Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Geography and Science: Learning about Florida, Outer Space and Plate Tectonics

Today we decided to focus the bulk of our schooling on geography and science.  My boys all love learning about geography and science that they willingly and eagerly participate!



We started our morning by finding Florida on the united states map and I had my kids tell me everything they knew about Florida. 

Here are some of the things they told me:

  • It's where Disney is and lots of other parks too
  • Florida has more kinds of fish around it than any other part of the world
  • Flamingos are now extinct in Florida
  • It's surrounded by ocean so it must have a lot of beaches.  
  • They noticed it was on the gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.  

We then watched an hour long documentary on Florida that took us to the Florida keys; where they showed us an underground hotel the kids thought looked really neat.  Remembering the hotel helped them also remember that there's coral reefs and that Key West is famous for scuba diving.

They learned that the Seminole Indians live in the Florida Everglades with animals like buffalo, alligators, snakes, raccoons, and birds of all different kinds.  They also remembered that the Seminole Indians would eat the alligators; the men would capture them and it was the woman's job to kill, clean and cook it so the woman did more work than the men did (my kids words--- not mine!).

We saw the space station at Cape Canaveral and it showed a plane ride that simulates anti- gravity.

We learned that St. Augustine is the oldest town in Florida; parts of it were over 500 years old.  They showed us an old military hospital and the tools they would have used back then to amputate legs and arms. 

The kids learned that Daytona has a huge motorcycle convention every year and that racing was born in Daytona when it was realized that the cars could drive fast on the sand.
           

It was pouring rain again here this morning and since I noticed the rooms upstairs were once again nice and dark we turned Ian's room into a planetarium with a projector he got for Christmas last year.  



We projected various planets onto the ceiling and then there are many different buttons to choose from.  We learned random facts about the planets, the climate, size and distance from the sun of each planet, as well as how many moons and different space missions that traveled to each planet.

They told me they learned that much of the space travel happened in the 1960's and 70's. 

  • They learned that some planets like Mercury and Venus have no moons. 
  • Some planets known as the gas giants have just gasses and no land mass.  
  • The dark spot on Neptune is a hurricane. 

Alec chose to read a page in his book Extraordinary Endangered Animals.


Since I was told we didn't do any "real" science today we put an experiment together.

I had Ian read aloud about plate tectonics in the science book and then we simulated an underwater earthquake causing a mini tsunami.  

We put two small blocks into a deep pan and added water to cover them.  We held them down and rammed them into one another causing the water to rise up in a big wave. 

video

I figured it tied in nicely with yesterday's weather lessons about hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones (of which Ian was able to tell my husband, last night at dinner, where on the globe each of those took place-- I was so proud!). 

We experimented with the height of the tsunami based on how fast or how far apart we started and discovered it's not so much how far the plates move but how fast that determines the size of the wave.

The faster the plates move the higher the wave.   They each took a turn playing with the blocks and running the experiment themselves.

After science Ian did another lesson in his math workbook while Alec finished reading all about the Lesser Panda and Evan looked through a few of his lizard books he brought home yesterday.   They watched a non- fiction movie about monster trucks and then occupied themselves for the rest of the afternoon.  

Such a fun and interesting morning learning all about Florida, outer space and plate tectonics. 

Linking Up With:

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsncuylahd.jpg

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