Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back to School Shopping

Did I ever tell you that I LOVE to shop? I shop EXCESSIVELY. It is a family trait...and a curse. A curse I have tried to rid myself of for over 11 years.

When I first became married, my shopping drove us into debt on to the brink of divorce. Over the years, I've learned painful lessons about controlling what I spend. But its a hard habit to break. Now, instead of buying stuff for me or our house, I tend to buy too much stuff for my kids. I love giving gifts and planning surprises. I love holidays because it gives me a chance to plan and plot and scheme for that special something that will make somebody's day.

As much as I STILL love shopping...there is ONE kind of shopping that I absolutely HATE...Back to School Shopping. I feel bad that I detest it so I kid, I loved getting all those new school supplies...sharpening new #2 pencils, the smell of the inside of a new backpack, labeling all my PeeChee folders and dividers and, of course, the FABULOUS new school clothes!!

But now, as a mom, I can't stand it. The main reason is the RIDICULOUS Back to School Supply lists for the teachers. As a kid, I remember getting pencils and a new binder...but everything else was provided. But now, thanks to budget cuts and what I believe to be the misapropriation of educational funding, I feel like I am stocking the entire school district! I have four children in school...3 in elementary and one starting her freshman year at the International Baccalaureate Program at Miramar High. The lists are OUTRAGEOUS!!! My elementary kids are in uniforms, but I couldn't even afford to buy new clothes this year, even though all my kids have grown like crazy and won't last much longer in the stuff they've got. All they got were new undershirts, underwear, and socks. I still have to buy them all new shoes for school AND church.

I just get SO STRESSED OUT, because I worry about what people will think when they show up with polos so faded that it's OBVIOUS they're far from new. And then there's the fact that I re-used every folder, binder, and composition book I could from last year...if the first few pages were written in, I just ripped 'em out and called it good...even though Savannah stood there and cried because they were bent and old-looking.

So check it out...tell me if I'm's the list:

  • 1 box quart ziploc bags

  • 2 boxes gallon ziploc bags

  • 3 boxes of tissues

  • 3 boxes of baby wipes

  • 3 pairs of blunt scissors

  • 1 1-1/2in. binder w/clear view window

  • 1 2in. binder with dividers

  • 11 composition notebooks

  • 1 yellow highlighter

  • 1 blue highlighter

  • 1 5-pack of multi-colored highlighters

  • 3 packs of low-odor dry erase board markers with erasers

  • 6 boxes of #2 pencils

  • 3 boxes of 16-count crayons

  • 7 jumbo glue sticks

  • 3 small clear pencil pouches with holes

  • 1 plastic pencil box

  • 1 red plastic folder with holes

  • 16 duo tang folders with pockets and prongs (10 of which need to be in specific colors: 2 red, 2 blue, 2 purple, 2 yellow, and 2 green)

  • 2 12-count boxes of colored pencils

  • 1 red spiral notebook

  • 1 blue spiral notebook

  • 2 red pens

  • 4 erasers

  • 4 packages wide-ruled notebook paper

  • 2 packages 3x5 index cards

  • 2 black sharpies

  • 1 small Thesaurus

  • 1 small Dictionary

  • 2 earbud style headphones

  • 1 USB memory stick

And that is just my ELEMENTARY kids!! Plus, they all needed new lunchboxes (theirs were trashed and unusable), and both Savannah and Joseph needed new backpacks. Luckily, I was able to find a slightly used one for Joseph at a garage sale for $1.00, but Savannahs I had to buy new. I got it and 3 really nice lunchboxes at CostCo...the lunchboxes cost $10.99 each, and the backpack was $19.99. That makes my total, so far...BEFORE Kaitlyns lists and new shoes... $242.89. OUCH. Is there any relief out there?

Ancient Spanish Monastery

We did this field trip last week, but I'm only now getting the pictures up because I'm, well,... slow.

For our Pioneer Week, we had to visit a historical/heritage building in our area. South Florida doesn't boast very many "pioneer settlements" we improvised. On Thursday, we visited Bill Baggs State Park on Key Biscayne, and toured the lighthouse there. It is the oldest building in South Florida. It has been destroyed twice...once by raiding Seminoles who burnt it to the ground, and once by a hurricane. Now it is preserved and you can visit it and go to the top of the lighthouse (95 feet and 109 stairs up) to look out over beautiful Cape Florida. The keepers cottage is so quaint, I wish I could live there!!!

We visit Bill Baggs is a beautiful beach, left to be wild and overgrown, with mangroves fading to sawgrass fading to coarse sandy beaches and quietly lapping waters. The reefs are ripe with colorful tropical fish, and just beyond the slope are beds of seagrass where the turtles feed. We've climbed the lighthouse at least 4 times, now...but we never tire of it.

On Friday, we went to North Miami Beach to see The cloisters of the Ancient Spanish Monastery and St. Bernard de Clairvaux Episcopal Church. The monastery is the oldest building on the Western Hemisphere. It was originally built in Segovia, Spain, between 1133 and 1144 A.D. Cistercan monks occupied it for nearly 700 years. During a social revolution in the area in the 1830's, the Cloisters were siezed, sold, and converted to a granary and stable.

In 1925, William Randolph Hearst purchased the Cloisters and the Monasterys outbuildings and had them dismantled stone by stone, bound with protective hay, and packed in some 11,000 wooden crates (numbered for identification), and shipped to the U.S. About that time, hoof and mouth disease had broken out in Segovia, and the USDA, fearing possible contagion, siezed and quarantined the shipment upon its arrival, broke open the crates, and burned the hay. Unfortunately, the workers failed to put the stones back in the correct boxes before moving them into a warehouse.

After the shipment arrived, Mr. Hearst got into some financial trouble that forced most of his collection to be sold at auction. The stones remained in a warehouse in Brooklyn for 26 years. After Mr. Hearst's death in 1952, , they were purchased by Messrs. W. Edgemon and R. Moss for use as a tourist attraction. It took 19 months and $1.5 million dollars to put the Monastery back together. Some of the unmatched stones still remain in the back leftover screws on Christmas morning.

I've never been fortunate enough to travel to Europe...but I imagine that it would feel very much like this place. There was an aura of solemnity and mystery through the gorgeous arched halls. The monastery had been built on the grounds of a former nursery, and was overgrown with lush tropical plants and trees dripping with Spanish moss and shy wild orchids. It truly felt as if we'd been transported to another time and place. The feeling was so profound that my normally rambucious and irreverent children were hushed and awed...almost tiptoeing through the halls and rooms.

