Books We Are Using This Year
  • The Story of the World: Ancient Times (Vol. 1)
    The Story of the World: Ancient Times (Vol. 1)
    by Jeff West,S. Wise Bauer,Jeff (ILT) West, Susan Wise Bauer
  • Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2
    Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2
    by Bernard J Nebel PhD
  • Math-U-See Epsilon Student Kit (Complete Kit)
    Math-U-See Epsilon Student Kit (Complete Kit)
    by Steven P. Demme
  • First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 4 Instructor Guide (First Language Lessons) By Jessie Wise, Sara Buffington
    First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 4 Instructor Guide (First Language Lessons) By Jessie Wise, Sara Buffington
    by -Author-
  • SPELLING WORKOUT LEVEL E PUPIL EDITION
    SPELLING WORKOUT LEVEL E PUPIL EDITION
    by MODERN CURRICULUM PRESS
  • Drawing With Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too
    Drawing With Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too
    by Mona Brookes
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Entries in evolution (9)

Saturday
Mar242012

Human prehistory (resource list)

Human evolution and migration to the beginning of civilization, 160 m.y.a. to 10 k.y.a. (November 2011-February 2012)


Topics of focus:

Civilzation—its appeal, opportunities, and problems
Early human art
Evolution
Human evolution from apes
Human migration out of Africa
Reasons for migration

Book/reading resources:
11,000 Years Lost (Peni R. Griffin)
Dawn of Art: The Chauvet Cave (Jean-Marie Chauvet)
A Day With Homo Habilis (Fiorenzo Faccini)
A Day With Homo Erectus (Fiorenzo Faccini)
A Day With Neanderthal Man (Fiorenzo Faccini)
A Day With Homo Sapiens (Fiorenzo Faccini)
Archaeologists Dig for Clues (Let's-Read-And-Find-Out Science, by Kate Duke)
Evolution: The Human Story (Dr. Alice Roberts)
Evolution: The Story of Life (Douglas Palmer)
The First Dog (Jan Brett)
First Painter (Dawn Sirett and Kathryn Lasky)
Fossils Tell of Long Ago (Aliki)
Hominids: A Look Back at Our Ancestors (Helen Roney Sattler)
How People First Lived (William Jaspersohn)
Life on Earth: The Story of Evolution (Steve Jenkins)
Lucy Long Ago: Uncovering the Mystery of Where We Came From (Catherine Thimmesh)
Mik's Mammoth (Roy Gerrard)
One Small Blue Bead
(Byrd Baylor)

Websites
Beringia land bridge graphic (PALE via Wikipedia)
The Cave of Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc (Republique Francaise)
Human Evolution phylogeny (umich.edu class notes)
Human Evolution by the Smithsonian Institution's Human Origins Program (humanorigins.si.edu)
The Journey of Mankind from Stephen Oppenheimer(bradshawfoundation.com)
Lascaux, a Visit to the Cave (Republique Francaise)

Videos online
Human Prehistory 101: Prologue (23andMe via YouTube)
Human Prehistory 101 Part 1: Out of (Eastern) Africa (23andMe via YouTube)
Human Prehistory 101 Part 2: Weathering the Storm (23andMe via YouTube)
Solutreans: The First Americans (from one of the big documentary makers, but I only found it via YouTube)

Videos (via disc or streaming)
Ape to Man (The History Channel via Netflix Streaming)
Becoming Human (Nova via Netflix streaming)
The Human Family Tree (National Geographic via Netflix streaming)
The Incredible Human Journey (Alice Roberts with BBC, on DVD)
Walking With Cavemen (BBC via Netflix streaming)

Activities/crafts
Exploring the use of prehistoric tools
Making a family tree
Making cave paintings
Mapping human migration
Making a timeline of human evolution
Reading, creating, listening, and watching

Tuesday
Mar132012

Prehistoric mammals (and birds) and the Cenozoic era (resource list)

The rise of prehistoric mammals in the Cenozoic era (November-December 2011)

Topics of focus:
Prehistoric animals
Environmental changes
Habitat changes
Extinction and evolution of mammals over time
Intro to evolution of humans

Books:
A Day With Homo Habilis (Fiorenzo Faccini)
A Day With Homo Erectus (Fiorenzo Faccini)
A Day With Neanderthal Man (Fiorenzo Faccini)
A Day With Homo Sapiens (Fiorenzo Faccini)
The Coming of Mammals: A New World (Melvin Berger)
Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Mega-Beasts (Robert Sabuda)
Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Sharks (Robert Sabuda)
Extinct! Creatures of the Past (Mary Batten)
Evolution: The Story of Life (Douglas Palmer)
Fossils Tell of Long Ago (Aliki)
From Lava to Life (Jennifer Morgan)
Life on Earth: The Story of Evolution (Steve Jenkins)
Lucy Long Ago: Uncovering the Mystery of Where We Came From (Catherine Thimmesh)

Videos:
Becoming Human (Nova)
Walking With Cavemen (BBC)
Walking With Prehistoric Beasts (BBC)

