Books We Are Using This Year
  • The Story of the World: Ancient Times (Vol. 1)
    The Story of the World: Ancient Times (Vol. 1)
    by Jeff West,S. Wise Bauer,Jeff (ILT) West, Susan Wise Bauer
  • Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2
    Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2
    by Bernard J Nebel PhD
  • Math-U-See Epsilon Student Kit (Complete Kit)
    Math-U-See Epsilon Student Kit (Complete Kit)
    by Steven P. Demme
  • First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 4 Instructor Guide (First Language Lessons) By Jessie Wise, Sara Buffington
    First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 4 Instructor Guide (First Language Lessons) By Jessie Wise, Sara Buffington
    by -Author-
  • Drawing With Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too
    Drawing With Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too
    by Mona Brookes
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Entries in Antarctica (11)


Journal entry—the story of the Third Krill

Calvin has a pair of Emperor penguins that he just loves. He named them Krill 1 and the Krill 2, which sets up the following story about the third Krill.


Exploring Antarctica (a resource list)

Antarctica, August 14–September 15
This unit was mostly a matter of reading and writing about Antarctica with plenty of play thrown in.

Click here for a list of blog entries on Antarctica (which will include images of all Calvin's work that was posted, although I did not post the majority of the printed sheets from Evan-Moor because of the copyright).

Topics of focus (in no particular order):
Map skills: latitude, longitude, hemispheres
Astronomy: orbit of the earth around the sun (seasons)
The climate of Antarctica
The landforms of Antarctica

Plant and animal life on and around Antarctica
Food webs
Exploration and research of Antarctica, past and present

Book list, non-fiction (alphabetical):
365 Simple Science Experiments, by E. Richard Churchill, et. al.
Antarctica, by Mel Friedman (Scholastic True Book)

Antarctica: A Guide to the Wildlife 3rd ed. (Bradt), by Tony Soper

Antarctica: Land of Endless Water, by Michael George

Arctic & Antarctic (an Eyewitness Book)

Evan-Moor Education Antarctica Unit Study (grades 3-6)
Grolier Student Library of Explorers and Exploration: Polar Explorers
Nature’s Children: Penguins, by Merebeth Switzer
Penguins and Antarctica (The Magic Tree House), by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce

Penguins of the World, by Wayne Lynch

Rand Mcnally Picture Atlas of the World
Summer Ice, Life along the Antarctic Peninsula, by Bruce McMillan

Book list, fiction (alphabetical):
Eve of the Emperor Penguin (Magic Tree House #40), by Mary Pope Osborne
Mr. Popper’s Penguins, by Richard and Florence Atwater (review)
Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, illustrated by Ed Young

Video list (alphabetical):
Challenging Antarctica (New Zealand Ltd)

Emperors of the Ice (National Geographic)

Life in the Freezer, David Attenborough (BBC)

a note—all of these videos covered predation and death in a very realistic way

Other (in no particular order)
play dough
Standard project supplies

Activity list (in no particular order):
Science experiment
s with ice (glaciers, melting ice, and icebergs)
Making dimensional maps out of play dough
Charting locations on the globe/map
Going to the zoo
Playing with felt
Playing Mammoth Hunt
Writing stories and poems
Activities from the Even-Moor Unit Study (including map labeling, research hunts, word searches, crosswords, and trivia, etc.)

Experimenting with ice

Designing his desired felt set

Making a book of explorers (from the Evan-Moor unit study)


Antarctica Unit Study, by Evan-Moor Education (review)

I purchased this "complete" curriculum from Currclick as an e-book for $12.99 back in August. The download was smooth and easy and viewing the book as a pdf was no problem.

Subjects covered by the unit are:
• An introduction to geography as a study
• The basic use of a globe and more complex map skills
• Icebergs and glaciers
• The landforms of Antarctica
• The plants and animals of Antarctica (penguins in particular, and the food web)
• Exploration and explorers of Antarctica
• The people (research stations) on Antarctica
• Politics of Antarctica
• Pollution
• A brief overview of the Arctic for comparison

Worksheets and other printouts in the study include:
• short report forms
• a number of charts
• some question and answer forms
• trivia cards
• a crossword
• a word find
• a glossary
• a bibliography (to be filled out)
• comparison charts
• maps for marking and for reading
• a timeline
• a booklet to be cut out and assembled

I have been hesitant to use curriculum because I don't want to become reliant on it, because I was afraid they would all be formulaic (I was disappointed by what I felt was mindless busywork and jabber in the Amanda Bennett unit studies), and because mostly I try to follow Calvin's interests when we go "exploring". Having done this once, though, I'm likely to do it again with the right publisher. The Evan-Moor study had a handful of busy-work projects, but even these had some purpose, and mostly it was a number of open-ended worksheets. More importantly, this was not a collection of short readings with comprehension questions to reinforce learning. Instead, the unit provided short readings as a jumping off point, and any questions that were posed required additional research outside of what the unit provided.

The study is meant to be used in a classroom, and there  is plenty of material directed at the teacher suggesting ways to present material, but I didn't even read these pages. I did not follow the order of presentation, and I skipped over some of the sections completely. The great thing about the study is that it was completely bendable to our specific needs.

As a warning, the physical page numbers are not the pdf page numbers—the title and cover page are existent here in the pdf but not numbered in the physical book—so when printing specific pages be sure to add two to the desired page number. I found this out the hard way.


Penguin, an acrostic poem 


Journal entry—a story about exploring Antarctica

One of the suggestions in the Evan-Moor unit study (that I'm using rather loosely) was to write a story about how you might visit Antarctica. Calvin liked that suggestion, and it became one of this week's journal entries.