Monday, April 6, 2015

Harry Potter Fizzing Potions Lesson & More

Today we were continuing with our Harry Potter Unit and we had a lot of fun lessons planned.  But before we dove into all the fun stuff we decided to tackle math and reading and get all that boring stuff out of the way.

The boys never know exactly what I have planned.  They knew we had a lot of fun Harry Potter themed activities, crafts, and lessons planned for the week but they weren't sure what we'd be doing each day.

I find that it keeps them excited and interested and they know that if an activity pops up that they don't like they don't have to participate.

Well, everyone wanted to participate today! Myself included (and I knew the "magic" behind it all!

We settled down for some schoolwork and the boys all completed two more pages in their math books.  Ian worked on some more measurement pages while Evan added and subtracted two digit numbers.  He was working on another Star Wars riddle page and even offered to read the answer out loud to me if I would read him the question.  Alec worked on finding patterns and multiples with all sorts of numbers.  They all did a good job and worked really hard.

Evan had received a National Geographic book called Hop, Bunny! for Easter yesterday.  He was so excited about his new book that he offered to read it to me at bedtime last night.  He did an amazing job and we talked about non- fiction books, photographs versus illustrations, vocabulary words, and bunnies.  He enjoyed it so much that today he picked an accompanying book called Hang On, Monkey! to read for school today.  He did a good job reading and we looked over the map in the back of the book and then looked over all the other non- fiction books that are part of this series.  We'll definitely be requesting some through our library!

Ian and Alec went into their rooms for reading.  I don't worry over much about what they read during our actual school day.  I ask them to read but they're able to read whatever they want to read and I typically don't set a time limit or anything either.  Once they get reading they're usually content to read for some time or else they'll pick a picture book and just read the entire thing from cover to cover.  Ian has been reading a lot with me at night as we work our way through The Hunger Games so I know he's getting plenty of practice in over the course of the week.

Spelling, Sight Words and Phonics:
Ian picked the next page in his spelling book while Alec and I worked on another review of last week's -oi, -ou, & -ow words.  He's really struggling with some of the words like royal and spoil; which sound so much alike and are spelled completely different.  He'll keep working with them though and we crossed off the words from the list that he knows really well so he's only practicing those words he hasn't yet mastered.

Evan completed a page on sorting consonant blends today.  He's really flying through them all and is even remembering to apply them to his reading.  Evan also wanted to use a highlighter and another sight word list to see how many he knows now.  He read through the ones he recognized and crossed them off with the highlighter.

Harry Potter Unit Fun:

We settled down to have some fun with Harry Potter.  I found a printable trivia game and gave each of the kids a score sheet.  We read through the questions and they wrote down their answers (with Evan whispering them to me).  We'd then go over the answers and they'd tally up their scores based on their correct answers-- so yeah, through game play we wrote, spelled, added, and covered reading comprehension too!

They had a ball and all did pretty well remembering the book The Chamber of Secrets.  Alec won, Evan came in second and Ian came in last; no big surprise because that is pretty much the order of interest too!

In Potions class today we made fizzing potions.

While they were working (or playing up in their rooms through the course of the morning), I filled small glass bowls with white vinegar, dish soap and food coloring.  They each received two glass bowls on a cookie sheet and then I placed two large containers of baking soda and some spoons on the table.  I told them we were making fizzing potions so they expected the potions to fizz but we weren't expecting them to fizz so much!

 The boys were in awe of this experiment and after playing around for awhile and trying to mix colors as well I asked them what they thought we were working with.  They all knew they were using baking soda and they could smell the dish soap but they weren't sure what else was making it fizz.  I asked them to think about what we always use with baking soda and then they all realized it was vinegar.

Thank goodness for the trays! 

We made some fun, magical, color changing drinks for lunch.

Again, while they were busy, I put a few drops of food coloring in the bottom of some red solo cups (I wanted something they could not possibly see through).  I had set them aside on the counter and they dried while we were doing school.  Right before I set them on the table I filled the cups up part way with ice and showed them the cup; see I have ice in my cup right?  Do you see anything else in the cup?  Now watch what happens as I pour some lemon lime soda in the cup.  What color is the soda?  What color is your drink?

They were mesmerized as the drinks turned red, purple and blue.  At first they all thought that perhaps it was the ice making the soda turn different colors but I reminded them that we add ice to our drinks all the time and that has never happened.  Finally one by one they accused me of adding something to the drink.  I told them what I did and how it worked.

We ate lunch and finished reading the chapter in Harry Potter that we had started over the weekend.
We left off where the wedding is interrupted and the ministry has fallen into Voldemort's controls.  I would have read more but the boys weren't all that into it today so we just read the half chapter and then found something else to do.  They did learn a lot about Dumbledore that the movies had not bothered to cover and all three boys guessed that Bathilda Bagshot is the lady that Harry and Hermione encounter in Godric's Hollow.

We made Galaxy Dough for Astronomy Class.
I had talked to the boys about either painting a galaxy today or making galaxy dough.  The boys settled on galaxy dough and so I attempted to make some.  We had no cream of tarter to follow the original recipe.  We tried to combine the colors and sparkle of galaxy dough with the easy molding material of our snow dough.  We combined paint and food coloring with the hand lotion and then added the baking soda until we got a nice play dough consistency.  We then added the glitter and we had a fun galaxy dough.  Ian wanted to play with the dough and once the other two saw that it started to stain his hands they chose not to play with it; not that I could blame them.  Luckily it all washed off of Ian's hands when he was done but I'm guessing the cooking makes all the difference between the color transferring or not.

    Once Ian was done and had cleaned up after himself he talked Evan into going outside to play with him.  Alec asked me to play a new card game with him that he had learned over the weekend.  The game was called Spit and while we had fun playing we encountered a few questions as we went.  We eventually looked up the rules of the game to make sure we'd know for sure how to play next time.  Alec learned quite a few new games over the course of the last two days.  He learned spit, a memory card game (that reminded me a lot of the card game Golf that I used to play), and we all learned how to play Rummikub last night.  He really enjoys games of skill and gets very competitive; I know he gets that from me!

When we were done our game of cards we all went outside.  Ian played with his new trucks in the beach and at his dig site.  He raked the beach, raked the pine needles and leaves out of the water, and got all wet, sandy, and dirty.  In other words he had a lot of fun!  The younger two boys took off across the field and played in the woods.  They stayed out until their shoes were soaked and then headed inside to play together.  I was busy cleaning out our garage.  I organized it as well.  It was feeling like spring again today and it was nice to get the garage cleaned out for spring & summer.        

After the younger boys had changed into dry clothes and I was done cleaning the garage we spent the afternoon playing cards.  We played war & the memory card game Alec had learned.  Alec and I ended up playing several rounds.  We tied the first game and won the second game.  By the time we ended our games it was time to cook dinner.  With my husband working late I decided to let the boys fend for themselves but knew we'd spend the dinner hour reading more of our Harry Potter book.

Linking Up with:  Hearts for Home 

Small Victories Sunday Linkup


  1. What a fabulous homeschool unit, I wish I had a teacher like you! My 3 boys would love Harry Potter potions and Star Wars riddles! Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday Linkup. Pinning to our linkup board and hope you found some great posts to visit this week!

    1. Thank you! My boys loved it so much they're asking for a part two this summer.