The Arts: Post-Impressionism

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks twelve and thirteen of school we did unit 7. Our arts topic was post-impressionism.

We played with geometric shapes and colors.

We looked at the Starry Night on the boys’ wall and drew the shapes we saw in it.

We made teeny tiny paintings.

We drew pictures using oil pastels.

We drew pictures of animals popping out of the jungle.

We learned about pointillism and made hot air balloon pictures.

We learned about Rodin and made a sculpture out of aluminum foil.

Science: Plate Tectonics

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks twelve and thirteen of school we did unit 7. Our science topic was plate tectonics.

We watched YouTube videos about the magnetic and true north and how the earth’s crust deforms.

We made cookies and used them to demonstrate how the earth’s plates collide. I tried to decorate my cookie with the US, but it ended up looking more like Africa.

Cookie Plate Tectonics

We used our hands to show the way the plates collide or move past each other.

We demonstrated how the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is causing the Atlantic Ocean to widen by a few centimeters per year.

Cookie Plate Tectonics

We plotted a whole bunch of South American earthquakes.

We demonstrated the ways plates move past each other using graham crackers.

We learned about the Cascadia subduction zone, the Ring of Fire, and the East Arica Rift.

Geography: National Parks

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks twelve and thirteen of school we did unit 7. Our geography topic was national parks.

We watched drone footage of several national parks.

We looked at where national parks and national historic sites are around the country.

Each boy picked a national park to learn more about (Cameron picked Sequoia, Fritz picked Wind Cave, and Adrian picked Everglades).

We learned about landmarks in several national parks.

History: Civil War

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks twelve and thirteen of school we did unit 7. Our history topic was the Civil War.

We watched a YouTube video by Alternate History Hub outlining what might have happened it the south won the Civil War.

We added to the timeline.

We made an Underground Railroad diorama.

We did mapwork of what the US looked like in 1861.

We learned about the tenth amendment.

We watched a short biography on Abraham Lincoln.

We learned about animal mascots of the Civil War.

We learned about the Battle of Gettysburg…

…And the Gettysburg Address.

We watched two Crash Course videos on the Civil War.

We did mapwork on the major battles of the Civil War.

We learned about reconstruction and some terms related to it.

Science: Earth Structure

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Week eleven of school we did unit 6. Our science topic was earth structure.

We learned about the layers of the earth.

We demonstrated how waves travel through air vs. something solid and how that helps us know which layers of the earth are solid and which are liquid.

We used heat (from friction) to cause a top to “bounce” on a very cold bottle.

We used a hard-boiled egg to demonstrate the layers of the earth.

We used a hard-boiled egg and a raw egg to show how the earth wobbles as it spins like the raw egg does because of the liquid inside.

Egg Spin and Wobble

We played with magnets and iron filings to demonstrate magnetic fields.

Magnet and Iron Filings

Stronger Magnet and Iron Filings

We melted some grocery bags to show how plastic can melts.

We used boiling oil to show convection currents.

Geography: Southwest States

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Week eleven of school we did unit 6. Our geography topic was the southwest states.

We did mapwork of Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, and New Mexico.

We looked at my father’s bolo tie and made bolo ties of our own.

We watched a YouTube video of landscapes around Arizona and one about the Grand Canyon.

We watched a video of drone footage from New Mexico.

We learned about the Albuquerque Balloon Festival.

We learned about Carlsbad Caverns.

We compared The Road Runner with road runners (when we moved to Texas we felt somewhat betrayed that road runners weren’t three feet tall or blue in reality).

We talked about industries, agriculture, and people of the southwest.

We learned about the regions of Texas including our own, the south Texas plains.

We learned about Oklahoma! and scenes around the state of Oklahoma.

We made flip pages about things around the southwest states.

We colored in the four southwest states on our big folder maps.

We added Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma to our passports.