The World Around Me: My Religion

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On Saturday, the weather was perfect for a hike.  The Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge is not far from our home and seemed like the perfect place to go.  Dinomite was super excited and even packed his bird, reptile, and amphibian guides to take along.  We decided to take their shortest trail, for Sunshine's sake.

The kiddos did great along the trails.  However, I think Bulldozer scared off any creatures we would have seen as he had to hit every plant he saw with his stick as we went along the way.  Dinomite was disappointed in the lack of animal life we did see. Perhaps next time we'll take a different trail.  We did run into a toad, some snails, a grasshopper, lots of ducks and geese, beautiful dragonflies and even a few butterflies.  Unfortunately these were not on Dinomite's list of animals he wanted to find.  He has been dying to find a real snake.  It didn't happen.  Thankfully after the hike, the visitor's center provided the kiddos with some hands on fun.
 Outside the windows was a viewing deck. The marsh was filled with ducks and geese, even some herons.
 We started our new learning time theme today!  This week we're learning all about our religion, specifically focusing on the history of our church.  We belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Most of the activities are very specific in nature, however, seeing as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made the trek across the plains and mountains to Utah, some of the materials can be used when studying the Oregon Trail and/or pioneers.  These activities would also be great for Pioneer Day and/or General Conference.  Enjoy!

Language:
The Name of Our Church
 I must say the name of our church is quite a mouth full, especially for little ones.  I figured placing all of the words in order and saying the name was a great start to helping them learn it themselves.
 Source: I created this printable. For your free copy, click HERE.

Scripture Words & Phrases Worksheets 1 & 2
 Bulldozer really loved the last activity we did using Scrabble pieces.  I happened to be putting some away, when I felt inspired to create a similar activity using phrases from the scriptures.  I love how they turned out and plan to definitely make more of them in the future.
 Source: I created this printable, for both free worksheets, click HERE.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Nomenclature Cards Set 1
 Many people have commented on my free printables.  All of my pictures (made available to you through links in my posts) come from Wikipedia Commons files.  The images have no copyrights and are free to use in printables such as these.  When I started providing links to my printables, I wanted to be sure to be following all copyright laws.  Even when printables are free, we must all still follow copyright laws. :)
 The cards cover some basic vocabulary and concepts for the kiddos in regards to our religion. I would have loved to create more, however I was unable to find the images.

Source: I created these cards. For your free printable, click HERE.

Math:
Joseph Smith Palmyra Events Sequencing
 One of  Bulldozer's goals for the year is to be able to sequence events. He REALLY struggles with this, and so I keep putting the same type of activities on the shelves, in hopes that eventually he'll be able to get it.

This week we're sequencing specific events that happened in Joseph Smith's life while in Palmyra, NY.  I used pictures from our Gospel Art Kit, but knowing how popular they are, I'm sure they can be found in church magazines and probably some pass along cards.

Counting By 2's to Noah's Ark
 We worked on counting by 2's a while back, but it didn't really stick.  This activity doesn't really have anything to do with pioneer history, but I thought it would be nice.
 We've also been singing a new song to help us practice counting by 2's.


Hymn Number Search
The kiddos, especially Dinomite and Princess, are starting to become interested in the hymn books at church.  They're trying to find the hymns we're singing etc.  At times they really struggle, so I thought it fun to have an activity where they learn and practice how to find the right numbers.  This could be a great activity for multiple kids, as you could turn it into a race or contest etc.  I'm excited they seem to be enjoying it so far.

Addition Facts of 4
We're moving up in the world when it comes to addition facts!  I'm super excited Dinomite is doing so well with them.  Princess always chooses this type of activity, as she loves the process.  Hopefully she'll start memorizing some soon.

Source: The addition wheel for this activity can be found at Montessori for Everyone.

The Plan of Salvation
No unit about our religion can go without the study of The Plan of Salvation.  Thankfully it didn't take me too long to find a free printable, saving me lots of work!

Source: I found the free printable of The Plan of Salvation at www.lds.org.

Culture/Geography:
Church History State Match Up
I decided to teach the kiddos about pioneer history by dividing events by state.  We didn't go into too much detail, although they did learn why the Saints had to move to so many different places.  A long time ago, (what seems like a completely different life time,) a friend and I drove across the country, starting in New York, and made our way to CO, where I was going to school.  We stopped at all of the church sites we could find along the way.  It was a fabulous trip.  Later I was able to drive to Utah and visit many of the sites there.  For years I have had this scrapbook under my bed of post cards, pictures, pamphlets etc.  This week I put a few things to use.  I found it easier to use places rather than events, just because some of the events are quite dramatic and/or hard for little ears to hear about.  However, when it came to Missouri, I didn't seem to have much in my scrapbook, so I did use one picture from our Gospel Art Kit.  I have not been to California where the Saints settled there, so again I had to use a Gospel Art Kit picture.  I chose not to mention Winter Quarters and other places along the trail, just because I worried it would be too much for the kiddos to handle.
The instruction of the material went fabulously.  The kiddos had lots of questions. We pulled out our U.S. map and talked about how little children walked along the way too, living in each of the different places.  At the end of the week, we plan on visiting Palmyra, located only 45 minutes from our home.  It's been a long time since the kiddos visited the sites there.  I'm super excited about it.

