Paper Bag Turkey Craft

Paper bag turkey1

My seven year old son made this paper bag turkey craft all on his own. To make the turkey you need: lunch size paper sack old newspaper or scrap paper string construction paper in various colors tape and/or glue scissors wiggly eyes Here’s how you put the turkey together: Fill a paper sack with wadded up newspapers or other scrap paper. Tie off the top with string then cut off the excess from the “stem” of the paper sack. Cut out the feathers free free hand from orange, red, green, and yellow construction paper. The turkey’s head is just a long rectangle of paper, rolled back on itself and taped to the “stem” of the paper sack.  You will also need a wattle and beak cut from paper. Tape or glue the turkey’s head, wattle, beak, and some googly eyes to the top of the sack. Glue or tape on … Keep on reading

Layers of Learning Unit 3-17

Cover 3-17

Layers of Learning Unit 3-17 includes: History: Boston Tea Party Geography: Japan Science: More Reactions Arts: Folk Music Description Learn about the Boston Tea Party and the important people involved as you make a model of Faneuil Hall.  Make authentic Japanese food from a recipe brought to the states by Japanese exchange students and write a report on our kimono printable.  Learn about reversible reactions with the iodine clock reaction, adapted for home.  Explore folk music from all over the world with YouTube and a printable map to color.  All this plus printables, library lists, additional layers, web links and more are included in Layers of Learning Unit 3-17. This is part of a unit study covering four subjects: history, geography, science, and the arts.  It is designed to be used family style with all ages from 1st graders up to 12th graders learning together.  Each book is in full … Keep on reading

Dissolving Ink Experiment

A dissolving ink experiment.

Get two clear jars or cups and fill one with water and the other with rubbing alcohol.  Using a waterproof (permanent) marker, write 2 of the same message – each on a sheet of tough paper (we used index cards).  Gently fold or roll up the messages and soak them – one in each jar of solution.  Now watch and see what happens over time.   What happens after 10 minutes?  An hour?  A day? (Different inks react differently, but most will gradually disappear over time in the alcohol, but stay legible in the water.) Different liquids dissolve different substances.  Alcohol can dissolve many inks while water cannot.  You can watch other things dissolve differently between water and alcohol too. Now Try This Dissolving Salt Experiment Put some water in a mason jar and add salt to it.  Stir it until the salt dissolves.  Now put some rubbing alcohol into a … Keep on reading

Layers of Learning Unit 3-16

Book Cover 3-16 web

Layers of Learning Unit 3-16 includes: History: British India Geography: India Science: Chemical Reactions Arts: Classical Music Description Take a guided tour of British India in 1780 as you color a map.  Do a craft to understand the effect the Cornwallis Code had on India.  Make a hand print peacock, a symbol of India. Learn about Holi, the festival of colors and make a colorful art project. Combine iron and sulfur to make a new compound and then decompose baking soda.  Finally do hands on activities to understand and learn about Classical music and a few of the great composers.    All this plus printables, library lists, additional layers, web links and more are included in Layers of Learning Unit 3-16. More From Layers of Learning

Book of Years


We keep a Book of Years and add to it at the end of each history unit.  I love teaching history in the right order, and making a Book of Years has helped us to see the overall context of the world and make connections even more. I made our Book of Years using an oversized 11″ x 14″sketchbook.  We used rubber cement to adhere blue card stock to the cover, and then I printed out some cover art I designed to adhere to the card stock.  Here is our printable  Book of Years Cover if you’d like to use it. Next I used a ruler and measured 3 inches down from the top of each page and drew a light line, then cut along it, leaving it attached at the binding. This allows us to record our timeline along the top pages and our entries in the larger bottom section. … Keep on reading

Wild Weather Notebooking Page

wild weather notebooking

Storms and other damaging types of weather happen everywhere on Earth.  For this lesson, learn about six types of “wild weather” then create a notebooking page about these six damaging forms of weather. Here is some basic information and further resources to learn more about these weather types. Hurricanes Hurricanes are begun with thunderstorms at sea over warm ocean water.  A rising column of warm air thrusts up through the storm.  As the air rises faster the winds around the outside of the column begin to swirl around this center.  The storm gains energy from the heat being transferred from the ocean as it moves toward land.  Once the winds reach speeds of at least 74 mph and can be as high as 195 mph.  Though hurricane winds are strong enough to hurl objects through the air and tear roofs off buildings the greatest damage usually comes because of flooding … Keep on reading

Veterans Day Learning

letter to a veteran

Use these activity ideas for Veterans Day or to celebrate our soldiers any time. Veterans Day was first known as Armistice Day and celebrated the day the treaty was signed ending WWI, November 11, 1918.  In 1954 the congress declared the day be renamed Veterans Day and that it would be celebrated to honor all those who had served in time of war in the United States Armed Forces. Veterans Day Learning Here are some meaningful Veterans Day learning activities to do with kids: Timeline of the US Military Make a timeline showing the major wars, conflicts, and engagements of the United States military since the Revolutionary War.  You can get the printable American Wars timeline by clicking on the text link or on the picture below. There were many more wars and engagements than are shown on this timeline.  You can find all of the US wars here. Fact Hunt Have kids do an online scavenger hunt to … Keep on reading

Jack-O-Lantern Chili and Mummy Dogs


I’m always on the look out for fun holiday menus for my family that are memorable, but not so difficult to pull off that they create holiday stress.  We often have big Halloween feasts around Halloween, but on the actual Halloween night everyone is so excited for trick-or-treating that we want to just get dinner done already so we can start our candy collecting.  Besides, I’m usually helping everyone get costumes on, fixing Halloweeny hair and costume make-up, and lighting jack-o-lanterns.  With all that going on, we need a quick and easy festive dinner.  Jack-o-lantern chili and mummy dogs hits the spot. I can make a big crock pot full of chili that’s ready for us whenever we’re ready for it.  After we’ve poured them into bowls, I use our pumpkin cookie cutter to make pumpkin shaped cheese slices to put on top of the chili bowls.  Warm chili is … Keep on reading

Pumpkin Pancakes


Every year I make little pumpkin pancakes for my family at Halloween time. It only takes about an extra minute beyond making normal pancakes, and they’re so darn cute! Just take whatever normal pancake batter recipe you use and add a little bit of pumpkin spice pudding mix into it along with a few drops of orange food coloring.  I just pour a little bit of the mix in to taste, don’t make it into pudding first.  I never measure anything when I’m making pancakes so I’ll leave it to you to decide how much pumpkin flavor you want in them. If you don’t like using artificial coloring, you can substitute the food coloring with a few spoonfuls of carrot puree instead.  Carrots are really sweet and a great addition anytime you’re making pancakes. Then while the pancakes are on the griddle, use a few chocolate chips to create a … Keep on reading

The Boston Tea Party

The printable figures for this diorama are part of

The Boston Tea Party was dramatic. Everybody knows the basics. A bunch of citizens of Boston, fed up with the tax on tea, went into Boston Harbor, climbed aboard three vessels and tossed all the tea overboard. Those are the basics, but there’s so much more. The problems between America and England began fifteen years earlier, in 1760, when King George III became king of England. The problems didn’t start because he became king of England it just, happily for him, was a time of upheaval and crisis. The French and Indian War was nearing its end. The Seven Years War was over. (The French and Indian War and the Seven Years War were the same war, just one was fought in America and one was fought in Europe.) And the English needed money. Simultaneously they realized that the American colonies were becoming quite populated and quite wealthy. The obvious … Keep on reading