Upon entering the small and private chapel, they immediately gravitated towards the front to kneel at the padded alter. Being that we are not Catholic, I have no idea how they knew to do this. After bowing his head for a few seconds, Joseph turned to me and whispered, "Mom, why are there so many candles?" I explained that people lit them to honor the dead, ask for favors or repentance from Heavenly Father or various saints. As quick as a wink, the familiar mishievious light glinted in Brighams eyes, and he leaped up and began to run through the chapel, blowing out candles and peoples "prayers". My other children looked on...mouths agape and horrified expressions tatooed across their faces, as I cut through a row of pews to head off the little demon and take him outside. As I quickly shepherded my children off the premises, I could hear Joseph whispering a fierce and stern lecture to the little brother who was holding his hand. As we walked through the arched gate, I distinctly heard Brigham protest: "But dude...that was AWESOME!!!"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Summer School - Week #8

Word of Wisdom - Health and Nutrition

Shannans Additions: This week, part of our journal activity will be writing down what we eat every day and what we did to exercise. All credit for original lesson goes to


- Start with a prayer.
- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.
- Song, "The Word of Wisdom"
- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Doctrine and Covenants 89:18

Introduction - Close your eyes and picture a temple.
What color is it?
How big is it?
Does it have any windows?
Are there spires? How many?
You are like the temple. You are different from everyone else, but you, too, are a house for the Spirit of God (the Holy Ghost). The Apostle Paul said: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? … For the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Cor. 3:16–17.)
Your body is a temple. Temples are also places where Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father can come.

Just as you treat temples with respect, you should treat your own body with respect. You can do this by obeying the Word of Wisdom (see D&C 89), by dressing modestly, and by following the counsel of President Gordon B. Hinckley to “be clean” (see Friend, February 2001, page 25). One way to be clean is to not have tattoos. President Hinckley said, “A tattoo is graffiti on the temple of the body” (Ensign, November 2000, page 52).
You should also keep your heart and mind clean by reading, listening to, and watching only “things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father”. If you are clean in mind and body, you can receive great blessings because “the Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples, but in the hearts of the righteous doth he dwell” (Alma 34:36).

History - Share the story of how the Word of Wisdom came about.

Snack - Banana ice. Peel several very ripe bananas, break them into 1-inch pieces, and freeze the pieces in a sealed plastic bag. Just before serving, whirl the pieces in the blender with a small amount of water or juice. Serve right away. Add berries for a different flavor or top with fruit or nuts.

Art - Painting with kitchen gadgets. Pour small amounts of tempera paint into shallow containers. Set out a variety of kitchen gadgets like a potato masher, a funnel, a spiral type whisk, a cookie cutter a tart pan and a measuring cup. Give the children pieces of paper. Let them take turns using the various gadgets to dip in the paint and press on their paper.

P.E. - Heart Healthy Exercise Game

Shannans Additions:
Vocab: Wisdom, health, fruit, vegetables, grains, fitness, strength, water, sleep, happiness, promise
Journal: Write what you ate today!! AND…
List a fruit and vegetable for every color (example: Orange = orange & pumpkin). Draw pictures of each fruit and vegetable.
Exercise: Walking


- Start with a prayer.
- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.
- Song, "The Word of Wisdom"
- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Doctrine and Covenants 89:18

Discussion -

  • What can we do to help our bodies stay healthy? (exercise, eat healthy, sleep, brush our teeth, take baths, wash our hands often)

  • What kinds of food help to keep us healthy? (fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, milk)

  • Is sleep important for our bodies?

  • Should we eat a lot of sweet foods and snacks? Why or why not? (cavities and they are not good for us)

  • What is your favorite food to eat??

  • What is a fruit?

  • What is a vegetable?

Reading - Read any story about healthy living or healthy foods. Discuss the book.

Activity - One way to make nutrition fun is to use newspaper grocery ads. After you talk about the 4 food groups have the children cut out their favorite foods from newspapers and magazines. Then let them write about their choices to show they understand each group's contents. They could also list things that are made from that product or other things made from the same basic contents. The class could also just cut out the names of products they like and have them draw the pictures on light colored construction paper for placemats. You could give each food group to a small group of kids and have them hunt together for food items in that group. They can then glue their selections on bulletin board paper and label them. That lets them make a bulletin board and all you have to do is supply the paper. One other activity is to give each child a piece of construction paper with a letter of the alphabet and let them find any food or drink items that start with that letter. All pictures they find are glued on the paper. These can then be put in ABC order and made into a book. You keep the book so you can remember the activity. Take pictures of everything. It's much easier to remember because you have a visual.

Music - Sing the vegetable song to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star:

Car-rots, peas and broc-co-li;

Vege-tables are good for me.

For my snack and in my lunch;

Veggie sticks are great to munch.

Car-rots, peas and broc-co-li;

Vege-tables are good for me.

Restaurant - Play restaurant and chose healthy foods when eating out. Make menus with pictures of vegetables and dinners from magazines. Under each picture put the name of the item. Set up a kitchen area and lots of play food to use to make dinners in their restaurant. Have them set the table with a plate cup and napkin. Have them take turns being the waiter, cook, and customer.

Discuss - Read Daniel 1:17 to your children, and explain that Heavenly Father blessed them for taking care of their bodies. Encourage your children to follow Daniel’s example when they are offered something that would be unhealthy for their bodies. In addition to eating right, our bodies need exercise.

Shannans Additions:
Vocab: Copy the vocab words 3x each (print, cursive)
Journal: Write what you ate today. AND…
Imagine you are a restaurant manager. What kind of healthy foods would you serve to help kids make good healthy choices instead of French fries and soda?
Other Fun: watch the first part of “Daniel” from the Living Scriptures
Exercise: Swimming


- Start with a prayer.

- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.

- Song, "The Word of Wisdom"

- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Doctrine and Covenants 89:18

Activity - Take some scotch tape and make six good sized squares on your floor. Tape a piece of paper that has the words, "Fruits, Vegetables, Dairy, Meat and Grains and Other" written on it. If your children can't read, draw a picture of each section. Take all your pretend plastic food and have your children categorize each piece of food.

Game - Play “Simon Says” by giving commands of things the body can do, such as “Simon says, ‘Stand on one foot’ ” or “Simon says, ‘Wave your right hand.’ ” As long as the command is preceded by the phrase “Simon says,” the children should obey. If you leave off that phrase, they should not obey the command. After a few minutes, discuss with the children all the wonderful things our bodies can do. Remind them of the things our bodies are constantly doing that we don’t even have to think about, like breathing, pumping blood through our veins, healing illnesses, sending messages from the brain to nerve endings, and so on. Suggest that the children express gratitude in their prayers to Heavenly Father for the great gift of their physical bodies. Encourage the children to show their gratitude for their physical bodies by following the Word of Wisdom.

Math - Serving sizes are important in calculating the amounts of fruits and vegetables that add up to 5 a Day.For this activity, you will need:1, 1/2, and 1/4 cup measuring cups

Various foods to measureFor 100% juice -- water (or juice)

For leafy greens -- any green leaves (outer lettuce leaves)

For dried fruit -- use raisins

For canned fruit -- any canned fruit chunks (pineapple)

For cooked vegetable -- shredded carrots, canned peas

Everyday objects representing the amounts of 1, 1/2, and 1/4 cups

1. Show your children the different size measuring cups (1 cup, 1/2 cup, and 1/4 cup), and the foods they will be measuring.

2. Determine which foods should be placed into which measuring cup to make 1 serving. For instance:

Use the 1 cup to measure 1 serving of leafy greens

Use the 1/4 cup to measure 1 serving of dried fruit -- raisins

Use the 1/2 cup to show 1 serving of a canned fruit or cooked vegetable

Use a 1 cup liquid measuring cup to measure 3/4 cup juice (or water)

3. Fill each measuring cup with the appropriate fruit or vegetable.

4. Discuss with your children the fact that fruits and vegetables, do not take the shape of the container, but juice (a liquid) does.

