To prepare for our Spring trip to Washington D.C., students, parents, and teachers all agreed that the students must have an active role in saving their own money.
So, each week, they are foregoing the candy bars, doing extra chores, and bringing in their coins. They must bring in their savings every week, learn how to add their money, and keep a running tab. The money they save will become their spending money in D.C.
A few weeks ago, they decorated their money jugs with pictures of D.C. hot spots. Today they are painting their money jugs and counting money.
The money jugs have become a fun activity for these girls who bring in coins every day.
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Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks (June 17, 1917 – December 3, 2000) was an African American poet, author, and teacher. Her work often dealt with the personal celebrations and struggles of ordinary people in her community. Her poem, The Tiger Who Wore White Gloves, or, What You Are You Are features all 9 Parts of Speech, making it not only the perfect poem to study the various Parts, but also enables students to enjoy the majesty of a prolific African American woman.
Let’s review the 9 Parts of Speech:
NOUN: A noun is a person, place, thing, or idea (ex. dog, school, television, freedom)
PRONOUN: A pronoun is word that takes the place of a noun (ex. he, she, her, they, them, it)
VERB: A verb describes action (ex. ran, sing, dance, talk) or state of being (ex. is, were, be, are, was)
ADJECTIVE: An adjective is a word that describes (modifies) a noun (ex. yellow, big, beautiful, saddened, fierce).
ADVERB: An adverb is a word that describes (modifies) a verb, an adjective, or another adverb (ex. loudly, carefully, under).
ARTICLE: An article is a word used to modify a noun, which is a person, place, object, or idea. Technically, an article is an adjective, which is any word that modifies a noun. Articles indicate general or generic (a, an) and specific (the). (ex. I want a dog. vs.I want the dog that I saw on t.v.).
CONJUNCTION: A conjunction joins words, phrases, or clauses, and indicates the relationship between the elements joined. The acronym F.A.N.B.O.Y.S., which stands for For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, and So) Coordinating conjunctions connect grammatically equal elements: and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet. Subordinating conjunctions connect clauses that are not equal: because, although, while, since, etc. There are other types of conjunctions as well.
INTERJECTION: An interjection is a word used to express emotion. It is often followed by an exclamation point (ex. Help!, Fire! Yaay!).
PREPOSITION: A preposition is a word placed before a noun or pronoun to form a phrase modifying another word in the sentence (ex. on, with, over, before, between).
First, read the poem. Write down as many of the Parts of Speech that you can identify. My examples follow.
The Tiger Who Wore White Gloves,
or, What You Are You Are
By Gwendolyn Brooks
There once was a tiger, terrible and tough,
who said, “I don’t think tigers are stylish enough.
They put on only orange and stripes of fierce black.
Fine and fancy fashion is what they mostly lack.
Even though they proudly
speak most loudly,
so that the jungle shakes
and every eye awakes—
Even though they slither
hither and thither
in such a wild way
that few may care to stay—
to be tough just isn’t enough.”
These things the tiger said,
And growled and tossed his head,
and rushed to the jungle fair
for something fine to wear.
Then!—what a hoot and yell
upon the jungle fell
The rhinoceros rasped!
The elephant gasped!
“By all that’s sainted!”
said wolf—and fainted.
The crocodile cried.
The lion sighed.
The leopard sneered.
The jaguar jeered.
The antelope shouted.
The panther pouted.
“We never dreamed
that ever could be
a tiger who loves
to wear white gloves.
White gloves are for girls
with manners and curls
and dresses and hats and bow-ribbons.
That’s the way it always was
and rightly so, because
it’s nature’s nice decree
that tiger folk should be
not dainty, but daring,
and wisely wearing
what’s fierce as the face,
not whiteness and lace!”
They shamed him and shamed him—
till none could have blamed him,
when at last, with a sigh
and a saddened eye,
and in spite of his love,
he took off each glove,
and agreed this was meant
all to prevail:
each tiger content
with his lashing tail
with his strong striped hide.
Here is a partial review of the Parts of Speech I found in this poem. What else can you find?
Line 2: who said, “I don’t think tigers are stylish enough.”
The word tigers is a plural noun.
Line 3: They put on only orange and stripes of fierce black
The word they is a pronoun. It takes the place of the plural noun tigers.
Line 4: Fine and Fancy fashion is what they mostly lack.