Science:
Dangers on the Trail
It's no secret that the Saints encountered many dangers along the trail to the Salt Lake Valley.  I planned this activity with Dinomite in mind, focusing on the dangerous animals that threatened the Saints.  The instruction went so well today as the kiddos came up with reasons why each animal might be dangerous.  Of course the bison was the most difficult, until I explained their thunderous stampedes, and that the Saints really had to be careful to stay out of their way.  It was an added bonus that Dinomite had most of the animal figures I could use.  The only animal not pictured (because Dinomite didn't have the figure,) was a Copperhead snake. Snakes were a very big deal on the trail.
Source:  I created this activity using multiple sources and references.  For your free printable, click HERE.

The Word of Wisdom
We've used this activity before, during our Healthy Heart Unit a while back.  I couldn't resist using them again.  These cards were made before I was making free copies available to my readers.  However, I was able to make a similar set this week, so that one is available to all for use.

Bulldozer loves this activity!  I like that it's flexible according to belief systems and allergies.  Nuts are included in the "No" category for him.

Source: I created this printable and one similar too it for your use. For your free printable, click HERE.

Music:  We're still working at learning our song of the month on the piano.  It's going much slower than I had intended. I might need to rethink my plans for next month.  On a brighter note, the kids love singing time at the beginning of learning time.

Art:  Over the weekend the kids decided to draw A LOT, along with painting a little.  Since they're doing so well at that, I've decided to count that as their art time this week.  I'm so impressed by how confident Dinomite has become in his ability to draw.  It has taken forever for him to find enjoyment in it, but now I can hardly stop him.  The detail is fabulous.

Physical Education:  We'll continue going to our friend's pool this week.  Next week all of our extra curricular activities start.  Dinomite participates in a bowling league and takes gymnastics.  Bulldozer participates in a bowling league, takes private tennis lessons, and is also taking private swim lessons as a form of physical therapy and sensory integration.  Princess is taking dance classes and possibly martial arts if I can get her into lessons. If not, she'll continue with gymnastics.

Practical Life/Sensorial:
Buttoning Our Sunday Shirt
 The boys have a very difficult time applying new skills to every day life.  This seems to be typical of kiddos with autism.  An example is Dinomite's ability to tell time.  He does fabulous with cards during learning time, yet he can't tell time at all when it comes to looking at any of the clocks in our home.  The same goes for those practical life skills.  He can button easily using a board, yet shirts are impossible.  Not only can he not button, but he can't unbutton either.  So, seeing as I know he will be wearing white button up shirts on Sundays for at least the next 12 years of his life, I've decided to just use his shirt for the activity. Lol.  Hopefully we'll get somewhere!

Pioneer Sensory Bin
 It's been so long since I made a sensory bin for the kiddos.  This bin could be much more elaborate.  I only used items we had in our home.  It's the end of the month. Finances are tight.  Sensory bins can be so expensive.  This one didn't cost me a penny.  The best part is all the kids have LOVED it!

Contents:
Brown Rice
Wild Rice
Cornmeal
Left Over Seeds from Gardening
Lincoln Logs
Buttons
Marbles
Birthday Candles (to represent candle sticks)
Mini Rocking Chair
Mini Fireplace
Brick from Nauvoo
Replica of Sun Stone, part of Nauvoo Temple
Twine

Sorting Buttons
 I would have loved to include a sewing activity on our shelves, however, the kiddos really struggle with the simple sewing cards.  They just can't seem to get the coordination down.  So, I decided to focus on buttons this week. A friend gave me an entire gallon size Ziploc bag full of buttons.  I can't wait to use them all.  This week we're starting the sorting process!

A Marble Game
 Playing marbles was a very popular thing back in the day of pioneers.  It's funny that it's one of Bulldozer's favorite things too. However, he's never really learned how to play.  This week that changes.  I didn't have a big enough string to make one large circle, so instead I tied two together.  Dinomite played this game for quite some time today.  They're not ready to play together yet, but they're working hard the develop the skills to do so on their own.

Building a Log Home
 Looking back, I can't imagine how many homes just one family built from the time they left Palmyra, NY to the time they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley.  Most were made of logs.  Other's eventually made of brick.  The kiddos are loving the Lincoln Logs back on the shelves.

Pioneer Puzzles
 These have been on our shelves before.  I found the images in church magazines, glued them to large Popsicle sticks and voila!  These puzzles in particular are pioneer themed.

Pearl of Great Price
This is not necessarily a pioneer themed activity, but when I thought of the idea, I just couldn't resist.  Inside the black play dough are 13 pearls. The kiddos will manipulate the play dough until they find all of the pearls. It is then their job to put them back in the dough and hide them for the next person.

I hope you enjoy these activities.  It's been a fun week so far. I'm so excited to teach the kiddos more about who they are and what they believe.  Our history is so packed full of wonderful lessons and experiences.  As I've taught them, I've realized that it leads into so many more meaningful discussions.  It's been very relaxing (and entertaining).

Next week we start a new month long unit:  Life At Sea.  I'm hoping before the start of next week to have a break down of all that we'll study posted up.  Hopefully  my readers can make more sense of why I'm choosing the activities I am each week.  Our district required me to hand in a syllabus.  Mine is broken down by month, I just haven't shared any of them yet.

Thank you for all of your comments! I LOVE reading them. They truly make my day.

3 comments:

  1. I love your work! I hope you won't mind if I copy some of your activities, my son would love them. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so flattered by your comment. I'm always in awe at all you do and have so many of your activities pinned for future units of study. I will definitely be using many of your ideas with full credit to you sited in my sources. You are always welcome to do the same.

    ReplyDelete
  3. WOW!!! I teach at a public Montessori school so I couldn't do a lot of these at work, but they would be AWESOME for Primary! I love all of these!

    ReplyDelete

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