2nd Week Using Adventures in Sea & Sky

This is our 2nd week into WinterPromise’s program: Adventures in Sea & Sky. I think Otter’s favorite read-aloud right now is Treasure Island. I’m not sure how much of it he really understands because of all the dialect and maritime vocabulary, but every time I finish reading for the day he begs for more. I love that!
I also love how he’s really being engaged by all of the activities – not only the ones WP scheduled but all of the extras I’ve gathered up too. Sea & Sky is a terrific theme to expand on. There are all sorts of science extras you can add, along with plenty of crafts and movies.

This week Otter continued work on his mollusks lapbook (you can see more pics in some previous posts). Next week he’ll be starting one on whales. I can’t speak highly enough about lapbooks. They add a hands-on component that really helps learning STICK. They are fun to “review” too. Here are a few pictures of some of the new items he added:

Slug diet booklet

Slug diet

Lift the flaps to see what slugs eat!

what slugs eat

Learning about slugs vs. snails:

Lift the flap slug

Shutterfold with a map inside and questions to answer on each flap

Octopus shutterfold

Multiplying by 8’s – Lift the flaps to see the answers:

Multiplying by 8's

Accordion fold for octopus facts

Octopus Facts

Anyone else’s kid mix printing with cursive? roll eyes

Outrageous octopus facts

We also worked from the book 1-2-3 Draw Ocean Life. This week’s drawing was a sea cucumber. As before, I drew mine on the computer, while Otter followed along on paper. He is really enjoying this book. Each step is pretty simple to follow. We’re also looking up the items we’re drawing online for photos, videos, and more information.

Mom’s sea cucumber

Sea Cucumber

Otter’s sea cucumber

Otter's Sea Cucumber drawing

Our First Week with Sea & Sky

We’ve been enjoying our first week with Sea & Sky.

Yesterday Otter made a “shadow box ship” from the book Sailors, Whalers, Fantastic Sea Voyages. The activity book’s instructions call for supplies like craft foam and wooden dowels but since I didn’t have any of that on hand we just used card stock paper. I think it was probably easier to do that way anyway. The instructions were a little bit vague for Otter to accomplish this activity on his own so I helped direct him. We didn’t do everything exactly how it was described, but Otter was happy with the end result:

Shadow box ship

Bear is going to be making a much more detailed paper model from the Canon Creative Park website.

Otter has also been working a free lapbook about mollusks. He’s enjoying the added science component to his schedule as well as some additional hands-on activities. Here’s are some pictures of what he’s accomplished so far:

The cover of his lapbook

Mollusks lapbook

What is a mollusk? flap book

Mollusk lapbook lift the flap

Inside “What is a mollusk?”

What is a mollusk?

A 3 panel squid booklet

Lapbook component about squids

Inside the booklet

squid lapbook item

All in the mollusk family booklet

All in the Mollusk family lapbook booklet

Inside the mollusk family booklet with 3 individual tabs

Lapbook page on mollusks

We also got to start the notebooking component of Sea & Sky. The program comes with a packet of papers called the “Make Your Own Captain’s Log”. Today Otter did a sheet on labeling a ship (hmmm, interesting color choices for the sails, LOL):

Label a ship

He’s keeping all of his papers for S&S in a notebook:

Sea & Sky notebook

So far I’m finding the pacing of Sea & Sky to be very manageable. Both boys are really enjoying our read-aloud of Treasure Island and there seems to be a very good balance of activities.

My only complaint so far is that one of the books scheduled as a reader (Voyage of Ice) turned out to have, in my opinion and for MY family’s values, some inappropriate material in it for the ages it was scheduled for (3rd-6th). I’m actually quite irked about this. I am NOT criticizing Winter Promise for choosing the book as a reader. I understand that it is our responsibility as parents to preview our children’s materials and ultimately make choices and decisions regarding them and also that every family is quite different in their beliefs and philosophies. However, I would have liked a little warning about the level of romance and violence it contains. I am really quite liberal when it comes to read-alouds (books I read out loud while my kids listen) because I can be on hand to discuss things with the kids and help expose them to real life, under my terms. However, when it comes to just handing my 11 year old son something to read by himself, I am a lot more picky. Voyage of Ice is quite an amazing adventure story that is very educational about life on a whaling ship but fails my test as a reader. We will, however,be doing it as a read-aloud with some edits on the fly.

Lapbook Templates

I’ve got some lapbook templates posted to a new page on the site. I’ll be adding to them as I create lapbook items for my son. You can download the templates, use them in your own projects and then share your finished work (along with my template elements) on your own site without having to ask. Just give a link back to Guest Hollow. Here’s what I posted today:

Flap template

More Nutrition Lapbook Printables

Here are some more printables I made for Otter’s nutrition study. They are also posted on the nutrition lapbook page.

Vitamin ABC’s (2 page printable)


Liver: Vitamin Storage Center Petal Book

The liver stores fat soluble vitamins

Nutrition Facts Label (2 page printable)

Nutrition Facts Label

Amino acids link together to make proteins (2 page printable)

Activity 1: Make a chain of amino acids to learn that proteins are “chains” of amino acids.
Activity 2:
Cut out “boxcar” strips of the 20 amino acids your body needs. Boxcars are labeled with the amino acids. Essential amino acids are blue. The others are red. Paste the strips together and fold accordian style.
Activity 3: Make a pocket to store the amino acids. Learn that each amino acid can link to 2 other amino acids just like a boxcar in a train. Put the amino acids from the previous step into the pocket.