The words fine and fancy are adjectives. These adjectives describe the word fashion.
Lines 9 & 10: L9 Even though they slither L10 hither and thither
The words hither and there are adverbs. These adverbs describe the verbslither.
Lines 16 & 17 contain prepositions. The word to is a preposition.
Line 16 and rushed to the jungle fair
Line 17 for something fine to wear.
Line 18 Then!—what a hoot and yell
The word Then! is an interjection.
Lines 24 – 29 all end with powerful verbs that describes what each animal did. Each line begins withthe word the, which is an article.
The crocodile cried.
The lion sighed.
The leopard sneered.
The jaguar jeered.
The antelope shouted.
The panther pouted.
Lines 37 & 38 use conjunctions to connect individual words. The word and is a conjunction.
Line 37 with manners and curls
Line 38 and dresses and hats and bow-ribbons.
Feel free to copy and paste this lesson and use it as a supplement to your lessons on the Parts of Speech and/or African American Poetry. For more lessons that emphasize African Americans, follow my blog. Also, like us on Facebook, TAMS and ED Homeschool. Visit our website at http://www.tamsanded.com
What is African-American poetry? Poetry in general is like regular writing with a few tweaks. Instead of sentences, poems consist of lines. Instead of paragraphs, poems consist of stanzas. Poetry uses a lot of “sensory” language, which consists of words that help us see, hear, taste, touch, and smell the experience.
African American poetry is a type of writing that’s seeped in history, culture and rich family traditions. It details things like oxtails, greens, and candied yams served up on Sundays after church and old folk’s stories about growing up black in America. African-American poetry helps us feel the hot sun during a long day of picking cotton, the belting of whips beating down on a slave’s back, and it reminds us of the days when blacks could not drink from the same water fountain as whites.
I could go on and on describing the beauty of African American poetry, but I think Lucy, Jupiter, Phillis, and George, can explain better than I can. You see:
Lucy Terry’s Bars Fight (1746), is the first poem that we know of that was written by an African American.
Jupiter Hammond, a religious poet who led many slaves to Jesus Christ, is the first African American who published a poem.
Phillis Wheatley the first African American woman who published an entire book of poetry.
George Moses Horton, the slave from North Carolina who became the first African American to use verse to argue against slavery.
Take a look:
The first known poem written by an African-American was Bars Fight, by Lucy Terry. Bars Fight is a ballad. A ballad is a type of poem that tells a story. Bars Fight is about an attack on two white families by Native Americans. The title of the poem comes from the area where the attack took place, The Bars , which is an area in Deerfield.
Her poem is also written in formal couplets. In poetry, a couplet is a pair of lines in a verse. Usually they rhyme and have the same , meter (rhythm). Each couplet makes up a unit or complete thought.
Bars Fight (1746)
by Lucy Terry
August ’twas the twenty-fifth,
Seventeen hundred forty-six;
The Indians did in ambush lay,
Some very valiant men to slay,
The names of whom I’ll not leave out.
Samuel Allen like a hero fout,
And though he was so brave and bold,
His face no more shalt we behold
Eteazer Hawks was killed outright,
Before he had time to fight, –
Before he did the Indians see,
Was shot and killed immediately.
Oliver Amsden he was slain,
Which caused his friends much grief and pain.
Simeon Amsden they found dead,
Not many rods distant from his head.
Adonijah Gillett we do hear
Did lose his life which was so dear.
John Sadler fled across the water,
And thus escaped the dreadful slaughter.
Eunice Allen see the Indians coming,
And hopes to save herself by running,
And had not her petticoats stopped her,
The awful creatures had not catched her,
Nor tommy hawked her on the head,
And left her on the ground for dead.
Young Samuel Allen, Oh lack-a-day!
Was taken and carried to Canada.
As you read this poem, consider the author’s message. What message do you think Hammond is trying to convey?
A Poem for Children with Thoughts on Death (1792)
by Jupiter Hammond
O Ye young and thoughtless youth,
Come seek the living God,
The scriptures are a sacred truth,
Ye must believe the word.
Tis God alone can make you wise,
His wisdom’s from above,
He fills the soul with sweet supplies
By his redeeming love.
Remember youth the time is short,
Improve the present day
And pray that God may guide your thoughts,
And teach your lips to pray.
To pray unto the most high God,
And beg restraining grace,
Then by the power of his word
You’ll see the Saviour’s face.