5. Show everyday objects representing 1 cup, 1/2 cup, and 1/4 cup to which they can relate. (Small box of raisins, milk carton, small juice glass that holds 6 oz.)

Give your children measuring cups of 1 cup, 1/2 cup, and 1/4 cup. Have them answer the following questions or if they are younger, help them by testing equivalents using raisins, water, or whatever you have around your house.

1. How many 1/2 cups = 1 cup? _______

2. How many 1/4 cups = 1 cup? _______

3. How many 1/4 cups = 1/2 cup? _______

4. How many 1 cups = 2 cups? _______

5. How many 1/4 cups = 2 cups? _______

6. How many 1/2 cups = 2 1/2 cups? _______

7. How much is a handful of raisins? ______

8. If a handful of raisins is one serving, how many servings would 2 handfuls be? _______

Lunch Idea - Stone Soup. Read the story STONE SOUP (rent from your local library if you don't have this book) to the children and then together, make stone soup. While the soup is cooking read the story to the children again. When the soup is ready serve for lunch. (Here are some different activity plans for Stone Soup - Idea 1, Idea 2 - scroll down to "Stone Soup" (#21) and click on the Kindergarten Lesson Plan)

Shannans Additions:
Vocab: Use all the vocab words in a paragraph
Journal: Write what you ate today. AND…
Have kids record math answers in journal. How can they know that they are getting enough fruits and vegetables?
Exercise: Jumping on trampoline


- Start with a prayer.

- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.

- Song, "The Word of Wisdom"

- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Doctrine and Covenants 89:18

Today's focus - Exercise

Discuss - Ask your children if they know where their heart is. Show them that their hearts are located in the middle of their chests. Ask them to take their right hand and place it over their heart (show them location). See if they can feel the rhythm of their heart beating. Explain that the heart is the main muscle of the body. It has a very important job. It must pump blood to all the different body parts. Ask children if they know what happens to their heart when they run, jump, or skip or exercise in another way. Build on the children’s responses by explaining that when they exercise, their hearts get a workout. When they exercise, their muscles need more blood, so their hearts must pump faster and work harder. This pumping action of the heart is called the heartbeat or rate.

Science - Tell your children you are going to show them how their heart will beat faster after they exercise. Explain to children that they can measure how hard their hearts are working by counting the number of times their heart beats in 60 seconds. Help them find their heart and count their heart beats for six seconds. At the end of six seconds, have children put a zero at the end of the number to get the number of times their heart beats in 60 seconds.

Record children’s heart beats on a paper and write “Before Exercise.” Explain that when you say “ Go!” they are to jump up and down in place 20 times. When they're done, they should sit down. (If you have several children, you could do this activity one at a time). Ask your child to take their right hand and place it over their heart again. Is their heart beating faster? Record their heart beats on your paper under a column “After Exercise.”

Discuss the results of the experiment by asking children to observe and comment on their before and after exercise heart rates. Invite children to share their own explanations for the change in their heart beat rates after exercising. Help children to understand that when they move for long or short periods of time, their hearts have to beat faster in order to get blood to all of the different parts of their bodies. (Do this activity as part of our journal)

Activity - How are you peeling??

Craft - Keeping Hydrated. Talk about the importance of drinking water to keep hydrated, how much to drink, ways we loose water, increasing when sick and exercise and when it's hot outside. Make water bottle holders. Get a sports top water bottle (case at Costco) (arrowhead water), an "o" ring (found in the plumbing department at Home Depot 7/8 size - .24 cents each) and rainbow neon shoelaces (Wal-Mart .87 cents one package). Fold the shoelace in half and put thru "O" ring leaving tails at bottom. Place shoelace tails on each side of cap and roll "o" ring down to neck of bottle, then tie tails to the new strap. They can then carry their water bottle on their shoulder and refill it. Your kids could decorate and personalize their bottles.

Snack - Have your children make their own snack mix by putting the following items in a Ziploc baggie and shake it:
4 c Chex cereal
1/2 c Dried fruit bits
1/2 c Raisins
1/2 c peanuts
1/2 c M & Ms

P.E. - "Let's go to the zoo!" Name the first animal. After 30 seconds, call out the name of another animal. Below are examples of animal movements and their benefits that you could use. Encourage your kids to think up additional animals and their movements.
- Kangaroo: Hopping. Increases leg muscle strength.
- Crab: Crab walking. Increases leg, arm, back, and abdominal strength.
- Horse: Galloping. Increases leg muscle strength.
- Dog: Crawling. Increases leg, arm, and abdominal strength.
- Snake: Slithering. Increases torso / core strength.
- Monkey: Running. Increases leg strength.
- Bird: Running, flapping. Increases arm and leg strength.

Song - Sing the song, "For Health and Strength"For health and strengthand daily foodwe praise thy name,O Lord.

Optional - You could go on a little hike (at a park or in the mountains) and bring your water bottles and snack mix with you. (This would be a good day for a bike ride)

Shannans Additions:
Vocab: Write definitions to vocab words
Journal: Write what you ate today. AND…
see “Science section” . Record heart rates and answer questions in journal. Write a short paragraph about your favorite type of exercise.
Exercise: Biking


- Start with a prayer.
- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.

- Song, "The Word of Wisdom"

- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Doctrine and Covenants 89:18

Today's Focus - Brushing your teeth

Hands on - Practice brushing and flossing your teeth. You'll need an empty egg carton, an unused toothbrush and floss. Turn the egg carton upside down. Explain that the egg carton sections represent your teeth. Encourage your child to use the toothbrush and floss to practice brushing and flossing their teeth.

Science - What NOT brushing your teeth will get you! You'll need two clear cups, 2 eggs, vinegar, cola, toothbrush, toothpaste, and a magnifying glass. Soak an egg in a cup of cola and a second one in vinegar. Overnight the eggs will turn brown and the other one will lose it's shell. The cola one can show what happens if you don't brush (It will come off with a toothbrush and toothpaste) The second one shows that if the acid continually builds up in your mouth, it will decalcify, just like the egg.

Snack - Apples Smiles. You'll need a knife, apple, peanut butter, and mini marshmallows. Cut the apple into wedges. Take two pieces and smear peanut butter on them. Place the mini marshmallows in the peanut butter to represent teeth. Now put the two wedges together for a toothy smile. Or you could make these Apple Bites.

Craft - Healthy Foods Place Mat. You'll need vegetables, paint and paper. Cut different fruits and vegetables in half (do this early so they dry a bit) let the kids dip them in different colors of paint and stamp them on a piece of construction paper. When they are dry cover them with contact paper or laminate for a cute good foods place mat!

Journal - Have the children record or draw everything they eat today.

Field Trip Idea - Go to your local grocery store. You could have them do the following activity or do the Word of Wisdom Activity.

• Have your children compare prices of fresh, canned, and frozen fruits and vegetables. (Strawberries, Peaches, Peas, Green Beans, Asparagus, Corn, etc.)

• Have students choose the fruits and vegetables from a grocery list as if it is their responsibility to pick them up in the store. Have them calculate the money it will cost if they are shopping for a family of 2, 3, or 4. Compare prices of fresh, canned, frozen and dried fruits and vegetables.

