Thursday, January 31, 2013

Turtles like roller coasters.

One of the projects in Jude's science book is to make mini-fact booklets.  It's a multi-step project:

  • cut the pictures of turtle eggs in half, and glue the bottom edge to another circle to make a pocket with the bottom half
  • attach the top piece of the egg to the bottom pocket with a brass paper fastener, so it can move to hide/expose the turtle
  • cut out the baby turtles, write a fact on each, and tuck him in the pocket
  • paste the entire thing into the notebook

If Jude were at the older end of the journal's range (Apologia recommends the Junior Notebooking Journal for K-2nd grade), this would probably be pretty easy.  However, since he's still a delayed kindergartener, completing it as suggested wasn't happening.  We took the raw materials and changed them around into a new project.

First, I photocopied the pages from the book to do this project.  We are not completing things as in-depth as the Journal will allow, just because he doesn't have the writing skills yet.  My current plan is to revisit the text/journal again in another year or so, when Jude has more matured writing and critical thinking skills.  However, I did not want to use the project today and not have the ability to do it "properly" later on.  By creating color copies, I could leave the originals in the book for the future.

Instead of making fact booklets, Jude put together a "Baby Turtle Birthday" scene.  We talked again about how the Mommy turtle comes up on the beach, digs a big hole in the sand, and lays eggs.  When the baby turtles are ready to hatch, they poke at the shell, and dig themselves out of the shells and the sand and head for the water.  Then we put together our craft.

I cut out the eggs and the baby turtles before we started our project, because Jude still isn't very proficient with scissors and expecting him to cut them out was asking for trouble.  Then I gathered up some construction paper (brown for the beach, blue for the ocean) and we got started on assembly.

He started by cutting a strip of blue paper to create the "ocean".  I was impressed at how well he he cut the paper.  He stayed very straight on the line, with no help from Mom!

Then we glued it to the bottom edge of the brown page. 

Next, we needed to "hatch" the eggs.  There was a zig-zag cutting line on the eggs that Jude started on.  He's at the point now where he's unwilling to try new things, because he's afraid he won't be able to do it.  It took a bit of encouragement, but he finally got started.  He did a fantastic job! This was the first time he has cut an entire project with no help at all - not even help holding/turning his paper, not even a reminder to point his thumb facing the ceiling while cutting!  I'm so proud of him!!

Then we started arranging our eggshell parts and turtles.

At first, we just glued them down so they were open like a clamshell, but then Jude decided that it did not look like a turtle was IN the egg.  He went back and cut another egg in half (on the lines, by himself) so he could arrange two more parts around the first baby.

The second egg he left open, as if a baby turtle was crawling out on his "teeny teeny tiny" flippers.

Next up - turtles heading to the ocean.  He was concerned there were no waves.  So he drew a few waves in, and colored the crests.  Then it came time to arrange the "already born" turtles.

I asked him which direction should they go in.  We spend much of our summer at the New Jersey beach, as his grandparents have a beach house there, and spend many evenings on the Wildwood Boardwalk.  Because he knows that the boardwalk is on one side of the beach, and the ocean on the other, I asked him "Do the baby turtles walk towards the boardwalk, or towards the ocean?"  His answer, "To the ocean.  AFTER they go to the boardwalk and ride the rides.  They like roller coasters."  Maybe me jesting that the Tilt-a-Whirl should be called the "Turtle Hurl" isn't too big a misnomer?

After we pretended our turtles had been to the boardwalk, we turned them around and got them heading into the ocean.  Suddenly, he had to turn them so they were all facing "up."  I said, "But they are supposed to be swimming away from the beach."  His response:  "But if they face down into the water, they can't breathe!!  They need air, they can't breathe from the water!"  Good point.  

One of the best things about teaching Jude is seeing where his mind wanders.  I love his logic.


  1. What a fun project! I'm excited to be following you from the Crew.

  2. Cute project! My kids would love this. Happy to be a new follower!

  3. We've had to adjust a few of the projects from our Junior Notebook as well! Your project turned out great! So excited to be following you!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover