Friday, September 14, 2012

Types of Sentences Craft

We are doing First Language Lessons for our 3rd and 4th graders, and every once in a while there is a great craft.  This idea came from First Language Lessons 3 by Jessie Wise and Sara Buffington.  Here is an excellent example for some creative language!  We were reading about volcanoes and picking out questions, exclamations, commands, and declarative sentences.

To make this lesson more memorable, we made a volcano out of construction paper and an empty toilet paper tube.  Then we wrote sentences from our nonfiction passage, making sure to choose at least one of each type of sentence and wrote them on long strips of lava-colored construction paper.  My 9yo did this almost all by herself and had a great time pulling out each lava stream and identifying which kind of sentence it was!

This could be easily expanded to other lessons.  Get creative!  What other language art concept or nonfiction passage could something like this be used for?  I'm all ears!

Types of sentences identification after reading nonfiction passage on volcanoes.

Each lava stream coming from the top has a sentence that needs to be identified as declarative, command, question, or exclamation.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Pumpkin Mini Unit (Notebooking With Littles)

After reading the nursery rhyme Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater, I decided to flesh it out with a few hands-on activities.  We made pumpkin pancakes, which coincidentally don't work if you try to make them into muffins (yuck!), and we did some Kindergarten notebooking.

My Kindergartener saw our older girls notebooking and enjoying it, and she begged me to do notebooking with her.  Here are some ideas I came up with!

Pumpkin pancakes!

Pumpkin Cycle Notebooking

For the circle book, I drew the stages of a pumpkin, outlined it with a Sharpie, and Beeps (5) colored it.  Then I attached the orange sheet with a cut out (make sure you don't cut to the center, but leave enough paper in the middle to affix the brad; see photo).  She loved this!

Life Cycle of a Pumpkin cards


Friday, September 7, 2012

Cells: Science Notebooking

Our new science program is really inspiring me in the notebooking department.  We took a wide and complicated subject and narrowed it down so the girls would understand better.  The RS4K (Real Science 4 Kids) Biology Level 1 book did a great job of introducing cells to the girls (3rd and 4th grade), and we used these freestyle notebooking pages to cement in a few concepts!

Diagram of cell - 3rd grade

Proteins in cells are workers.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Five Kingdoms Mega Book

We are using Sonlight Science D this year.  Included with this package is the Real Science 4 Kids Level 1 Biology text.  We are really loving this book!  I like it so much, I am thinking of purchasing the other texts in this series.  I have wanted to expand on our science notebooking, and we did pretty good with it this year.  I have been using Pinterest to get my creative juices flowing, and I think it is working so far.

One of the projects we have done is to create a classification mega book of the five kingdoms.  I was so impressed with the retention the girls had after making this book.  I bought two large posterboards and cut them in fourths.  These became the pages of our mega book.  I pulled up some Wikipedia images for each of the kingdoms for the girls to draw the different bacteria, amoeba, etc.

We used this idea to attach all our pieces together to form a book.

This is the top cover of our mega book

This is the Animalia page. DD9 drew all the representative animals on this page. Lots of color!

And the Monera page.

Plantae kingdom

Fungi Kingdom page

And . . . Protista


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

36-Week Supplement for Early Elementary Ancient History

First and foremost, the author and this supplement schedule are NOT associated with Sonlight®.  This supplement lines up with Sonlight® Core B, copyrighted year 2011.  The newest version (2012) may not line up exactly, but the ideas are all here and can be adapted.  This is not a complete curriculum, but just a supplement to any early elementary ancient history course.  I recommend using this with Sonlight® Core B.  I aligned to the best of my ability Story of the World Volume 1 by Susan Wise Bauer in this schedule, and I did use the Activity Guide, which fleshed out a lot of extra activities for our year.

I like to share my supplement schedules for those who wish to supplement Sonlight® Cores with activities, videos, recipes, and notebooking pages.  This particular supplement schedule includes a schedule of Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer.  It aligns excellently with Sonlight® Core B, 2011 or earlier versions.

I hope you enjoy this schedule, and I pray it blesses you.  Another note is that these ideas can be used for any early elementary ancient history program.  I have linked to my blog for ease for finding links and extra ideas that I have found or thought of myself.

On another note, whenever you see "C1EA" in the schedule, it stands for Core 1 Extra Activities.  Core 1 is what Core B used to be called.  All of these activities and ideas are typed out at the end of the grid schedule for your use.

The links in this schedule are unfortunately obsolete.  My previous blogging provider, HomeschoolBlogger, erased my whole blog after the site changed hands.  All of the ideas are on THIS blog as well, but the links are not updated in the schedule yet.  I will be working on this next, after some cursive and picture study pictures I'm making for the girls.  I apologize for any frustration.

Early Elementary Ancient History supplement


Fall of Rome and Mosaics

Sonlight Week 36 and SOTW Chapter 42

Since we're winding up the year, we just wean off of many activities and extras.  I hope you enjoy your summer!



Things we get from Ancient Rome



Make an edible mosiac!  Buy or bake flat gingerbread (see recipe below), spread frosting, and make mosaic design with M&Ms.  If you are brave, try the gingerbread recipe below or just buy premade gingerbread dough (which is my style!)