• Have a group calculate the cost of a fruit salad to feed the whole class. Have them choose the fruits to go into the salad based on which fruits are in the class store.

• Have a group calculate the cost for a fruit and/or vegetable snack for the entire class.

• Have a group of buyers who practice giving correct amounts of money for the fruits and vegetables and who must stay within a given budget.

• Have a group of sellers who must provide the buyers with the correct amount of change.

• Have a group of students weigh various numbers of servings of dried fruits. How much more do 6 servings of raisins weigh than 2 servings?

Web sites recommended: (games, animations, etc.) (games, information, etc.)

Helps from the Friend:
Good Choices by Julie Wardell p. 27
Funstuf: Word of Wisdom Hidden Message June 2005 p. 23
Funstuf: Word of Wisdom Picture Puzzler by Kimberley Webb
Funstuf: Scripture Garden August 2004 p. 13

Activities related to Nutrition:
- Cut out pictures from magazines to make a collage of healthy foods (glue or paste onto construction paper)
- Cut out pictures from magazines and categorize them (i.e. fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry, bread and grains, milk and cheese, sweets)
- Write as many foods for each letter of the alphabet in a given amount of time (like Scattergories)

- Classify foods by color, shape, texture, smell
- Have a partner blindfold yourself and try to guess what you are smelling (or tasting)
- Graph your families favorites foods on a bar graph...what is the most popular food? What's the least favorite? (We will be doing this activity on Tuesday)
- Where does our food come from? (trees, plants, in the ground, vine, bush, animals, processed/manmade, etc.)
- Visit a local dairy farm to discover where milk comes from.
- Plant a garden to watch the process of food growing. What do you need in order to grow plants? (air, sunlight, water).
- Write in a journal what you eat each day for a week. Does writing down what you eat change your habits in any way? (Definitely do this)
- Read the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Discuss why the caterpillar got sick. Can this happen to our bodies if we eat too much of the wrong things? (Definitely do this on Tuesday, too) - Create "funny foods". Imagine your food to be something else. Broccoli is like a tree. Oranges are like balls. Can you create your own creature using food?
- Create a food menu for a week or month. Make sure to have "5 a Day" (5 fruits and vegetables each day). (We’ll do this, too – probably on Friday in preparation for the grocery store trip)
- Match pictures of foods with the words written on index cards. What does the food begin with? (Can take pictures out of magazines, grocery ad, or personal drawings)
- Read the labels on your food. What information do you find?
- What is a serving? (depends on the type of food)
- How many calories are recommended for me? (men, women, and children all have different caloric amounts).

Activities related to exercise:
- Create an exercise program as a family or as individuals. Exercise 30 minutes a day. Activities could include: riding your bike, running, jogging, roller blading, jump roping, swimming, playing soccer/baseball/football, etc. Do something different each day if you choose.
- Time yourself running, jogging, swimming, etc. Each time you do that activity see if you improve in your time.
- Experiment: which foods help you to have more energy? Healthy foods? Sweets? Do sweets make a difference in how you feel while exercising? Compare and see which is best.
- Draw a picture of your favorite exercise activity. (Do this as part of a journal activity)

Learning about your body:
- Learn the different parts of your body (arms, legs, elbows, knees, shoulders, etc.).
- Learn different body parts in another language (Spanish, French, German)
- Learn what different bones are called.
- Learn what different muscles are called.
- What are the five senses? (touch, smell, taste, feel, see)
- Did you know you can feel different tastes in different parts of your tongue? Where do you taste sour? Sweet?
- How is our body like a temple? Does this effect what we put into our bodies and how we treat them?

Songs related to Word of Wisdom: (found in the Children's Songbook)
- For Health and Strength p. 21 (round)
- Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise p. 280
- Lord Gave Me a Temple p. 153
- The Prophet Said to Plant a Garden p. 237
- The Word of Wisdom p. 154
- Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes p. 175 (I think...that's off the top of my head)

Shannans Additions:

Vocab: Spelling Test

Journal: Write what you ate. AND…

Talk about the teeth brushing experiment (see “Science” section). Glue the “Teeth brushing Chart” in your journal and use it for 2 weeks. At the end of two weeks, how do your teeth feel?

Exercise: Yoga


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Summer School - Week #7

Our Pioneer Heritage

Shannans Additions: This lesson has so many applications – its not even funny. First of all – you can watch any docudrama put out by the church about the pioneers. If you have firsthand stories from your own genealogy, this is a GREAT week to share them. You can even share stories from any other pioneer experience. For older kids – it’s a great opportunity to get them to read some classic pioneer tales, such as The Little House on the Prarie stories, the “Kirsten” tales from American Girl, etc. As to


- Start with a prayer.

- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.

- Sing, "Covered Wagons"

- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Doctrine and Covenants 136:17

Breakfast - Dress up like pioneers and have a pioneer breakfast together. Eat mush and fried potatoes, flapjacks and bacon. Warm hot cocoa and toast. Or you can have biscuits and gravy with an assortment of jams. (If you want to try several pioneer recipes throughout the week, there are quite a few listed at the bottom of this page...give 'em a try!)

Shannans Additions: I totally recommend trying as many pioneer recipes as possible.

Monday's Pioneer Clues - You will need to print this document for this activity. It contains the clues for each day this week. Print it out and cut out each clue individually (question and answer together). So there should be three questions for each day. I am doing these plans with three of my children and I'm going to hide one clue in each of their bedrooms before we start each day. Once they find it, they come and meet me. My oldest knows how to read, so I'll read the question and he'll read the answer. Everyone will get a chance to help read their question and answer. I will simplify my answers a bit, but I hope it will give my children an idea of what pioneer life was like on the trail.

Vocabulary Words - If your children are younger, write out each word on a 3 x 5 index card. Give them a handful of raisins and have them place the raisins around each letter of the word. Once they've finished the first card, have them spell each letter back and give the sound each letter makes. If they are older, and can sound words out, give them a word and have them spell it with the raisins. Vocabulary words for this week: pioneer, wagon, west, compass, plains, trail, prairie, walk, Utah, sing, fort, explorer, settler, crops, wilderness.

Shannans Additions: We’ll be sticking to our 3x5 cards with pictures. We’ll do the raisin activity latter in the week.

Object Lesson - Play the following pioneer game with your children. Ask one child to leave the room (or close his or her eyes) while you hide a thimble, rock, or other small object somewhere in the room. Then have the child return (or open his or her eyes) and look for the object. Have the other children help by saying “hot” when the child is near the object or moving toward it and “cold” when the child is far from the object or moving away from it. When the child has found the object, ask them the following question:

• What does it mean to have faith?

Explain that to have faith is to believe and trust that something is real and true even though we have not seen it with our own eyes. Point out that the child who was looking for the hidden object had faith that it was in the room, even though he or she could not see it.

• In whom must we have faith?

Explain that we must have faith in Jesus Christ. Discuss how the pioneers faith had to be strong to endure all that was required of them. We too, will need a great amount of faith, to do withstand the many temptations and trials that will come our way.

