May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 3

American Flag
Discuss: The American Flag is red, white and blue and has 13 stripes and 50 stars.
Its Symbols-
  • The stripes represent the 13 original colonies.
  • The 50 stars represent the number of states there are now.
  • The colors of the flag have meaning as well:
  • Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valor (the qualities of a hero or heroine; exceptional or heroic courage when facing danger; especially in battle)
  • White symbolizes Purity and Innocence (the state of being free from sin or moral wrong; lacking a knowledge of evil)
  • Blue represents Perseverance and Justice (the administration of law; the act of determining rights and assigning rewards or punishments)
Proper Display-
  • The flag should be displayed from sunrise to sunset.

  •           If the flag is displayed at night it should be illuminated.
  • Never allow the flag to touch the ground or the floor.
  • When displayed on a wall or window the blue field should be in the upper left corner.
  • The flag should be raised quickly and lowered carefully.
  • The flag is often flown at half-staff to show respect for someone who has died. When flown at half-staff, the flag should be raised to the top for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should also be raised to the top before it is lowered at the end of the day.
Read: The American Flag by Tristan Boyer Binns

Comprehension Questions:
  1. What colors are on the American Flag? Red, white and blue
  2. What does each color stand for? Red for Valor, White for Purity, and Blue for Justice
  3. What do the 13 stripes and 50 stars stand for? 13 stripes for the 13 original colonies and 50 stars for the 50 states.
The Pledge of Allegiance
We used this page to talk more about The Pledge of Allegiance.

Edible Celebration Flag


  • 1 jar marshmallow cream
  • 8 ounce cream cheese
  • Strawberry Pop Tart (unfrosted)
  • Fresh red raspberries or Fresh strawberries
  • Fresh blueberries


  1. In a small bowl stir together cream cheese, and marshmallow cream until smooth.
  2. Spread on top of the Pop Tart..
  3. Arrange 9 blueberries on top left corner of each toaster pastry to make "stars" on flags. 
  4. Lengthwise quarter raspberries or halve strawberries and thinly slice.
  5. Arrange raspberries or strawberries on top of toaster pastries to make "red stripes" on flags. 
The Flag of the United States of America
We used this page to review what we have learned about The Flag of the United States of America. 

Popsicle Stick Flag

  • Red, Blue and White Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • 8 Popsicle Sticks
  • Cardstock
  • Strips of Rhinestones
  • Craft Magnet
  1. Paint the sticks white and red (paint half of 3 sticks blue)
  2. Once they dried glue them onto cardstock. (Blue goes in the top left)
  3. Stick the rhinestones on the blue to use as the “stars”.
  4. Stick a magnet on the back.

Memorial Day 1

Memorial Day Order
Discuss: Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. It is celebrated on the last Monday in May.

Read: Memorial Day by Trudi Strains Trueit and the Order for recognizing Memorial Day as a national holiday.

Comprehension Questions:
  1. Why do we celebrate Memorial Day? Because we are remembering and honoring the people who serve in our military. They work to keep us safe and give us our freedom.
  2. Write the word Memorial on the front board. See how the word memorial is like the word memory. On Memorial Day, we remember and thank the people in our military.
All About Memorial Day
We used the All About Memorial Day handout to learn more.

Army Men Math
  • Army Men
  • Hoola Hoops
  1. First count them to see how many there are. You can put them in piles of 10 and then count by 10's.
  2. Sort and arrange into patterns by color first then by the soldier's position. Try and AB pattern first then try something harder like AABCC.
  3. Create a Venn diagram with hoola hoops. Compare standing soldiers to laying soldiers, with kneeling soldiers in the middle. 
  4. Remove any extra pieces so that you have a number divisible by 10 (say they were injured and went to the hospital). 
     Set up 10 men as generals, how many soldiers could each general command, if all the men were divided equally among the 10 generals?  
     Army Men Math
How many army men do you have? (count by tens)______________

How many of each color do you have?
Light Green?_________________

Dark Green?_________________


How many in each position?



Remove any extra pieces so that you have a number divisible by 10 (say they were injured and went to the hospital). If 10 were generals how many could each general command?_____________________

Drawing Army Men
Discuss: Show the children how to make the army man body after examining a few different army men together. Observe how the arms and legs bend because of knees and elbows. Here is a step by step guide for the child. Look at all the details of their little man.