Websites/computer resources:
La Brea Tar Pits site (Page Museum)

Other fun things:
Prehistoric Mammals coloring book (Dover)

Activity list:
Reading, reading, reading
Drawing, coloring, writing, creating
Making a new timeline—zooming in on the Cenozoic
Researching specific animals and creating them in felt
Playing with the felt timeline, of course
Making up our own prehistoric creatures

Wednesday
Jan182012

Evolution and the beginning of time (resource list)

The beginning of time/evolution, August-October 2011

Topics of focus:
The Big Bang
Charles Darwin
Evolution as a concept
The concept of time and the age of the Earth
The evolution of life on Earth
Food chains, web of life, and conservation of energy

Book list (picture books):
Bang! The Universe Verse, by James Lu Dunbar (a graphic novel—review), and
It's Alive! The Universe Verse Book 2, by James Lu Dunbar (a graphic novel—review)
Born With a Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story, Book One, by Jennifer Morgan (review)
From Lava to Life: The Universe Tells Our Earth's Story, Book Two, by Jennifer Morgan (review)
Mammals Who Morph: The Universe Tells Our Evolution Story, Book Three, by Jennifer Morgan
Life on Earth: the Story of Evolution, by Steve Jenkins (review)
Life Story, by Virginia Lee Burton (review)
Our Family Tree, by Lisa Westberg Peters (review)
The Tree of Life, by Peter Sis

Book list (other):
Darwin, by Alice B. McGinty
Darwin and Evolution For Kids: His Life and Ideas With 21 Activities, by Kristan Lawson
Evolution: The Story of Life, by Douglas Palmer
First Life (Life on Earth), from The Diagram Group
Voyage Through Time, The Beginning, by Peter Ackroyd (review)
Who Was Charles Darwin?, by Deborah Hopkinson (review)

Video list:
Before the Dinosaurs: Walking With Monsters (BBC)
Formation of the Solar System, Stephen Hawking (YouTube)

Websites/computer resources:
Back in Time (iPad app)
Cambrian Creatures quiz (Purpose Games website)
Plate tectonic timeline (HSU Natural History Museum website—I printed and laminated the images for our timeline)
Burgess Shale's Wierd Creatures (Smithsonian website)

Activity list:
Coming up with our own specially evolved creatures
Making a felt timeline, to time scale, of the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic Eras.
Researching and making a few select creatures for the timeline
Playing with said timeline and creatures!
Visiting our local Natural History Museum (University of Michigan)

Friday
Jan132012

Weekly book shelf 1/13

Happy Friday the thirteenth!

Reading to himself:

This is another book that I bought at a used book shop. It has a beautiful, heavy feel to it, and is sprinkled with eerily pretty illustrations. Calvin has read and reread it several times this week.

 

 

 

Reading together:

We've been reviewing some human evolution,s o we're revisiting the A Day With series (Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Neanderthal Man, and Homo sapiens). It's out of print, but I still highly recommend this series if you can find it. Many times when copies become available they're pretty high priced, so I just kept stalking ebay and Amazon until I found them, one at a time, offered by more reasonable sellers. I got all four at prices between $12 and $18 each, and I'm very glad to have them all on our shelves.

Saturday
Nov192011

Weeky book shelf 11/19

 Reading to himself:

Fiorenzo Faccini is the author of four great non-fiction books about four early hominid species:  A Day With Homo Habilis, A Day With Homo Erectus, A Day With Neanderthal Man, A Day With Homo Sapiens. The books offer a lot of factual information about the highlighted species along with a realistic fiction story and beautiful, vivid illustrations. The books are dated, and they are a little thick as far as information goes. I have seen some parents complain about the books being too detailed or not interesting enough for young children, but I think that depends entirely on the child. Calvin loves them.

Mega Beasts is a pop-up book that belongs to the Encyclopedia Prehistorica trilogy by Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart. We own all three of the books because we were lucky enough to stumble upon them (in excellent shape even) at library used book sales. Sabuda's books are always beautifully made and lots of fun, and the art of these three in particular is fantastic. Great fun facts, lots of little things to try out and see. Calvin can't get enough of any of these.

Although not really a book, I thought I'd mention the Highlights magazine here because it does have a number of enjoyable stories in it, and because Calvin enjoys reading them. He does still prefer a book, but getting mail just for himself is fun, and the magazine provides a number of small challenges, like learning some words in Spanish, and some other activities as well, a favorite of which is the finding hidden pictures game. I love that he gets mail, and that this magazine is still completely without ads, which cannot be said of many kids' magazines out there anymore.

Also not a book, but Dover's History Coloring Books are a fun way to read about historical, or prehistorical, subjects. Each page exhibits a large image to color as well as a paragraph of information about the subject of the image.

This is a pretty short list this week, not because we haven't been reading, but because I'm having trouble keeping my chin above water. With so many things going on this time of year sometimes it's hard to keep track of them all. There has been plenty of Magic Tree House reading an play around here, and Calvin and Jon are still reading The Arabian Nights together every night.