Art - Make your own candles. (Here is how to make Beeswax Candles)

Make homemade butter - Go to the store and buy heavy whipping cream. Make sure it is not ordinary whipping cream; be sure it is designated as "heavy". Fill a small container half way (like a baby food jar, sippy cup, anything like that will work) along with a pinch of salt. Have each child shake, shake, shake their container until it forms a ball. Drain any excess liquid. Have them spread their butter on a piece of bread. While everyone is munching away ask them:

* How hard was it to shake the jar?

* How did your arm feel?

* How long would you say it took the cream to turn to butter?

* How does it taste?

* What can making butter teach us about reaching our goals?

* Should we just quit when it becomes hard? Why or why not?

* What are the rewards of finishing a task?

The pioneers became very tired as they walked all day long, day after day. Heavenly Father blessed them and he will bless us as we are faithful too.

Shannans Additions:
Journal: Pretend you are one of the pioneer children. Describe what its like to walk across the prarie. What do you see? What do you feel? What do you smell? What do you taste? Pretend you’re REALLY THERE!!
Additional: Pioneer bonnets and vests today (see end of lesson)…
Play a pioneer game from end of lesson


- Start with a prayer.

- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.

- Sing, "Covered Wagons"

- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Doctrine and Covenants 136:17

Tuesday's Pioneer Clues - Start by hiding your clues. Have the children join you once they've found their papers. Read them together. (To get the clues, go to Monday's lesson plans).

Reading - Read a story from our pioneer past

Science - Shadow Clock. The pioneers were able to tell time based on the position of the sun. Take each child out on your driveway. You're going to trace their shadow a few times (however many times YOU want to : ) Anyway, you have the child face the same direction each time. Using sidewalk chalk, trace each child's shadow. Have the child write their names by their shadows. (That was my children's favorite part - they love writing their names). We also wrote the time inside each new shadow. If your children are old enough, they could trace each other's shadows. Repeat every couple of hours. After it is all done, ask:

Are the shadows mostly long or short?

Why are some shadows in front and some are behind?

Why are some small and some long?

Have them think about where the sun is in the sky at different times of day. This is how the people were able to tell time back then.

Art - Build a diorama of the pioneer trail. What landmarks can you include? After you have built diorama (dimensional scene), put figures in place as you tell a pioneer story. Have your child make up their own story to go along with the figures.

Snack - Ice Cream in a Baggie (always fun!)

Shannans Additions:
Vocab: Copy vocab words 3x (print/cursive)
Journal: - Letter Home. Have your children assume the role of one of the pioneers and write a letter to a friend describing their daily life. If your children are younger, have them draw a picture of their life on the trail. (From Wednesdays “writing” activity. See “Shannan’s Additions” for new Wednesday subject.)
Additional Fun: play a pioneer game from the end of the lesson, and try another recipe, if there is time.


- Start with a prayer.

- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.

- Sing, "Covered Wagons"

- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Doctrine and Covenants 136:17

Challenge - Spend an entire day without using any modern conveniences. Turn off the television, don't use the telephone, and walk everywhere you go. Sleep outside under the stars (in the backyard) as a family with blankets. Wash your hair in a tub of water, and do some wash by hand. That evening, talk about the blessings of living during this modern time, and the things you feel you could live without.

Wednesday's Pioneer Clues - Start by hiding your clues. Have the children join you once they've found their papers. Read them together. (To get the clues, go to Monday's lesson plans).

Lesson - Tell the children you would like them to participate in two activities. Ask one of your children to help you. Have them tell you, without looking at a watch or clock, when he or she thinks one minute has passed. Give the child a signal to start timing. While you keep track of the time on the clock or watch, talk with the child and your other children to make it harder for the child to concentrate. When the child says that one minute has passed, tell everyone how much time has actually passed. Then ask all your children to stand and see if they can remain completely still and quiet, like a statue, for one minute. Give the children a signal to start, and say “stop” when one minute has passed. Point out that the passage of time is hard to judge. Sometimes time seems to go by very quickly, while on other occasions it seems to pass very slowly. Explain that a valiant person is one who is strong, obedient, courageous, and true in living the gospel of Jesus Christ. Tell your children that they will learn about some of the early Saints who valiantly endured to the end of their lives.

Writing - Letter Home. Have your children assume the role of one of the pioneers and write a letter to a friend describing their daily life. If your children are younger, have them draw a picture of their life on the trail. (Do this for Tuesdays journal activity)

Art - Make homemade marbles out of clay. Research rules of marbles online and play a game together.

Snack - Make Potato Candy

1/2 cup mashed potatoes

powered sugar

peanut butter

Combine 1/2 cup mashed potatoes and power sugar till is firm enough to roll. The mixture will become very wet; just keep adding powdered sugar. Roll out on powdered sugar like noodles. Cover with peanut butter. Roll into jelly roll cut into small pieces.

Shannans Additions:
Vocab: Write your vocab words in a sentence
Journal: Imagine you were transported back to the mid-1800’s. What modern convenience/technology would you miss the most? Why?
Additional Fun: Play another pioneer game from the end of the lesson and try another recipe!!


- Start with a prayer.

- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.

- Sing, "Covered Wagons"

- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Doctrine and Covenants 136:17

Thursday's Pioneer Clues - Start by hiding your clues. Have the children join you once they've found their papers. Read them together. (To get the clues, go to Monday's lesson plans).

Pioneer Treasure Hunt - Click here to open the Treasure Hunt.

Science - Natural Dyes. In the time of pioneers, they had to make their own dyes from plant materials and such. Try your hand at dying a shirt, bandana, yarn, etc. You could even dye your cleaning rags or something you don't care about.

You'll need:

wooden spoon
several squares of white cloth or yarn or whatever you are going to dye
Lots of onion skins
purple grapes
2 or 3 teabags

Bring to a boil about 2 cups of water in a medium pan. Add one of the above ingredients.

If using berries mash them well.

Reduce heat and let simmer. Stir and then add your fabric or yarn. Keep it in for as long as you like.

The longer you leave it the darker and deeper the color will be. Rinse and hang up to dry. Here are the colors you will get:

onion skins - yellow-brown
Grapes - pale blue
Blueberries- purple color
tea bags - tan or brown
Cinnamon- very pretty brown
Cranberries - rose
Carrots - yellow
Grass - Green
Raspberries - pink

(Okay - I know - I took a picture of my guy in his underwear. Future blackmail. I just wanted to show him sewing a handkercheif out of the muslin he dyed with grass. It's so COOL!!!)

Math Puzzle - Click here for this worksheet. My oldest child insisted on a harder worksheet, so this worksheet is with him in mind. Essentially, it is a puzzle and can be assembled without doing any of the math. However, various puzzle pieces have math problems on them. I had my son choose eleven colors of crayons and had him color each puzzle piece that "just" had a number on it a different color. Then, he had to do each math problem. Color each puzzle piece according to it's answer. So, if your child chose red for number one, all math problems with a sum of one are to be colored red. After the puzzle is colored, assemble.

Shannans Additions:
Vocab: write the definitions of the vocab words (this is a good day to do the raisin activity for the younger kids)
Journal: Draw a map for pioneers to follow to the Promised Land. Don’t forget mountains to climb, rivers to forge, and other hazards.
Additional Fun: Make pioneer wagons (end of activity). Have a “Pioneer Drive-In” and watch one of the church docudramas while eating popcorn (popped on the stove the “old-fashioned” way, or getting “kettle-corn” at the store).


