Saturday, March 5, 2011

Reptiles and Amphibians

This week we have spent time studying reptiles and amphibians. It is 2 separate units in R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey, but we kind of combined them. Partly because I was ill-prepared and couldn't find a slinky for one of the amphibian labs and partly because we were on a roll and just wanted to keep flowing with it.


For the first lab, we made metamorphosis wheels. Very fun project, though a bit picky. I shrunk the template down to 80%, for those of you using the curriculum. This allowed me to cut both squares out of one folder. With two kids, this seemed less wasteful. I used plain cardstock for the wheel in the middle, scraps left over from other things. I cut out all the pieces. I marked the circle in quarters on one side and thirds on the other. I put the square and the circle together. I cut out the phases. The kids did the rest. Kutey was even able to put all the phases on the wheel in the correct order, on the correct side, with no help from me.

The kids love these wheels. Kiddo was very excited to show Daddy when he got home.

We skipped the next lab, because we couldn't find the slinky. We probably could have done the rest of the lab, but we didn't. Instead we moved on to reptiles. We learned about the difference between the skin of an amphibian and the skin of a reptile, then we did a lab to demonstrate this difference.


The idea is to see which one of the paper towels dries out first, which is bad, and explain why amphibians need to stay near water and reptiles don't. And of course, where humans fit in to this.

It was an easy lab, the results were exactly as expected, even though there was no sun to place the tray in as we were supposed to.

Then the kids drew a picture to illustrate a poem about lizards. Very fun, even if it didn't introduce any new material. It was the second of the reptile "labs."

I also had Kiddo read a book about reptiles. At least once every couple of minutes, he was telling Kutey and I some interesting factoid he was reading. So excited. Must have been a good book.

We also read About Amphibians. We have read it before. The first time, I wasn't sure I liked it. There is a sentence on each page, with a lovely picture. At the back of the book, however, there was a paragraph of information that goes with each picture. I think I would have liked the book more if the paragraph of information was on the same page as the picture. It is growing on me. The information is good, it's the format that I have trouble with.

Eventually we'll finish up the last lab on amphibians, but even without it, the kids have learned a lot.

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