FLAT GINGERBREAD (don’t make this much!!!)
Cookie Dough:
1-1/2 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons baking soda
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1-1/3 cups light or dark molasses
9 cups all-purpose flour

Line 12 x 15-inch rimless baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whip cream and vanilla until it holds soft peaks. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon. Beat in the molasses and whipped cream mixture until well-combined.
With mixer running, gradually add flour, beating until completely mixed.
Lightly flour a pastry board or mat. Roll out a portion of the dough until flat, but not so thin that you cannot pick it up without it tearing. Drape it over the rolling pin and move to the prepared baking sheet.
Continue rolling the dough to an even thickness on the baking sheet. This is easily achieved by placing two equally thick wooden strips on either side of the baking sheet to support the rolling pin. An even thickness is important. Lower areas will bake darker in color and be more brittle.
For 1/8-thick slabs, bake in preheated 300 F. oven for about 1 hour; for 1/4-inch slabs, bake at 275 F. about 1-3/4 hours; and for 3/8-inch slabs, bake at 275 F. about 2-1/4 hours.
When pieces are finished baking, loosen gently with a flat spatula and let them cool on the sheet another 5 to 10 minutes before moving to a rack to cool completely.

Extras!  Extras!

Curator Collection game

Mosaics and Murals


Monday, July 9, 2012

Barbarians Invade Ancient Rome

Sonlight Week 35 and SOTW Chapter 40 and 41


On the left is from SOTW lapbook, and on the right is from


No activities for this week!

Extras!  Extras!

Walk Thru a Roman Street

Colosseum Puzzle



Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ancient Rome: The First Christians

Sonlight Chapter 34 and SOTW Chapters 35-39



We just used pages from the Story of the World Activity Guide for these notebooking pages.

This Catacomb notebook page is from a purchased set from


Eggs with Honey
3 tbsp honey
4 eggs
1c milk
5T butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Twist of black pepper

Beat together the eggs, milk and oil. Pour a little olive oil into a frying pan and heat. When this is sizzling add the omelette mixture. Agitate with a fork until the mix starts to solidify (this will make for a lighter omelette). When thoroughly cooked on one side turn the omelette over and cook on the other side. Fold in half and turn out onto a plate.

Warm the honey and pour over the omelette. Fold this over once more and cut into thick slices. Sprinkle with black pepper and serve.

Dress up in a toga to eat your eggs!


Extras!  Extras!

Dress Gladiator to Fight




Saturday, July 7, 2012

Roman Baths and Dormice

Sonlight Week 33 and SOTW Chapter 34


Roman Life and Roman Buildings minibooks on left. SOTW lapbook and Roman Empire map on right. See links below in Extras! Extras!


Make Dormice! (not really, we just use drumsticks!)

  • 8 Chicken drumsticks

  • 1 cup plain flour

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds

  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds

  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika powder

  • tablespoon honey

  • 2 bay leaves

  • A little vegetable oil

Crush the cumin seeds using a mortar and pestle.  Put the flour in a plastic bag with the crushed cumin, bay leaves, caraway and paprika.  Lightly dab some vegetable oil on the drumsticks Toss the drumsticks in the bag with the flour.  Drop the honey into the bag. Give it a swirl around and leave the bag in the frig overnight so the flavours sink in.  Place the drumsticks in a lightly oiled baking pan and bake for 20 - 30 mins, or until a skewer pushed into the thickest part releases only clear juice

Dormice! ;)

1 lb ricotta cheese
A cup of whole-wheat flour
olive oil

Press curd cheese through sieve or let it hang in cheese cloth until it's drained well. Mix with the semolina into a loose dough. Let it sit for a few hours.  With wet hands form the mixture into dumplings. Quickly fry them in olive oil for a few minutes. Drain and roll in honey.  Delicious!

Extras!  Extras!

Roman Bath Interactive

Roman Baths

Rotten Romans

Roman Buildings and Roman Life

SOTW lapbook


Friday, July 6, 2012

The Roman Empire

Sonlight Week 32 and SOTW Chapter 28


Aqueduct notebooking page from

Label Roman soldier page


Pine Nut Eggs

Pine Nut Eggs
4 boiled eggs
2 oz pine nuts
3 T vinegar
1 t honey
Pinch each of pepper and celery leaf

Soak the pine nuts 3-4 hours beforehand in the vinegar.  Mix all the sauce ingredients thoroughly in a blender.  Pour over eggs.

Extras!  Extras!

Label Roman soldier page

Dress the Roman soldier

Ancient Roman videos

Roman Numeral game

SOTW lapbook


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ancient Rome: The Colosseum

Sonlight Week 31 and SOTW Chapter 29


Colosseum sketch using Draw and Write Through History

This gladiator drawing used Draw and Write Through History. The gladiator notebook page is from a purchased set from

The top gladiator is Dreamer's (7), and the bottom is the gladiator I drew to help guide her in her own drawing. It turned out beautifully!

Dreamer's (7) drawing of a charioteer.

