Thursday, November 21, 2013

Well that was a long hiatus!

Yup, it's been awhile.  Almost a year in fact!  Somehow having both kids in school did not result in me having more free time, in fact the opposite seems to be true.  Although, admittedly I have become involved in many of their activities.  Volunteering for the PTO and becoming a co-leader of Lil' Misses Girl Scout troop has certainly been a time suck. 

That said, I want to share what I have done in these pursuits as I have gotten many wonderful ideas for our own activities from browsing the web.  First off I'll share what we did over the summer for Lil' Miss to earn her Make Your Own badge. In case you don't know a girl scout is allowed to basically invent her own badge once per year, she needs to devise steps to follow and decide what constitutes her having learned enough to earn the badge.  Of course adult assistance is expected!

She wanted to learn all about astronomy so I did some searching online to get some ideas of what she could do but she decided she wanted at least 5 steps just like all her other badges and even came up with 6 to follow:
  1. Track the phase of the moon for one month, observe the moon on the same day for 4 consecutive weeks, draw and write down your observations.
  2. Make a Poster identifying all the planets in our Solar System, list at least 3 facts about each planet.  Share with the troop.
  3. Learn how to identify constellations, at least 4 or 5.  The North Star, the Big Dipper, and the Little Dipper are good ones to start with.
  4. Visit NASA website and learn about one current mission in our solar system, on one of our planets.
  5. Shadow Time:
     Did you know that the earth rotates? It turns around much like a top. Have you seen the sun in different places in the sky? It looks like the sun is moving, but it is the earth that is moving. Try this activity to mark the earth's movement.
    1.      On a sunny day, take a stick and put it in the ground. It should cast a shadow. Mark the very end of the shadow by placing another stick on the ground. 
    2.   Leave your sticks in the ground and return in an hour Has something changed? Use a third stick to mark where your shadow is now. Do this once more in another hour. Which way did your shadow move? What do you think made your shadow move? Is there a way you could use this movement to tell time?  
  6. Make a Constellation at home:
Pick a favorite constellation, or create a pattern of stars to make you own indoor star show!
You will need:
·         A cylinder-shaped oatmeal container
·         A flashlight
·         A large safety pin
1.      Draw your constellation on the bottom of the cylinder-shaped container on the outside. Make dots to mark where the stars are in the constellation. Using the safety pins, punch holes in the box where you made the dots.
2.      At night or in a dark room, place the flashlight in the box and shine it on a blank wall or on the ceiling.
Show your constellation to others. Tell them about your constellation. Put on a star show with your friends who have made their own constellation boxes.

We even made a family trip to the local observatory to reinforce the learning she was doing to earn her badge.  Once she had completed all the steps I signed off on her work and set her up online to make her own badge (probably one of her favorite things to do!).   This is what she designed, pretty neat huh?  
Lil' Misses awesome design work!

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