Friday, March 28, 2014

Between Earth and Sky - Firefly Award

It's Your Planet - Love It!: A Leadership Journey
Girl Scout Daisies

I can't tell you how much fun Tessa has been having with this Journey. Her excitement level while completing the activities has been through the roof, so I know ditching the suggested plant science studies for some higher-level learning was the right thing to do. (Does it sound like I'm asking for someone to pat me on the back? Well, maybe. I just love that she's loving it! Makes a mama happy.)

The activities Tessa completed to earn her Firefly Award are outlined in Day 2.



Between Earth and Sky - Firefly Award


This second award is earned as the Daisies recognize and develop their skills and then choose a skill they will educate and inspire others about. By making an effort that moves beyond themselves, the girls begin to realize the impact that they can have on others around them.

To earn the award, the girls:
  • think about and talk about their own skills and those of their sister Daisies.
  • choose a skill they can teach others, either at home or in their community.

Day 1
  • Read “Maine and the Many Ways Life Can Be" (pages 24-37) from Between Earth and Sky girls’ book. Completed associated questions and activities orally along the way.
  • Started mapping the Flower Friends' journey across the US. (See pic and info from Day 2.)
  • Read Fireflies in the Night by Judy Hawes via OpenLibrary.org.
  • Watched Steve Spangler Science "Light Sticks - Cool Halloween Science" via YouTube.com.
  • Discussed the differences between various types of luminescence (bioluminescence, chemiluminescence, fluorescence and phosphorescence) using information from the previously mentioned book and video, plus "Science of Glow" by Steve Spangler Science.
  • Tested the fluorescence and phosphorescence properties of various items around the house with a black light flashlight in a darkened room (i.e. fluorescent pompoms, paper and crayons; glow-in-the-dark stars).
  • Hypothesized and conducted glow stick experiment. Placed one glow stick bracelet (.99 for a tube at Hobby Lobby) in ice water and another in hot water.
  • Crafted "Glow-in-the-Dark Firefly Jar" by Come Together Kids blog.

Tessa and I conducted an experiment to find out what might happen when glow stick bracelets are placed in ice water and hot water. As it turned out, the chemical reaction of the glow stick placed in ice water slowed way down...so much so that it didn't really glow at all. Conversely, the chemical reaction of the glow stick placed in hot water sped way up and glowed super bright!
Tessa and I conducted an experiment to find out what might happen when glow stick bracelets are placed in ice water and hot water. As it turned out, the chemical reaction of the glow stick placed in ice water slowed way down...so much so that it didn't really glow at all. Conversely, the chemical reaction of the glow stick placed in hot water sped way up and glowed super bright! 

Tessa painted "fireflies" inside of a recycled plastic peanut butter jar with glow-in-the-dark paint.
Tessa painted "fireflies" inside of a recycled plastic peanut butter jar with glow-in-the-dark paint.

Afterward, she drew antennae and wings onto the "fireflies" on the outside of the jar with a fine-tip black Sharpie marker.
Afterward, she drew antennae and wings onto the "fireflies" on the outside of the jar with a fine-tip black Sharpie marker.

Tessa's completed "Glow-in-the-Dark Firefly Jar." Pretty cool, huh? Tessa adores it so much that she keeps it beside her bed at night.
Tessa's completed "Glow-in-the-Dark Firefly Jar." Pretty cool, huh? Tessa adores it so much that she keeps it beside her bed at night.

Day 2
  • Read "Sunny's Summer and the Road to Dairyland" (pages 38-51) from Between Earth and Sky girls’ book. Completed associated questions and activities orally along the way.
  • Continued mapping the Flower Friends' journey across the US.
  • Talked about Sunny's unique skill of being able to cleanse soil of toxicities. Brainstormed various skills that Tessa, her dad and I possess.
  • Tessa wrote down three of her favorite skills on the "Bandage Lightning Bugs" craftivity by No Time for Flash Cards blog pictured below. She also identified and wrote down one skill she can teach others.

To help Tessa learn some of the states, she is mapping the Flower Friends' journey across the US. I bought an inexpensive United States map learning chart from Staples.com (free shipping for rewards members) to use and scanned in (flipped and reduced) the sticker of Lupe and her petal-powered car found at the back of the The Daisy Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting. We use yarn, foil star stickers on circle cutouts, Scotch tape and poster putty to chart their progress.
To help Tessa learn some of the states, she is mapping the Flower Friends' journey across the US. I bought an inexpensive United States map learning chart from Staples.com (free shipping for rewards members) to use and scanned in (flipped and reduced) the sticker of Lupe and her petal-powered car found at the back of the The Daisy Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting. We use yarn, foil star stickers on circle cutouts, Scotch tape and poster putty to chart their progress.

