Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sunday Science - Easter Carnations

Last Easter, Impress Your Kids tried out a color changing, capillary action, carnation activity suggested by Thriving Family Magazine, to illustrate the message of 1 Peter 1: 18-19...

The blood of Christ set you free from an empty way of life. That way of life was handed down to you by your own people long ago. You know that you were not bought with things that can pass away, like silver or gold. Instead, you were bought by the priceless blood of Christ. He is a perfect lamb. He doesn’t have any flaws at all.

...and the concept of Jesus taking our sins on Himself on the cross.

We've certainly investigated capillary action with carnations and food coloring before, but it sounded like a nice Easter themed object lesson, and at the very least an excuse to buy a bouquet of carnations.

I had the children add black food coloring to a small vase (the more food coloring, the better for this sort of experiment).

The original experiment/object lesson called for red food coloring, but I chose black, because I had just replenished our supply of black food coloring, and because it reminds me of the Wordless Book page for sin, and verses like like John 3:19:

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

T, thought we should have used red dye to represent sin.  I reminded him, that red usually represents the blood of Christ (still thinking of the Wordless Book), and so would seem strange in this instance.

He reminded me of the chorus to  "Jesus Paid It All" - Sin had left a crimson stain.  He washed it white as snow.

Normally I would have said a verse trumps a hymn, but I was glad to know he's been paying attention to what we sing in church - and besides which, that particular hymn, just happens to have been my father's favorite, so he got a full touché...

...and we agreed to disagree - because the black colored water was already in the vase.  I pulled the sprig of white flowers out of our bouquet, and we looked at how pure and pretty they were - referencing 1 Peter 1: 18-19.

Then, we put them into the water...

...and watched throughout the day as the colored water moved up the stem turning our beautiful white flower, to a dingy gray, thanks to :
  • transpiration - the water molecules evaporating from the stomata on the flower petals, leaving room for more molecules to move up through the xylem or veins (you can see them very clearly on the petals, in the picture at the bottom of this post).
  • when pushed together into a long tight space (like the xylem of plants), the water molecules holding onto each other, will form a chain, that moves up from the water in the vase, to the ends of the petals, as transpiration takes place (somewhat like the candies in a Pez dispenser) in a process known as capillary action.

Or rather, we watched as our flower turned from white, to red and green, because as we learned by trial and error, with our silver coin cookies, and our salt dough tomb, while we were out of black food coloring - black dye is not really black at all, but a combination of red and green.

And, the fact that molecules of red pigment are carried through the xylem faster than molecules of green, was a lovely bonus review of color chromatography, as well.

Then, with our dingy, not white, flowers in front of us, we read 1 Peter 2:24 -

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

It's great to be a homeschooler.

Linked with Science Sunday at Adventures in Mommydom.

Christly Crowns - Easter Craft

Sojourn Kids offers this craft suggestion, as a way of discussing with younger children how Jesus' suffering ultimately led to His glory.

To get things started, I folded a piece of yellow construction paper in half (short ends together), and cut out a vaguely crownish shape for each of the younger girls (ages 5 and 7).

Then, I cut a straight strip across the long side of a piece of brown construction paper, the same width as the edges of the yellow crown, and a dozen or so long, triangular thorns.

I penciled words across the crowns for the girls to trace - "King of Kings" on the front of the yellow crown, "It is finished!" on the front of the brown, and "He is worthy" on the back.

Crayon ended up being better than markers for tracing, because they don't bleed through the construction paper like the markers.

The girls decorated the "gold" side of the crowns with glitter glue, and crayons (if I was doing this with a Sunday school class of little ones, I would choose stick on jewels over glitter glue).

Then, while the glitter glue dried...

...they glued the triangles to the brown side of the crowns...

...and bent them back and forth, for a thorny sort of look.

When they were done, I stapled the two sides together, into one crown, reminding us of Christ's suffering and glory.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Sunday School Easter Snacks

I've been so busy sharing our Easter crafts this week, I thought maybe it was time to mention a few of the snacks we've enjoyed along with them.

