We’ve been learning all about some of the famous landmarks in Italy, such as the Colloseum and The Leaning Tower of Pisa. Elliot has enjoyed talking with Josh about the Colloseum and reading about The Leaning Tower of Pisa with me. I found this craft on a website and thought he would enjoy doing it, before say goodbye to Italy and move on to the next place we’ll study next week.
Out of all the places we’ve studied, I don’t think we’ve ever wanted so badly to visit a place as much as Venice. We have learned so much about this unique city and we have fallen in love with it! If only we had the time and money to go visit all these wonderful places we learn about. Maybe someday…until then, we will try to satisfy our curiosity with books.
I purchased this Handbook of Nature Study way back before we even officially started homeschooling. I saw it recommended by Charlotte Mason fans (since nature study was such an important part of her method) and decided we needed to have it for our homeschool. It’s got information on pretty much everything found in nature, so it’s essentially like a nature encyclopedia. You can learn about all sorts of plants, insects, mammals, reptiles, birds, etc. We used it today, to see if we might learn anything new about cats, while we finish up our final week of Papa Piccolo. We learned how intelligent they are and how keen all their five senses are. While learning about their eyes, Elliot learned what a pupil is. We’re hoping to do an experiment soon where we can see how our pupils change in the light and dark. I love how we always end up learning something so unexpected, just because that’s where our journey took us!
Elliot loved learning more about cats.
I also taught Elliot how to look up a topic in the index and find it in the book. For fun, he decided to look up frogs.
Today was our language arts day. We learned some great new vocabulary words including: canal, trinket, gilded, sardine, persistent, carnival, chime, and regatta. We completed our usual elements of the story project for our notebook and we also practiced acting out some action words from the story.
We had a couple different topics to cover for our science day. We continued learning about canals and their various uses in places other than Venice. Also, in our book there is the phrase “out of the corner of his eye”, so we talked a bit about peripheral vision and did a little experiment to see what we could see on either side of us while we were looking straight ahead. It was pretty interesting.
We also read Cats by Gail Gibbons (She writes great books on a whole variety of science topics) and did a little project regarding what kittens are like and how they grow, during which I had an interesting revelation about Elliot’s reading ability. I had set the project up so that we had all the pictures cut out and we were ready to read the descriptions and find which picture matched it. Assuming I needed to walk him through it, I told Elliot, “Ok, now I’m going to have you try to read these as best as you can and then we’ll decide which picture goes with it.” He quickly responded “I’ve already did read some of them. This one says ‘kittens suck milk from their mother’ and here’s the picture of that.” I was a little shocked because I hadn’t even heard him trying to sound it out…..he had just read it in his head and knew what it said.
I found this fun little gondola craft today that goes along perfectly with our story. We’ve been having so much fun learning about the canals it Venice and the gondolas that carry people all around the city. One interesting thing we learned is that all the gondolas in Venice must be painted black, by law.
We did a larger map of Italy today and marked Venice and a few other important cities (the capital city, Rome, and Naples….where pizza was invented!) We did a lot of reading as well and have learned so much about the city of Venice and the canals. Elliot is now very familiar with the Piazza San Marco, the Grand Canal, regattas, and the Rialto Bridge.
This week we’re beginning Papa Piccolo. Over the next two weeks we’ll continue learning more about Italy, only this time focusing more on Venice. We’ll also be learning about canals, gondolas, Marco Polo, cats as well as having some discussions about adoption.
It’s getting pretty crowded on our map in Europe. We placed Papa Piccolo as best we could on Venice.
We’ve got a lot of fun library books to enjoy this time. There are so many great fiction books that serve as great go-alongs for this unit!