Sorry everyone I am not going to link the movies and books… I am rather sure it can all be googled and the Christmas season has me rushed! BUT! Roald Dahl… READ HIS BOOKS!
Roald Dahl’s birthday is celebrated on September 13th. He is best known for his books Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda which have been made into movies. We chose to start reading his books on the 13th of September and then go from there. We managed to find quite the selection of books to enjoy as a family:
George’s Marvelous Medicine
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the Glass Elevator
James and the Giant Peach
Our main resource for printables was Activity Village. Lots of colouring pages and even some fun worksheets for a nice portion of our books.
For a more in depth activity I also found this site HERE. They had classroom plans for portions of the different books. Some we skipped and some we leisurely enjoyed. This unit quickly went from a celebration of a birthday week to as long as we can find books to read.
For the kids, while they listened to my reading I had them doodle portions of the book. It was so much fun to see what they picked out as interesting. They all had a different method and style to their pages (though at times Trinity was SUPER resistant to doing a doodle).
There were multiple movies to watch beyond just the original first come to mind ones:
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
James and the Giant Peach
I came up with some additional activities to go with our books and movies. For The BFG I had the kids write their very own dream labels, and then compare the book to the movie. For Charlie and the Chocolate Factory we did various levels of comparison depending on the ability of the kids – a movie review, comparing the book to the movie, comparing the movies. It was interesting to see who liked what. The same for Matilda. The realization that movies are not identical to books came very quickly to the kids!
Of course we had to do a short insect study for four of the insects included in James and the Giant Peach… We had ladybug, silkworm, glow worm and spider (we went with Black Widow) chosen out of the list (funny how there is no silkworm in the movie). I got some pretty good links:
Ladybug had all our questions answered with National Geographic Kids HERE.
I found the silkworm highly interesting. Did you know there are none in the wild and that we have domesticated them so much that the moth that results cannot fly??? EnchantedLearning HERE and Itchy Fish facts for kids HERE.
Black Widow spider was our distinct spider of choice and we went again with National Geographic Kids HERE.
Glow worm was a little rough, but we went with the Encyclopedia of New Zealand HERE and A-z Animals HERE.
Roald Dahl’s books are a blast for our whole family. I am so glad we decided to make them a family experience. Even Echo is in on the listen and has her minutes for the BookIt Pizza Hut reading club counted during the time. One of these days I will take pictures of the binder and share it in another post! We really did have fun with this author’s work.
So with our in depth examination of China the kids requested another country… Being all democratic (first mistake) I let them choose… even after extorting the amazing qualities of some European countries (ok so Mommy has some interests not yet tapped) I was out voted and we chose a month+ long focus of MEXICO!!!
This is another first for us. I the topics I thought would be interesting and made up pages for the twins (and the littles to a more limited extent) to chose from. Topics like Sports, Inventions, Capital City, the list goes on and on… so we shall see how giving some more independence and choices works with the kids… FINGERS CROSSED!
However I am still verifying all websites before they settle on them so I had some major work ahead of me. And of course I have some to share as well!! I will post them according to topic, the only order is the one chosen by the boys to cover!
What hemispere is Mexico in? Ask.com has the answer HERE
DINOSAURS… yup we went there… Emanuel and Trinity and I!
Our dinosaur list was found on EnchantedLearning HERE
Gorgosaurus: a wonderful picture on deviantArt thanks to SommoDracorex HERE. Dino Hunt Canada with their “breathing” image HERE. EnchantedLearning facts HERE. Raresource HERE.
Labocania: not a common dinosaur AT ALL… so this is the best I could do! Dinosaurs.about.com HERE, CoolDinoFacts Wikia HERE, RareSource.com HERE. BUT an amazing picture to colour thanks to deviantArt and hyphenatedsuperhero HERE.
For Hypacrosaurus we used one site as our launching pad and clicked their links. VERY helpful. You can find our link HERE thanks to Dinosaur of the Week.
Pterosaur: not so much a specific animal but a grouping of apparently NOT dinosaurs, so fun for the kids being as these were FLYING critters. EnchantedLearning HERE. SomeInterestingFacts.net HERE. And our colouring page on SuperColoring.com HERE.
Lambeosaurus: A duck-billed dinosaur we had a few good resources we used – KidsDinos.com HERE, EnchantedLearning HERE, and our colouring page was from IAmFritz.com HERE.
Apatosaurus: Our last dinosaur chosen to research… Science Kids HERE, Kids Dig Dinos HERE, EnchantedLearning HERE and our colouring page from Ducksters HERE.
PLANTS AND ANIMALS
The National animal/bird is the GOLDEN EAGLE… and the plant the PRICKLY PEAR CACTUS. We found that out using Wiki HERE. Learn more about the Golden Eagle thanks to Sandiego Zoo HERE. And all about the Prickly Pear Cactus thanks to DesertUSA HERE.
