We rowed the sweet story The Quiet Way Home by Bonny Becker this week, and spent some time learning about listening, our ears, sound waves, and music.
“When Grandfather fetches a small girl from school, they take the quiet way home. They hear not the loud clanging and rumbling noises, but the “dart-and-flee” of the honeybee; not the hurry-up honks of the busy road, but “the rustle scuffle scrape-a-caper / Tumbling paper” in the alley; not the roar of the lawn mower, but the chip chop of the garden hoe. Huang’s bright double-page spreads in acrylic paint and colored pencil show that there’s excitement and connection in uncrowded places where you can get close up to one special thing.”
Our ear-themed go-along books this week:
The Listening Walk by Paul Showers was also a perfect book to read with this unit study. A young girl and her father take quiet walks where they listen to everything around them. This book especially fit our family living on a jet base as it commented on the loud roars of jets!
- The weather has been gorgeous here in CA this week, and we started our week off with our own listening walk to the park. We heard many of the same sounds the girl hears in the book – birds, cars, jets, dogs, and the wind.
- We took snacks and our books and read outside at the park!
- Ready to go to the park:
- We played a game with plastic eggs where I put several different items in each egg, and Libby and Ian took turns guessing what was in the egg based on the sound it made when shaken. Libby was especially good at this game – she got every single one right, even when Alex and I were not sure. She knew cotton ball right away, which I actually thought she may struggle to get.
- We learned that sound waves are actually vibration (and what vibration means!). Using the book Science is Simple, we did several preschool-aged vibration activities. I LOVE this book! So many great ideas that are fun.
- L and I spoke and felt their vocal cords to feel the vibrations.
- We made our own instruments and discussed the vibrating components!
- Our guitars were made from boxes (a Kleenex box and juice carton) with a square cut in the side. L and I each painted theirs, and then once dry we put rubber bands around the openings. When they plucked the rubber bands, they vibrated and made music!
- A YouTube video of our guitars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmMlsqM5Ztc
- And we made Kazoos!
- We filled two glasses with water (one more than the other) and listened to the different frequency of the sounds made. We experimented by pouring in more water, or pouring some out to get higher or lower pitches. Link to YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYQGJiX4qew
- And our homemade band put together: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWERZYWNoFg
- We played our tambourine and maracas and practiced playing them loud and soft, quick rhythms and slow. This quickly turned into an impromptu parade with a marching band of Libby and Ian! They had so much fun marching around the house and up and down the stairs! I had a hard time getting a good picture because they were on the move!
- We watched The Magic School Bus sound episode
- We watched several “guess the sound” videos on YouTube. Ian especially liked this.
- L and I each took turns using daddy’s earplugs. We talked about ear safety with loud noises, and how daddy wears earplugs in the jet to keep his ears safe.
- And we got out the stethoscopes and listened to the sounds inside our bodies! This is always a hit.
- We talked about the liquid inside the ear, and how it helps us keep our balance. Then I had the kids spin in circles, which made them dizzy (they loved this). We talked about how sometimes our brain can be confused because after we stop moving this fluid can still be moving around.
- Our Bible verse this week was Psalm 46:10 “Be quiet to hear God”
Other things this week:
- Ian is practicing his chopstick skills with these kids chopsticks. He does so well getting the chicken and noodles to his mouth, and he has fun doing it!
- And Libby requested we start another read-aloud chapter book. She picked Beverly Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle.
We have had such a delight learning together this week despite some tough things hitting our family recently. I am so blessed to have my two amazing children to brighten each day. They fill my me with joy and give me hope, even in the hardest of times. Praise God for that.