Tag Archive | Amy Van Zee

Minnesota… a Study

We had planned on this unit months ago but time just kept getting away from us. But we persevered and got around to getting some facts straight and seeing some of the interesting bits of the state we now call home. We now know that St. Paul is the capital, that there are like a 100 species of fish in our lakes AND that calcium based products have always played a role of importance around here. But anyway, to share the resources…

Our Books!

  • 1 2 3 Minnesota by Puck HERE
  • Minnesota by AV2 (an enhanced book) HERE
  • I Spy with My Little Eye Minnesota by Kathy-Jo and Ed Wargin HERE
  • Hooray for Minnesota Lakes! by Paul Lowrie and Bret Nicholaus HERE
  • Minnesota Facts and Symbols by Bill McAuliffe HERE
  • Welcome to the U.S.A. Minnesota by Ann Heinrichs HERE
  • From Sea to Shining Sea Minnesota by Judy L. Hasday HERE
  • Minnesota by Amy Van Zee HERE
  • Minnesota by Niels R. Jensen HERE
  • Scholastic Encyclopedia of the United States by Judy Bock and Rachel Kranz HERE

Our Lapbook!

  • Mini-State Lapbook Minnesota found on Currclick HERE


  • State Study Notebooking pages FREEBIE! We used page 2 HERE by Notebooking Nook

When we couldn’t focus on our studies on Minnesota directly each morning I had the boys search through the above books and find facts about the state to write on their own piece of lined paper that will be included in the lapbook as well. We read the 1-2-3 book and Hooray for Minnesota Lakes! together as a family and drew pictures of our favourite parts.101_5426

This entry was posted on 22/12/2013, in Uncategorized. 1 Comment

Fall in the Air

October 17-18

This longer fall is still an adjustment for us. Where is the snow??? So we started our newest group project… this one a fall tree. Each of the kids got their own 8 1/2 by 11 inch piece of white paper and some leaves to rub. Ken myself are doing our part by creating the trunk to assemble our branches and leaves on! 

Of course Emanuel had his dinosaur and the kids their book work. We had a slightly less enthusiastic spelling test with Zander getting 2 wrong. He focused on two words and didn’t pay attention to the sound the y makes in boy and by. BUT we are still happy to see he is reading the words that he has tested on later successfully and is proud of the words he IS getting right!

We had a few errands to run, our tulle stash was short a black… and we needed  to scope out the costume options at Target for the twins… and buy our trick or treating pumpkins. A dollar a piece and LOTS of options! 


I also had the twins decorate the poem sheet for Monday’s recitation… Their very own Elf up in a tree. I think they did a great job with the picture. Zander and Gavin worked together on it!

Great art

We have returned to Minnesota with a wonderful library book. Minnesota by Amy Van Zee. We are taking a lot of our larger books and more information packed ones step by step lately. Today we talked about the shape of the state and focused on the fact that there are over 10’000 lakes. I am hoping if we keep trying to come at the information about our new home from different formats and angles we will eventually get it to stick.

Ken and the kids finished up the day with Lego time! His special Legos!


We finished our special family tree on Thursday complete with a cat (Trinity), bat (Emanuel), pumpkins (Zander) and a squirrel with his nut (Gavin). Echo contributed her own leaf picture (at least we ASSUME it is an abstract representation on how leaves make her FEEL). 

Leaf assembly


We started our Halloween themed poem memorization as well. A little more complicated as there are words like goblin in it which they are not used to using. I am so proud of Emanuel for standing with with the big boys and learning along with them.

As it was a day that started with the letter T we had our Minecraft day for the boys as well. The agreement is that they get Minecraft time and then draw a picture of progress or a favourite thing done and write about it in their journals. I am hoping to get them thinking more about processes, progress and other problem solving type things. 

Spontaneous mask creation via Zander

We had another art completion as well – Art for Kids is awesome. This time a junior Frankenstein! 

So well done!

We have had a bit of progress with Gavin’s cross stitch. He is thinking of gifting it to Daddy for his birthday on the 23rd but the big question is whether or not it will get DONE in time. I am hoping we can get it done. A completion is always a boost to the confidence and he has already picked out his next project! So with spontaneous crafts, continuing with the “master plan” and finding learning in unexpected places I am starting to feel like our feet are getting under us once again! 

Yah baby!