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Leaving Antarctica

It was about a month ago that Calvin finished reading Mr. Popper's Penguins and set out to find more information on the coldest continent. We did our usual and headed to library first, where we loaded our arms with books on Penguins, ice, ice bergs, glaciers, and Antarctica itself. But then I did something I'd never done before and bought an actual unit study curriculum. It wasn't that I thought we couldn't explore the continent on our own, but it's nice to have a map sometimes. We didn't use it as a means of information gathering, but as a source of questions and suggestions so that we had some direction in our book reading and research. That's a unit study use I can get behind, and actually I really enjoyed having at least the table of contents as a sort of road map to generally follow, or to come back to after some side trail meanderings.

The down side to studying Antarctica is that a majority of the animals are almost entirely black and white. Illustrating that continent did not provide the same thrill as illustrating Africa.

What brought the exploration to an end this week was really a waning interest. I am sure there are more ice experiments to be found, and there is always more that can be learned on any subject, but we've touched on all the subjects in the unit study anyhow, and Calvin's head is turned more these days by prehistoric beasts than it is by ice-locked mountains. So I made the final printouts this morning and we dallied over a word search and a crossword, and we played a trivia game a few times. Tomorrow we'll assemble all the various parts of a month's worth of exploration and reminisce before putting them away in a folder, which will likely be decorated with a (mostly black and white) illustration of a penguin.

I am posting a review of the unit study we used, and a comprehensive list of our resources and activities for exploring Antarctica on Live and Learn.

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