Pulling it All Together- Using Power Point

As part of the work of Thomas Edison last fall, R12 and I10 also made a Power Point presentation. We studied canals in general, but in NY State one of the main topics of study for fourth graders is the Erie Canal. Since that is the canal mentioned in the book about Thomas Edison, we decided to learn more about it. It fit right in with the requirement for NY state history and geography between grades 3-6.

We read a ton of books and thought about taking a field trip which ultimately we decided against. We’ve been over the canal quite a bit so the kids have seen it and know that it parallels I-90 (The NY State Thruway). I was considering a station house in Syracuse. January seemed like not a great time to be on the water! However, I thought it would be fun for the kids to make a Power Point presentation rather than a report or another type of project.

I let the kids make their own and they came up with some fun presentations which they shared with us one evening. How did I “teach” the use of Power Point? I really just facilitated it by showing them the program and how to get started. Knowing how to insert pictures and make text boxes goes a long way. Both of them just fiddled around and figured it out. Check out some of the screen shots from their slide shows.

Watching the presentations allowed us the opportunity to talk about the public domain photos and fair use issues. R12 found all the fun animations and after watching hers, we talked about discerning use of said animations.

This was a fun activity for the kids and I’m looking forward to trying it again this year as part of pulling things together in a unit.

Beyond Five in a Row: Thomas Edison

I was packing up last year’s work last week and binding it with our ProClick for storage when I ran across all these terrific notebook pages from some of the Beyond Five in a Row units the kids did last year. I couldn’t resist sharing them and adding to my Beyond category. So, here’s a look at the unit R12 and I10 did last fall on Thomas Edison from Beyond Five in a Row.

I generally follow the lessons in the manual and typically I choose one long and one short activity per chapter. There’s so much to choose from, but I go with what the student is most interested in and what skill they need to work on- it’s a mix. I’ve been using Beyond Five in a Row in our homeschool since E14 was 7 yrs old! Thomas Edison is one of our favorites.

One lesson was about naming a house- at the time we were contracted on a beautiful home on 10 acres. The kids were busy thinking up names for it. We had to let that one go, but we haven’t named this beautiful home yet. We’ll have to think on that1

R12’s (then 11) list of all the kinds of transportation she has used.

This is a map from the BYFIAR manual and it was just the beginning of our study of the Great Lakes Region.

Here’s a glimpse of the mapping assignment I gave the kids on the start of Thomas Edison’s life. I like to make the list right on the back of the map and let them work.

It only takes a few minutes to put together. Number three there produced some fun notebooking pages.

R12 isn’t afraid to make her own illustrations for a topic.

What’s not to love about this free hand Michigan?

I did sneak in this notebook page…the reference…this one might be one of Jimmie’s Notebook Fairy pages! It’s been too long for me to remember…

I10 (then 9) did a nice job finding images on the internet and making his own notebooking pages about canals. We’ve been to see the Rideau Canal which runs from the St. Lawrence Seaway up to Ottawa.

They made a list of the canals they knew about and did some reading about each one. I think this fourth grade boy did a terrific job!

This cloud web seemed like a great way to name some things going on while Thomas Edison was alive.

Another place for I10 (then 9) to tell about Thomas Edison

He listed some important things about Tom and his life on this cloud.

Notice the liberal use of plain loose leaf notebook paper. In a few weeks, the new 10 Days Series from iHN will be out and my topic is going to be 10 Ways in 10 Days to Use an Ordinary Piece of Notebook Paper. I’ll be sharing lots of ideas on how we use plain notebook paper in our homeschool.

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Thomas Edison

Back in the fall, E did a Beyond Five in a Row unit study on a biography of Thomas Edison. He sure had a good time learning about Tom’s life. He was especially interested in finding out that Thomas Edison left school to be homeschooled just like he did!

E reports that he enjoyed learning about how a light bulb works and he spent a lot of time playing with his Snap Circuits. This is a wonderful electronic set that you can use to easily build circuits and get all kinds of lights lit or sounds going or fans spinning- you get the idea.

We also spent a bit of time talking about different chemicals and the periodic table of the elements. He was interested to know how different elements behave differently and how they are organized in the chart has everything to do with how they act and what properties they have.

Below are some photos of the lapbook he created along the way. You’ll notice that we’ve been experimenting with different formats of the lapbook/notebook/scrapbook. This was the “I’m all about the lap book” phase of record keeping. We tried constructing a double folder book with TE.