Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving......A Little Science & A Literature Tie In

Some themes are easier than others to work in lessons from all the learning domains. We managed to work in a few Science lessons among the many Social Studies and Language experiences with our Thanksgiving theme.

We did experiment with some of the Thanksgiving decorations we had to see what would sink or float.

Making Butter
One of the activities that I remember from childhood was making butter. I've tried it many ways, but find it is a really quick activity, with less individual frustration if we make it in one container as a class, rather than individually in separate jars for each student. I use a sealing plastic container, 1 container of heavy whipping cream and add a large marble to help agitate. The kids get to shake their their wiggles and/or frustrations all out and we have yummy butter for the feast. I like to open it several times throughout the process to show them how the cream goes from being a heavy (thick) liquid to separating into a thin liquid and a solid.

Painting With Berries
I love The Legend of The Indian Paintbrush retold and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. It tells how Indians began using the materials around them to create art.

The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush 

We crushed cranberries and used them to paint with. Our cranberries were so firm that I had to really work to get the kids started crushing with a rock.

We used the crushed berries as paint and painted some beautiful pictures. It was a great experience, and certainly more about process than product, as the cranberry juice dries almost invisible.(So, no pictures :) Next year, I'm planning ahead and getting some blackberries and blueberries from my mother's farm to use as well.


  1. Oh Ayn, we're going to paint with berries now! I think the kids will have a blast crushing them with rocks. In fact, maybe we'll just crush them right on some white fabric! Pow!



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