- Start with a prayer.

- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.

- Sing, "Covered Wagons"

- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Doctrine and Covenants 136:17

Friday's Pioneer Clues - Start by hiding your clues. Have the children join you once they've found their papers. Read them together. (To get the clues, go to Monday's lesson plans).

Load the Wagon - Talk about how the pioneers couldn't take all of their possessions, so they had to choose what would be the most useful/meant most to them. Ask each child to go to their bedrooms and decide on three things they absolutely couldn't leave behind. After each child returns, ask them to explain why they chose each item....if it is useful or meaningful?

Snack - Make an edible pioneer wagon

Closing Activity/Summary - Sing or say the words to “Come, Come, Ye Saints”. Discuss how the words provided encouragement to the Saints as they crossed the plains. Point out that even though the pioneers’ journey was difficult, they were joyful as they traveled, because they loved the gospel and wanted to be able to live it in peace. Encourage the children to work hard, as the pioneers did, to accomplish their goals and to help others.

Field Trip and Activity Ideas:
- Go on a picnic. (This is the activity we’ll be doing)

- Talk to some senior citizens. Find out what it was like when they were young. Ask them what life was like for them as a child. Do they know what it was like for their parents?

- Visit a heritage building. (We'll be doing this, too - but we'll be visiting a Spanish monastary and a lighthouse...the monastery is the oldest building in the Western Hemisphere, and the Bill baggs lighthouse is the oldest building in South Florida)

- Walk through the oldest section of the town or city where you live. See if you can identify the original homes and pick out what they have in common.

- Learn about the first settlements in your area.

- Have a square dance with some neighbors. Involve extended family and friends to cook up some traditional pioneer desserts to serve as refreshments, like pies and cakes. Make sure to wear your pioneer dresses and hats, and, if possible, dance to live fiddles!

Pioneer Games:

Duck Duck Goose - renamed "horse, horse, ox."

Sack Race - Use two old pillowcases and let the children race each other in the backyard. Checkers - Make your own checker board with 12 squares across instead of 8 and use buttons as player pieces.

Pioneer Games by Susan Davis Friend Feb. 1989 (form of baseball, dare base, chain tag, last couple out, railroad spelling bee)

Pioneer Puzzle Game - July 2004 Friend Magazine

Stick pulling - a favorite game Joseph Smith played with children and his peers (use a stick or broom)

Just Like Us - Word search puzzle from the July 2005 Friend.

Craft Ideas:
Make Sugar Cube Temples - Build sugar cube temples and talk about the importance of temples. Talk about how important the temples were important to the pioneers. (Click here for instructions on how to make Sugar Cube Temples...look on right side of page), (Click here for Sugar Cube Temple from

Pioneer Bonnets and Vests - Make a pioneer bonnet pattern #1, pioneer bonnet pattern #2 and vest. (We’ll probably do this at the beginning of the week)

Other Activities:
- One room schoolhouse-pretend you are going to school in a one room schoolhouse. All of your siblings are in the same class as you are. Find chalk and chalkboard or dry erase marker and whiteboard and write your letters, name, numbers, shapes, math, etc. Have the older siblings teach something new to the younger siblings, if applicable.
- Pack up-pack up necessary belongings for a long "trek". Suggestions might include food for lunch, a book to read for story time, harmonica or children's primary songbook, simple games. Put them in backpacks or wagons. Walk to the nearest park or designated area.
- Plant seeds or a new garden just like the pioneers did when they settled a new land.
- Make your own covered wagon with a cardboard box (A refrigerator box would work the best). Draw wheels on outside of box. Load up your wagon with things pioneers would take. ( We’ll do this activity on Thursday for our “Pioneer Drive-In”)
- Pioneers didn't have mileage markers in their wagons like we do in our cars today. To mark the distance they traveled they tied a piece of cloth on their wagon wheel and counted how many times it revolved (or spun around to its original location). Tie a piece of cloth to your bike and mark how far you traveled in a given distance (i.e. 25 revolutions etc.) (Fun to do on one of the days – maybe on Friday at our picnic)
- Learn to sew using lacing cards (make your own by punching holes around a design), scrap pieces of material, tie quilts, make your own doll clothing.
- Learn to dance like the pioneers. Dances such as Virginia Reel. Songs such as Turkey in the straw
- Play horseshoes
- Jump rope (Another activity to do at our picnic)
- Build a campfire and tell stories and sing songs
- Pioneer Fashion show
- Do your chores! Pantomime chores that they pioneers would have done (chop wood, build a fire, fetch water from well, harvest crops, make food from scratch (i.e butter, bread), churn butter, collect firewood, etc.
- 3 legged races (If we have other families join us, this would be fun at our picnic)
- Make a handkerchief doll from the July 1992 Friend Magazine (pages 26-27). (this would also be fun…but I don’t know when)
- Make a pioneer spinner with string and button.
- Make bracelet or necklace with string and beads.
- Design your own pioneer clothing.
- How did they make barrels and wheels round with straight wood? They had to bend the wood in water to shape it (learned that in Nauvoo).
- Make a prairie diamond by bending a nail in a circle to fit as a ring. These were the rings men gave their women to propose. (taken from Nauvoo welder shop)
- Take inventory of your food storage to see if your family would have enough for the long journey across the plains.
- Learn and play pioneer songs on the piano, recorder, harmonica, or other instrument.

Pioneer Recipes:

scones,Pioneer log cabin, bread and milk, honey taffy pull,Nauvoo Ginger Cookies, Johnnycake, Homemade butter, Old-fashioned pickles Pork sausage patties and mormon gravy, rice in cream, baking powder biscuits Mormon Johnnycake, Honey Candy, Pioneer Lettuce Salad, Rice in Cream Molasses Candy Buttermilk Doughnuts, Apple Candy, Bread and Milk, Old-Fashioned Muffins, Horseshoe Cookies, Johnnycake, Washboard Cookies, Toasted Spice cake, Pioneer Hardtack Garden Patch Dish, Pioneer Johnnycake, Raspberry Fruit Dip

Shannans Additions: Whew!! Long lesson with A LOT of extras.

Vocab: Spelling Test

Journal: What was your favorite part of our picnic today?


Friday, July 18, 2008

Palm Beach Zoo

Jason and I grew up in Southern California. We first left the state in September 1999 for Chicago, Illinois. When we arrived, people would ask us (in polite conversation) about where we were from and if we had ever visited... (insert amazing site, attraction, park, historical site, etc.). Most of the time, we had to answer (rather sheepishly) that although we had heard of almost every amazing site in California, we hadn't really taken the time or the initiative to enjoy or appreciate our state. So we decided, right then and there, that wherever we lived, we were going to be TOTAL tourists. We move a lot, and we wanted our kids to have amazing experiences and adventures wherever they were. So we really go out of our way to explore and discover every place we live. Since Illinois, we've lived in Nevada, Texas, and now Florida. And we still try to enrich our lives by seeking out adventure wherever we go.

When we first moved here to sunny South Florida, we thought we were only going to be here a year. So, I was trying to shove as much "Florida" into my kids lives as possible...and I was sad because there were just so many things that I wanted to do that I wasn't going to have time to do, ya' know? But life evolves, and plans change, and now it appears that we are going to be here for quite awhile.