Of our list Zander chose TWO animals to research (online)… Axolotl was the first with three links: A-Z Animals HERE and National Geographic Kids HERE and Mother Nature Network HERE. It is crazy cool! The second was the Tigrillo or the Margay. We found various pages once we realized the secondary name so here is a quick list – Encyclopaedia Britannia HERE, SoftSchools.com HERE, PoC HERE, The Animal Files HERE.
Education.com worksheet for traditional clothing for both genders HERE.
Facts about traditional clothing thanks to FactsAboutMexico.com HERE.
Spanish word book and more HERE thanks to Homeschool Share.
Clothing colouring page HERE thanks to Coloring Book 4 Kids
BOOKS… boy did we have books!! I may have cleaned out 2 or three local library branches!! So enjoy the fruit of my requesting! I will try and point out the super useful or fun books with a bit of further information. After all, this is useful for me too when we chose to revisit a topic for the littles to learn more about!
Cactus Soup by Eric A. Kimmel. This is a take on the stone soup idea set in Mexico during the Mexican Revolution (1910-1922). The kids picked up right away that it was a great lesson about sharing. Though the girls were VERY put out about the people lying about having things at first… not cool! Great book HERE.
Little Egret and Toro by Robert Vavra. This is not a MEXICAN story but we chose to read this book because it was set in Spain and about a fighting bull. The whole concept of bull fighting and the ending of the fight in the death of the bull is visited. It does have a happy ending though! HERE
Mexico by Gina DeAngelis (a common name for a lot of the books we borrowed but I will link each one if I can!): Many Cultures, One World. HERE
Beyond costumes and candy, trick or treating and jack-o-lanterns we decided to have a study of all things Halloween.
For the younger two – Homeschool Helper Online’s free lapbook by JoAnn S. HERE
For the twins I bought a lapbook off of Currclick “The History of Halloween” HERE
For our pumpkin section for the little ones we used worksheets from Mama’s Learning Corner HERE. There are different levels of complexity for the worksheets though we chose to do all 3 together. We used two different books for our life cycle research. A storybook called Pumpkin Cat by Anne Mortimer and then a section out of the book Exploring Autumn by Sandra Markle.
We used a long list of interesting and fun books:
Halloween by Gail Gibbons (I used this book to have the twins try and pick out facts and ideas of interest as I read. A nice basic intro on Halloween)
Halloween by Mari C. Schuh
Halloween is… by Gail Gibbons
The Halloween Book of Facts & Fun by Wendie Old
National Geographic Kids Halloween by Laura Marsh
Halloween by Natalie M. Rosinsky
The Story of Halloween by Carol Greene
Halloween and Day of the Dead (Traditions Around the World) by Joan Axelrod-Contrada
Halloween Sky Ride by Elizabeth Spurr
All Hallows Eve: The Story of the Halloween Fairy by Lisa Sferlazza Johnson
Alpha Oops! H is for Halloween by Alethea Kontis
Katie’s Tricky Treat by Slade Stone (a great book that deals with peer pressure on Halloween)
Trick or Treat, It’s Halloween by Linda Lowery
Room on the Broom by Axel Scheffler
Clifford’s First Halloween by Norman Bridwell
H is for Haunted House by Tanya Lee Stone
Spooky Beasts: Thunder and Lightning by Karen Wallace
The Haunted History of Halloween by The History Channel (a little dry but some unexpectedly interesting facts, did you know the county of Anoka here in Minnesota is the Halloween Capital of the USA?)
For one of our lapbook activities I broke the kids up in pairs… one twin per little kid and they worked on defining some Halloween words. I used an online kid (mostly) friendly dictionary instead of straight Google. The littles typed the words in and the twins read them out and wrote out the definitions. You can find our choice HERE… Wordsmyth. I loved that I could pick the level of difficulty of the definitions. We chose beginner.
The littles also covered Spiders and Bats… We had two books – for bats: Bats by Gail Gibbons and for spiders: Spiders by Seymour Simon. The pictures in that one were a little too big for myself and Emanuel. Totally NOT fans of spiders but we managed! Since the life cycle of a spider can be a wee bit complicated I found a site that had a printable we could colour and glue into our books… from BlockPub.com HERE.
The 4 main festivals of Samhain were covered in the wiki page HERE. Though we did get our info from the small blurb on the Google search page, not the whole article.
Live Science had a great article on the history and origins of Halloween HERE.
The history of the term bonfire or BONEfire. Off of SuperBeefy.com HERE.
As always hunt on Activity Village by looking up Halloween for a lovely variety of resources HERE.
AND Education.com you can check out the file I had made for the sheets I have set aside to use over the last couple years HERE.
So I hope these are helpful! I know I will be referring back to this next year!