It’s Friday – what if…

I’ve been in our classroom cleaning, sorting through books and trying to get things ready for a new school year.  I remembered meeting Greg Trine last fall and how fun it was to create stories with him.  I checked out  the Melvin Beederman site and that got me thinking…

What if everyone in your family had a super power?

Which family member would have which super power and how would it work?

What would your super power be?

I’d love to know what you dream up.  What could your story be?

It’s Friday – what if…

…you just found a treasure map!  What will you do next?  Will you look for the treasure on your own?  Will you find someone to help you on your adventure?  What supplies with you need?

And then, once you’ve found the treasure, now what?

Have fun creating and imagining – your life is full of treasures already!  What will you do in this story?

It’s Friday – what if…

… you wanted to create your own geode?  You could use an egg, some alum and some dye to do it.  With adult help, you can grow some beautiful crystals in just three days.

Materials –

  • a blown-out eggshell
  • alum powder (you can get this in the grocery store in the spice area)
  • white glue and a small paintbrush
  • dye, hot water and a plastic or glass container
  • a spoon for mixing, latex gloves (to keep your hands from getting dyed) and a place to dry your “geodes” the next day.

Steps –

  1.  Blow out a large egg.  Split it in half the long way by cracking and breaking it gently.  Wash and dry both pieces completely.  You can only grow one geode at a time but you can prepare both pieces with glue and alum powder at the same time.
  2. With the small paint brush cover the inside and cracked edges with white glue.  Sprinkle the glue with alum powder so it is completely covered.  Let it dry overnight.  (The crystals are going to grow on the alum, so coat the egg halves well.)
  3. The next day, prepare your growing solution.  You’ll need the container.  Put 2 cups of almost boiling water, 40 drops of food coloring and 3/4 cup of powered alum.  Mix the solution to be sure all the alum dissolves.  If there is any left in the bottom, place the solution in the microwave for a few minutes to dissolve them.
  4. Once the alum is completely dissolved, let the solution cool slightly (for about 30 minutes) and then submerge one of the dried, alum-coated eggshells in the growing solution.  allow it to rest on the bottom of the container with the inside of the shell facing up.

  5. Set the container in a safe place overnight to allow the crystals to grow undisturbed. The longer the eggshell is in the solution, the larger the crystals in the geode will be. 12 to 15 hours is just about right.

  6. When you’re ready, put the gloves on and remove the geode from the solution.  Be gentle, wet crystals are fragile.  Place your geode on newspaper to dry.  Let it dry completely before you handle it.
  7. If you’d like to make another geode, re-dissolve the crystals remaining at the bottom in the microwave and follow the directions again.  Have fun!


Friday Fun – what if…

What if…

… a ship loaded with animals got blown off course in a storm.  Off the coast of Argentina the ship was swamped and the animals had to swim to safety.  After what seemed like forever, a giraffe and a lemur found themselves together on the shore of Antartica.  Write the story of how their friendship formed  and how some penguins helped them survive until their rescue came.

We’d love to read your story.  If you have a chance, leave it in a comment below.

It’s Friday – have some fun

At the beginning of the school year we read The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau.  Do you remember how he taught himself to paint?  Do you remember how he kept entering contests and being told how terrible his work was?  But finally he painted The Sleeping Gypsy and everything changed.

Mordicai Gerstein used that painting to create a whole new story called The Sleeping Gypsy.  Using that idea, I thought it might be fun to tell the stories behind other famous works of art.

Here are a few.  If you’re inspired, leave your story in a comment. Have fun!

It’s Friday – have fun!

For the past three days I’ve been exploring water, woods and fields at a science institute for teachers.  We made hygrometers.  We created ph test solutions.  We examined all different kinds of environments, and we made a woodland terrarium.  The teacher who lead us in this activity shared three different types of terrariums: freshwater, wetlands and woodlands.  The freshwater terrarium was full of copepods and algae.  We could see them without a microscope,  That terrarium had been thriving for nearly 15 years!  The wetland terrarium was full of moss and small plants.  It had been thriving for 8 years!  And finally, the woodland terrarium had been thriving for nearly 2 years.  It was full of wintergreen plants, ferns, moss and all the microorganisms that are in soil.

I couldn’t believe how long these “habitats-in-a-jar” had been thriving!

I made a woodland habitat.  I wonder how long it will survive.  I can’t wait to see.  I thought you might like to make one too.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 clear liter bottle cut into two pieces – 2/3’s at the bottom, 1/3 at the top (Ask for help starting the cut.  Once a hole is made, you can cut the bottle with scissors.  Draw a line if you want it to be straight.)
  • coarse gravel – fish tank gravel or collected from your yard
  • soil from the forest where you’re collecting the plants
  • moss and small plants
  • clear utility tape

Here’s what to do:

  • Cut the bottle
  • Put 1 inch course gravel in the bottom (you need to let the roots breathe)
  • Put 2 inches of soil on top of the gravel
  • Put a few plants – not too many because your terrarium isn’t very big – in/on the soil.
  • Cover the soil and plant roots with small pieces of moss.  The plant stems will stick between the different mosses.
  • Spray the whole thing generously with water.  If the sides of your bottle got dirty, “spritz” the dirt away.
  • Place the top piece back on your bottle and tape the two pieces together.  Make sure the bottle is completely sealed.  You don’t want any air to  get in.

