Posted in Books By Title, The Wild Robot

The Wild Robot

I’ll admit that I was a bit hesitant to try this book. It was described as Wall-E meets Hatchet in some of the online reviews. Seemed like a weird mix to me. But I wanted to try something a little different so I decided to give it a try. My eight year old son liked it the most. He describes it as “a good story but a little sad.” That about sums it up. And the ending totally screams stay tuned for a sequel.

Learning Activities

Build a Robot

We actually built this cute little bots a couple years ago. It was so much fun and super easy. This was one of the first learning activities I thought of when we read this book. There are many variations of diy robots. The price of robot building at home can range from relatively inexpensive to costing big bucks. We have tried the EV3 Lego Mindstorm at our library and it was fun. But I can’t justify dropping $350 for something my kids aren’t that into.

If you have a kid that is hardcore into robots and you are available to help them, then the EV3 might be what you’re looking for. If you just want a fun learning project that isn’t too techinal then check out some of the tutorials below.

http://www.redtedart.com/how-to-make-a-mini-robot/  (This is the one we used)

http://www.instructables.com/id/Big-3-Solderless-Bristle-bot/

http://www.instructables.com/id/ArtBot/  (We’ve done something similar to this too)

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Beavers

Beavers are amazing little mammals. And their just so darn cute! It’s so awesome how they build dams and lodges using only their own little bodies. I also love how family oriented they are.

I don’t know about you, but my kids absolutely love animals and they love getting dirty. With that in mind, I had envisioned this wonderful activity where we would gather little twigs and things and construct our own mini beaver lodges and ponds. We would use real mud and cute little animal figures and play in our cute little make believe set up. Sadly we have only talked about doing this “wonderful activity” and have never actually done it. But seriously, doesn’t it sound fun? And check out this Safari Toob animal set that would perfect for this imaginary play.

Learn more about beaver by checking out some websites and videos…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaver

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/beaver/

http://www.beaversww.org/beavers-and-wetlands/about-beavers/

Season 1 of Wild Kratts, episode 7 is called Build it Beavers. If you have Amazon Prime it is included with your Prime subscription. (If you don’t have Amazon Prime, I highly recommend it).

(If you want another read aloud to continue your beaver education, try Poppy & Rye by Avi. It’s part of the Tales of Dimwood Forest series and is a wonderful little book).

Camouflage

Roz learns a lot of things observing the animals on the island. One of the things she learned was the fine art of camouflaging. It is an ability that many of the Earth’s creatures are born with to protect them from being eaten. For other creatures (like humans) it is something that has been learned and developed mainly for the benefit of surviving in combat. It’s pretty interesting to learn about both natural and man-made camouflage.

Absolutley Amazing Natural Camouflage…

Here’s a good one for little ones…

This is a fun and easy art project that both my kids enjoyed doing. It is a great way to illustrate cuttlefish camouflage.

Cuttlefish art project idea

Man-Made Camouflage…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_military_clothing_camouflage_patterns

More camouflage activities…

Try playing hide and seek with and without camouflage. My kids LOVED doing this.

Create your own camouflage design by printing out a boy or girl picture and a background of your choosing. (Just like the cuttlefish activity above except with humans). Design an outfit for the person to help them blend in with the background. I got my boy/girl pictures from this website… http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/slideshow/508/people-and-places-coloring-pages/boy-and-girl

bens-camonats-camo

Fire Starting and Fire Safety

My kids love birthday candles or roasting marshmallows over a campfire. They love pretending to be in the wilderness and trying to start fires using sticks or rocks or even a magnifying glass. They think fires are pretty neat. I don’t think they are pyromaniacs or anything, just very curious and interested in fire. Being able to start a fire and keep it going  is a good skill to have. Knowing how to keep everyone and everything near the fire safe is essential. In The Wild Robot, Roz taught the animals how to keep a fire going and a bit about fire safety. It saved their lives and also put them in great danger when it was mismanaged. Fire safety is a super important thing for everyone to know. Reading this book provides a great lead in to learn all about fire.

http://www.firesafekids.org/safety.html – This website has some great information. There is even a printable to create a family escape plan in the event of a house fire.

http://www.sparky.org/ – This one is loaded with videos, games and other info that is extremely kid friendly.

I am far from an expert when it comes to starting or maintaining a campfire. But If I was going to go camping and build a fire, I think I’d do it like this.

Who knew there were so many different ways to start a fire?http://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/04/29/9-ways-to-start-a-fire-without-matches/

Life & Migration of Geese

http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/canadagoose.htm

So this is a chicken not a goose. Geese eggs take longer to hatch than chicken eggs but I assume the embryo development is probably pretty similar. This is a neat video.

Creative Writing

My kids and I discussed, but haven’t yet fully explored, the opportunities this book provides for creative writing possibilities. (We’ve not done this mainly because neither of my kids enjoy the physical act of writing). But after finishing this book we brainstormed different things we could/would want to write about. Here’s what we came up with…

  • A different ending
  • A continuation of the story
  • Choose your own adventure
  • From the perspective of one of the animal characters