Monday, October 29, 2012

Impromptu Sensory-Aware Mini-Unit on Wind

Today, we were supposed to be enjoying another homeschool co-op session, followed by a special All Saints Day party.  However, Sandy blew in and changed our plans.

The storm also inspired a sensory-aware mini-unit and lapbook-in-the-works on wind.

We started the day off with some handwriting by practicing the letters w-i-n-d on a chalkboard Handwriting Without Tears style.  I wrote the word "wind", then Nina erased each letter, using the correct order for each erasure "stroke".  Then, she re-wrote the word before Luke erased and re-wrote it.

Then, each child practiced some basic spelling, including the word "wind" with magnetic letters on a cookie sheet.

After this, we took some calming deep breaths as we explored what wind does (move things) and got in some math practice.

We predicted how many breaths it would take each of us to blow a tissue ball from one end of our hallway to another, counted as we blew and, then, recorded the results.

Then, we made some equations based on how many breaths it actually took us.

We extended the proprioceptive input we were getting from our blowing activity by collecting various items from around the house into small baskets and predicting if wind could blow them.

We took turns testing out our predictions by trying to blow various objects down the hallway.

Then, we looked at what we actually could and could not blow down the hallway and talked about why.

We theorized that a stronger wind could blow any of our objects forward, so we tried to create stronger wind by blowing through plastic tubes.

In doing so, we realized we could make music.  Thus, a break for auditory input and musical exploration ensued.

This led into a discussion about wind and the senses.  We talked about how we could see the wind moving things, even if we could not see the wind itself, that we could feel wind on our skin and that we could even hear wind when it was strong or when it made music. 

Then, we decided it was time to really feel the wind.  So, we took a break to go let ourselves blow about the yard.

Back inside, we tried to explore how wind is created, by combining hot colored water with cold-as-ice water, watching how the cold water displaces the hot water, much like cold and hot air fronts cause movement and wind. 

The experiment did not work perfectly despite several trials, but the kids understood the point despite the lack of a perfect visual in the jar.

Successful or not, they sure enjoyed trying the experiment and also got some great tactile input through feeling the temperature of each jar.

By this time in our morning, bellies were grumbling.  So, I asked the kids if they wanted a "hot air" snack or a cold one.  They chose a cold snack for hot air, so I spoiled them with popsicles, which they enjoyed while watching some wind-theme youtube. (Sucking can be calming and regulating!)

After this, it was time to get some physical movement in again, so we went outside and tried to catch the wind in grocery bags. 

Nina and Luke decided they needed to catch more wind, so they traded their grocery bags for trash bags.  What exhilaration it was  to run in the roar of the wind and rain!

When we are all back inside, we talked about the power of wind, and I challenged the kids to lift a book with a straw and a sandwich bag. 

They thought that was really cool and demonstrated their new-found skill for Daddy laeer in the day when he was sent home from work.

Even Jack was excited to try it!

By the time we had finished our power of wind exploration, it was nearly time for lunch, so after beginning a quickie lapbook on wind, we paused our impromptu wind mini-unit.

Now, before pushing our luck too far, I am going to pause writing and hit "post".  (So far, we have our power still, but that is not to say we will continue to all night.)

I pray all remain safe and happy, as well as sensory-regulated, for the remainder of this storm.


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