Friday, October 29, 2010

Learning Happens---Busy Beavers

If you haven't checked out Beavers: The Biggest Dam Movie You Ever Saw, an IMAX Film availale for instant download on Netflix this month, then you are missing out on some good, clean, BUSY fun.

The kids have been a bit under the weather this week, so we have been looking for actvities other than the usual "playing outside until we are too tired to stand up" to do with them. Watching some of the many educational movies in our Instant Play queue seemed to fit the bill nicely.

Trust me on this one, even if you are not normally into documentaries, you will not be bored with this movie. Those beavers are industrious. If you ever wanted to teach a character lesson on industry and hard-work, this is a good film with which to kick off your unit study. It is full of breathtaking scenery, fascinating facts, and some priceless hilarity and tender moments. Did you know that one pair of beavers can cut down over 400 trees in a season? Or that their hard work can turn a once rocky and fairly barren foothill into a thriving aquatic community, and eventually into to a lush valley, once the dam breaks down? It is absoulutely impressive how much influence two small furry mammals can have on their environment. Now there's a lesson for the kids on the importance of each person's individual impact on the world.

I asked my little ones what their favorite part of the film was, and each had a different answer. Cowboy (always one for a laugh) loved when the beavers cut down a tree that a bear cub had run up. Yes, the bear cub was fine. Ladybug (the one with a tender heart) liked when the beavers had babies best, and Firefly (my own busy beaver) liked all the parts when the beavers were cutting down lots of trees and dragging whole huge Aspens over to their dams. There is a bit of suspense when a hungry bear tries to break into their dam that will have little ones on the edge of their seats, but nothing is too graphic or sad for even the wee-est of family members.

In fact, my kids apparently enjoyed the movie so much, that this is what I found them making outside today, when they finally all felt well enough to go out and play for an hour or so:

It's not just a mud's a beaver dam.

And guess who the busy little beavers are!?

Aren't you proud of us? Yessiree!
Good work, guys and gals...uh, beavers!

I think I need to capitalize on their budding interest in beavers next week by reading them a few books about beavers, and maybe doing a project together (any ideas? Please leave a comment!). And while we are at it, maybe I can channel all that industrious beaver-energy into getting them to clean up their room....maybe.

Blessings to you and your busy beavers,


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