Saturday, October 12, 2013

Week 7: Canada | Food chains, Inuit, and bears - Oh, my!

Bonjour! This week we entered Canada.


We are studying bears this week. I learned 2 things that surprised me; polar bears have black skin and bears don't actually hibernate (they enter a state of dormancy). Lindsey enjoyed learning that polar bears and grizzly bears sometimes mate to create pizzly bears. She thought pizzly bears sounded funny and kept giggling at their name. In the zoology notebook Lindsey created a fun cartoon poster showing what to do and what not to do if you meet a bear in the wild.


We learned about food chains & food webs.

There is a great episode of the Wild Kratts - Episode 130: The Food Chain Game - that fits perfectly with our lessons. After watching it, Lindsey decided to create a food web using her stuffed animals :)

We didn't have any stuffed plants, so we started with what ate the plants. She used our cat's toy for a fish. First she created some food chains, then combined them into a food web. There are several animals that eat insects (represented by the ladybug) and fish (represented by the cat toy).

When we weren't sure who ate what we looked them up. We weren't sure who ate the smelly skunk, but discovered both bears and owls eat them. It was a fun way to look at the food web.

Screenshot from EcoKids
She drew a picture of an arctic food chain - including seaweed, fish, a seal and polar bears.

Lindsey created several food chains and food webs online. The online resources we used are listed below.

Great online resources for food chains:

Build a food chain game at EcoKids:

Build a food web at Scholastic:

Build a food web for desert, coniferous forest, deciduous forest, or tropical rainforest:

Information on arctic ecosystems including a really nice food web graphic:


We learned about the Inuit in Windows on the World and then we found an Inuit version of Goldilocks by Jan Brett called The Three Snow Bears at our library. I always love the illustrations in Jan Brett's books. This story was delightful. Lindsey enjoyed reading it to me and then read it again later to her dad.

The Inuit are known for carving soapstone. For art this week Lindsey tried her hand at soap carving and carved a nice little polar bear cub from a bar of Ivory soap. She even gave it texture for the fur.

It turned out awesome!

She liked carving it and plans to carve some more animals out of soap. An owl to match her bathroom shower curtain is next on her list.

Several really nice examples of Inuit carvings can be found here:

Maple Trees

I have a maple leaf shape for my cookie press, so we made spritz cookies. Yum! Lindsey learned about the Canadian flag, the maple leaf as a symbol of Canada, and colored a Canadian flag picture. We also read Maple Syrup Season by Ann Purmell. It's a very good book that explains the process and all the terms used for making maple syrup. It brought back childhood memories of maple syrup being made at my grandma's house. My cousins and I would scoop snow into bowls and when the syrup reached the right stage my grandma would pour some onto the snow just like in the book.

Next week, pancakes with maple syrup are on our menu...

Movie Night

Our librarian recommended a Disney movie to us called Iron Will. It's about a young boy who enters a dog sled race to try to win money to help his mother and pay for college. It takes place in 1917 and they race across Canada from Winnipeg to Saint Paul, Minnesota. We watched it Friday and it was good. It's rated PG. If you have younger kids it might not work for you, but it was a neat look at dog sledding for us. (I was also glad the animals don't talk.)


Post a Comment