The Arts: Abstract Art

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Week sixteen of school we did unit 9. Our arts topic was abstract art.

We made some Kandinsky-style art using concentric circles.

We learned about Picasso.

We made some art in the style of Picasso’s Cubism.

We made art to music, drawing whatever we felt like the music was telling us to draw.

Abstract Music Art

We did scratch art.

And we made pieces of abstract art however we wanted to make it.

Science: Volcanoes

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Week sixteen of school we did unit 9. Our science topic was volcanoes.

We learned about how volcanoes erupt.

We erupted baking soda and vinegar.

Baking Soda and Vinegar Eruption

We learned about the parts of a volcano.

We squeezed toothpaste out of a tube like it was magma.

Magma Toothpaste

We labeled a volcano.

We watched some videos of volcanic eruptions.

We squeezed Jell-O out of a baggie like it was lava.

Jell-O Lava Squeeze

We learned about types of volcanoes.

We played with a non-Newtonian fluid, cornstarch and water.

Non-Newtonian Cornstarch and Water

Geography: US Economics

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Week sixteen of school we did unit 9. Our geography topic was US economics.

Fritz told the story of The Three Little Pigs and we used it to discuss opportunity cost.

We learned about supply and demand.

We learned about marketing.

We planned a birthday party by selecting things we wanted for it, but staying within a budget.

We learned about scarcity.

We learned about giving.

History: Totalitarianism

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Week sixteen of school we did unit 9. Our history topic was totalitarianism.

We added to our timeline. We broke into the 1920s for the first time.

We learned about various dictators. The boys decided Mao was the worst.

We learned about the Weimar Republic and hyperinflation and how that led to the Third Reich.

We learned about how the Third Reich looked good from the outside at the beginning, but was actually awful.

We learned about the Roaring Twenties.

We learned about Prohibition.

We learned about tariffs and specifically about the Fordney-McCumber Act of 1922.

The Arts: Expressionism

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks fourteen and fifteen of school we did unit 8. Our arts topic was expressionism.

We looked at and discussed a whole bunch of paintings by expressionist artists.

We made pictures of the sound of things.

We rolled dice to determine how we should create a piece of art in the style of Kandinsky.

We looked at and discussed a whole bunch more paintings by expressionist artists.

We learned about Dada.

And made a Dada-esque compilation of some toys.

We learned about the Treachery of Images and drew things that were not.

Science: Earthquakes

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks fourteen and fifteen of school we did unit 8. Our science topic was earthquakes.

We watched some videos of earthquakes.

We made a seismograph using a cup, string, box, and pen. Then we made “earthquakes” to see how it worked.

Homemade Seismograph

We put clay in one paper towel cover toilet paper tube and sand in another. Then we pushed into the clay and sand to try to push it through the paper towel. The clay pushed right through while the sand absorbed the pressure (that is until Adrian stuck his finger through the paper towel so he could see the sand all drain out).

Sand vs. Clay

We learned about P and S waves.

We demonstrated how a strike-slip earthquake works by dragging a brick across rough wood using a heavy duty rubber band.

Strike-Slip Earthquake

We showed how an earthquake affects buildings by building a Jenga house on top of a cutting board on top of marbles.

Jenga Earthquake

We learned about earthquake measurement scales.

Geography: Plains States

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks fourteen and fifteen of school we did unit 8. Our geography topic was the plains states.

We did mapwork.

We learned about Mount Rushmore.

And the Badlands.

We did some butter carving.

We learned about loess soil.

And about bird habitats.

We figured out which things weren’t from Kansas.

We learned about how a perfect arch is made.

We added Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri to our passports and colored them in on our big maps.