Coloring page on left is from SOTW AG. Hannibal notebook page on the right is one I made; see link below for free download!


Make Roman Libum!
1 cup plain, all purpose flour
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup clear honey

Sift the flour into a bowl.  Beat the cheese until soft.  Stir it into the flour along with the egg.  Form a soft dough and divide into 4.  Mold each one into a bun and place them on a greased baking tray.  Heat the oven to 425° F.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.  Place the warm cakes in honey so they absorb it.

Make a Laurel Wreath!

Simply cut the ridged edge off a paper plate; discard middle portion.  Cut leaf shapes from green construction paper and paste onto the rim of the paper plate.

Extras!  Extras!

Rome Videos

Lost Empires: Romans

Boudicca's Revolt


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

People of the Americas

Sonlight Week 30 and Chapter 26



Seed Collage from SOTW Activity Guide and SOTW lapbook

Olmec notebook page from purchased set from

These pages are activities from History Pockets Ancient Civilizations grades 1-3


Have an Aztec feast!  Make some avocado dip, corn soup, and Mexican hot chocolate!  We ran out of steam, so we didn't catch any photos of these fun activities.


Extras!  Extras!

Ancient Americans


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lighthouse of Alexandria

Sonlight Week 29 and SOTW Chapter 25

We had a light week this week!  Since we are ending the school year, we are tapering off of a lot of things.  For notebooking this week, I recommend making your own page on the Wonders of the Ancient World, including the Lighthouse of Alexandria.

Design a Greek pot on paper!
Extras!  Extras!

Wonders of the Ancient World

Greek Odyssey


Monday, July 2, 2012

Ancient Greece

Sonlight Week 28 and SOTW Chapter 24


Greek Coins

Chapter 24 SOTW lapbooking


Make Worry Beads
When a problem arose, the Greek people used worry beads.  When a problem arose, they took out the beads.  Placing them behind their backs, they counted the beads two by two.  Cut a 24-inch piece of yarn.  Fold yarn in half on desktop.  Cut five 4-inch pieces of yarn.  Fold pieces in half and wrap around center of longer piece.  Pull ends through the loop and tighten.  Thread the beads on each side of the five tied on pieces until you have beads 4-inches up each side.  Tie ends together to make a necklace.  This would be a good time to discuss casting your worries on Jesus, which these people obviously didn't do.

Make or Purchase Baklava:
2 lbs. Chopped walnuts, 1 tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. ground cloves, ¾ lb. Butter, 1 lb. Pastry sheets phyllo, ½ pt. Honey, ¼ tsp. lemon extract, 1 lb. sugar, juice of ½ lemon.

Combine walnuts and spices.  Melt butter, removing salt until butter is clear.  Brush bottom of 10 X 14-inch pan with melted butter.  Place 1 pastry sheet over butter.  Brush with melted butter.  Repeat 3 times; sprinkle fourth pastry layer with nut mixture.  Repeat process until nut mixture is all used.  End with four layers of pastry brushed with butter.  Cut into diamond shapes.  Bake at 300 degrees until golden brown.  Boil remaining ingredients to make syrup.  Cool.  Using spoon, pour syrup very slowly over baked Baklava.

Extras!  Extras!

Greek Coins

SOTW lapbook


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ancient China!

Sonlight Week 26 and SOTW Chapters 10 and 32


This week, our notebooking highlight was a drawing of the Great Wall of China.  :)  They turned out pretty good.

Great Wall of China drawing from "Draw and Write Through History"


We made some Chinese coin replicas this week!  I don't seem to have any pics of this, and I can't remember where I got the idea, but I'll explain to you.

You will need some air dry clay and a circle cookie cutter.  Roll the clay out to about 1/2 inch thickness.  Use the cookie cutter to make round coin shapes.  Next, cut a square in the middle of each coin to resemble the way the Ancient Chinese made their coins to make them easier to handle.  Put them all on a string!  Have fun.  The girls loved this activity, especially after reading Little Pear.

Extras!  Extras!

Great Wall of China video

Great Wall panoramic experience

Lost Empires: China


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ancient India and Start Ancient China

Sonlight Week 25 and SOTW Chapters 30, 31

We focused on Ancient China and Ancient India this week.  These were two of our favorite books we added.


Notebooking pages (Notebooking and drawings.  For silkworm coloring page, see Extras! Extras! below.


How about tying to make some Chinese Moon Cakes this week?

1/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup salted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup strawberry (or your favorite) jam (traditionally red bean paste is used so if you want a more authentic version, you can use a can of red bean paste instead of the jam).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Combine the butter, sugar and 1 egg yolk and stir.  Mix in the flour.  Form the dough into one large ball and wrap it in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate dough for half an hour.
Unwrap the chilled dough and form small balls in the palms of your hand.  Make a hole with your thumb  in the center of each mooncake and fill with about half a teaspoon of jam.  Brush each cake with the other beaten egg yolk and place on a cookie sheet.  Bake for about 20 minutes or just until the outside edges are slightly brown.

Extras!  Extras!

Indus Valley Interactive

India Temples and Music video

Silkworm coloring