Friday, October 28, 2011

Michigan History Week: 4 & 5

Michigan History weeks 4 & 5

For weeks four and five we have moved into discussing the Native Americans of Michigan.  One of our first activities was to map the native american tribes of Michigan.  We located the areas each tribe was specific to and noted them on our outline maps.  For more specifics on this please check out the state history site here.

Next we focused on the Anishinaabe tribes which were local to our area of Michigan.  We learned that the Anishinaabe were made of of three tribes which formed a council known as the Three Fires.  We drew on knowledge we already had from the exhibit we have visited several times about the Anishinaabe at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. We discussed characteristics of their life style, including housing, religion, foods, clothing, travel etc.

 We added a Native American lapbook page to our Michigan Notebook showing what we had learned.  My kids were surprised to learn that not all Native Americans lived in tepees and wore feathers in their hair.  We learned that Wigwams were a domed shaped house made of mud, twigs and deer hides. We also learned that the Huron or Wyandot tribe, which we also discussed lived in a long house.  For food we discovered the importance of the three sisters, corn, beans and squash.  We also learned that wild rice was a very important part of the diet of Michigan Native Americans.

When we got to the religion segment, we heard the legend of the sleeping bear and used this to discuss the beliefs of the Native Americans in contrast to what we know to be true of God.

We then discussed the function of canoes, canoe routes and what portaging was.

Some pictures of our lapbook.  These I found on hslaunch.

Finally My favorite activity involved a set of woodland Native American paper dolls.  We colored both a boy and girl doll and dressed them.

In the coming weeks we will learn who the first European explorers were and how this will affect the Native Americans.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

No Fast Food: How We are Doing Week 1+

So I wanted to write this last Saturday and here it is Wednesday and I am just sitting down to write this.  Such is my life, there never seems to be enough time to get everything done.  With that in mine here is an update of how we are doing with the No Fast Food Challenge.

We are 12 days into this as I write this and still fast food free.  In fact after the little tantrum thrown by my youngest on the way home from Church Sunday morning I am considering extending this longer, lol.  It should not be heartbreaking to not eat out for a week, lol.  I didn't even think we ate out that often, although Sunday nights are hard and I do love to stop for dinner when its 7:30 and my kids are hungry and should be in bed in half an hour and we just got out of church, you get the idea.  To combat that weakness I have been planning ahead.  On Saturday or Sunday as time allows I will make a pot of soup or some other meal that will last for several days.  This gives me a go to meal when I am really busy, or we get home late.  The first weekend it was split pea soup and this last weekend was chicken noodle.   So far this has worked for us.

Finally I am already beginning to see some payoffs.  I no longer wonder if I can afford the extra stuff like piano lessons for my kids and I have lost a few pounds already.  Both make me really happy.  Here's to three more weeks of  No fast Food.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Michigan History Week: 3

Michigan History Week 3:

For week three of Michigan history we have continued our study of the state symbols.

Monday was a look at the state stone the Petoskey stone.  I have to admit to a major fail here.  I was sure that I had a Petoskey stone stuck away from my childhood, either polished or unpolished to use with this lesson.  In fact I was king of thinking I had both.  I do have a small collection of rocks that I had as a child and have moved many times since being married.  So I dug them out the morning of our lesson opened the box and it was full of agates, a nice piece of amethyst and other shiny rocks we will use later when we do our study of geology but not one Petoskey stone. I spent hours on Lake Michigan beaches as a kid on vacation hunting these stones with my parents and apparently not one ever made it to the box. So my kids had to look at a poor picture of said rock.  Apparently I should have checked on this at the start of the summer before I visited my parents who do have some around.

This is the poor picture we used to teach with and added to our books.  This is Petoskey Pete from one of the Michigan History magazines I had found on-line.

Tuesday was better we looked at the state fish, the Brook Trout.

I have a Michigan coloring book so we used the page with the fish colored him and added him to our books. There were two fish on the page a large one and a small one.  I instructed the kids to use the smaller one.  This didn't go well as Andrew insisted the bigger fish was better and yummier looking, lol.

Wednesday we sang the state song, Michigan My Michigan.  we opted to not add anything to our books for this.

Thursday and Friday we looked at how our state government is set up.

We mapped the capital on a shutter fold book (from homeschool share) and also made a small book listing the three branches of the government.  For the executive branch we included the name of our governor, the legislative branch included how many senators and representatives are in the state government and the judicial branch simply stated that judges enforce the laws.  The shutter fold map is actually designed to map the Great Lakes, but I didn't think they would have enough room to write the names of all the lakes neatly so I adapted in for the capital mapping instead.

Friday we ended with a worksheet on voting from My First book of Michigan.  (seen here).

Week four starts our look at the Native Americans of Michigan, hope you stop back to see what we learn.