While researching possible crafts and activities for the Firefly Award, I ran across "Bandage Lightning Bugs" on Pinterest. Like most kids her age, Tessa's addicted to bandages, so I thought this was a great way to let her play with some. I had her label each firefly with a skill she possesses. Then, she chose one extra special skill to highlight at the bottom of the page. The neon bandages run around a dollar at Wal-Mart. Tessa used a florescent yellow colored pencil for writing and drawing. She painted the fireflies' tails with glow-in-the-dark craft paint.
While researching possible crafts and activities for the Firefly Award, I ran across "Bandage Lightning Bugs" on Pinterest. Like most kids her age, Tessa's addicted to bandages, so I thought this was a great way to let her play with some. I had her label each firefly with a skill she possesses. Then, she chose one extra special skill to highlight at the bottom of the page. The neon bandages run around a dollar at Wal-Mart. Tessa used a florescent yellow colored pencil for writing and drawing. She painted the fireflies' tails with glow-in-the-dark craft paint.

Tessa's completed "Bandage Lightning Bugs" craftivity as it appears under a black light in a darkened room.
Tessa's completed "Bandage Lightning Bugs" craftivity as it appears under a black light in a darkened room.

Medieval Times, Lesson 34

Native North Americans

Move over ancient Egypt. Out of the way Greek gods. Tessa has discovered a new favorite culture! She's been jump-up-and-down excited to study history these past few weeks to further immerse herself into the world of our Native North Americans. Finally, we can take some field trips! We will visit Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site and Washington University's 24th Annual Powwow this spring. I'll be looking for other educational opportunities throughout the summer.


Main Lesson Part 1: Introduction

Main Lesson Part 2: Northern Native Americans (Inuit, Tlingit and the Woodland)


Tessa crafted a pole from a drinking straw, yarn and magnetic tape and then practiced "ice fishing" with a paper fish and hook.
Tessa crafted a pole from a drinking straw, yarn and magnetic tape and then practiced "ice fishing" with a paper fish and hook.


Tessa chose to create a brief arctic myth for her igluviak story prompt. It reads, "I sewed a parka from magical caribou skins. Every time I reached into the pockets, there was delicious food inside." I like that she incorporated several components of Inuit life into her story.
Tessa chose to create a brief arctic myth for her igluviak story prompt. It reads, "I sewed a parka from magical caribou skins. Every time I reached into the pockets, there was delicious food inside." I like that she incorporated several components of Inuit life into her story.


Tessa completed Tlingit potlatch mask. She was particular proud of her color and pattern choices.
Tessa completed Tlingit potlatch mask. She was particular proud of her color and pattern choices.

Main Lesson Part 3: Western Native American (Northwest, Nez Perce and Maidu)

Tessa's completed Appaloosa ornament. I thought she did a good job matching up the colors with ones traditionally used by the Nez Perce.
Tessa's completed Appaloosa ornament. I thought she did a good job matching up the colors with ones traditionally used by the Nez Perce.

Not surprising, Tessa has fallen in love with all things Kaya and put her at the top of her birthday list. To celebrate our studies of Native North Americans, I surprised her with a mini Kaya doll.
Not surprising, Tessa has fallen in love with all things Kaya and put her at the top of her birthday list. To celebrate our studies of Native North Americans, I surprised her with a mini Kaya doll



Main Lesson Part 4: Central and Eastern Native Americans (Mississippi, Navajo and Pueblo)

Tessa colored the Navajo rug design with crayons and then used a watercolor wash for the background.
Tessa colored the Navajo rug design with crayons and then used a watercolor wash for the background.

Tessa's completed Navajo rug.
Tessa's completed Navajo rug.

History Odyssey concludes its lessons for Native North Americans from the Middle Ages with the Navajo. We still have several History Pockets left. Since Tessa has thoroughly enjoyed this unit, we may come back to them either this summer or squeeze them in next fall when we move into early modern times.

* HO = History Odyssey

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Vi the Violet (Violet), Be a Sister to Every Girl Scout Petal

I'm always on the lookout for new places for Tessa to go and things for her to do, so when I stumbled upon the Missouri History Museum's free badge workshop for Vi's petal, I signed her right up. Other girls from our troop were in the middle of deciding whether they wanted to attend too when a neighborhood event cropped up. It ended up just being Tessa, which was just as well because we had major car problems this morning and coasted in just in time for the workshop. Since we missed most of the extra non-badge activities, we'll probably go back this fall when Tessa is a Brownie.