Little children they may die,
Turn to their native dust,
Their souls shall leap beyond the skies,
And live among the just.
Like little worms they turn and crawl,
And gasp for every breath.
The blessed Jesus sends his call,
And takes them to his rest.
Thus the youth are born to die,
The time is hastening on,
The Blessed Jesus rends the sky,
And makes his power known.
Then ye shall hear the angels sing
The trumpet give a sound,
Glory, glory to our King,
The Saviour’s coming down.
Start ye saints from dusty beds,
And hear a Saviour call,
Twas a Jesus Chirst that died and bled,
And thus preserv’d thy soul.
This the portion of the just,
Who lov’d to serve the Lord,
Their bodies starting from the dust,
Shall rest upon their God.
They shall join that holy word,
That angels constant sing,
Glory, glory to the Lord,
Hallelujahs to our King.
Thus the Saviour will appear,
With guards of heavenly host,
Those blessed Saints, shall then declare,
Tis Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Then shall ye hear the trumpet sound,
The graves give up their dead,
Those blessed saints shall quick awake,
And leave their dusty beds.
Then shall you hear the trumpet sound,
And rend the native sky,
Those bodies starting from the ground,
In the twinkling of an eye.
There to sing the praise of God,
And join the angelic train,
And by the power of his word,
Unite together again.
Where angels stand for to admit
Their souls at the first word,
Cast sceptres down at Jesus feet
Crying holy holy Lord.
Now glory be unto our God
All praise be justly given,
Ye humble souls that love the Lord
Come seek the joys of Heaven.
mercy – compassion shown towards someone
pagan – ungodly
benighted – in a state of moral ignorance
redemption – the act of being saved from sin
diabolic – connected to evil, the devil
angelic – like angels
How does Wheatley feel about Africa?
On Being Brought from Africa to America
by Phillis Wheatley
‘Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
Taught my benighted soul to understand
That there’s a God, that there’s a Saviour too:
Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.
Some view our sable race with scornful eye,
“Their colour is a diabolic die.”
Remember, Christians, Negros, black as Cain,
May be refin’d, and join th’ angelic train.
Horton’s poem is written in formal couplets. In poetry, a couplet is a pair of lines in a verse. Usually they rhyme and have the same , meter (rhythm). Each couplet makes up a unit or complete thought.
mood and tone help the readerfind meaning in a poem. We can identify both by looking at the setting, characters, details, and word choices.
mood – is the atmosphere of the story.
tone – the author’s attitude towards the topic.
What is the tone of the poem, “Weep”?
Support your answer with words from the poem and their meanings.
By George Moses Horton
Weep for the country in its present state,
And of the gloom which still the future waits;
The proud confederate eagle heard the sound,
And with her flight fell prostrate to the ground!
Weep for the loss the country has sustained,
By which her now dependent is in jail;
The grief of him who now the war survived,
The conscript husbands and the weeping wives!
Weep for the seas of blood the battle cost,
And souls that ever hope forever lost!
The ravage of the field with no recruit,
Trees by the vengeance blasted to the root!
Weep for the downfall o’er your heads and chief,
Who sunk without a medium of relief;
Who fell beneath the hatchet of their pride,
Then like the serpent bit themselves and died!
Weep for the downfall of your president,
Who far too late his folly must repent;
Who like the dragon did all heaven assail,
And dragged his friends to limbo with his tail!
Weep o’er peculiar swelling coffers void,
Our treasures left, and all their banks destroyed;
Maybe you’ve seen it. You begin reading with your child and the tears begin to flow. Your frustrated child can’t put the sounds together; can’t pronounce the words. It’s understandable. Out of the 26 letters in the alphabet, 5 of them are vowels. Those 5 vowels create 19 different sounds depending on the letter combination used in a given word.
Here are a few things to consider when teaching the short vowel sound:
For each short vowel sound teach a gesture or hand movement to go with it.
Short A – put your hand under your chin. Remind your student that when you say /ă/ your chin drops. Say, “Short a says, /ă/.”
Short E – Hold three fingers out horizontally. Say, “Short e says, /ĕ/.”
Short I – Touch your finger to your nose like you are dotting an i. Say, “Short i says, /ĭ/”.
Short O – Form your mouth in the shape of an o. Say, “Short o says, /ŏ/”.
Short U – /ŏ/”.Put your hands together and use your thumbs to form a u. Say, “Short u says /ŭ/”.
