Autumn was in the air and we continued our season with The ABC Bunny by Wanda Gag. I created an ABC Bunny sensory bin along with fall, forest, and The ABC Bunny preschool pack (homeschoolcreations). This was a really fun row, packed with art, science, and fall-themed picture books. We thoroughly enjoyed our fall season!
We chose a “foresty” tree themed Bible verse for this row. Click here to download our Bible verse printables. We studied the creation story and the kids colored creation bookmarks. Since we were on an apple theme, we chose to read the story of Adam and Eve and brought out many of our file folder games for the kids to work on. Autumn is such a wonderful time of the year to reflect on God’s great creation…just looking out the window takes our breath away!
Parker seemed a little more interested in doing worksheets during this unit. I create a busy work packet for each child, but Parker usually doesn’t work on his. It was nice seeing him matching the letters using his dot paint marker. He also did quite a bit of uppercase/lowercase alphabet matching, vocabulary development, and phonics activities.
We did a few roll and cover fall themed activities. The boys worked on counting, sequencing, discrimination, fractions, and apple addition. In addition to the math manipulatives in our Learning Lane, I included many math worksheets in their busy work packets.
There were many science topics we studied while rowing The ABC Bunny. We studied about apples, owls, deciduous forests (trees & leaves), mushrooms, and animal tracking. The weather was crisp, the leaves were colored, and we had many nature walks during this unit.
Fall is the perfect time to study apples. We started keeping track of the apple varieties we tried by putting up an apple tasting tree. The kids would take turns coloring each variety and taping it to the tree. We started this activity when we rowed Caps for Sale and we’re still going strong.
We also studied the life cycle of the apple tree and the various parts of the apple. I made two felt apple puzzles that the kids worked on while looking over our parts of the apple nomenclature cards. They also completed an apple worksheet (mamaslearningcorner) and afterward dissected their own apples and labeled the various parts.
We also did a great apple exploration lab. We started with a few practical life skills, washing and slicing apples. Next, the kids measured, weighed, and printed their apples. We read The Secret Life of Apples by Charles Micucci and the older kids did some apple lapbooking.
While studying The ABC Bunny, we started exploring the deciduous forest, trees, leaves, and some of the woodland creatures. We read a few of Jim Arnosky’s Crinkleroot books about tracking animals. We learned about looking for animal tracks, animal droppings, and more. I printed various animal tracks and hid them around the house. The kids grabbed their buckets and went looking for animal tracks. Afterwards, they used their magnifying glasses to inspect and identify the tracks they found. Parker also worked on matching his set of animal tracks nomenclature cards.
Since we were studying deciduous forests, we studied owls. We went on several nature walks to track owls and found a few owl pellets. We used sticks to dissect them. Later, the kids dissected their own synthetic owl pellets at home.
Part of animal tracking is looking for their droppings. This is a subject you don’t envision teaching, but it was a subject well received by all three children. I set out an invitation to replicate animal droppings in the classroom. There was play dough in a variety of colors, an animal science Poop book, and index cards. They got to work immediately, laughing, creating, and having a blast!
Since the bunny traversed through the forest, we did too! We read books, watched videos, and did some lapbooking about deciduous forests. We studied about their location, the layers of the forest, and even how we can preserve them. We read Tell me, Tree by Gail Gibbons and reviewed the main types of trees, counting the rings in a tree stump, and so much more. The kids went outside to gather leaves and other bits of tree paraphernalia and added their treasures to their lapbooks. I even set up a mini build your own forest tray with black beans, fall leaves, and woodland creatures. This activity tray appeared many times in our Learning Lane. They loved building and rebuilding their own forest scene.
While planning our science lessons, I thought studying mushrooms might be interesting and perfect for our forest theme. Around the same time, I received an email from the CraftyClassroom with mushroom science printables…..perfect timing! Using her clipart, I created a set of parts of the mushroom nomenclature cards and coordinating definition cards.
You can download the nomenclature cards here and the definition cards here! We found a great mushroom book at the library, watched a great video that’s available on our The ABC Bunny Playlist, reviewed the parts of the mushroom, and added our new-found mushroom knowledge to our lapbooks. Papa bought the kids portabella mushroom caps and they dissected them to see the parts of the mushroom first-hand. We ended up chopping them up and making a tasty mushroom pasta….reading, watching, learning, and eating science!
Later that week, we were on our morning walk and the kids found some wild mushrooms growing in the sidewalk cracks on our greenbelt. Boy, the kids were so excited to find mushrooms especially after just studying them. We talked about how we can never eat wild mushrooms, because there are so many that are poisonous to eat.
I found a cute egg carton mushroom craft to do. I hot glued the egg cartons into mushroom shapes and the kids painted them with white and red tempura paint. Once dry, they added white tempura dots for the finishing touch! They turned out really cute and became a permanent decoration on our bookshelves!
Kittens & the Moon
We love the moon and studying the phases of the moon; however, the moon did not play a role in this story. While searching for kitten books, I came across Kitten’s First Full Moon and thought that would be a great picture book addition to our row. Thus, an eclectic mix of kitties and moon phases was born. This happens often during the book planning phase :).
I whipped up a batch of Trader Joes mini organic silver dollar pancakes with nutella spread to represent the various phases of the moon (i.e. full, new, gibbous, half, crescent, and few extra). The kids ate their “moon phases” while listening to Mommy read, Kitten’s First Full Moon. It’s always fun to read, learn, study, and eat our way through science!
Later, we read The Moon Seems to Change, reviewed our moon phases nomenclature cards, and added some moon material to our lapbooks. Parker spelled kitten and completed the kitten pattern on our Melissa and Doug Magnetic board. The older kids did a little kitten lapbooking too!
We really try to keep our mealtime balanced and healthy. Our kids are really good at drinking their milk and eating their 5 servings of fruits & vegetables daily, but if given the opportunity, they would choose a treat food over a healthy food most of the time. Though it’s okay to have some treats, it’s always a good idea to talk about healthy eating choices. Since the bunny was munching on his meal, we took some time to talk about healthy foods. We listened to a few healthy food video clips (including Cookie Monster’s “Healthy Foods” song) from The ABC Bunny Playlist, we read Monsters Munch Lunch, we sorted healthy and treat foods, and completed our own My Food Plate worksheet using our Make-a-Meal stickers. The older kids completed some other healthy eating worksheets and lapbooking.
Since The ABC Bunny referred to a valley, we used the opportunity to talk about landforms. This was Parker’s first introduction to landforms. I created a “build a valley” Lego Duplo tray in our Learning Lane. All of the kids loved building their own version and the older kids added a little landform valley entry in their lapbooks.
Arts, Crafts & Other Fun Stuff
We had so much fun rowing The ABC Bunny and studying deciduous forests and the plants and animals that are found in them. It was fun rowing this book in the fall since there was so much inspiration around us. We made quite a few fall themed art projects like painting leaves with our fall-scented paints, fingerprint autumn trees.
The Starry Night
The BFIAR manual compared the moving illustrations in the book to those painted by Vincent van Gogh in The Starry Night. We took this opportunity to read a really adorable book about Vincent van Gogh’s artwork in Katie and the Starry Night. This was a great introduction to art. We watched a few videos about Vincent and his art in our The ABC Bunny Playlist on youtube. The kids also made their own oil pastel drawings inspired by The Starry Night.
Tasty Themed Treats
We try to pair a themed meal/snack with a good book and most of the time we do! Here’s some of the cute and tasty treats we made during this unit.
Please feel free to visit the following Pinterest boards to access most of the printables used in this post, along with other fun activities & ideas!