I thought that knowing that we had several more years to enjoy Florida would slow me down a bit. However, I find that I am just as passionate about exploring and enjoying our life/area/state as I ever was.

Our most recent escapade was to visit the Palm Beach Zoo. It is about an hour from where we live...but well worth the trip. It is a small zoo...but really well cared for and designed. And the best part was the Awesome Fountain for the kids to play in between exhibits. The zoo was designed with the fountain in the middle, so you could take a path through, say, the South American Tropics, and end up back at the fountain to splash and cool off. Then you could take a different path to a different exhibit, and end up back at the center to cool off again!! It was Great!!

There was a new exhibit, the Tropics of the Americas, which was ABSOLUTELY fabulous. It really felt like you were in Mayan ruins.

And I was highly impressed with the Florida Wetlands exhibit as well. When you live here...sometimes you start to think you've seen all the alligators you can possibly see.

But I never felt that way through the whole was really well put together, covering a very large scope and variety of Florida wildlife. It was great.

We had just gone on a field trip last week to Big Cypress National Preserve, and I genuinely felt like I was back in the cypress forest.

It was fantastic...and I would recommend it to anyone. So if you're vacationing in South Florida sometime, be sure to put it on your list!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Summer School - Week #6

Abinadi and King Noah - Fire Safety

Shannans additions: I really struggled with the next couple lessons because I wanted them to be a little…I don’t know…MORE. So I added stuff where I could…some of it might seem kinda weird. If you have any suggestions, I’d be very open to them. As for extra worksheets, I haven’t found any yet to use…if I do – I’ll include them. As always, all credit for original lesson goes to


- Start with a prayer.

- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.

- Song, "Follow the Prophet" (Use the following verse)

Abinadi the prophet, stood before the king

A message of repentance, he did surely bring

King Noah became angry, and called his guards to kill

They couldn't touch the prophet 'til he'd finished the Lord's will.

- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Mosiah 15:16

Intro - Tell your family to suppose that late one night the house catches on fire. Have each person tell what he or she should do to get out safely. Ask the family what the consequences would be if they did not heed the warning to get out of the house. Ask if they can remember a time when they were warned not to do something but they disobeyed and did it anyway. What happened when they ignored the warning?

Just as it would be foolish to stay in a burning house, it would be foolish to ignore Heavenly Father's warnings.

History - Teach the account of Abinadi from Mosiah 11–13; 15:1, 6–8; 16:14–15; 17; and Mosiah 19:4–20. Emphasize that Abinadi was a courageous witness of Jesus Christ, even though it cost him his life.

Put the following objects into a paper sack. Have the children take turns removing objects from the sack. Ask your child to tell one or two things about his or her object. Explain that as they learn about Abinadi, they will see how each object relates to his life.

- Mustache (Sunglasses): Abinadi came back in disguise (Mosiah 12:1).

- Lightbulb or flashlight: Abinadi’s face shone with luster (Mosiah 13:5).

- Ten Commandments: Abinadi taught the Ten Commandments (Mosiah 13:11–24).

- Picture of Christ: Abinadi boldly testified of Jesus Christ (Mosiah 15; 16; 17:8).

- Rope or string: Abinadi was bound (Mosiah 17:13).

- Match: Abinadi was killed by fire (Mosiah 17:20).

Activity - Use play-doh to make a mustache, light bulb, 10 commandment tablets, picture frame, rope/string, and match as in the previous activity.

Craft - Make a fire truck. You'll need paper, yarn and straws. Precut circular and rectangular shapes from construction paper. Have the children glue the precut shapes on to a piece of construction paper to resemble a fire truck. They may add yarn or string for the fire hose and use straws to make a ladder.

Shannans Additions: I don’t like this activity. But I’m all for kids playing with play-doh or clay. So instead of the above activity, I’m combining it with the craft and getting molding clay and having them make a fire truck with it that we can bake in the oven and paint later. I’m sure some of their attempts will not resemble fire trucks (or anything for that matter), but that’s okay. Its fun to work with a different medium.

Vocab: I had to make vocab words again. Here are mine: fuel, fire, heat, oxygen, Abinadi, Noah, Alma, smoke, firefighter, hose, safety, dalmation, truck, alarm. Print words onto 3x5 index cards and glue pictures (from clipart) on the fronts)
Journal: Pretend you are a prosecutor in the trial of King Noah. How would you convince the judge and jury of his crimes?
Fun: “Watch “Abinadi and King Noah” by Living Scriptures

Reading/ Flashcards/Computer


- Start with a prayer.

- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.

- Song, "Follow the Prophet" (Use the following verse)

Abinadi the prophet, stood before the king

A message of repentance, he did surely bring

King Noah became angry, and called his guards to kill

They couldn't touch the prophet 'til he'd finished the Lord's will.

Scripture - Recite and Memorize Mosiah 15:16

Math - Dalmatian Hot Dots (click here to download worksheet). Have the children place the correct number of red hots on each card (see picture).

Shannans additions: This is REALLY easy for my bigger kids, so I had my mom (a retired 3rd and 4th grade teacher) write some word problems for me involving the theme and incorporating harder math. I added them to a worksheet at the end of this lesson. Please feel free to alter anything on them you need to (like inserting your own children’s names into the problem).

Music - I'm a Firefighter sung to I'm a Little Teapot

I'm a firefighter, my name is John.
I put my boots and helmet on.
I hurry to the fire and give a shout!
With a burst of water,
The fire is out!

Science - Sprinkle some pepper in a bowl of water. Put the bowl where all the children can see. Tell them the pepper represents those who choose to be valiant. Ask them to watch what happens when wickedness is put next to those who are valiant. Put a drop of dishwashing liquid, which represents wickedness, in the center of the bowl. The pepper quickly moves away.

When Alma believed Abinadi’s testimony, he chose to be valiant in obeying the prophet and turned away from the wicked ways of King Noah. Ask the children what things they should turn away from so they can be valiant.

Game - Played like "Duck, Duck, Goose" except the children will go around the circle, and say "smoke, smoke, Fire."

Shannans Additions:
Vocab: copy vocab words 3x in print or cursive
Journal: Abinadi testified of the coming of Christ. What is your testimony of Christ?


- Start with a prayer.

- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.

- Song, "Follow the Prophet" (Use the following verse)

Abinadi the prophet, stood before the king

A message of repentance, he did surely bring

King Noah became angry, and called his guards to kill

They couldn't touch the prophet 'til he'd finished the Lord's will.

Scripture - Recite and Memorize Mosiah 15:16

Reading - Discuss the similarities between how Abinadi was treated by the wicked King Noah and his people and how Christ was treated. Make a list on paper together. (Do this in their journals)
· Christ: Mosiah 15:5, Matthew 26:66, Luke 24:20.
· Abinadi: Mosiah 13:1; 17:7, 10, 13.

Read and compare the valiant characteristics of righteous King Benjamin to the characteristics of King Noah.
· King Benjamin: Mosiah 2:10–14, 4:9–10.
· King Noah: Mosiah 11:2, 6–7, 27; 19:8.

Cooking - Make fire truck cookies. You will need: Graham crackers, butter knife, plastic butter knives, frosting tinted red, small black cream cookies.

