Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Outdoor Hour -- Challenge #2

This week's challenge was to use our sense of hearing to observe our surroundings. We split up and went 6 different directions (seven, if you count Sarah who went to the kitchen table to work on her French homework!) and spent 20 minutes sitting quietly, collecting sounds.

Great assignment. Looking back on it, I think I should have taken the whole group with me and assigned places for them to sit -- I kind of got the feeling that the oldest boys listened intently exactly as long as it took to get 10 distinct sounds and then high-tailed it back to the house. On the other hand, though, I can't fault the lists they came up with!

All three of the older boys are working through Wordsmith (a creative writing program). The unit the twins are currently studying is all about expressing the 5 senses through writing. They really got into this science assignment! I asked them if I could post their lists and they said, "Sure!" but only Seth knew where his was right off the top of his head. [You have to excuse Jessee. The boys have been living in a tent for two weeks while the cement roof of their room dries. They're doing good if they end up being able to find two of the same shoe, let alone a week-old school assignment!!! ;^) ]

So, here's what Seth came up with...(including the formatting)
Mocking bird singing
Car rumbling
Waves crashing
Workers talking
Cement-mixer turning
Wind sweeping through
Motor boat
Trees swishing
Worker whistling
Flies buzzing
Door slamming
Shovel scraping
Dog barking

We all had fun with this assignment. Andrew and Evie struggled at first with sounding out words they didn't know. I reminded them that it wasn't spelling class, so they weren't going to be graded on their spelling. With the pressure removed, they relaxed and really got into listening. Andrew was so funny! "Mom, did you hear the guy with the hammer? What about the guy with the shovel? The guy with the machete?" Can you tell he's really into tools? I honestly thought it was the same guy all three times. And to think I used to worry about his hearing!

Evie showed her personality, too. She said she heard 5 or 6 different birds and two or three different plants moving in the wind (rustling, that is...we don't have Ents here).

After the twins shared their poetic lists, Caleb chuckled and said, "I really didn't go in for the whole 'fancy' thing. I heard..." and he read off his list. It was a good list and it showed he was listening! I told him that he wasn't going to be graded on style! :^)

Our plan for next week (first week of spring break) is to make these lists into scrapbook pages for our science notebook. I'll take a photo when we get it done!

1 comment:

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Wonderful experiences you had this time with your challenge...I love the list of sounds. So many times we don't even notice all the different things there are to hear in our world and I think this challenge helps us to see that if we listen carefully there is lots to hear.

The difference between hearing and listening....priceless.

Thanks for sharing your link,
Barb-Harmony Art Mom