Harvest Unit Week Seven – Why Do Leaves Change Colors?

This week started off with being sick and a library glitch that made our account delinquent for a week. We missed the Autumn Harvest Festival at a local Chinese garden and a birthday party. Since we weren’t able to check out any books, we relied on YouTube for our stories and found a couple of interesting re-tellings of the Chinese Harvest Festival story and Chang-E.

The Legend of the Mooncake Festival: The Story of Chang-E  

Mid-Autumn Festival | An introduction

We’ve been trying to make it to the Chinese garden for exactly three years now, but something always comes up. We’re making it a priority to go for Chinese New Year in February though! Mimi was especially bummed that we wouldn’t be able to go, she had been checking out pictures of it with me all week and was really looking forward to going.

Once everyone felt good enough, we started learning about leaves. Our trees are beginning to change colors and drop their leaves so the girls collected a variety of colors and shapes. Crunching in the leaves is always a favorite! Our dog, Auzzy, even joined in on the fun.

We learned why leaves change color and about how the weather changes in the fall. Adi coaxed us all outside one evening this week and both girls noticed the difference in the air, how it has more of a crispness or bite to it now that summer is over. We’ve also observed that sunsets happen earlier, and a lot more quickly.

I don’t know if it was from using cheap wax paper, the wrong type of crayons, or just not breaking them into small enough pieces, but wax paper stained glass leaves didn’t work for us. Overall we had a great time during the process of it, but we have no final product to show for it. It smelled toxic, it fell apart when we tried to cut it, the smashed crayons made a huge mess, and the wax seeped through the wax paper, creating a weird brown sludge on the iron. Luckily this wiped off easily, but it smelled awful!

First we took the wrappers off the crayons, then we sorted them by color groups, and then I had the girls hunt for objects they could smash the crayons with. Almost every Ziploc bag broke open so little crayon pieces went everywhere. Don’t try to pick these up with your hands, it’ll just smear them on the floor, a broom works great though. Our winter curriculum has a similar craft for making snowflakes. I’ve done a little research and learned that we completely did the leaves wrong so we might try the snowflake one, or just use tissue paper and contact paper. The broken pieces of melted crayon were fun to color with, so it wasn’t a total bust!

Mimi’s math skills have been growing. She will say simple equations out loud and ask us if they’re correct. It’s helping her learn better than any worksheet and something she’s really enjoying.

We discovered a show on YouTube called Brave Wilderness. The host, Coyote, is a lover of animals and adventure. Mimi has been enthralled with it and has been learning amazing facts about animals and bugs.

This week ended with Adi’s birthday! Three is an exciting age and it’s so much fun to see the world through her eyes. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next year of her life holds.

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