Sunday, 30 October 2011


Our science study appears to have morphed into unit study, even though I did not set out to do it this way.  Nonetheless, at least science is being done on a regular basis these days.

We are still using MSNucleus curriculum but we seem to be using it now more as a springboard for further exploration, or for ideas of themes/topics that are interesting to explore.  Having said that, I still find the curriculum's sequence useful as a guide.

We are still exploring the topic of Organism (which essentially is very basic Zoology).  This time we are learning about mollusks.  After explaning the six main subgroups of mollusks, I pulled out a box of shells that I had collected over the years for Tiger to sort them into those groups.  Not surprisingly, the shells we have mainly fall into the Gastropods or the Bivalves categories, although there were a few that we are not quite sure where they would go...

As we pondered about the classification of mollusks, Tiger noticed that the Nautilus (in the category of Cephalopods) reminded him of the ancient Ammonites from prehistoric life.  We wondered whether they were related, and whether nautilus still exists, so we did a quick research on the internet and found the answer: Yes!  Next, we became more curious about this ancient looking creature and we wanted to see an actual footage of it:

Then I remembered I still have a few resources that I had made and used with Tiger in his preschool years so I took those out as well.  The first was a set of nomenclature cards that worked as revision for shell identification, the second was a set of shell dominoes.

The supplementary books Tiger read for this unit were:

Tiger was inspired to emulate the movement of snails after reading about them in this book, so he moved around on the floor with a cushion on his back for 15 minutes while I read bits and pieces of related information to him.  After a while he concluded that sliding around on his stomach without any aid was too tedious for a human being to do.  Therefore, now we share a new-found respect for the slugs and snails that we see in our little garden.

The book also has an activity listed at the end that explains how and why snails use slime to move about.  It is a simple experiment using corn flour (corn starch) and water to make slime, then compare the difference between sliding your finger along a piece of sandpaper with and without slime.  Obviously it would be easier to move along with slime due to reduced friction.

This post is linked up to several blog hops, where you can visit to see what other homeschoolers have been busy with.


  1. Wow, what a neat collection of shells? Have you been collecting for a long time? I used to collect shells and paint them and then give them away as gifts to friends...something like 20 years ago lol. Those were fun times. Neat post!

  2. Thanks for visiting, ladies.

    Suji - yes, those shells have been collected over many years. However, the larger, more beautiful and exotic shells were part of a bag of shells I found at the home decorating section of a store. :-) You won't be able to find such shells on the beaches in the UK, unlike in Malaysia where you can find unusual and very beautiful shells.

  3. I love acting out a snail! What a great idea. Would you be willing to share your cards you made?

  4. Ticia - I made those cards for Tiger's preschool years 3 or 4 years ago, and have changed computers several times since then. They are not on my harddisk anymore. Sorry.


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