Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Geography, geography and more geography!

  We ended up spending our entire school day on geography today.  The boys wanted to start working on their geography fair projects.  Ian has many books about Guyana but he needed help reading and comprehending what he was reading.  Honestly, I think he just looks at the sheer amount of words on each page and gives up!  While I really want for him to become a stronger and more confident reader I did tell him I would help him.   We read a chapter in one of his books and wrote up one full page of facts about Guyana.  We pulled out the board we used for his science fair project and pulled off all the pictures, papers and titled in the hopes that we can re-use this board for his geography presentation.  We printed out a map of Guyana and a blank flag for him to color in by himself.   We picked out a few recipes we'd like to try and make.  He also picked out a rubber stamp of an excavator to use at our geography fair (since Guyana has a lot of mining and equipment).   As part of our geography fair we all provide a snack, a craft project and a stamp or a picture to put into all the kids passports and I'm pretty impressed that by the end of day 1 Ian has most of that covered already!  We haven't even signed up for our geography fair yet since it isn't until the end of April, but I love that they are all anxious to get started! 

    While we were working on his work Alec and Evan were playing toys.  Alec is determined to do his report on Pokémon and the world of Pokémon and I have made my peace with this.  Mostly, I think, because he is reading all the books about Japan that we checked out of the library last week anyway because he is genuinely interested in Japan.  He wanted to try and practice a few of their letters/ characters today for school!  He also read a huge article on the world of Pokémon and started planning what he wants to tell people about the 6 different regions.  I have warned him repeatedly that I won't be able to help him much and that this report is about geography so his report can't be about all the different Pokémon animals but should be about where they live.  He's ready to take on this challenge and I'm anxious to see what he comes up with on his own.  We went to the store and bought him a new display board since he just couldn't bear to take apart one of his old ones.  We also bought a bunny cookie cutter to make Pikachu cookies for his snack. 

      It has taken Evan until today to decide on what he wants to study for our geography and history fair.  He had mentioned reporting on Australia, but he didn't seem to be totally sure.  I sat down with him in front of our map and started naming different countries and states.  I also told him it could be about a time in history so he could learn about Vikings, Knights and castles, or even samurai warriors.  After studying the map for a bit he told me he wanted to learn about Madagascar (a country I didn't even mention to him!).  He pointed it out to me and told me he knows he likes Madagascar because lemurs live there.  We went onto the computer and requested a few books about Madagascar from our library.   Today we worked together to make a flag of Madagascar and we printed a map of Madagascar off of the computer.   Rather than print a flag off of the computer to color we put one together using construction paper.  The white band should have been a bit wider but I do make some concessions for age. 

     The boys then settled down to eat lunch and ended up watching a LOT of geography movies.  They watched Families of Japan, Families of Australia, and Families of India.  We had to stop the movie about Japan a few times as Alec elaborated on what they were showing us and telling us about the books he read last night.  He was sent to bed early last night and ended up reading four books before bed; two of which were chapter books! 

      We ended our day with yet another trip to the library.  We had a few more books come in today and since a few of them were for Evan's report we wanted to pick them up right away.  Once home the boys spent the afternoon reading, playing outside and finishing up our jigsaw puzzle. 

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