Remind students to do these gestures each day when they say the short vowel sounds.
You can also use these gestures when segmenting words for accurate spelling. For example, after you dictate the word rat, the student can say each sound in isolation. /r/ / ă / /t/.
3. The game, Spell Trek, uses visuals for the vowels and reinforces vowel recognition, phonics, and spelling. During this game, players draw vowel tiles and use them to complete words. Scoring is based on the length of the word spelled, with a bonus point for more complex words.
Here is a video tutorial that parent can watch and receive additional tips on how to play Spell Trek as well as how the game can reinforce spelling and phonics.
I became a SimplyFun Playologist because I truly believe in providing children with multiple ways to learn and succeed in school. Academic game play is fun and effective. Please browse my SimplyFun web page for games and toys designed to help your child play, grow, and learn.
James and I have added a new dimension to our 2015-2016 home school program: We will begin serving our students breakfast, lunch, and snacks. For the past five years, our students brought their own lunches. Now, preparing and providing healthy meals and snacks are our responsibility. Our goal is to enhance the educational experience by teaching our students the importance of healthy eating. We will lead by example.
We turned to several resources that would teach us how to prepare and provide healthy meals that children would actually eat and enjoy. First, we turned to ChooseMyPlate.gov where we discovered a vast array of games, activity sheets, videos and songs, and healthy recipes from children around the world.
ChooseMyPlate.gov provides practical information for individuals, health professionals, nutrition educators, and the food industry to help consumers build healthier diets with resources and tools for dietary assessment, nutrition education, and other user-friendly nutrition information. On their website they say, “Americans are experiencing epidemic rates of overweight and obesity, the online resources and tools can empower people to make healthier food choices for themselves, their families, and their children.”
They suggest the following food tips on helping children develop healthy eating habits:
Set a good example.
Offer a variety of foods
Start small with portions
Help them know when they’ve had enough
Follow a meal and snack schedule
Make mealtime a family time
Cope with a picky eater
Help them try new foods
Make food fun
MyPlate illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet using a familiar image – a place setting for a meal. Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate or in your cup or bowl.
ChooseMyPlate has a variety of posters and and other and other tools that parents and students can download. My favorite is this race car made of broccoli, carrots, blueberries, celery, and more.
In In addition, the site offers curriculum resources for the following grade levels:
The USDA Department of Agriculture has a great meal planning worksheet that parents and other food providers can print and use to plan weekly menus that meet the requirements for various age groups.
James and I also took an online course called Creating Healthy Lunchroomsoffered by Cornell University. They suggested some basic principles for creating a positive lunchroom environment. Those principles are:
Manage portion sizes. In other words, avoid buffet style food service that allows children to serve themselves.
Increase convenience. Make it easy for them to select healthier options by simply removing the unhealthy options. Rather than have cookies and chips to choose from, allow them to choose between apple slices or orange slices. In other words, if the unhealthy option isn’t available, there’s no discussion.
Improve visibility. While we may not have time to assemble the creative rice pandas (photo above) on daily basis, we can use tools-such as cookie cutters-to create heart-shaped sandwiches, put grapes or carrots in colorful cupcake papers, or top a sandwich with a cheese smile and quinoa freckles.
Enhance taste expectations with flavorful dips, such as honey-mustard or yogurt.
Another way to make lunchtime healthy and fun is to find ways to keep mealtimes interesting and fun. Offer a small amount of many different foods in a variety of colorful bento-style containers. Pick a theme that will tap into your student’s creative sides. Here’s a few ideas.
Mexican food Mondays can be days that students can build their own burritos or top their own nachos with chopped lettuce, olives, and tomatoes,
Do da dip! Cut a baked chicken breast into strips. Serve alongside a small bowl of honey mustard or bar-b-que sauce for dipping. Add carrots and broccoli or kiwi and strawberries to dip in a honey-yogurt dressing.
Inside out: Make Inside Out place mats and use them to serve inside out sandwiches such as turkey lettuce wraps.
Cut sandwiches into fun shapes, add colorful fruits and vegetables in different sizes, and pack yummy dips such as fat-free or low-fat yogurt or hummus. Hummus is packed with nutritionand easy to prepare. There are also many store bought varieties.
Salad bar BOOM! Keep fresh vegetables, fruits, and grains available as a main course option.
