Thursday, March 14, 2013

Preparing for a geography fair

           The boys were fighting a lot this morning; mostly over the Lego table so I had them all get ready for the day and decided to head to Target to get some errands done.  While there I spotted the tri- folding displays many of the children used at our local homeschool science fair and asked the boys if anyone would like one for the geography fair.  They all got really excited about having a display board and I was so glad because up until then I thought only Ian was going to be participating in the geography fair.  He decided he's going to do his report on Alaska and in particular focus on the Yukon and Klondike territories.  He knows he wants to come up with a way for the kids to be able to pan for "gold", feed them reindeer shaped cookies, and (by the time we got home today) has decided to bring Lincoln logs so they can make houses.  He even seems to know what he wants to write (or type) up about Alaska to put on his display board! 
        Evan has told me he wants to do his board on Florida, using photographs from our trip.  I thought that sounded like a great idea.  Alec was still undecided.  He really is passionate about animals and wants to learn about rain forest animals so he finally decided to do his report on Brazil and focus on the rain forest. 
        We stopped at the library on the way home from Target and they all picked out books on their regions.  We read a bit in Alec's books to discover that the Brazilian rain forest is also the Amazon rain forest.  Truly I wasn't sure if they were the same thing or not myself but once he read that he was really excited to start his project.  He also read that the Amazon rain forest was where the first cocoa bean was discovered and that is where chocolate comes from so he has decided to serve a chocolate snack to go with his report.  We were talking on the ride home and he told me he'd like to find a booklet that kids can color and put together on the animals of the rain forest so we'll be searching on-line later to see what we can find.
         I was amazed at all the learning we managed to do by lunch time when none of it was planned.  They are really motivated to work on these projects and even requested more books and movies from the library's on- line catalog once we got home.  After lunch we printed out blank templates of each region's flag and colored them in while learning about the symbolism on each flag.  You can find the Alaska flag here, the Florida flag here, and the Brazil flag here.  While they were working I looked up candy molds on Amazon and found this great parrot mold that will be perfect for Alec's project.  His main reason for choosing Brazil was the movie Rio.  It's his absolute favorite movie and he just loves exotic birds. 
    Evan and I had checked out a United States cookbook from the library and while looking through it I saw that Key lime pie was listed as the snack for Florida.  I mentioned to Evan that we could make something with oranges, lemons or limes for his project and he decided he wants to make and bring lemonade.  I thought that sounded really great and loved that he was able to come up with idea himself.  That's the only thing we worked on today.  I figure if we do a bit each day they won't get burnt out and sick of it all that soon and we have a month so why not space it out over time.  I want them to be as excited about their projects on the day of the fair as they are now, not fed up with them and glad they are done. 
       After coloring Evan and Ian decided to go outside and play with the stomp rockets some more.  I'm telling you they just love them! 

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