Monday, August 6, 2012

Week 5: Babel to Ur – Early History of Mesopotamia

Read-Alouds this Week

  • Genesis 11 – the Story of the Tower of Babel
  • The Story of the World: Volume 1 – Chapter 1, 3, 5 and 8
    • This was our primary reading this week, I really enjoy this book and I look forward to using it throughout the year. It’s written in a way that Treyton can easily understand, which I appreciate.
  • Tower of Babel


Ziggurat: This week we created a Ziggurat (a Mesopotamian temple) using the directions in The Old Testament Days book. Originally I wasn’t going to do the project, but then halfway through the week, I changed my mind. IMG_3665The kids loved it – though we had a hard time covering the shoe boxes with simple washable paint…. oh well…. I think they still got the idea.

Sumer: Treyton drew and captioned about the Sumerians this week, we turned it into a two day caption (I only have a picture of 1), because we wanted to talk about the Sumers before Sargon created the Akkadian Empire as well as before when they were all their own city-states. Treyton was at first very interested in Sargon, when we read in The Story of the World, the tale about where he came from (a story sounding very similarly to the story of Moses). But once Sargon started trying to take control of Sumer, Treyton’s fondness of him quickly faded. IMG_3658

Preschool - Bible

Tower of Babel Coloring page for Alexa

Build a Tower of Babel - I keep Alexa’s “history” much more simple than what I do with Treyton (obviously). At this point, I am just trying to teach her the Bible stories in a way that she can remember them correctly. She had fun this week building a Tower of Babel with Audrey using building blocks. She retold the story to Audrey as she did it (she didn’t know I was listening), I was impressed by the amount of detail she used.

Narration for The Story of Gilgamesh

I don’t have Treyton narrate enough, so this week I had him narrate the Story of Gilgamesh from Sumerian Mythology after we read it in the Story of the World.  He did okay, this is definitely something I think we could do more.


Lapbook Pieces:

  • Noah’s Ark
  • Tower of Babel
    • This piece was broken down into “who”, “what” and “why” Treyton did a really great job coming up with simple sentences that he wrote with little to no help from me. Usually for his draw and captions and lapbook pieces, he will come up with what he wants to say. I remember it and slowly repeat it back to him, helping him spell words correctly. It’s encouraging to see some independence in this area.

Geography: A Map of Mesopotamia

We combined two maps this week onto one – the map of Noah’s descendents and where they are believed to have settled as well as our map of Mesopotamia.IMG_3657 Treyton really enjoys his map studies. Before we actually began labeling, we got out our atlas found Egypt (in Africa) and the former Mesopotamia (in Asia). We then grabbed our map to label and started working on it. IMG_3595The map studies are a huge part of the week for us, and I usually try to include it on the first day. Treyton is a concrete-thinker and by seeing the places that we are learning about on a map it solidifies the fact that they are real places with real people.

As far as the Mesopotamia map went: Treyton quickly learned the name of the Tigris river, but struggled a bit with the Euphrates, and he called the fertile crescent the moon crust :) but in general he did well, referring to and pulling out his map throughout the week.

Language Arts

This week Treyton added verb cards to his word bank and we began working on forming simple sentences. I didn’t realize (ahead of time) that we were going to make a Sentence Pocket so we didn’t have that to start with, but we made it work. I also have made pink flash card ending sounds to add to our verb cards as we form our sentences (for example s, –ed, and –ing to add to the end of the verb words). IMG_3661

I downloaded a synonym match from here, for Treyton to review synonyms. He also did the noun and verb worksheet from the same post – he did perfectly on both of them.  IMG_3682

I am realizing the deeper we go into grammar, how much I lack in this subject. Once you move past noun and verb, subject and predicate… you’ve pretty much lost me. I’m not sure how this happened, I vividly remember my mother torturing me with lesson after lesson of this stuff, but for some reason I can’t recall any of it!! So needless to say, I am feeling WAY out of my element here. Seriously, next week we’re working on Adverbs and I actually had to look up what exactly an adverb is…. unbelievable. I am thankful for the First Language Lessons that we have been using thus far to introduce the parts of speech, otherwise I don’t know what I would do.


In All About Spelling Treyton was on step 18. I was NOT a fan of this step… if anyone is asking. :)

The list was on different spellings of u sounds, it included words like you, your, put, pull, push, to, do and the rule breaker of. We focused on the three sounds that the letter o makes, the four sounds that the letter u makes and the four sounds ou makes. This was fine, however, there was no tips or rules given on when to use which sound. For example you can use the letter u or oo to spell the /oo/ sound as in put or book, but how do you know when to use which (besides just memorizing)?

By the end of the week Treyton could basically spell the list of words, but I wish there was more that I could have given him as far as spelling words in his everyday writing, knowing when to use which letters when.

Math: Multiplying by 2

This week Treyton worked on mastering multiplying by 2. He flew through the exercises. He has always been good at counting by numbers (2, 3, 4, 5, 6) because of this multiplying is coming very naturally to him.

Preschool – Math

Alexa’s flying through her math book. She just finished up working on learning to write and count (forward and backward) numbers 1-10. To review her unit I had her put the numbers 1-20 in order using her file folder game. IMG_3701This week we moved onto shapes. I wasn’t a big fan of how they broke it down, so I did a few of my own hands-on activities and we will skip unit 5 and move on to unit 6 (patterns) next week.

Alexa’s favorite activity this week was finding objects for different shapes that I would call out. She made different piles for each of her shapes. IMG_3695

  IMG_3698 Interestingly enough, she does really well telling you the shapes name on her own. If I say “Tell me the name of the shapes that you know” or “Find a _____” she has no problem. However, if I say “What is this shape?” she struggles a little bit more.

Preschool – Language Arts

Alexa is on the last letter of her Explode the Code book C, letter Xx. Instead of focusing on the beginning sounds we worked on ending sounds this week. This was tough for Alexa, switching like that, so I held off on pushing her too much in All About Reading this week, thankfully ETC offered plenty of practice, and I didn’t have to supplement anything else in. She continued to read to me throughout, but we didn’t add any new steps or letters. Instead we read some Bob books, and reviewed the stories she already has read in the AAR reader. IMG_3663

She is an amazing little reader and catches on very quickly. When she is trying (and that’s the trick) it’s a pure delight to read with her.

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