Science

Continuation of the Pumpkins!

We have had many pumpkin activities this week as pumpkins are all around us.  Late last week we roasted pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin we had carved.  We have been offering these to children all week and have a very mild response.  Today we once again opened up another pumpkin to look inside (we are going to have a jack-o-lantern when we walk on the line tomorrow!) and found many seeds.  It was suggested to the child to once again taste a roasted pumpkin seed.  Pretty soon there was a line and asking for more!  Ask your child if they had some roasted pumpkin seeds today!  One adventurous child wanted to eat the raw seeds from inside the pumpkin!

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Scooping seeds out again!

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“More pumpkin seeds please!”

We took this theme into art this week as well and offered pumpkin painting!

These little pumpkins were from the farmers market downtown Ann Arbor.

These little pumpkins were from the farmers market downtown Ann Arbor.

Pumpkins!

Given the season, we have decided to investigate pumpkins!  After washing a pumpkin on Monday, we decided to hammer little nails into the pumpkin (safely, with a tiny wooden hammer).  At the end of the day today, we decided to cut open the pumpkin (the teacher) and everyone had a chance to scoop out seeds!  The children all guessed what may be inside the pumpkin once opened up.  Very interesting ideas! 🙂

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We will continue our study of pumpkins by studying the life cycle of pumpkins, tasting pumpkin seeds and a variety of other activities!

Leaf Dissection

This week we investigated leaves by collecting, matching and watching them fall from the trees as if it were raining leaves!  We also presented parts of a leaf cards to the children.  The “afternooners” or extended day children were able to complete a work which would further expand their knowledge of leaf parts.  This was a leaf dissection with leaves collected from the ground.

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After collecting, they cut out (dissected) the various parts of the leaf with scissors and placed them next to the cards. Parts of a leaf:  leaf, petiole, veins, apex, stipule, margin and blade.  After this the children were able to create their own parts of a leaf book.

“Afternooners” (aka Extended Day Children)

This past week was glorious and so our “afternooners” or extended day children decided to work outside in the afternoon.  The children helped to carry tables and chairs outside in the shade.  They decided what work they wanted to do and brought that outside too.  While working we were able to hear and see chipmunks, squirrels and various birds and watch leaves and walnuts fall from the trees.  We were also able to do a more in-depth experiment based on “sink and float” which we did in the morning session a few weeks ago.

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First, we filled up a basin with water.  We then read our book about sinking and floating.  Objects were already prepared.   We then predicted if they would sink or float and dropped items into the water.

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We then recorded under the appropriate columns.

After the children completed this work, they collected various objects, predicted and dropped in the water to see what happened.

 

Caterpillar update!! Metamorphosis continues…

Very exciting news!  Our Black Swallowtail caterpillar has entered the early pupa stage!  This happened overnight and the children were able to see the transformation!

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The caterpillar as a full grown caterpillar, getting ready for the pre-pupa stage.  It formed the “girdle” which looks like two very thin strings and attached itself to the parsley stalk.

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Here is the early pupa stage which we discovered this morning.  It is amazing to see!

Below is a website which provides some interesting information about the life cycle of a Black Swallowtail Butterfly.  We are hoping the butterfly emerges when the children are here and NOT on the weekend!  It looks like we will be able to tell if it is a male or female by the pattern on the wings.  Only 10-14 more days to go…
www.pbase.com/rcm1840/lifecycleofblsw

 

Caterpillar

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Even though it is officially fall now, we do have a caterpillar who seems determined to turn into a Black Swallowtail butterfly! He was found in a garden munching carrot tops. We have fed him dill and parsley and it nearly doubled in size overnight. The children have been watching this transformation! We are excited to see when other changes happen.
The caterpillar is in the jar on the left. On the right is a butterfly I found “resting” in my parking space this summer. Below are models of the butterfly life cycle.
Will keep you posted on the progress of our caterpillar!!