First, take out a whole four square graham cracker cookie. Gently press the upper left corner of the first square to cut it off. This creates the fire truck's angle. Then let the children spread red frosting all over the graham cracker. Separate one chocolate cream cookie. Then place the cookie halves at the bottom of the cracker, creating wheels. Enjoy!!!

Click here for another fire truck snack.

Lacing Card - Print out this picture of Abinadi and King Noah. (Click on the button on the right hand side of the page that will allow you to print the picture). Laminate the picture. Punch holes around it (however many you'd like). Tie a shoelace or string on the card so your child can lace it. It would also be fun to use a thin red licorice rope.

Game - File Folder Game. Match the fire hats with their colors.Red Dots - Get tiny red dot stickers from a office supply store. Have your children put the red dots on hot things as you do a safety walk with them through your home.

Shannans Additions: Again – the lacing card and File Folder Game are pretty easy for my big kids. I might have to think of something harder to occupy…
Vocab and Journal: Write a story about a Dalmatian using as many of your vocabulary words as you can.


- Start with a prayer.

- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.

- Song, "Follow the Prophet" (Use the following verse)

Abinadi the prophet, stood before the king

A message of repentance, he did surely bring

King Noah became angry, and called his guards to kill

They couldn't touch the prophet 'til he'd finished the Lord's will.

Scripture - Recite and Memorize Mosiah 15:16

Opening Activity - Start by sitting down with your children and show them your smoke detector. Ask if any of them know what you are holding. Then ask them the purpose of the smoke detector. Explain that the smoke detector is an extremely important part of fire prevention. Tell them how it works, allowing them to get a close look at the smoke detector. Turn the alarm on so they know what kind of sound it makes. Locate all the fire alarms in your house.

Science - What does a fire need to burn?

Spelling - Letter Match-Up (click here for a copy of this worksheet). Have your child cut out each letter and have them glue the letters of Abinadi's name in the spaces provided. If your children are small, help them glue the letters in the right place. Sound out each letter of his name together.

Game - Obtain 10 half gallon milk cartons, or 2 liter bottles. Fill the bottles about 1/8 full with water and seal the lid. Then, decorate the bottles like fire trucks, adding construction shapes. Set the bottles up like they were bowling pins and have the children roll a ball to try to knock them over. If they don't knock over easily, remove some of the water.

Math - Abinadi Addition (click here for a copy of this worksheet). My son is learning how to add, so I made these addition sheets. I will time him the first time he takes it and challenge him to beat his own time.

Shannans Additions: I changed the Addition sheets to multiplication for the bigger kids.
Vocab: write vocabulary definitions
Journal: Tell the story of Abinadi in your own words


- Start with a prayer.

- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.

- Song, "Follow the Prophet" (Use the following verse)

Abinadi the prophet, stood before the king

A message of repentance, he did surely bring

King Noah became angry, and called his guards to kill

They couldn't touch the prophet 'til he'd finished the Lord's will.

Scripture - Recite and Memorize Mosiah 15:16

Make a fire safety plan - Sit down with everyone who lives in your home and draw a floor plan of your home. While every home is different, there are FOUR important things that all escape plans need to show:
1. Two ways out of every room. Your first way out would be the door and your second way out may be a window. Live on the second floor? Find a window that leads to a porch, roof, or balcony, or use a sturdy escape ladder.
2. At least one smoke alarm on each floor of your home. Make sure you can hear the smoke alarm if your bedroom door is closed. It's a good idea to have a smoke alarm in your bedroom, too!
3. A family meeting place outside the home where everyone will go after escaping. How about a tree, a telephone pole, or a neighbor's home? Once everyone's out, call the fire department from an outside phone. Never go back inside a burning building.
4. The phone number of the local fire department. If may be 911 or another number. Write the number by every telephone in your home.

Music - Do as I’m Doing p. 276 (actions: hosing a fire, hitting with an ax, putting on firefighter clothes, run in place to fire, stop/drop/roll, etc.)

Craft - Make a firefighter flash light. Paint a toilet paper roll red. Then glue a foil cupcake liner over one end to resemble the light. Add details such as on/off switch, with crayons or markers. These were a BIG hit with my children. They carried them around all day!

Field Trip Idea - Take a field trip to the local fire department. Call up your local fire department and ask if your family can get a tour. Have your children explore their trucks and other equipment. In advance of the trip, have your family make a list of questions to ask the firemen. You could make a plate of goodies to take to the firemen as a thank you gift.

Shannans Additions: We went to The Miami Childrens Museum. The third Friday is Free Friday, and the theme was "Summer Safety". I just love it when things work out in my favor!! So we went to the museum and learned about hurricanes and other natural diasters, firemen and police officers...but the FAVORITE event was the presentation put on by the Miami-Dade Venom Response kids LOVE holding snakes!
Vocab: Spelling Test today
Journal: Have the kids record the fire safety plan in their journals as you’re discussing it.

Friday, July 4, 2008

My obsession

Okay guys...confession time. A little break from the summer school lesson plans and on to something even MORE important. An event so important that it is written on every calender and every date planner I have. So important, I've canceled all evening activities for a SOLID WEEK to indulge in it. It is....


I know, I know. It's a cartoon. For kids. But I am TOTALLY hooked!!!! I LOVE Avatar!! I own the collector's Edition box Sets from Seasons 1 and 2. And the week of July 14 - through July 19 is the Finale! And then I'll be destined to suffer until Summer 2010 and the live action movies directed by M. Night Shalayman come out.

My family is "concerned" about my involvement. Using "Avatar-speak" and quoting the characters lines and movements made people laugh, daily checking to make sure the TiVo is set was viewed as quirky, re-scheduling all activities to accomodate un-spoiled viewing time is eyebrow-raising, joining the Avatar Spirit on-line fan site was met with nervous laughter and sideways glances, and scanning the web for spoiler leaks is down-right obsessesive. I'm totally shipping for Kataang...

(and if you don't know what that means, that's okay...or you're a Zutara shipper and that's just WRONG!!!).

I wish I was a waterbender (Katara ROCKS)...

And I have a little of a crush on Zuko (although I still want Kataang).

I think my obsession stems from a love of animation and am a big fan of Miyazaki Anime. I love all things Asian (food, art, and culture). And I love storytelling...and I truly believe that Avatar is an AMAZING story. With all the crappy, violent, pointlessly rude and disgusting cartoons available to kids these days (I HATE Sponge Bob, and have blocked all access to Cartoon Network), it is just so absolutely fabulous to have a cartoon that has a message and a soul, as well as amazing animation.

I know I'm not alone. There are more obsessed adults than kids when it comes to this show. But the audience spans across the kids love it as much as I do, and even my dad, who is 67 years old, will be watching the three-year-old saga come to an end Saturday Night. So to all those who have discovered and loved Avatar...I am excited, anxious, and saddened that it is about to come to an end. And I am curious, anticipatory, and excited to see it come to LIFE.

To all my fellow psycho fans...LONG LIVE AVATAR!!! (check the YouTube link)

Dreaming of waterbending,
Keeper of Momo's dance music
Keeper of Irohs solider Boy song
Keeper of "The Kiss" (take that, Zutara shippers!!!)