My favorite hummus recipe
4 clove garlic
1 large lemon
1 can garbanzo beans
2 tbsp. tahini
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. salt
Pinch ground red pepper (cayenne)
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Pita bread wedges
Assorted fresh vegetables
In 1-quart saucepan, heat 2 cups water to boiling over high heat. Add garlic and cook 3 minutes to blanch; drain.
From lemon, grate 1 teaspoon peel and squeeze 3 tablespoons juice. In food processor with knife blade attached, combine beans, tahini, garlic, lemon peel and juice, oil, water, salt, and ground red pepper. Puree until smooth. Transfer to platter; cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours. To serve, sprinkle with paprika and cilantro, if using. Serve with pita bread wedges and fresh vegetables.
Whether you addan outdoor learning center, a project-based station such as a vegetable garden, a natural art center, or an area for reflection and writing, an outdoor classroom can be a valuable teaching tool for all students. Outdoor classrooms provide stimuli that enhance indoor lessons. Science lessons take on a whole new meaning when students are able to touch, observe, collect datas, and experiment.
Relevant classes include both natural materials -like dirt, trees, and stones- along with man-made materials like bird houses and tables. An outdoor classroom provides opportunities for a student to learn in ways not possible in a traditional indoor classroom. Students can examine the soil, inspect water samples, analyze machinery to see how simple devices unite to make more complex ones, track real-time cloud patterns, and see how human activities can affect the world around us—for better or worse. As they record and study data for themselves, students will learn skills of observation, analysis and prediction that will benefit them long after their classroom years are over.
Outdoor learning opportunities have something for every grade level:
Take a walking tour through an ecosystem.
Activate the 5 senses: TOUCH the grass, SMELL the flowers, SEE the clouds, TASTE the strawberries, and HEAR the birds.
Plant-seeds & plant parts. Plant an herb garden.
Observe the weather, temperatures, and cloud patterns.
Discuss living things-living vs. non-living, plants & animals.
Collect and classify insects.
Observe and study insects-life cycles & insect anatomy.
Observe and study plants, seed parts, leaf & seed comparison, leaf measurement & leaf rubbings.
Observe and study habitats-prairie land, forest & wetland comparisons.
Follow the water cycle. Learn more about evaporation, condensation, precipitation & temperatures.
Study plants and plant parts, leaf shapes & seed dispersal.
Plants-monocot/dicot, roots, tree rings, bark & leaf rubbings.
Build and observe sophisticated weather instruments.
Observe and study erosion & runoff.
Build soil and erosion labs.
Use metric measurements in science.
Ecology- using microscopes with pond water, ecosystem & temperature comparisons (wetland, forest and prairie), insect collecting & food chain.
Researchers of The Natural Learning Initiative recognize that today’s children and families have limited opportunities to connect with the natural environment. They spend more time watching TV or playing video games on their computers than they do in active physical activity. They spend less and less time outdoors breathing the fresh air. That’s unfortunate because the developmental benefits are endless.
Outdoor classrooms also include places where children can move around, exercise, and even ask questions about equipment design. The benefits of daily exercise help children in many ways. Exercise makes our lungs and heart stronger for increased energy and endurance. That means children can play, walk, or jog longer without feeling tired. Exercise strengthens and stretches muscles and builds strong bones,
Because exercise gets our blood flowing, more oxygen reaches our brains. This means children can think better, stay more alert, improve test scores, and get better grades. Exercise affects chemicals in our brains. And these chemicals can affect how we feel.
Give us energy so we feel good and can do things we want to do like sports, dance, play an instrument, or read.
Make us feel better during stressful times.
Help calm students down when they have to give a class presentation.
Whether you plan daily lessons in your backyard or the neighborhood park, your home schoolers will benefit from spending time outdoors.
This week, my homeschoolers and I recreated the animals in the book, Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? and used them to discuss nouns (person, place, thing, or idea) and adjectives (word or words that modify anoun).
The animals in the book are colorful and easy to trace. The students used googly eyes for the eyes, yarn for the whiskers, construction paper for the body parts, and crayons to color in the accents. As we made each animal, we identified the noun first. Afterwards, the kiddos identified the adjectives. They are as follows (adjective is in italics):
green sea turtle
To help them identify and remember the two parts of speech, the children wrote across the body of each animal. They wrote every adective in blue and every noun in black.
They strung their animals together and created a colorful window hanging.