wonder Why Columbus Crossed the Ocean and Other Questions About Explorers- Rosie Greenwood 
  • Beach Is to Fun: A Book of Relationships - Pat Brisson 
  • Float and Sink - Robin Nelson 
  • Strawberry Shortcake at the Beach - Megan E. Bryant 
  • Seashells By the Seashore - Marianne Berkes
  • Hello Ocean - Pam Munoz Ryan 
  • Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea - Jan Peck
  • Beach Day - Karen Roosa 
  • Super Sand Castle Saturday - Stuart J. Murphy
  • Christopher Columbus - Stephen Krensky
  • Follow the Dream: the Story of Christopher Columbus - Peter Sis
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Fishy Fun

Go to an aquarium this week if you have one close. Or, if you're a fishing family or know a friend who is, take your child fishing this week.
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Sink or Float?

Play a sink or float game on line here. Collect some fun objects to experiment with: marbles, a block, a rubber ball, stick, plastic fork, pencil, eraser, paper, sponge, soda bottle cap, plastic bottle, foil. Have your child draw pictures of each item before testing. Ask them to make a prediction on which will sink & underline them. Then next time your child is in the tub, collect those objects to let your child try it for themselves. After the bath, have your child circle the ones that sunk. How many did they guess right? (You could do the testing in a bowl or pan of water, but it's more fun in the tub.)
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Sand Art

Let your child make sand art pictures with colored sand. When I was a kid, we just used school glue & colored sand on stiff paper. That would work. Or, now you can buy peel & pour kits to make sea life mobiles or day at the beach pictures. Take your pick. It's always fun!
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Virtual Submarine Trip

Take a trip on a "submarine" on line here. Collect pictures of various swimmers, drifters, & crawlers in the deep sea, kelp forest, & the coral reef.
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Walk like a crab, etc. for some physical education.


Just in case your child has never seen an actual crab walk, he can watch this one...

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Make a Scene

Make a shoebox diorama craft or paper plate submarine window. You could use the sea life templates from either link to use on either project. If you are doing the submarine window craft, I've always just used cellophane wrap instead of "clear plastic". Another option is to make an ocean in a bottle as shown here. Very cute!
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Ocean Poetry

Read some ocean poetry here. Try writing a few of your own together if your child gets into it.
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Hatch a Jar of Pets

A fun experience/experiment that doesn't cost much, does take some time to collect the stuff for, but will be a memory maker is hatching brine shrimp. If you had "Sea Monkey" kits when you were young, this is exactly the same thing, just more "sciency" looking & much better results. (I never actually got any Sea Monkeys hatched as a kid, did you?) Get brine shrimp eggs at your local pet shop. While you are there, if you don't have an aerator pump (used in aquariums) & some tubing, get that, too. Here is a link to some good educational tips. I'll include pictures of how we did it. We do it every year we have a kindergarten/first grader in the house & it is legendary. They may not remember a bunch of things you do or did with them this year, but I'll bet they remember this one if you chose to do it. Our kids take their jars of shrimp to the store, church, wherever. They only last a week or two so the mess is short lived & you don't have to feel guilty about it, unlike a goldfish, etc.

Our hatchery:


Jar full of eggs & new hatchlings:


Day three:


Day five:


Our shrimp pet jars:


This guy gives a pretty good tutorial below.


I used a lot more eggs, so used a bigger container & the air pump to keep things aerated. We chose a honey jar so that it was clear, bigger, but not too wide. It actually was a perfect shape to see what was going on with our shrimp. Our eggs didn't come with any sand or food. They looked more like tiny poppy seeds. We don't use a thermometer. We just put the eggs in room temp water which probably causes them to hatch day later while the water warms up. Oh well. After they hatch, we turn the air pump off, suck them up with a pipette & put them into jars. We put like 30 or so in each smaller jar & keep the jars under the lamp for temperature. We then get the fun of experimenting - put more food in one jar, less in another, none in another. Keep one in a cooler part of the house. Etc. We look in each jar every morning & night with magnifying glasses to see how big they are, how they swim, etc. A couple tips: one teaspoon of eggs is a TON. Do not dump a 1/4 cup in the jar; too much. They eat yeast after they hatch & you get them into smaller jars. And lastly, remember to use a pipette to aerate the smaller jars twice a day, too. Just squeeze 8-10 times into each jar morning & night. Food only has to be sprinkled in (VERY sparingly, like five grains?) every couple days.