  • Army Men
  • Pencil
  • Green Marker
  • Water Colors
  1. Use the diagram above to draw an outline of your army man with a green marker,
  2. paint the army man with green water colors,
  3. for the back ground draw camouflage or an American flag.
American Casualty Locations
Discuss: Many American soldiers have died protecting our countries freedom. Here is a list of all the wars that Americans have fought in. It also tells how many American's died in each war. We are so thankful for each and every soldier for giving their life for our freedom.

Directions: Study the list and display a large world map, and ask students to point out the places where Americans have fought and died.
Memorial Day Poppy
Discuss: On Memorial Day you will often see veterans selling poppies in memory of those people who died for our country.

  • Red tissue paper
  • White paper
  • Green pipe cleaner
  • Glue
  • Green seed beads
  • Aluminum foil
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  1. Cut a 3 inch square of aluminum foil and red tissue paper.
  2. Glue the red tissue square over the aluminum foil square, and let it dry.
  3. Cut a 2 inch circle from the tissue covered foil to make the poppy.
  4. Poke a 6 inch piece of green pipe cleaner through the center of the poppy for the stem. Bend the end of the stem to one side and glue it to the center of the flower.
  5. Cover the center of the poppy with glue and sprinkle the glue with green seed beads for the center of the poppy.
  6. Cut a thin 4 inch strip from the white paper. Fold the strip of paper in half and glue it around the stem of the poppy.
  7. Use a pen to write “Memorial Day” and the date on the paper strip.\
  8. Stick the stem of the poppy through a buttonhole on your shirt to wear it on Memorial Day.

Memorial Day Unit Study

Memorial Day Unit Study

In this unit study we learned more about Memorial Day and the American Flag. This unit study has 3 days of lessons.  I did this study with my 1st grader and would recommend it for Kindergarten through 3rd grade.

Book can be read by the child or by the parent to the child, depending on the child's reading level.
Books I used in the lessons...
Memorial Day by Trudi Strains Trueit
The American Flag by Tristan Boyer Binns

Other age appropriate books...
Memorial Day Surprise by Theresa Martin Golding
The Impossible Patriotism Project by Linda Skeers
The Wall by Eve Bunting
The American Flag by Debbie L. Yanuck
The American Flag by Elaine Landau
Memorial Day by Sheri Dean
Memorial Day by Lynn Hamilton

Memorial Day Parade
We went to the parade in town for a little field trip today. 

May 23, 2012

Ants Day 6 -Ant Enemies

Ant Enemies
Anteater- The anteater's tongue can reach two feet in length, and only 1/2 inch wide. The anteater can cover its tongue in a sticky saliva, allowing the ants to stick to it's tongue. It can extend and withdraw it's tongue up to 150 times per minute. When hunting for food, anteaters will use their sharp claws to tear open anthills or rotting wood that might contain ants or termites. Since their eye-sight is poor, they use their noses to smell for food. Then they use their long snouts and tongues to scoop up as many ants and termites as possible. Since they don’t have teeth, they can’t chew the insects. Instead, they swallow them whole. As they eat, they also swallow small pebbles and other debris. These pebbles help them digest the insects by grinding them in the stomach.

Woodpecker- Woodpeckers like to eat ants too. They peck them off of the trees when they climb.

Ant Lion- the ant lion digs a circular sand pit and waits at the bottom. When an ant looks into the pit, the ant lion tosses sand into the air to trip up the ant. The ant stumbles into the pit, and the ant lion grabs it with its large pincers.

Read: Giant Anteater by Sara Antill

Comprehension Questions:
  1. Name an animal that eats ants? Anteater, woodpecker, ant lion
  2. How does the anteater find the ants? The anteater smells the ants.
  3. Why do the ants fall into the ant lion's pit? The ant lion tosses sand into the air to trip the ant.

Ants on a Log


  • Celery Sticks
  • Peanut Butter
  • Raisins
1) Wash the celery
2) Spread peanut butter in u-shaped part of celery.
3) Press raisins into peanut butter.
4) Eat your Ants on a Log

Aunt Farm
Homophones are words that sound alike but have different meanings (ant the insect and Aunt your relative).

Read: Truman's Aunt Farm by Jama Kin Rattigan

Comprehension Questions:
  1. What did Truman feed the aunts for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Rice pudding, jelly sandwiches and little hot dogs
  2. True or False; The aunts were not having fun and could not wait to get out of Truman's house. False
  3. What did Truman's sign say was the cost of each aunt? Free
  4. What did Aunt Fran get Truman for his birthday? Ant Farm
  5. What was in the package for Truman at the end of the story? Aunt Fran
Ant and Aunt

An ant is a small insect that gets into food and usually lives underground.
Your aunt is a woman who is your Mother's or Father's sister.

