Monday, October 10, 2011

Magic pictures

After using MFW curriculm last year (three levels-K, 1, and ECC), I decided that I need to simplify things a little this year. Trying to keep up with three different topics/themes was too much for me. So I started a quest to find a more integrated curriculum where we would all be studying the same basic topic but each child would be working at a different level. I was so excited when I found The Weaver curriculum. It sounded like just what we needed. I was also excited that I was able to get all of the various components of the curriculum used and pay much less than buying them new.

But, when things started arriving, I began to notice that it wasn't quite as I had expected. The basic curriculum is arranged by chapters. Each chapter has it's own "theme". For example, chapter 2 is architecture. Chapter 2 is divided up with assignments at each grade level. However, the grade level assignments aren't necessarily aligned with one another. For example, on Day 7 of this chapter, Grade 1 is discussing how people change from babies through adults, Grade 2 is discussing different types of shelter around the world, Grade 5 is talking about the industrial revolution, and grade 8 is talking about mining. Not exactly what I was looking for.

So, I am working on tweaking it to make it fit our needs better. I'm taking the basic theme from each chapter and using it to make my own unit study keeping us all on the same topic at the same time, just a different levels. I'm also going to go a little deeper into the theme than what the curriculum does.

Here's a general outline of what we're going to be learning about over the next few weeks. I'm sticking with the architecture theme.
I. God is the designer of our earth-land forms
A. Volcanoes
B. Mountains
C. Valleys
D. Canyons
II. Animal architects-animal homes
A. Birds
B. Beavers
C. Bees
D. Ants
E. Spiders
III. Historic Architecture
A. Egyptian-pyramids
B. Babylonian-ziggurats
C. Greek
1. Columns
2. The Parthenon
D. Roman
1. Arches
2. The Coliseum
E. Gothic-castles
F. Possibly some more modern architecture like the Eifel Tower, etc
IV. Homes around the world

I expect it will take us a little longer than the 10 days suggested in the curriculum, but we'll be covering a lot more information. The next chapter is about launguage/sound so I think we'll expand it and do a unit on the 5 senses.

I'll be posting the details as we go through our study. I'm excited to get into the in-depth planning and find some fun hands on activities for us to do. I've got a whole board of things on pinterest that look great!

Today was our intro day. We talked about what an architect does and what architecture is. Then we read the creation story from Genesis 1 and talked about God being the architect of our world. We also reviewed the days of creation.

Our project for today was to make "magic pictures" of the days of creation. I gave them each a white piece of paper that was folded to make six sections. Their job was to draw what God created on each of the six days. The trick, though, was that they could only use a white crayon. Once they finished, I had them paint over it with some diluted black paint so that their pictures "magically" appeared. It was fun!

I love that the activity was open-ended so that they were doing the same thing, but could interpret it in their own way. You can definitely tell a difference in their levels of understanding and their abilities when you look at the finished products.

I'm having so much fun planning this unit. Maybe when I grow up, I'll be a curriculum writer.

No comments: