Layers of Learning Unit 3-14

Book Cover 3-14 web

History: Slave Trade Geography: Brazil Science: Gems & Minerals The Arts: Colonial Art Description Make a Triangle Trade map and a William Wilberforce craft as you learn about the infamous slave trade of the 17th and 18th centuries.   Make carnival masks as you learn about Brazil.  Learn to do mineral tests for identification and make crystals, including a model of a geode.  Finally learn about the folk art and fine art that were produced during American colonial days and make your own etchings and paintings. Layers of Learning Unit 3-14 includes all of this, plus library lists, printables, and links to take you to the web.  52 pgs.  Full color.  This is a PDF. In each unit you’ll find a recommended library list, important background information about each topic, lots of activities to choose from for kids of all ages, and sidebars with a bunch more ideas including Additional … Keep on reading

Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes


Mmmm . . . chocolate is my weakness . . . nah, chocolate is my strength.  I’m really, really good at it.  These Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes are no exception.  The centers of the cupcakes are a soft, but firm fudge.  The fudge topping is so much more decadent and rich than any frosting.  And the cake itself is moist and delicious.  It’s a trifecta of awesomeness. Also, I don’t do finicky, difficult, or complicated.  I bake only for the results, not because I enjoy the process. First, the cake this is based on is soft and moist.  The tops of the cupcakes are going to fall and be sort of flat, not like a normal muffin top.  That is the price you pay for gooey goodness. Cake Batter 2 c. sugar 1 3/4 c. flour 3/4 c. cocoa powder 1 1/2 t. baking powder 1 1/2 t. baking soda 1 … Keep on reading

Ocean Currents


The ocean is never still.  Ocean currents are constantly moving and churning the waters.  There are surface currents and deep currents and upwelling currents.  All these currents move heat and nutrients around the world oceans.  The currents affect the land as well.  Here is an Ocean Currents Map showing some of the major surface currents in the oceans. Color the arrows in red for warm currents and dark blue for cold currents.  The major currents can be labeled with the help of a student atlas.  The rest of the ocean should be colored light blue. The currents that begin near the equator are moving warm water to regions nearer the poles, which warms these regions and helps the earth remain temperate.  The currents that begin closer to the poles move cold water toward the equator, cooling the hot regions of the earth. Besides the way heat and nutrients are moved around the earth … Keep on reading

Five Family Summertime Games


Three cheers for summer!  I love our relaxed schedule in the summertime.  We learn things all year long, but we definitely ease off of formal school time during the summer to give ourselves some recharging time.  Not only do we all need a little break, but I also need some extra planning time before we officially kick off another homeschool year. My kids are pretty good at entertaining themselves, but if they start to bust out with the “I’m bored!” bits, I like to have some handy dandy game ideas lurking in the back of my head to keep them busy.  It’s so fun that we all like to join in.  I’m convinced that grown-ups don’t play enough.  I have never regretted an hour spent playing out in the yard with my family.  Good times. Here are five summertime games our whole family loves.  You should try ’em too. Balloon … Keep on reading

The Ocean Floor


The ocean floor is covered with mountains, valleys, plains, and other features similar to the land surfaces of earth.  The ocean’s features, like land features, are a result of tectonic processes from deep inside the earth. The earth is made up of a hot inside and big plates of crust covering the outside.  These plates spread apart and squish together and grind past one another.  These actions cause the crust to buckle, fold, and split, which makes mountains and valleys. There are volcanoes under the oceans just like there are on land.  These volcanoes can build up into mountains, sometimes breaking the surface as islands.  The Hawaiian islands began as undersea mountains. Trenches are formed in places where one ocean plate is being pulled under, or subducted, beneath another ocean plate. Here is an Ocean Floor Map.  It shows some of the major mountain ranges and trenches that can be found … Keep on reading

Map of the Oceans


The first step when learning about the oceans is to name them.  Use this printable to label and color a Map of the Oceans. There are five oceans and many seas around the world.  The five oceans are Atlantic, Arctic, Pacific, Indian, and Antarctic.  The Antarctic Ocean is also called the Southern Ocean.  Use a student atlas to find the location and label the oceans.  You can also label some of the larger seas.  After you label the oceans color the oceans. Library List Here are some books on oceans that we like.  Click on the covers to view the books on Amazon.        Search at your library for these topics: oceans, ocean floor, coral reef, ocean animals, whales, dolphins, sharks, fish Additional Layers Oceans affect the global climate and weather patterns, learn more about how. Learn about some ocean explorers like Ernest Shackleton, Wilem Barents, and Lief Ericson. Learn about … Keep on reading

Decanting a Liquid in Chemistry and an Experiment


Decanting is pouring off the clear part of the liquid, leaving behind the sediment.  When doing a lime-water test for carbon dioxide you need to decant the clear lime-water from the portion with the sediment. This video shows how to decant a liquid. Lime Water Experiment The experiment we did was very simple.  You just need pickling lime, which you can get wherever canning supplies are sold, in Wal Mart or grocery stores, and distilled water. Pour enough distilled water into a jar or flask to fill it three quarters full. Add 2 Tablespoons pickling lime. Put a lid on the jar or a stopper on the flask.  Shake it up to dissolve and mix. Let it sit overnight. Decant the clear liquid into a beaker or another jar, leaving the sediment behind. Using a straw, blow into the clear liquid in the beaker. The lime-water in the beaker will … Keep on reading

Spiral String Art

Spiral String Art

Create beautiful spiral string art by cutting out any simple shape that has points.  You can use a snowflake, a flower, or a sun pattern. Click for the printable Spiral String Art Template that I used.  Cut out the pattern on thick paper like card stock or tag board.  Get either yarn or embroidery floss in a variety of colors, a pair of scissors, and some masking or scotch tape.  You can also change the look by using colorful papers or drawing a design on the template form before you start stringing. First, cut out your shape and gather your other materials.    Next, tape one end of the string to the back of the shape. Pull it to the front between one of the crevices.  Begin stringing it around and around in whatever design you wish.   You can go randomly around the shape, or use a pattern. Here’s a fun … Keep on reading

Message in a Bottle Creative Writing


Assigning kids to do creative writing always seems like a good idea to adults, but it can be daunting for emergent writers.  Goodness, it can be daunting even for experienced authors.  Sometimes there’s nothing worse than a blank slate.  Some kids will take right off with a story on their own no matter what, but most need some kind of idea, story starter, or specific assignment.  Tell a kid to just “free write” and chances are, you’ll see a blank stare.  Instead, give them an idea to get their creative juices flowing. Here’s an example of a creative writing assignment instead of just creative writing: Gather a map, a bottle with a lid for each kid, and some sort of water container.  We found our bottle at a thrift shop for a dollar, but a plastic pop bottle works just fine too. We also live right by a lake, so … Keep on reading

Expedition: Aquarium


We recently visited Salt Lake’s Living Planet Aquarium.  There’s just nothing like taking a day off of school for a learning expedition.  {Sometimes Mom needs the break as much as the kids do!}  Besides just the break though, expeditions outside of the regular ol’ school day are the most memorable learning experiences we’ve had.  Kids learn when they DO.  They will remember so well the things they really live, so get out there and live!  Experience!  Break away from the books now and again!  We aren’t even studying fish right now, but you know, sometimes that doesn’t matter.  Igniting excitement for learning and creating a memorable experience is enough of a reason for heading out on a learning expedition. I thought you might want to go along on a little photo tour of our expedition. . . hope you enjoy. After our expeditions are over, we often make something to … Keep on reading