This year, we will be doing a yearlong study of World Geography using Galloping the Globe as a guide. The other children in our co-op are doing the same. As a group, we will be meeting every other Friday to bring our at-home, personal studies together in a celebration of each country complete, with native food, music, and an art project or activity to do together. At these meetings, each child will present a small project that he or she put together during the two weeks' study to share with the rest of the group. (This could be a study of a certain landmark, a diorama or poster, a short biography on an explorer, etc. The sky's the limit.) We are very excited about this year's co-op and last month, Mags and I started our personal studies of World Geography with an introduction and focus on the general concepts of geography.
This introduction took us about 6 days to complete.
Day 1 - Unit 1 - The World, Introduction to Geography
Day 1 was an introduction to the course. To get her excited, I decorated the table the night before with our globes and atlases. She loved waking up to it!
Currently, we have a large binder in the works for our studies of The Mystery of History (we start Volume III in the fall), so I adapted the cover of the same to include this year's Geography. (MOH instructs you early on to set up your binder geographically, separating continents into separate countries, so combining the two seemed like the perfect solution to me.) Basically, when Maggie is done with this, she will have a complete travel guide to the entire world!
Inside, I put a Table of Contents to the many tabs. (You can click on the image itself to see it larger.)
Throughout this course, we will be using this Evan-Moor The World: Reference Maps & Forms book, which has some great materials on every continent. We discussed the seven continents and read the "Introducing the World" and "Countries of the World" pages (5-7) out of this book. (We will check off each country on this sheet as we learn about it.)
From there, we completed the "Continents" labeling worksheet and the continents "Word Search" from the Galloping the Globe book (pages 18 and 20, respectively). The photos of her work are below. We put them in her binder, but not before adding thematic stickers! (She loves these small additions!)
Instead of making a passport to stamp for each of our country studies (an idea we have exhausted with other studies), I came up with the idea to make a paper suitcase, which we would stick a travel sticker on for every country we study. (Mags loves stickers, so this was exciting for her!) I have been collecting stickers for this for ages, so I have plenty for us to choose from. I also laminated the suitcase so it is not damaged from all the times we will be pulling it out this year.
Day 2 - A Short History of Geography, Early Maps, Ferdinand Magellan
On Day 2 of our introduction to Geography, we focused on a time before mankind knew a lot about the world, when maps were more art and guesswork and exploration was at its height. We started this day's work with a reading of "Before the Explorers" in this Around the World in a Hundred Years: From Henry the Navigator to Magellan by Jean Fritz. Magellan was not the first explorer to leave home to get answers, but he was the first to voyage around the whole earth, so he is the explorer we focused on this week. We continued our reading in this book with the excerpt on him (pages 94-113).
We then watched a short documentary on Magellan on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y94s85-Crew (below).
Next, we watched the Animaniac's "Ballad of Magellan" on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pM-igYjn6E4 (below). Mags thought this was hilarious and asked to see it again and again!
From there, we completed pages 14-15 ("Around the World") of Usborne's Sticker Dressing: Explorers sticker book, featuring Magellan and two of his crew.
I made these "Explorers" sheets for this course on my computer to fill out every time we meet a new explorer. I was excited we were going to complete our first one, on Magellan!
Here is Maggie's completed sheet. (It's hard to see her writing since she completed it in pencil, but if you click on the image itself, it will pop up, enlarged.) We found a picture of Magellan for the box by doing a simple image search. This went into her binder.
Day 3 - Maps of Today
On Day 3, we focused on "Maps of Today" (after Day 2's study of maps of old). We started the study by reading pages 4-7 of Usborne's Children's Picture Atlas, about our place on the earth from the smallest (our homes) to the largest (the universe).
After that, we read Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney (which communicates the same concept).
I found a great free printable to go with this book at https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Where-Am-I-Printable-Booklet-Foldable-for-Social-Studies-2060044. I downloaded the freebie and printed it onto colored paper. She filled out the same and we put it together, then put it in her geography binder.
Next, we read There's a Map on My Lap! All About Maps by Tish Rabe. (I just adore these books!)
One of the suggestions of the Galloping the Globe book is to learn geography terms. They suggest using Geography from A to Z by Jack Knowlton (which I'm sure is a wonderful book), but I wanted Maggie to be challenged since she is entering fifth grade in the fall. I decided that she should put together her own picture glossary of these terms as we crossed them. I made sheets for this (half sheets) and a cover (below).
