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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 66- One big 'happy' family

Maybe not so much 'happy' as dysfunctional.
I've mentioned before that I am a BIG fan of the Percy Jackson series. It's fun, easy to read, it manages to suck you in so much that you're willing to forgo sleep to finish the book. It also is a wonderful way to learn the basics of Greek (and now Roman) mythology.
In science, we have been learning about the planets and my students have had the best time! As we searched my favorite space website for kids, Kids Astronomy, we noticed that different 'gods' were being mentioned. So, we searched and found this website about Roman gods and goddesses. As it turns out, all of the planets in our solar system are named for a Roman 'god'- which have Greek counterparts.

After a quick side note to explain the different between God and gods (some of my students were confused), we started our Solar System Family Tree.
Of course, I had to map it out before I started the activity. We went through our astronomy website and filled in the Tree. Then we found the story about the planet on the gods and goddesses page. (I made sure to look through it the night before, and I'm glad I did! The page for Venus would have caused a riot!)

The best story was about Saturn (god of Time). I'm going to quickly relate it to you here. I didn't do any deep digging to find the story, some information came from Percy Jackson, and some from the History Channel and their recent show Clash of the Gods.

Once upon a time, Saturn, the god of Time, had 3 sons. Jupiter was the god of the Air, Neptune was the god of the Water, and Pluto was the god of Death. Since Air, Water, and Death are things that Time could not kill, Saturn decided to eat his children whole, so they would not be able to rise up against him and take his throne. However, their mother was able to trick Saturn, and instead of swallowing the baby Jupiter, he swallowed a large rock. Well, the babies grew up, even inside Saturn's stomach, and Jupiter decided to rescue his siblings. He tricked Saturn into drinking poison that caused Saturn to became sick and throw up the contents of his stomach- even his now grown children. The brothers, Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto, all free now, overthrew their father Saturn and are now the Big 3 of the gods.

Yes, that was the very abbreviated version, but my students were properly enthralled. I related the story to cries of "Eeeewww!", "That's gross!", and my favorite, "Mrs. Delk, I'm so glad that's fake!"

On a side note, Saturn's day of the week is Saturday. I find it fitting because Saturn is the god of Time, and Time is always something we wish we had more of on Saturday!

So, here is our filled-in Family Tree!
Next to each planet, we wrote the Greek name, and a picture or description of their ability. My students colored pictures of the planets, and they are going on the chart on Monday.

My students loved the stories so much, I'm tempted to add some mythology into our Fables lessons. There are some good life lessons to be learned from Greek and Roman mythology!

In math we kept working on shapes. Today's lesson revolved around slicing and dicing shapes to make other shapes. It was really more of a division lesson, only using shapes instead of numbers. Students had to understand that the divisions had to be the same size and shape.

Using my 'random child' bag, I called a student to the board, and she had to show the class how to turn a hexagon into 6 triangles, but she was only allowed to use 3 lines on the hexagon.

(I had to take the video, and follow her directions to me, so you'll see my hand in the video. I'm putting items on my ELMO, which is connected to my Promethean board- so things are enlarged.)
The one thing I don't like about my camera- no extra light. So, if it's dark where I'm filming, it's going to be a dark video. Sorry!

What the video didn't show, was her thought process before I started filming. I didn't film until she had already solved the problem and had explained it to the class once before. When she first got to the board, she was a little confused. Then she realized that the problem already called for 6 triangles, so she had me place the triangles where she wanted them, and found the 3 lines from there! Genius!

Our Daily Brain

p.s. Next week is a 2 day week! No school Wednesday- Friday!

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