Monday, September 6, 2010

Our Shark Week Unit

I never in my life thought I would be excited for Shark Week.  I mean, I wouldn't even go in the deep end of the pool for a few years, because I had such a crazy, irrational fear of the things.  But Ella loves them so much, when I realized it was time for Discovery's Shark Week at the beginning of August, we threw our plans out the window and dove into all things shark.  Here are a few of the resources we used during the week:

Discovery's Shark Guide - In addition to videos and playlists  (Our favorite was Top 10 Weird Sharks), the site offers tons of information, games, quizzes, and an opportunity to Shark Yourself.
Oh, yeah.
Go Shark Yourself.
You know you want to.

Enchanted Learning Shark Pages - this section alone was enough for me to buy a site membership.  Like dinosaurs, sharks are another of Ella's favorites.  But what could we learn that would be new to her?  Enchanted Learning had a ton of anatomy pages, so we printed a bunch of those and decided to make a little workbook out of it.  Then, she picked five sharks (some were her favorites and some she didn't know much about and wanted to learn more) to add another section to the shark book.  She drew (or traced) a picture of each, and I made a handwriting page (using the zaner-bloser fontsonline tool) on which she had to answer questions about each shark based on what she learned.  We assembled it with dividers and put it in a display folder, so she has her own shark book now.  Here are a few of the pages:

Sharks (Insiders)
We borrowed a ton of books from the library (some she'd already read at least a dozen times), but her favorite is still Insiders Sharks.  She loves all the books in the series, even more than the Eyewitness books, and I wish they would come out with more of them.

Sharks: Knights of the SeaSharks: Knights of the Sea
Of course we watched a lot of the discovery shows on tv, but they tend to air a lot of the same shark attack shows and air jaws specials.  It gets to be a little much.  I saw this at the library and figured at least Harper could watch this one with Ella.  I thought it was the cutest show ever, but the girls weren't impressed at all.  I still haven't gotten a straight answer as to why, so I'm chalking it up to a mood that week and recommending it anyway.  I liked it.

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