By the way, this was Tessa's last Daisy petal!! Crazy, eh? (We also ordered a Museum Fun Patch from patchfun.com.)

Vi the Violet (Violet), Be a Sister to Every Girl Scout


What We Did - At the Missouri History Museum

Tessa listened to a reading of "Vi's Story" with girls from another troop on a giant map of the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.
Tessa listened to a reading of "Vi's Story" with girls from another troop on a giant map of the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.

After touring the World's Fair exhibit, the girls colored "postcards" from various countries around the world and then taped them onto a sheet of butcher block paper to fashion a mini mural. Since Tessa was the only girl from her troop, she got a mural all to herself.
After touring the World's Fair exhibit, the girls colored "postcards" from various countries around the world and then taped them onto a sheet of butcher block paper to fashion a mini mural. Since Tessa was the only girl from her troop, she got a mural all to herself.

Tessa also crafted a paper Chinese dragon while earning her Vi petal at the Missouri History Museum.
Tessa also crafted a paper Chinese dragon while earning her Vi petal at the Missouri History Museum.

Growing Girls Scouting Helpers Logo
Looking for more Vi the Violet petal ideas?

Check out my My Daisies Memory Book - Girl Scout Daisies - "Vi - Violet Petal" (Step 3) printable scouting helper.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Between Earth and Sky - Blue Bucket Award

It's Your Planet - Love It!: A Leadership Journey
Girl Scout Daisies

After successfully completing the ...3 Cheers for Animals! Journey nearly a month ago and taking a short break, Tessa and I were ready to hit the road once again this week. (Yeah, I'm behind on those last couple of ...3 Cheers posts. Hope to catch up soon!) Since there isn't enough time left in the year for me to facilitate another Journey for the entire troop, Tessa and I will complete the Between Earth and Sky Journey by ourselves at home.

I really struggled in deciding how to best implement Between Earth and Sky. I stayed very close to the outlined sessions for ...3 Cheers. I know that the Journeys haven't been well received, so their guidelines have been interpreted in all sorts of ways. I have great respect for Girl Scouts and appreciate what they're trying to do with the Journeys, so I really want to stay as true to the program as possible. Having said that, most of the suggested activities for Between Earth and Sky just aren't going to work for us. The science portion focuses primarily on plant science with a little earth science thrown in. The Journey also teaches basic kindergarten skills such as colors, textures, shapes and sorting. Almost every single activity in the book, Tessa and I have completed in some capacity during our homeschool studies these past couple of years. I'm pretty sure that most public school children have hit many of these topics as well. I really wish Girl Scouts would have stepped far outside of the box when designing the Journeys and chose science topics that foster higher-level learning.

When you really get down to it, the guidelines for earning the awards for Between Earth and Sky have nothing to do with science and everything to do with character and leadership education. Long story short, we will stay true to these guidelines for the awards and head in an entirely different direction for science and geography. While I haven't finalized all of our plans yet, I am designing them around the stories in the girls' book.

First story up was "Lupe's Powder-Blue Petal-Power Car" that tells all about Lupe's car...things we have long wondered about while earning the petals. One component of Lupe's car are sails made of leaves that let her car "fly down the highway" on windy days. I found some really awesome plans for a simple sail car via Pinterest. I loved this project because it touched on engineering, alternative energy and using resources wisely (we recycled milk bottle caps for the wheels). Tessa had a great time testing what types of "wind" best made her car go.

The activities Tessa completed to earn her Blue Bucket Award are outlined in Day 2 below. She had an absolute blast making the "Blue Bucket Bouquet." She set her flowers on a windowsill and continues to "water" them several times a day. (Yup, she's a rather silly girl.)

Blue Bucket Award


Between Earth and Sky - Blue Bucket Award


This first award encourages girls to become aware of their feelings and the feelings of those around them. It also encourages them to develop good relationship skills: for negotiating and compromising to resolve conflicts, and for being considerate and caring to others.

To earn award, the girls:
  • tell one another about their feelings and the feelings of those around them.
  • take part in role-playing activities that encourage them to resolve conflicts, negotiate, and be considerate to others.

Day 1
  • Read “A Road Trip to Remember" (pages 4-5) and "Lupe's Powder-Blue Petal-Power Car" (pages 6-23) from Between Earth and Sky girls’ book. Completed associated questions and activities orally along the way.
  • Built and tested "Simple Sail Car" by The Workshop for Young Engineers.