On each sheet, the term is listed. She is required to look up that term using her Scholastic Children's Dictionary, write its definition on her sheet, list examples, and then draw or paste a picture of the same. (When we have finished all the terms after this year, we will bind the book and add it to her binder.)
This week's terms were globe, continent, and ocean. (Here are her completed sheets.)
The printed image on the bottom sheet ("ocean") came from another great resource I found online: "A Visual Guide to Landforms" at http://www.onlypassionatecuriosity.com/a-visual-guide-to-landforms/.
(We will use these pictures for some of our glossary illustrations.)
Then we reviewed the cardinal directions with this compass rose we made ages ago (which we also added to our binder).
It was time for a snack! I got the idea to make a globe cake from
http://www.bystephanielynn.com/2010/04/earth-day-tasty-treats-cake-cupcakes-krispie-treats.html, using simple cake mix and blue and green food coloring. Here, Mags is mixing our batter.
Ready to bake!
We were hoping our cake would turn out as beautifully as hers on the site (this is her photo) ...
... BUT ours turned out looking like this (below). Hmm ... either ours went a little too long or this blogger carefully shaved off the top of hers. No matter, Maggie was happy with it. (As she held these two halves, I sang to her, 🎶 "You've got the whole world, in your hands!"🎵)
The inside of ours was pretty, though!
I served slices on these international flags plates I bought ages ago (I think at Big Lots).
Day 4 - Latitude, Longitude, Equator, Prime Meridian
To start our study of latitude and longitude lines, we watched this great YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTrsvGytGG0 (below). (Maggie loved this! She laughed and learned well from it.) We decided that the word long can help us remember lines of LONGitude and that "the FLAT lines are the LAT lines."
After the video, it was time to apply what we learned. I found an excellent, free "Latitude and Longitude Mini Unit" at
http://www.raisingaselfreliantchild.com/2014/08/06/free-printable-mini-unit-latitude-and-longitude-kids/. (Below is an image from that site.) We printed the materials and got to work!
I loved the mapping activity with the instructional page. Very clever.
I also found some other amazing printables at http://suzieshomeeducationideas.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/learning-about-maps-latitude-and.html. She offers free, printable cards to learn about the lines of latitude and longitude, as well as the different zones and hemispheres. (Below is an image from her site.)
After we read the information cards, we used the challenge cards (without labels) and the separate labels to make matches. It felt more like a game than schoolwork.
This blogger had the great idea of using manipulatives from the Safari Ltd. Toobs to map different, famous landmarks using their actual coordinates on the globe. What luck that we had the "World Landmarks" Toob already! In it, there are these seven landmarks, places that we researched online to find their specific coordinates.
We used the "giant world poster map" from our Usborne Lift-the-flap Picture Atlas to place our world landmarks.
Referring to our coordinates sheet, Maggie used the map and her globe (which had clearer markings of degrees in latitude and longitude) to place her landmarks models.
The Great Sphinx of Giza is at 29.9 degrees North and and 31.1 degrees East.
She was quick to place Stonehenge and the Colosseum.
There is the Great Wall of China and the Buddha of Lantau in Asia!
And Mount Rushmore, sitting on our home country! (We had a lot of fun with this activity!)
Days 5 and 6
On Days 5 and 6 of our intro, we set out to do something Maggie had been wanting to do for some time -- paper mâché! We decided to make a paper mâché globe like the one we found at http://blondemomblog.com/2011/10/10/as-the-world-turns-and-the-wine-pours/. First, though, I needed to locate a punch balloon. I found one at Walmart in their party aisle. Sweet! We made the "glue" recipe per the site's instructions and got to work!
Daddy, who is always full of hot air (I tease), took care of getting the balloon ready!
The start of our homemade globe!
We enjoyed constructing the paper mâché part a lot!
It made for a fun, family project on a Sunday night!
After our first two layers, we hung it from the ceiling fan in our classroom to dry for twenty-four hours. (We would add two more layers the next night.)
Once completely dry and hard, we got to work painting it!
It was a lot of work!
But it was very rewarding!
We were very proud of it! Just look at our Africa! From there, we added the important lines of latitude and longitude, and labeled the continents.
Up next? We will dive into our first continent, Asia, followed by our first official country study, China! Check back with us! It's going to be a fun year!