Big Woods - Week 4 {Prairie Primer + California Gold Rush}

This week we learned about the California Gold Rush and ended our week with a Gold Rush Party. Since we are done reading Little House in the Big Woods, I did some extra reading to catch up on American History - up to the time of the Gold Rush. 

Books from our Book Basket

I am reading By the Great Horn Spoon to Eliana, Malachi is reading The California Gold Rush (a choose-your-own-adventure book), and Eliana is reading The Secret Valley. All other books we read together. 

We read about the Underground Railroad from A Child's First Book of American History and two picture books - Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt and Follow the Drinking Gourd

We are enjoying A Child's First Book of American History. 

And finally we get Gold Fever

Gold Rush Party Loot

Not healthy, I know, but I was ready for easy. :) 

Gold Rush Bars

This activity is on page 22 at the beginning of the unit. There were lots of great ideas. One idea was to make Gold Rush Bars. They are a yummy butterscotch pudding/gelatin bar, but mine did not invert into a bar, so I served them in cups with whipped cream to make them look fancy. :) 

This next idea was my own (not in the manual). So far, I've been following the manual pretty closely, but I was inspired to do this to help my children to memorize Psalm 91 - a General Activity for this unit. 

Digging for True Treasure - Psalm 91

First, I printed Psalm 91 on yellow construction paper, cut each verse into strips, and then we wrapped each strip around a Hershey's Gold Nugget. 

On the day of our party, I had the kids stake their claim. Malachi remembered that they put a tin can on a stick on the four corners of their claim, so his claim was legal. ;) 

Then, I hid the Gold Nuggets for them to find. They found each gold nugget verse, memorized it if they hadn't already, and then recited it by heart. 

This was so much fun!

And in case you were wondering, the easiest way to unwind the verses (since they are taped), was to slide the wrapper off and unwind from the inside, like this: 

Bo's slips of paper had addition problems that he was learning for MUS Alpha. 

"Nobody look at my answers." :) 

Paydirt Cupcakes  

As a treat for memorizing Psalm 91, and to end our Gold Rush Party, we had chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting topped with Oreo "paydirt" and chocolate gold nuggets that I purchased from Amazon. (Links to Amazon are affiliate links)

Panning for Gold 

We found some yeller! :) 

Science and Nutrition - Skeletal System 

We finished up our notebooking for the skeletal system this week and did some hands on cooking to nourish our bones.

Sesame Date Nut Balls {Nutrition 101}

Sesame seeds are a good source of calcium for strong bones. 

Very good! We made these several times over the next few weeks. :) 

Strong Bones

We rolled up paper to make paper tube "bones" to see how strong bones can support heavy weights. Tubes rolled tighter represented stronger bones. Then we stacked books on top to see how strong our paper tube bones were. We were supposed to do this with loosely rolled bones and then tightly rolled bones, but we got the idea. :) 

Steamed kale - another great source of calcium for strong bones. 

So happy we are doing Nutrition 101 with our study - it's so much more practical to our lives than just learning about the body, but all this science on top of Prairie Primer is too much. Looking forward to slowing down for the summer! 

 See what we are using and resources we use for more details. 

Until next time...