Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Harry Potter Unit-- Aragog's Web and Bubble Tea

We're looking at finishing up our Harry Potter unit over the next few days.

We'll still have another several weeks until we finish reading the last book but we're running out of fun topics and ideas to incorporate as part of our unit.  Plus, if the truth be told, I think we're starting to get a bit bored with it.

It's been a lot of fun and I'm so thankful for Pinterest and all the ideas I found!  We've had a great time combining our traditional schoolwork with some fun Harry Potter themed activities, crafts, and treats.  

Today we're playing a fun sight word game, mixing up some bubble tea to drink,

Today the older two boys started their day with reading:

Alec finished his Guardians of Ga'hoole book while Ian read a book simply called Diggers to himself.

Evan played a sight word game using Aragog's Web:

He had to escape from Aragog's web by feeding him sight words instead.  I had set up a masking tape web in one of our doorways and put a few sticky note sight word cards nearby.  He had to read the word and then the plan was to ball them up and throw them into the web.  Only balling up the paper made the words so small that they sailed right through the gaps in the tape! Oops!

Throwing the paper while it was flat or folded in half made it float softly down to the ground.... so Evan decided to just put the words in the web.

He still thought it was great fun and told me if he couldn't read all of the words he was going to be stuck in the forbidden forest.  When the last word was stuck in the web we ducked under it and ran away to safety.

It was a lot of fun and it only took minutes to set up.
The words we worked with for today 

The web 

Filling it up! 

I had a whole page of Harry Potter journal ideas that I had printed off the computer: 

So,  obviously, they all picked the exact same topic to write about today for their writing assignment.

They each wrote about what animagus they would turn into.

Ian wrote all about being a bald eagle and what he would do once he was a bald eagle.

Evan chose to write one sentence.  Not a great story but since it's the first full sentence I have EVER gotten him to write I was pleased.  He sounded out all the words on his own and used a fancy "a" like the one on the suggestion sheet and, for some reason, misspelled is but hey, at least he finally wrote something.

Alec wrote about the similarities between an ocelot and himself since that's the animal he'd turn into.
They all had fun and Alec even drew a whole forest scene to go with his story.

It's amazing how willingly they write when it's a topic they're excited about!

For math they each worked in their workbooks:

Ian had two pages on measuring circumference and diameter.  He also had to divide with fractions using a calculator so we had a mini lesson on converting fractions to decimals and rounding decimals.
Evan completed three pages in his math workbook.  He worked with arrays and repeated addition.  I showed him how it was the same as multiplying and we did some basic multiplication too.

Alec worked with real- life problems in his book today and had to figure out answers to a variety of word problems; something I discovered he needs a lot of practice with.

With all their morning work done the boys and I set out to make a potion:  

We used tapioca pearls to make some fruity bubble tea; though we called it Magic Bubble Tea. It's magical because the bubbles don't pop.

We followed the recipe and used "special magic" to make the pearls (boiling water in the microwave).  While waiting the 20 minutes for them to soak in the hot water we settled down to read Dragons.

We read the first two chapters and saved the rest for another day.  I offered to teach them how to draw a dragon but no one wanted to.  I'm really surprised that they've turned down art projects two days in a row!  We decided to make lunch instead and finished making up the fruity bubble tea just as lunch was ready.

The dried pearls 

sitting in the hot water 

adding the Jell-O 

Our fruity bubble tea 
Evan thought it was pretty good and told me
it tasted just like Jell-O 

Read Aloud and Sensory Play:

We settled down to eat, drink and read another chapter in Harry Potter.

The boys played with the left over pearls for a bit (though I did rinse them off and drain them out in the strainer).  They thought they felt squishy and weird.  We compared the finished pearls with what we had started with and noticed that they were brighter, softer, and a bit larger.

School's Over But our Learning Day is Not Over:

Evan read the book Snowball Soup to us all and then we piled into the car to head to the library.  

We listened to some more of our book on CD and figured out we only have about 10 chapters left until we finish the book.  They have less than 12 hours left to save their dad and stop the world from dying.  We hardly wanted to turn it off when we arrived back home.

Once home Evan and Ian went to play outside for a bit while Alec and I sat down to play Scattergories.

We played a few different rounds.  It's been a long time since I've played that game and we had a lot of fun.  He came up with some really good answers too!  For example: "things that you save up to buy"-- he came up with Jacuzzi for J! Or "things in a fairy tale"-- he came up with inner being for I.  He also came up with inadequate answer for "math terms" starting with I and inside man for "things in a mystery novel."  I had to let him have those answers just for creativity alone!

After a while Ian and Evan came back inside.  It was brutally windy at our house and it got real cloudy too.  They ended up playing a few rounds with us too.  Evan elected to help me rather than attempt to answer on his own.  It was fun and it great to see that Ian could be pretty creative too; he ended up winning the game.

The younger boys convinced Ian to let them play Minecraft on his Xbox so they took off to play in his room while Ian and I set up Jenga.  He just loves to play Jenga and while it's not my favorite game I try to never say no when they ask me to play something.  We played one pretty long game but Ian ultimately won.  It's pretty unusual for my kids to actually want to play board games but we've been having a lot of fun these past few days playing all these various games.  It's nice to see them all getting some use too.

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