Monday, November 21, 2011

My Father's World--The Letter O (Octopus)

Last week's letter was O and we studied the octopus.  The key words were:
Even the octopus praises the Lord.
My friend Kristin, whose blog greatly inspires my lessons, had lots of good ideas for the letter O.

We began our school week by doing Operation Christmas Child boxes.  Perfect timing since Operation begins with O, and last week was collection week.  We invited some friends to do it with us so we all shopped together and then went back to my friend's home to assemble the boxes.
She whipped out craft supplies so the kids could design a card to go with their box. 

The 4 kids with their packed boxes and cards.  This was my 14th year doing a OCC box and I'm so excited to see my kids getting involved in it!  Ali chose things for a little girl, and the boys picked out things for 6-year-old boys.  (Justus copies EVERYTHING his brother does so they got identical items for their boys who they wanted to be the very mature age of 6.)  It was hard for lil' Justus to understand that we weren't buying toys for us.  When we first entered the store he said, when asked who he would like to buy toys for, "I want to buy toys for ME!!!" 

Odds and Ends
My mom brought these fun laminated games by our house and they loved matching the shapes, colors, animals, etc.  My mom teaches 1st and 2nd grade at the local Christian school and always has activities/papers/games/books to loan the kids.

Oatmeal apple muffins and "O" rings from apples were a yummy snack one day!  (My recipe is below for your enjoyment!)

Our kids LOVE olives!  Every year the boys request olive pizza for their birthdays.  So, getting to eat a whole can at one meal and getting to make their own Olive Pizza Bagels for dinner one night was oh, so fun!

Since Mommy doesn't like olives, she ate O-shaped Onion pizza!

We did some worksheets on the letter O...

...and our usual weekly binder page.  Justus' orange octopus was made by tracing around his fingers.

Every week we color one of these letters filled with plants and animals that begin with that letter.  (Another resource from my mom)
Jeremiah colored this one and said, "Look at all the colors!  I think it is just beautiful!"

I spoiled them with peach ring candies that are O-shaped because they spent a lot of time in the van running errands with me one day as we searched all over town for computer paper to print off school worksheets.  After hitting 4 stores and finding none, we returned home and had a friend get us some in a different town a few days later.  One of the drawbacks to living in Hickville is having the hardest time finding anything you need for projects.   

One other "O" thing we got to try was oroblancos.  Oroblancos are a green-colored slightly sweet grapefruit.  They came in our Bountiful Basket the week before, just in time for O week!

We read A House for Hermit Crab and some other books on the ocean.  We watched some youtube and National Geographic Kids videos on the octopus.  The boys, who love all things scary and dangerous, thought the deadly blue-ringed octopus was especially neat.  I found the video where the octopus nabs a shark and kills him to be the most amazing! 

Here is my self-tweaked recipe for the muffins:

Oat Apple Muffins

2 c. rolled oats (old-fashioned or quick will do)
2 c. buttermilk (or milk with some lemon juice added)
2 c. whole wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 c. sucanat, rapadura, or brown sugar
1 c. applesauce
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 c. olive oil or melted butter
1/2 c. raisins (optional)
2 medium Granny Smith apples (don't peel but chop into tiny pieces)

Mix wet ingredients together.  Add dry ingredients to the wet and mix.  Put in muffin cup liners and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.  Makes 24 yummy muffins.

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