That’s it.  I noticed that my terrarium began to get foggy in a few minutes.  That’s because the plants were breathing.  Now I’ll wait to see what happens.

PS – I wish mine wasn’t cut in half, but higher up.  I think you’d be able to see the plants better.  That’s why I put one third/two thirds in the direction.
I also learned from my teacher, Mr. Zink, that you could put just one part of a fern leaf in the terrarium.  It will grow roots and become a plant.  You might want to give that a try too.
I’ll bring my terrarium to school at the end to the summer.  I wonder how it will change! Stop by to see it.

Let me know about your terrarium adventures in a comment below.

Friday Fun!

Bored-125It’s Friday and I have something fun you might like to do.  A few days ago I came across this project.  Debbie Ripath Ohi, author/illustrator of I’m Bored, a book we loved and laughed with, created a Look Again:  Found Objects Doodles project. She explains to project  and shows lots of examples here on her blog.  This is how she opens the challenge:


I invite young writers and artists aged 6-12 to enter my second annual Summer “Look Again” Challenge! I’ll choose a selection to display in a special gallery later this year. One entry per child. Deadline: August 15th, 2016.

You can read all the rules here:  2016 Summer LOOK AGAIN Challenge for Young Writers and Artists.

I can’t participate in the project (too old:)), but I did have fun creating.  Here are a rubber band hamster feather dragonflycouple of my doodles.  I used a rubber band to make the body of my hamster and feathers I collected in our yard for the dragonfly.  What things do you see when you look again?  Have fun creating!  I hope you’ll share them in a comment if you do!  Happy Creating!

Mrs. Eaves


It’s Friday – you might have fun making this…

A few years ago I discovered this craft book and craft.  Click on craft for directions.Unknown

I was trying to come up with a Friday post to share with you, and I thought of this.  I can imagine so many of you having fun making these for pencil pals.  I wish I had thought of it while we were in school when we did our animal studies.  I wonder how a flamingo would have looked, or a caribou, a jaguar or a koala. Have fun making one or two!

Unknown-3Unknown-2When you’ve made your own pipe cleaner pal, please post your creation with your comment.

I hope your summer has begun perfectly.  I am missing you a ton.  Enjoy every day!

Mrs. Eaves


It’s Friday – have fun noticing

downy woodpecker fledglingI have loved this poem for a long time.  It inspires me to stop, look and see.  Yesterday I noticed a mama turkey with 14 chicks in a field, a mama pheasant with 6 babies crossed the road and 5 downy woodpecker fledglings feeding at our feeders.  (They’re as big as the parents but not as savvy about landing, holding on, finding the seeds.)  I’ve been looking around our yard.  Here are a few images of what I’ve noticed.  What do you see that brings you wonder?  Makes you smile?

oak gallsTo look at any thing,

If you would know that thing,

You must look at it long:

To look at this green and say,

“I have seen spring in these

Woods” will not do – you must

Be the thing you see:

You must be the dark snakes of

DSC04586Stems and ferny plumes of leaves,

You must enter in

To the small silences between

The leaves,

You must take your time

And tough the very peace

They issue from.

John Moffitt

It’s Friday – here’s something you might like to do

fox and black bearMy mom is an artist. When I was growing up she challenged me to see the world with “seeing eyes,” meaning to look for details and differences. I loved being outdoors in the fields and woods around my house. I explored the brook and the marsh. I loved the flowers and the birds best. That’s how I came to know about John James Audubon.

rabbitsLater, I learned more about him and saw his work with new eyes. When I read about the current exhibition at the Currier Museum of Art I wanted to go. I did.  ” From Birds to Beasts: Audubon’s Last Great Adventure” is terrific.  It is set up so that both kids and adults will enjoy it. The exhibition shows Audubon’s artwork of the quadrupeds (four-footed animals) of North America – there are a few birds too. Eight of the animals our class chose as important in our states are on display and they are stunning! Make sure you grab the free Art, Nature and Adventure Journal, designed to help you use the exhibition to learn characteristics of different animals and discover more about Audubon’s artistic process. Use the second part to do some outdoor sketching of your own.fawn

These books, and others, helped me learn more about Audubon and his life. Did you know he was the first person to learn that some birds come back and use the same nest year after year? Did you know he was the first person to band a bird and that before he proved birds migrate, scientists believed “small birds gathered themselves in a great ball, clinging beak to beak, wing to wing, and foot to foot, and lay under water all winter, frozen-like”?

young Audubonin the frontier







The way Audubon collected animals for his work would seem unusual today, but the accomplishments of his work and the legacy he left for those who love nature remains important. This exhibit is wonderful.  I hope you’ll be able to go. Kids under 13 are free and if you go between 10 and noon on Saturday, the museum is free to NH residents.  When you go, let me know what picture stands out to you. The ones I shared in this post stood out to me, but there are others too – the armadillo, the lynx, the polar bear… Enjoy!buffalo