Tessa used recycled milk bottle caps for the wheels of her sail car. I pre-punched the holes ahead of time.
Tessa used recycled milk bottle caps for the wheels of her sail car. I pre-punched the holes ahead of time. 

To jazz up Tessa's sail car, I bought colored craft sticks for her to use. Not surprising, she went for the rainbow effect.
To jazz up Tessa's sail car, I bought colored craft sticks for her to use. Not surprising, she went for the rainbow effect.

Tessa chose a bright pink sail for her car, of course.
Tessa chose a bright pink sail for her car, of course.

Tessa experimented with different ways to make her sail car go. She tried blowing air through a straw, fanning it and simply taking big breaths and blowing.
Tessa experimented with different ways to make her sail car go. She tried blowing air through a straw, fanning it and simply taking big breaths and blowing.


Day 2
  • Read Talk and Work It Out by Cheri J. Meiners M.Ed.
  • Completed "Problem-Solving Games" (pages 33-35) from Talk and Work It Out by Cheri J. Meiners M.Ed. (We completed all of the games, which ran a bit long. Probably would need to pick-and-choose for a troop setting.)
  • Crafted "Blue Bucket Bouquet" (designed with clip art from Graphics From the Pond) while identifying and discussing the various feelings Tessa and I had experienced throughout the day.

While pretending this jar was a person and the paper clips were ideas, Tessa and I talked about what we can do to listen with an open mind. This was just one of several problem-solving games we played from "Talk and Work It Out" by Cheri J. Meiners M.Ed.
While pretending this jar was a person and the paper clips were ideas, Tessa and I talked about what we can do to listen with an open mind. This was just one of several problem-solving games we played from "Talk and Work It Out" by Cheri J. Meiners M.Ed.

Tessa and I identified and discussed the many different feelings we had experienced throughout the day. Afterward, she illustrated four of these feelings by crafting "Blue Bucket Bouquet." We used a blue paper cup for the bucket, matching blue cardstock cut to size for the handle, brads, hole punch, a floral foam block cut to size, green craft sticks, brown crinkle paper and general art supplies to complete the project.
Tessa and I identified and discussed the many different feelings we had experienced throughout the day. Afterward, she illustrated four of these feelings by crafting "Blue Bucket Bouquet." We used a blue paper cup for the bucket, matching blue cardstock cut to size for the handle, brads, hole punch, a floral foam block cut to size, green craft sticks, brown crinkle paper and general art supplies to complete the project.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Medieval Times, Lesson 33

Pacific Ocean Islands

As big fans of white sand beaches and beautiful blue waves, Tessa and I both enjoyed learning a bit about the history of the Pacific Ocean islands. Tessa loved learning about the "big heads" on Easter Island and hopes to visit them one day.


Thursday

Tessa created a mini version of the big stone heads found on Easter Island with Crayola Model Magic.
Tessa created a mini version of the big stone heads found on Easter Island with Crayola Model Magic.

Bedtime Read-Aloud

* HO = History Odyssey

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Medieval Times, Lesson 32

Explorers

It never ceases to amaze me how much I can learn from a good picture book. I'm sure everyone studies Marco Polo at some point during their academic career, but before this week, I could have told you only that he was an explorer from long ago. Demi's book on Marco Polo was probably the lengthiest one of hers that we've read so far, but it was engaging, interesting and jammed-packed with info. I'm pretty sure I won't forget again.


Wednesday
  • Read The Usborne Medieval World by Jane Bingham (pages 74-75).
  • Completed HO map work for Lesson 32, Main Lesson.
  • Read Marco Polo by Demi.
  • Completed draw and color for HO Q&A for Lesson 32, Main Lesson.

* HO = History Odyssey

Monday, March 03, 2014

Earth Science: Astronomy, Unit 4

Constellations

As enthralled as Tessa is with Greek myths, I was pretty sure she would enjoy learning about constellations. And, how right I was! She has absorbed so much since we started our study of space that when we visited the Saint Louis Science Center's James S. McDonnell Planetarium last week, she knew nearly all of the answers to the questions the docent asked during the sky shows we viewed. Stellar!


Tuesday

Wednesday

Wonder Stars Super Kit by University Games


Following Monday

Tessa and I created a constellation viewer with an empty Pringles can, card stock and star stickers.
Tessa and I created a constellation viewer with an empty Pringles can, card stock and star stickers.