1. We sang the "7 Continents" song and located them on a map. I bought the maps at Target for $1 during back to school time. I've known the song forever. I'm not sure if I made it up or not. ;) Here's another version.
2. The boys wrote (4yo dictated) what they know and wonder about penguins. I generally have kids make their own KW (know and wonder) booklets, but I found a KWL penguin book that they enjoyed cutting/folding.
3. We read a poem introducing Antarctica. [from Math Learning Center's Bridges curriculum] Here's another Antarctica poem.
4. We make passports (photo above, from Bridges) that included our height and weight, which we measured. This is in preparation for measuring penguins, so I designated an area of the wall for this purpose.
5. I made little "suitcases"* out of cardstock and each child "packed." (*Just fold a piece of cardstock in half and cut the top into handle shapes.) My 8yo made a list of what he'd take to Antarctica, my 4yo "wrote" (I helped) and drew pictures.
6. We broke out the cold-weather clothing box--no snow here so far this year--and the kids donned winter wear for the journey. We enacted getting aboard an airplane and flying to Antarctica.
7. When we arrived, we watched several YouTube videos showing Antarctica. My 4yo quickly bored of this and wanted to reboard the jet.
8. Each boy colored a penguin to serve as a cover page for a travel journal. I don't like to use coloring pages (I'd actually printed one for ds8 to look at while drawing his own picture), but both boys were eager to use the coloring page. I let them. We stapled lined paper behind the cover to make the journal pages.
9. We read from Greetings from Antarctica as a model for what a visitor to Antarctica might see and experience. The book includes letters from the author to a child back home.
10. After reading about the remote tent camps in Antarctica, my guys layered on winter clothing again and set up camp in a play tent in our living room. They fashioned walkie talkies from clothespins, because they would attach to their clothing. They discussed going to see the penguins.
11. The mail arrived at a perfect time with a special package. I debated long and hard before ordering these, but I loved what Joyful Learner's daughter was doing with hers (I love ALL her ideas!...what an awesome teacher!)...so I ordered a Penguin Toob for my boys. They set them up on playdough "ice", made eggs, and took their penguins swimming in the "ocean" (hardwood floor.) I wanted this specific set because we'll be studying several of the species included in the pack. With all the fun they've had today, I'm considering another set for an upcoming birthday to expand the "family."
12. My 8yo ds journaled (see #8) about the first day of his "trip." I wrote about that here.
13. Update: The boys are playing and playing and playing with their penguins. Fantastic start to an exciting unit! I'll write a new post showing the habitat their sister made for them. Amazing. ;)
Find more penguin resources here:
KidZone Penguin Activities
MathWire Penguin Activities
My Penguin Blog Entries (with more links)
Isn't homeschooling great?!!! :)
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