Making Our World a Little Bigger
This is one of those posts that needs to start with an apology - I am sorry for the shaving cream, the paper mache, the slime, the naked eggs, and the oobleck. I'm not sorry enough to stop doing any of those things, but it was a particularly messy week (even without the mud and digging outside), and I know my weekly laundry felt it. So please know that all of our families have my gratitude for dealing with the extra mess that comes from being responsible for a Country Classroom child.
This week we looked at a wide variety of maps and looked for some common elements. We drew compass roses, talked about cardinal and intermediate directions, and created a map of an imaginary land. We made models of the blue carpet room and hid "gold" on our models and in the actual room to test the usefulness of our models.
We examined world maps, located the continents and oceans, and talked about some of the challenges of maps. We also learned a new song about the Seven Continents. It's pretty confusing to many of the children that you can move off the east side of the map and land on the west side. While we could turn our maps into cylinders (helping to take care of the east/west problem), they knew that the Earth is a sphere, and it wasn't looking right. The obvious answer to our challenges - a globe. So, we're making globes. Everyone has a paper mache punching balloon as a base, and we'll be adding to it over the next 7 days of school.
We have also been reading about some incredible places through The Atlas Obscura Explorer's Guide for the World's Most Adventurous Kid. We have traveled from a 355 foot waterfall in Zambia to a 9 story treehouse in Tennessee. Each time we learn about a new place we take a moment to locate it on our big classroom map of the world, and then we take a moment to "wow" at a few of the magical places that makes up our world.
While we have been taking this dive into world geography, we continue to have daily math lessons, writing times, reading groups, and recesses (of course) to keep us grounded in our routines.