Friday, March 12, 2010

grade 4, man & animal block II (week 2)

monday, march 8th

(read aloud with mama, 45 min, on the far side of the mountain)

main lesson:

form drawing/nature study...

the weather today was gorgeous, so we got to work on our chicken tractor (you might recall that we are expecting 12 hen chicks in the middle of april :)

we started by gathering up all of our scrap wood...

the boys had to test the boards to make sure that they were, um, sturdy...

actually they spent time creating various balancing games, while i compared what wood we had with what wood we need...;)

aydin wanted to get going on things, so i put him to work sawing the base boards...this kid loves to saw!

by the end of the week we had the frame done...woo-hah!
with the weather being so amazingly gorgeous, we spent a good deal of time outside working on the tractor. we still made time for our main lessons though...
this week we focused on our friend the cow/bull (representative of our will forces)
tuesday, march 9th
(read alound with mama, 45 min, on the far side of the mountain)
main lesson:
*introduce the cow/bull...

each morning on our walk we pass the cows out in the pasture. how peaceful they all look in the green fields, calm & content with the rest of their herd...grazing on the tasty grass under the sun's warm rays. strolling over to the stream for a nice, cool drink.

they are not at all like the eagles. oh, no! the eagle swoops down out of the sky, as fast as lightning, grabs its prey & carries it off to each in solitude. he uses his beak to tear off bits to eat. cows & bull, with their large, heavy bodies are slow & steady. they take up tufts of grass and turn them into milk, not only for themselves, but for us as well. such a gift! we take their white, flowing milk & turn it into butter for our bread, cheese for our snack & cooking, and much more.
what can we learn from the cow?? the cow teaches us that what we learn is not just for us, but is to be used to benefit those around us as well.

a cow has four stomachs...did you know that?? this is because a cow does not chew its grass once, but many many times before it can be turned into the delicious milk that we pour over our cereal. we, too, take time to turn all that we have learned into an idea or skill that is useful.

now...let us think of the bull--his massive body, angry & protective charging across the field. his head bent down like the battering rams of old. such strength & power, such force could move any obstacle in its way.

now, think of our springs & summers spent working in the garden...digging, plowing the planting. think of the rocks & logs that we must move, the fence posts that we have hammered into the ground. it is the bull within us that gives us the strength to complete such jobs.
cows truly are remarkable creatures. do you remember the dairy farm that we visited a few years ago?? do you remember shaking the baby food jar of cream until it turned into butter?? butter made from the cow's gift of milk. think of all the delicious cheese we eat, and yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream & many other delicious foods are made from milk.
cows are very much digestive animals. they have four stomachs that all work to turn the fibrous grasses they eat into milk. cows have teeth made for grinding--much like our back teeth, our molars. (think of the pioneers & how they ground corn & wheat into flour between two stones.)

the grass is chewed up & swallowed. it is then turned into cud & regurgitated back into the mouth to be chewed again & again & again. eventually is it passed through the other three stomachs and made into milk. this, as you might imagine, is a very long process. so much of a cow's energy and life force is centered on digestion, but they don't seem to mind do they??

they seem quite content with their dreamy lives.
we ordered some plasiticine from paper, scissors, stone & orin modeled a bull...
aydin & i worked on the chicken tractor some more. orin spent a good deal of his time exploring our woods with our 3 year old, ehren, & otherwise frolicking about...
(can't say as i blame him, either!)
wednesday, march 10th...
(read aloud with mama, 45 min, on the far side of the mountain)
main lesson:
*spend time meditating on what it would be like to be a bull/cow...write a summary of what you have learned...
thursday, march 12th
(read aloud with mama, 45 min, on the far side of the mountain)
main lesson:
*edit summary & copy into mail lesson book...
*we also rented "holy cow" from netflix & watched that this week.

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