Fill in each sentence with the correct ant or aunt.
  1. There is an ____________ in the sugar bowl.
  2. My brother has _____________'s in his pants.
  3. My ____________ is coming to visit us.
  4. I have an ____________ who lives far away.
  5. An ____________ has six legs.
  6. My friends gets birthday presents from two ____________'s.
  7. Does your _____________ live near here?
  8. There must be a hundred ______________s in that hill.
  9. Please get the ____________ off that cracker.
Write your own sentence using the words ant and aunt.

Ants Day 5 -Types of Ants

Types of Ants
Discuss: There are over 10,000 kinds of ants. We will learn about a few of them today.

Leafcutter Ant -Leafcutter ants are also known as fungus gardening ants. The leafcutter workers snip off pieces of the plant and carry the leaf bits back to their underground nest. Then the ants chew the leaves, and use the chewed up leaf bits as a substrate on which to grow fungus. The ants eat that fungus. When a queen begins a new colony, she brings a starter culture of fungus with her to the new nest site. 
Army Ant -Army ants are nomads. They don't make permanent nests, but instead move into empty rodent nests or holes in the ground. Army ants are typically nocturnal, with nearly blind workers. These carnivores raid other ant nests at night, stinging their prey. When the queen begins laying new eggs and the larvae start pupating, the army ants have to stay in one place for a while. As soon as the eggs hatch and the new workers emerge, the colony moves on. When on the move, workers carry the colony's young. 
Carpenter Ant -Carpenter ants don't actually eat the wood like termites do, but they do excavate nests and tunnels in people's homes. Carpenter ants prefer moist wood, so if you've had a leak or flood in your home, be on the lookout for them to move in. Carpenter ants aren't always pests, though. They actually provide an important service in the ecological cycle as decomposers of dead wood. 
Slave Maker Ant -One method used by slavemaking ants is replacing the queen of the captive colony. The queen of an established slavemaking colony will lay eggs and produce new queens who then will leave the colony to develop their own colonies. The young slavemaking queen will wait outside of the colony she is leaving and follow a group of raiding slave makers into her new colony. As the worker slavemakers raid this new colony for eggs, the queen takes advantage of the battle by using it to sneak into the colony. Once she finds the other queen, she kills her and takes her place as the new queen. The new queen mimics the old queen by consuming pheromones from her body and releasing them to the attending ants. This new queen having mated with a slavemaking male ants earlier begins to lay new slavemakers eggs. Ant colonies invaded by slavemakers are quickly overcome and forced to support the slavemaking colony. 
Fire Ant -Fire ants defend their nests aggressively, and will swarm anything that they think is a threat. The bites and stings of fire ants are said to feel like you're being set on fire – thus the nickname. Fire ants build mounds, usually in open, sunny places, so parks, farms, and golf courses are particularly vulnerable to fire ant infestations. 

Harvester Ant -Harvester ants inhabit deserts and prairies, where they harvest plant seeds for food. They store the seeds in underground nests. If the seeds get wet, the harvester ant workers will carry the food above ground to dry them and keep them from germinating. Like fire ants, harvester ants will defend their nest by inflicting painful bites and venomous stings. 
Read: Ant by Rebecca Stefoff

Comprehension Questions:
  1. Name a few different kinds of ants?
  2. What kind of ant have fungus gardens? Leafcutter Ants
  3. What kind of ant feels like your on fire when your bitten? Fire Ant
Different Kinds of Ants
We used page 5 of this download to review the Different Kinds of Ants.  Then we used pages 23 and 24 of the same download to make a Kinds of Ants Matchbook.

Ant Word Search
We used did the Ant Word Search for fun today.  Plus it has some interesting facts about Argentine Ants.

The Ants Go Marching
ReadThe Ants Go Marching! by Dan Crisp
Use the Counting Practice worksheet for counting by 1's through 10's.

Ant Aunt Homophones
Homophones are words that sound alike but have different meanings (ant the insect and Aunt your relative).

