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-
  • SPELLING WORKOUT LEVEL E PUPIL EDITION
    SPELLING WORKOUT LEVEL E PUPIL EDITION
    by MODERN CURRICULUM PRESS
  • 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 geography (2)

Monday
Mar212011

Africa‚Äďan exploration

February 25-March 21
After attending a stage performance of African folk tales and legends Calvin was curious about their origin, so we started on an exploraton of the continent that lasted for over three weeks (fit in around hiking, piano, pretending to be in the Land of Oz, etc., etc., etc,). This is a run down of what we did, what we talked about, and what materials we used.

Topics of focus:
Continents, countries, states, cities
South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Egypt
Mt. Kenya, Victoria Falls, The Nile
Animals and biomes of Africa
Vocabulary—biome, rainforest, desert, savanna, continent, waterfall, pyramid
Ancient Egypt

Book list:
Africa, by Mel Friedman
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain, by Verna Aardema
Dedan Saves the Day, by Teha Feldman
Deserts, by Angela Wilkes
Egyptian Pyramids, by Kate Riggs
Egyptology: Search for the Tomb of Osiris, by Emily Sands
Honey... Honey... Lion!, by Jan Brett
I am the Mummy Heb-Nefert, by Eve Bunting
Mumies & Pyramids (Usborne), by Sam Taplin

Pinduli, by Janell Cannon
Pyramids, by Fiona Macdonald
Tembo Takes Charge, by Thea Feldman
Wangari's Trees of Peace, Jeanette Winter

Video list:
Anansi tales
Planet Earth, Jungles and Grasslands
YouTube videos of Victoria Falls, hiking Mt. Kenya, African animals, and exploring the Pyramids

Activity list:
Attending a stage performance of traditional African folk tales (the impetus for our exploration)
Playing Mancala
Playing The Great Mammoth Hunt
Building Pyramids out of Legos (and playing with them)
Listening to traditional African music (thank you Pandora)
Making a traditional Kenyan meal: Mtuzi wa Samaki
Dressing up as elephants

Arts/Crafts list:
Coloring the flags of the countries we "visited"
Drawing the African biomes
Drawing African animals

Making cut paper images of Anansi stories

Painting a landscape of the Savanna
Making a Book of the Dead scroll


Sunday
Feb062011

The Story about Ping

The Story about Ping, by Marjorie flack, takes place in China and is a FIAR book, so we played around with it a bit over the past two weeks while we were gearing up for our Chinese New Year celebration. As a book I didn't find Ping all that exciting, but it wasn't unenjoyable, either. We spent most of our time focused on China or on art because that's what Calvin was most interested in.

Like most kids Calvin loves drawing and creating. The FIAR guidebook suggested using Ping as a springboard to discussing the representation of water in drawing, so we tried our hand at reflections and ripples.

I have a wall full of these pictures now and I love it.

My favorite of the whole bunch—Ping swimming up to the boat from behind.