Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

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This is one of those “rows” that might just be more fun than learning, so I was excited when I was planning for this one, knowing how excited my boys would be to do the activities and read the story!

I set up this “sensory table” the night before so that when they woke up on Monday morning, it’d be all ready for them to see and play with.  I filled the main bowl with dry beans and set out some of their little toy construction vehicles.

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They played with this on and off for hours!

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In case you’re wondering, yes it did turn in to this…

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I’m still finding beans under the furniture and appliances!

Science:

We did one of the recommended experiments in the manual, where the objective was to demonstrate how steam works to power things.  Raphael worked with the boys to make homemade pinwheels while I looked around the kitchen for the teapot and got some water boiling.  They decorated their pinwheels and attached them to the eraser of a pencil.

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(Conner found the noise of the whistling teapot to be rather distracting.)    =)

Raphael could tell before we even tested the pinwheels that they weren’t going to work.

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There was too much friction between the paper and the pencil eraser, combined with the fact that the steam just wasn’t powerful enough.  I tried to think of other things around the house we could try to move with our steam, but came up clueless.  So we talked instead about the way steam can be used as energy to power things.

Math:

I ordered some Geoboards on-line, and had the boys practice making some shapes that were “neat and square” just like the hole Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne dug in the story.  I explained the definition of a square to them…a polygon with four equal sides and four equal angles.  Then I let them play around with the boards, making whatever shapes they wanted.

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They played with these things for a good hour before the usual shenanigans ensued and I had rubberbands flying all over the house.

Food:  (This has become an actual subject in our studies!)

I came up with the idea of making dirt cups for dessert one night…you know, since Mike and Mary Anne dig in the dirt!

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Crushed up pseudo-Oreos (the ones with a vanilla side and a chocolate side), layered with chocolate pudding and gummy worms!

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These were a hit, of course.

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Building:

And last but not least, Raphael and the boys spent an evening constructing their very own Mary Anne out of LEGOs.

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They used the pictures in the book as an example.

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(Mike Mulligan at the controls!)

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Fun times and good memories.   🙂

 

Resources:

Steam Shovel Video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8hjDv_-r88U

 

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