30 Pieces of Silver - Cookies

Matthew 26:14-16

Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

Tint 1/2 a batch of sugar cookie dough (1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 a stick of softened butter creamed together, and mixed with 1 cup of flour) gray with a few drops of food coloring. Or, in a pinch, you can use 3 drops of green, and 2 drops of red, like we did for these, but it's tricky - too much red will turn the dough brown, instead of gray.

Roll out the dough, and cut 30 "coins" with the center of a donut cutter, or the (clean and dry) cap of a soda bottle.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 13 minutes.

Read: Matthew 27:1-10

Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor. When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.

“I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”

“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”

So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.”

So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”

Dipped Pretzel Crosses

I found this idea from As the Deer through Google images. There isn't much in the way of instructions on the site, but the concept is simple enough, they didn't prove to hard to bumble our way through.

We prepared two pretzel rods for each cross, breaking one, to make a shorter cross beam.

Then, we melted vanilla flavored almond bark in the microwave, according to the directions on the package. Half the package, or six squares, ended up being enough to make fourteen crosses.

We poured the melted almond bark into a mug, to make it a little easier to dip the pretzels into. Then, we dipped them, long ones first...

...with the short pretzels going across on top...

...followed by a tap or two worth of candy sprinkles, before the candy coating had a chance to harden back up.

Pretzel Nets Full of Fish
(from Catholic Icing to go with John 21:1-14)

Since I was in the pretzel aisle anyway, I decided to grab a bag of Snyder's "Butter Snaps", along with a bag of Hershey Kisses®, and a box of fish shaped crackers, for these yummy little treats, as well.

We had a great time making these, and they were so simple. Just line up the pretzel "nets" on a cookie sheet...

...and top each one with a Hershey Kiss®. Place the pan in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven, for a minute or two, until the chocolate is shiny, indicating it's melted (don't overbake, or the chocolate will burn and turn hard and crumbly).

Then, press a fish cracker down into each melted chocolate, and place the entire pan into the fridge for a few minutes to cool.

While your waiting, read the passage from John 21:1-14 about Jesus appearing to the disciples, while they were fishing, after the resurrection. Or, enjoy Peter's Easter Story from Arch Books (we're really loving this series, this year).

It's great to be a homeschooler.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Watch and Pray" - Garden of Gethsemane Craft

I found a cute, and very simple, garden craft from Creative Nanny, that proved easily adapted to a Garden of Gethsemane theme, for the younger girls (ages 5 and 7).

I pre-glued seven craft sticks together, for each girl, to resemble a picket fence, and then printed "Watch and pray...Matt. 26:41", across them (E did her own printing). They are some of the words Jesus spoke to Peter, John, and James when they couldn't seem to stay awake, while He was praying.

The girls decorated their fences with flower, and ladybug stickers, and three sets of wide awake, google eyes - one for each of the sleepy disciples.

When they were done, all that was left was to help them twist on a pipe cleaner hanger, as shown, and help them find a good place to hang them, as reminders to ourselves of Christ's admonition to His disciples, and ultimately to us as well.

Matthew 26:39-41

39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.

41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

It's great to be a homeschoolers.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Very First Lord's Supper - Book and Craft

The older girls (ages 11 and 12) and I were inspired by a craft over at Catholic Icing, to put together an egg carton Last Supper display for our mantel.

We followed the instructions provided on the site (click here, to view them), except instead of using the coloring sheet characters provided by Catholic Icing - which are based on Leonardi da Vinci's famous painting, I traced, scanned, resized, and printed our own people (it was a lot less work than it sounds)...

...for the girls to cut, color...

...and glue into place...

...based on Michael Steff's illustrations from the Arch Book the younger children are currently reading, covering the events from Matthew 26:17-75, Mark 14:12-72, and Luke 22:7-71.

It's great to be a homeschooler.