Wednesday 6 March 2024

Garrett Morgan- Traffic Light Paper Circuit

As part of our economics unit study, my son and I are learning about different jobs he is interested in. He wants to be an engineer when he grows up, so we went down a little rabbit trail as he learned about who and what an engineer is. 

We read Saving The Day, a story about Garrett Morgan who invented the traffic signal. This led us to make our own paper traffic signal circuit. 

1. LED Lights
2. Copper Tape
3. Large Paper Clip
5. CR2032 3V Battery 

This was a really fun activity my son really enjoyed. I love it when our lessons take us on an adventure. 

Sunday 3 March 2024

When The Earth Dragon Awakes- Figurative Language

During our novel study "The Earth Dragon Awakes" we concentrated on figurative language. This book has a lot of personification and similes. As we read, the boys and I wrote down any figurative language we came across and identified them. At the end of the novel, we made a cute dragon breathing out 'figurative language examples.' 

My boys read these two books. 

My 10-year-old decided to focus on personification and drew a dragon in his notebook with all the examples. 


1. Figurative Language Lesson PowerPoint Presentation (her resources are amazing! She has so many PowerPoint lessons and crafts)

Examples From the Book
There are so many examples but here are just some of the ones the boys found during our reading.

My Stomach is as solid as the earth (pg. 2)
Street lamps glitter like jewels (pg. 12)
The Chest of drawers dances a jig (pg. 20)
His bed and all his furniture circle in a slow waltz around the room (pg. 20)
The tenement creaks and groans like an old giant (pg. 23)
Their bed and bureau prowl like a hungry animal (pg. 23)
They look as if they are peering over someone's shoulder (pg. 31-32)
But fear twists inside Chin like a snake (pg. 33)
Suddenly a breeze brushes his face like a soft hand (pg. 34)
You can't judge a book by its cover (pg. 37)
Flames wag out of the windows like salamander tongues (pg. 42)
The heavy machine rests on its side like a sleeping animal (pg. 43)
The Ham and Egg fire stretches one arm east and the other south. It will join its brothers (pg. 61)
The flames peer hungrily down at Henry (pg. 63-64)
Burning embers drift in the hot winds like angry butterflies (pg. 64)
It slithers across San Francisco like a dragon with red spines (pg. 71)
A tongue of fire dances on his shoulder (pg. 48)
Dust rises in ribbons like tiny ghosts (pg. 40)

Friday 23 February 2024

Islamic Art

During our Middle East study, we learned a lot about Islamic Art. As Muslims, we don't draw people, so much of our art consists of geometric shapes, patterns, and nature. 

These are the two main books we used as references. 

The first lesson we started with was learning about symmetry. The boys used pattern blocks to make designs and the others copied the design on the opposite side. 

After the boys understood that Islamic Art is all about symmetry they got to work on making their own geometric patterns and designs. 

We watched this short video

This study was part of our Iran country study and bridge lesson. Khaju Bridge in Isfahan, Iran has the most beautiful arches and ceramic tile art. The boys and I did a unit study on this bridge. If your interested you can grab this unit study from my TPT store. Click on the image below. 

Khaju Bridge - Unit Study

During our bridge study, we came across Khaju Bridge which is the oldest bridge in Iran. The boys were so fascinated by it that we decided to turn it into a unit study. 

The boys and I watched videos and read some articles online about this bridge. Some of its amazing features include:

1. Ceramic Tiles
2. A hidden candle image
3. A dam
4. 23 Arches
5. Stone steps for sitting and watching the beautiful views
6. Tea shop
7. A special pavilion that was used by the Shah of Iran
8. Two stone lions

The boys put together a research poster all about what they learned. 

Arches are in a lot of Islamic designs, so the boys and I learned about them and made our own booklet. 

Each arch is decorated with beautiful ceramic tiles. The boys and I made
geometric designs and learned all about this art form. 

Khaju Bridge is an arch bridge. We learned all about arch bridges and made one out of Popsicle sticks. 

You can grab this fun unit study from my TPT store. You can use this during a country study of Iran or a STEM activity about bridges. Click on the image below to grab this unit study. 

Thursday 15 February 2024

Adhan Craft

Allahu Akbar
God is Great
(said four times)

Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah
I bear witness that there is no god except the One God.

(said two times)

Ashadu anna Muhammadan Rasool Allah
I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God.
(said two times)

Hayya ‘ala-s-Salah
Hurry to the prayer (Rise up for prayer)
(said two times)

Hayya ‘ala-l-Falah
Hurry to success (Rise up for Salvation)
(said two times)

Allahu Akbar
God is Great
[said two times]

La ilaha illa Allah
There is no god except the One God

My preschooler and I worked on a fun craft while we were learning about the Adhaan. For Islamic Studies I read to him from the book Migo and Ali A-Z of Islam. 

We made a 'microphone' to help him practice saying the Adhaan. 

Material Needed

1. Toilet Paper Roll
2. Paint (We made our microphone gold)
3. Stickers for decorating 

Paint the toilet paper roll your color of choice, and allow it to dry. While you wait practice calling the Adhaan. After it dries add the stickers to make your 'microphone' even more special. When the Muadhin calls the Adhan, he uses his best voice and says it nice and loud so everyone can hear and join in the prayer. 

This is a simple and fun activity to do with your little ones. All the materials required are easy to find around the house. 

Sunday 11 February 2024

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind- Plot Diagram

We recently completed our novel study The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind using Lightning Literature. For our final book project, my son made a windmill diagraming the plot of the book. 

1. Straws
2. note cards
3. a cup
4. Skewer sticks or long popsicle sticks
5. Brass fastener

We made a rough copy of our plot diagram on the whiteboard. Once we took out unnecessary information my son copied it onto the note cards. 

We assembled the windmill and added the flag of Malawi to the cup. 

You can also use this project to summarize the picture book version for younger students. 
Wanted to

You can also do a character trait study on William, the main character. Write one trait per card and add the evidence from the text. 

Saturday 10 February 2024

Lewis and Clark Salt Dough Map

During our Lewis and Clark unit study we completed a salt dough map tracking their journey west. We are using Little School Smiths unit study for our lesson plans. All the instructions and labels are part of the lesson. We read What was the Lewis and Clark Expedition as our main book. 

Along with the salt dough map the boys wrote a paragraph about the Louisiana Purchase. 

We also learned about Thomas Jefferson and his role during the Louisiana Purchase and Expedition West. 

We like tying our history and language arts lessons together. We covered Cause and Effect during one of our English lessons. 

The map was helpful during our reading. It allowed the boys to visualize the main events and where they took place. 

We were also able to review map symbols and directions during this activity. 
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