Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Starfall Fun, Science Experiment, and Self-Control

This week, my little guy has enjoyed some hands-on activities. Starfall comes with so many fantastic picture cards and so I thought I would make a game for him. I made several word cards to go with the pictures and then I placed the word cards in our large pocket chart, which by the way, he LOVES using. I then gave him one picture card at a time and he had to place the picture next to the correct word. I was amazed at how well he was able to sound out the words by himself. He didn't miss any of them!
Another fun activity involving his Starfall word cards involved using play-doh, which is another favorite in our house. I placed several cards on the table and he had to roll out the play-doh and shape it into the correct letters. I must say, he did very well. I only had to help him with the "h".
Meanwhile, my little girl was busy conducting an experiment involving this lovely plant and some petroleum jelly. We wanted to see what would happen to the leaves of the plant when petroleum jelly was placed on the top of one leaf and on the bottom of another leaf. In her hypothesis, she stated she thought that both leaves would turn brown and fall off.
After several days, we looked at the plant and discovered that the leaf with the petroleum jelly on top did not change. However, the leaf with the petroleum jelly on the bottom ended up looking like this:

As you can see, it turned completely brown and died. We found out the reason for this is because plants breathe through tiny holes underneath their leaves. The petroleum jelly covered the holes and did not allow air to get through.
Last but certainly not least, I thought I would share what we've been working on lately for our Bible study. This year, I decided it would be nice to do a thorough lesson on the fruits of the spirit. I was able to find several activities online as well as some fantastic resource books. My favorite by far is the one shown above. It is so full of wonderful activities! This week, we are completing our study and since the lessons are on self-control, I thought I would have my children do a little experiment to see just how self-controlled they really are!
Each of them found a bag of these adorable heart-shaped strawberry scented marshmallows in their workboxes.  After they copied their Bible verse (1 Peter 5:8) and practiced the hand motions for all the other fruit of the spirit qualities, we discussed what it meant to be self-controlled. I then had them open their bags and smell the treats. By now, they REALLY wanted to eat them!
They were then instructed to close the bags and place them where they could see them. I decided ahead of time they would be able to enjoy the marshmallows after lunch time, several hours later. The entire time they were doing other school work, those cute little treats were there tempting them. I am proud to say though that each one of them demonstrated self-control and after lunch, they were finally able to eat them!
This was a fun and tasty activity and it really showed them how it is difficult sometimes to have self-control, especially when something (or someone!) is tempting you.

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