Read: Dear Deer by Gene Barretta
Comprehension Questions:
1. Aunt Ant meets a moose. Can you think of a homophone for moose?
2. Aunt Ant sees a ewe. Can you think of a homophone for ewe?
3. Aunt Ant sees a horse. Can you think of a homophone for horse?
4. The bat hangs from his feet. Can you think of a homophone for feet?
5. The monkey hangs from his tale. Can you think of a homophone for tail?
6. Aunt Ant sees a doe. Can you think of a homophone for doe?
7. Aunt Ant shares a seesaw with a toad. Can you think of a homophone for toad?
8. Aunt Ant is looking at a great big whale. Can you think of a homophone for whale?
9. Aunt Ant is looking at a huge bear. Can you think of a homophone for bear?
10. Aunt Ant sees a bee fly away. Can you think of a homophone for bee?
 11. Aunt ant sees two gnus. Can you think of a homophone for gnus?
We made homophone matches using clipart online. Split the matches between me and the J and have him pick up a card and tell me what it was... I respond by saying, "but I have_____". He also liked playing memory with the homophone matches!

Ants Day 4 -Ant Colony

Ant Colony
Discuss: How an Ant Colony Starts:
1) After hot summer rain, a young queen takes off on her wedding flight. She flies into a cloud of male ants and mates in the air.
2) Afterward, all the males die, and the queen returns to the earth. She breaks her wings off by rubbing them on the ground.
3) Then she digs a hole in the soft, moist earth and starts laying eggs. She will never leave the nest again.
4) During the next 3 months, the eggs develop through four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult ant.
5) After they have hatched, the first workers assume the duties of the colony-- searching for food and protecting the queen.

Most ant species build underground nests. Worker ants dig tunnels and chambers, in the soil. Workers add more tunnels and chambers to the nest, as the colony grows. If you watch ants closely, you will see that they really do communicate with each other! Ant colonies can grow to be quite large. Some tropical ants build downward to make more rooms. Their nests can reach twenty feet deep. A group of nests can cover an area as large as a tennis court. Millions of ants can live in the big nests.
  • The queen has her own chamber for laying eggs.
  • Some chambers are nurseries for the growing young ants.
  • Food is stored in other chambers.
  • Still other chambers are resting places for hard-working ants.
Read: Ant Cities by Arthur Dorros

Thinking Skills:
  1. In economics, what does it mean to be interdependent? People are interdependent when they depend on each other to provide the goods and services they use.
  2. In what way does an ant city illustrate interdependence? The ants in an ant city have certain jobs.They all depend on each other  for survival.
  3. What are some of the special jobs done by the ants? Queen – lays eggs; Workers – do all the work in the ant city and also fight to protect the nest
  4. What would happen if the different types of ants didn’t do their special jobs? The ants could not survive unless they worked together.
  5. What are some of the special jobs in your city or community that people do? Teachers, electricians, pastors, doctors, mail carriers, police officers, farmers, store owners, etc.
  6. How do these people in your community depend on one another? The people in the community have certain jobs. Then, they exchange the money they earn and pay others for the goods and services that are provided. All of us are interdependent in that we rely on others to provide most of the goods and services we use.
  7. Is it good to be interdependent? Specializing in production and then trading to get the goods and services one wants does make production more efficient, providing society with more goods and services. Usually, this is good for everyone. But sometimes interdependence can be troublesome. For example, our country relies heavily on oil produced from other countries. In most cases, that is not a problem, but when there is political instability, prices may rise dramatically and our dependence becomes very costly.
Ant Hill
  • Brown Construction Paper
  • Black and White Paint
  • Paint Brush
  1. Cut out the brown paper in the form of a hill.
  2. Paint black ant tunnels going down and side to side. Let it dry.
  3. Use your finger to make fingerprint ants with white paint on the black tunnels.
     Then J wanted to decide what room would be best for each of the ant rooms so I wrote down what he decided.
Study Ants
Directions: Go for a walk and look for ants. What are they doing? Follow them back to their homes. 
Have the child divide the plate into fourths with a marker. 
Set out a plate of 4 different foods (9 pieces/ crumbs of each food) near the anthill (away from the house). Predict what they will like the best. 
At the end of the day go out and check up on the plate to see if any ants have come for a meal. What did they like best? 
We used this Ant Graph to record the results.

Ant Hill In A Cup

  • Clear plastic cups
  • Chocolate pudding
  • Graham crackers
  • Ziploc bag
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  1. First put a layer of chocolate pudding into the cup for the “dirt”.
  2. Then crush up graham crackers in a plastic ziploc bag and poured the crumbs into the cup for the anthill “sand”.
  3. Last, they added chocolate sprinkles for the “ants”.