List of amino acids taken from http://www.nutritional-supplements-health-guide.com/amino-acid-list.html.

Complete and incomplete proteins

Also, it appears that I forgot to link to the printable schedule for World Geography and Cultures. I have now fixed that. If you are doing our geography program, or supplementing Winter Promise’s Children Around the World curriculum, you can now print out a rough draft schedule to help you keep things on track without having to be online.

Nutrition Lapbook

February 8, 2009

I am working on creating a FREE lapbook to go with Janice VanCleave’s Food and Nutrition for Every Kid: Easy Activities That Make Learning Science Fun

Janice VanCleaves’ Food and Nutrition for Every Kid is a book I scheduled in Otter’s Science for weeks 19-24. It’s a great book, but I could see that Otter was having a hard time retaining some of the concepts and new vocabulary. I decided to help him out by creating the materials below. Now he can tell you all sorts of things about monosaccarides and what one of the jobs of the hypothalmus is, etc.! I love how lapbooking helps information stick!

As I create the lapbooking materials, I will continue to add them to the site printables. I’ve created a page for this lapbook here.

Chapter 1

Macronutrients, micronutrients, Mr. Hypothalamus

Chapter 2

Monosaccharides and Disaccharides


Examples of Monosaccharides and Disaccharides

Carbohydrates are fuel!

Chapter 3

Fats chart with cut & paste squares

Chapter 4

Protein wheel


More printables are coming soon for the other chapters! I will post them as I finish making them for Otter. Check back on the blog here or on the page I made specifically for this lapbook.

Janice VanCleave’s Food and Nutrition Lapbook

Julie S. is going to be using Little Otter’s Science with her children and created a printable schedule for it. She donated her work to our site so we can share it with you! I’ve posted it on the Little Otter’s Science main page.

I also (at my daughter’s request) created a printable schedule to go along with our free world geography and cultures curriculum. It’s posted before the weekly topics here.

I’ve made a few changes to Otter’s Science and added in a book on nutrition. The Chew on This book was just not up Otter’s alley. I found a much more age appropriate book: Why Shouldn’t I Eat Junk Food? with colorful pictures and easy to understand information.

I am also working on lapbook materials to go with Janice VanCleave’s Food and Nutrition for Every Kid: Easy Activities That Make Learning Science Fun. Otter likes the book and the activities that go with it, but I found that he wasn’t retaining some of the advanced vocabulary and concepts. Now he can tell you without missing a beat what the hypothalamus does after coloring “Mr. Hypothalamus”.


He can also tell you the difference between monosaccarides and disaccarides as well as give examples for each, etc.

He gets to be my “guinea pig” for the lapbook materials. Let’s just say that I’m …uhhhh…spatially challanged. Poor kid gets stuck with stuff like this (see if you can figure out what’s wrong):

Macronutrients mess up

The Macronutrients “cover” was to fold “in” as was the pictures of the macronutrient “characters”. In case you are as challenged as I am *cough cough* – see how the words on the cover, once folded over, are upside down?  I’m SURE that was obvious to all you seasoned lapbookers and smart cookies out there!

Anyway, I’ll post it when I’m done making it for Otter. I think it’s a nice addition to our nutrition study. I love how lapbooks make information stick!

Lapbook Printables for Geography and Cultures

I’ve been busy getting ready for the up and coming school year by making some lapbook printables to go along with our study of world geography and cultures. Here’s a preview of some of the printables I’ve made and am sharing with you:

lapbook booklet Lapbook printable - prayer needs
lapbook menu lapbook temperature booklet Highest point flap book

To take a look and download them, click here. Lots more will be added over the next couple of weeks!

I recently had someone ask how I made my printables. Basically I work out of several programs. For the country and cultures lapbook I worked with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Poser, a Wacom tablet and Adobe Acrobat.
Illustrator is a vector illustration program. I used it to make graphics that have simple shapes: the flap books, the dotted lines for fold marks, the graph for the mountain heights, the tracing of my hand for the prayer book, etc. I also used it to clean up some of the clip art images that were purchased through Clipart.com (Jupiter Images).
I used Photoshop to put everything together. I arranged the graphics, drew things, erased lines, used special shape brushes and so on. I saved my creations as a high resolution gif to import into Acrobat so that they would look nice printed.
Acrobat makes the PDF files for you to download.
Poser is a 3-D program that is used to create “people”. I created a child in Poser, exported a picture of the child into Illustrator and created the “blank people” template that is used for one of the cut out projects.
It probably looks very simple but it’s a lot of work!

Anyway, take a look and let me know what you think. All of this work was prompted because I couldn’t find a country lapbook that had graphics I like. In fact, I was very disappointed with a particular purchase I made awhile back and so, I just created my own. Please check back soon for additions that are in the works. The whole thing will be finished in just a couple of weeks.

For more info on lapbooks as well as links to lapbook freebies, please visit Jimmie’s Squidoo lens!