united states geography

December 7, 2011

After her introduction to geography, she studied the geography of the United States.

To bring everything together before we set sail further out into the world we did a me-on-the-map activity by making nesting paper boxes (there are instructions on how to make the boxes from Family Fun) with satellite images of the boundaries we live within (starting with Earth down to our town) on each. She wrote the labels on each box. And we pasted a little picture of her in the smallest box.

Bug-on-the-map

thanksgiving lesson plan

November 23, 2011

It makes more sense to tell you about our Thanksgiving lesson plans now rather than after, like I usually do, just in case something piques your interest. Even if you are not looking for formal lessons, some of these can be fun to do on turkey day with the kiddos.

We are going to make and play these games—Wampanoag Toss and Catch and Pilgrim Fox and Geese (from plimoth.org). We are going to choose two traditional recipes from plimoth.org for our dinner tomorrow. If I can get it to load (we have dial up), we will explore this interactive also from Plimoth (it is my favorite source for all things Thanksgiving). We are going to read some historical fiction letters from Scholastic. (If you want more I would suggest exploring the Plimoth and/or Scholastic pages further.)  We are also going to read Squanto’s Journey: the Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac, and because art is her favorite, she will make these crafts that I found through Pinterest—

Also, because we are trying to be more mindful and it is really what the day is for, we will take the time to think about what we are thankful for. I think we will make the sunflower plant from Rebecca Calagna Blog becasue doing is much more fun than me talking.

Happy early Thanksgiving Day to you and yours!

cultural cookbook

August 19, 2011

Today for her history study she is learning about traditional food. While today we are just going to focus on the traditional recipes of our family, I would like to eventually extend the activity to follow our other social studies lessons–when we study geography and when we study further into history. I think making a cultural cookbook would be a great way to tie it all together and hold onto what she learned this year.  (Btw–the basis for my idea comes from the lesson plan, “Recipes for Tradition” for the exhibit, “Key Ingredients” by the Smithsonian.)

Want to share your recipes?

We’d like ones that have an association with your cultural heritage, where your family’s preparation differs from the way other families make it, because of the context in which the food is served, or because there’s a story or event associated with the dish : ) Besides the actual recipe, be sure to include what makes your recipe traditional, too.