The Learning Room

April 12 – 16

United States Geography Unit Study

We decided to make this last week before taking a spring break a light week. Our next history unit will be on Lewis and Clark, which will take several weeks so I didn’t want to start just yet. We spent this week reviewing our U.S. geography map skills and tying in our bird theme by coloring/drawing state birds. We also used these bird drawings as a chance for penmanship practice by labeling which state the bird belongs to and then filing them in our State Binders. The kids had fun this week. They love coloring and drawing birds so it made the week easy to get through. I’m looking forward to taking a 4-week break, especially with nausea coming to an all-time high right now. I’m excited to work on getting all our gardening done and enjoying playing outside before the weather gets too hot. At the end of the four weeks I’ll post what kind of schoolish things we did (books read, field trips taken, interests followed) because that still counts towards our Nebraska state requirement hours even if they weren’t formally planned! Learning doesn’t necessarily stop just because you’re taking a break!

History & Geography

  • Read United Tweets of America: 50 State Birds by Hudson Talbott. This book is one of my kids favorites. They just love the humour infused with all the facts and this is one that they beg me to read, especially the bird captions (done in a cartoon format). I will buy this for next year. We check it out too often to keep borrowing from the library!
  • Colored several state birds and labeled then placed in the kids State Binder.
  • Took a review quiz of labeling a U.S. map. (Find free map pdf files here.)
  • Practiced learning states through Learn Disover Explore: The United States of America (a fun little book we picked up last year on the Target $1 shelf!)
  • Practiced state abbreviations.

Language Arts

  • Poetry ~ read The Cuckoo’s Haiku and Other Birding Poems by Michael J. Rosen (beautiful pictures, by the way, and useful for Gabe in reviewing what a haiku is).
  • Literature ~ read chapter 6 of Charlotte’s Web.
  • Penmanship ~ practiced manuscript (Lily) and cursive (Gabe) with labeling bird pictures.
  • Phonics ~ Lily practiced reading independently and read I’m a Seed for me (a Hello Reader level 1 book).
  • Independent Reading ~ Gabe spent a lot of his free time reading this week. Stared Charlie and the Chocoloate Factory for the millionth time. Read Franny K Stein: The Fran that Time Forgot and a Magic School Bus chapter book: The Giant Germ. Lily played outside more in her free time but spent a lot of time reading her library books (mainly Dr. Suess) before bed. She’s getting more confident every day!


  • Colored pictures of a Meadowlark, Goldfinch, Robin, Eagle, Mockingbird, Baltimore Oriole, and Wood Thrush.
  • Used original drawings of a Cardinal, Bluebird, and Robin.
  • Listened to our Revolutionary Freedoms CD with an emphasis on the song “Fifty Nifty United States”.

Science & Physical Education

  • Read I’m a Seed by Jean Marzollo to everyone. The kids asked for this to be read three times in a row and then Lily read it out loud to me. They loved this book because it is about a marigold and pumpkin seed, both seeds we plan to plant in our garden and both seeds we did plant last year. Luc is especially excited about the pumpkins this year and clapped everytime the pumpkin seed talked. This is a very informative book for being so simple and much in the style of Nancy Wallace’s books (which I love!).
  • Did lots of gardening work this week. Kids helped with sifting our compost and bringing it to the new beds to spread. They also helped with sifting our rocks and digging out weeds.
  • Gabe and Lily started rock collections. They used recycled egg cartons – just the perfect size to fit a rock in! We will have to dig out our rock field guides.
  • Found (and washed REALLY well) several bird feathers for their nature shelf. We think one is from a meadowlark. I can’t tell what the other two are from. They are darker in color w/a rainbow sheen at the tip and quite large in size. (Luc has been desperately chasing the Robins trying to get one to let him pet it!)
  • Read Storms by Seymour Simon and A First Discovery Book: Weather (Scholastic) after we had a sudden impromptu spring thundershower!
  • Gabe independently read The Senses: Seeing when he wanted to know how a piece of glass (he thinks his lenses are just a piece of glass) can make you see better. (The answer: different shaped glass, concave or convex depending on if you are near or farsighted!)

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