Friday, April 25, 2014

Geography Fair Time

  Yeah, the geography fair is finally here!  We had a few final things to finish up before the fair yesterday, so Evan and I made some crock- pot tapioca pudding nice and early in the morning.  We followed this very simple recipe and hoped for the best.  I have never made tapioca pudding so it was sort of like the blind leading the blind.  Evan helped me measure, count, and pour everything into the pot.  We did a little bit of math practice (after we added the first two cups of milk I asked him how many more we needed).  He made a bit of a mess with the tapioca as the little beads flew everywhere but he helped me clean up the kitchen when we were done and I told him that it's not a bit deal; if we make a mess we just clean it up.  I've been talking to all three boys a lot lately about being aware of what they're doing and cleaning up after themselves.  I'm definitely seeing progress but I know it's one of those thing that I need to keep working on as they grow. 

   The boys helped me load up the car and we did our best to make sure we had everything we needed.  I wasn't planning on doing anything for school since I knew the boys would be spending two hours learning all about various countries, states and times in history.  While sitting at my computer catching up on e-mails, Facebook, Pinterest and the like I stumbled upon an adorable video of a mama cat who started taking care of some baby ducklings.  I knew the boys would love this story so I called them over to watch.  The only link I could find was through Facebook.  There were many snippets of the same video found throughout Youtube and the web when I searched "mama cat and baby ducklings" but this was the only one I could find that had the WHOLE story.  It's amazing. 
     Our geography fair was amazing too!  We had fewer participants this year (which was a good thing since we had a smaller room this year too) but it was just as wonderful.  One family studied the origins of the Superheroes and mapped them out on a large world map.  They had found Avengers crackers for their snack and had a chart that we could fill out the country and continent of the Superheroes.  It's always neat to see ways families and children can tie in fiction with fact.  What a great way to get superhero crazed boys to learn a little geography!

A perfect snack!


         Another family studied the Greek gods.  They drew up a family tree of the gods, had made a Paper Mache helmet, trident and Trojan horse.  They had a binder full of drawings they made of the various characters and gods found in the Percy Jackson series.  They printed out crosswords and word searches about the Percy Jackson series for their hands on project and served some yummy humus and pita bread for their snack.  Alec spent the majority of his time at the fair studying their board, trying to come up with the corresponding Roman names, and asking lots of questions. 

      Alec's Japan table was a big hit.  Lots of kids made the paper lanterns and we completely ran out of "sushi!" 

     Ian only took up a half table since his truck bin quarry went on the floor.  His fudge was a big hit though!  Most everyone who tried it thought it was super yummy. 

     Evan tried out his Tapioca pudding as soon as we got his table all set up.  Tapicoa pudding was NOT a big hit and we ended up throwing just about all of it away.  I was glad to see all three of my boys tried it though.  The dancing lemur video we set up on my laptop was a big hit with all the kids and many people made some paper lemurs to take home.  Evan remembered many facts about Madagascar and was eager to share them with everyone!
Trying new foods

Evan's display is all set up and ready to go


We saw a wonderful display board all about the Galapagos Islands.  The pictures were beautiful!

     The report on Antarctica was a big hit since they had popsicles for all the kids.  What a creative snack that was! 

    Another little girl reported on Japan too.  She dressed up in a Japanese dress and had real sushi, wasabi, teriyaki sauce and chopsticks. They had lots of examples of plates and cups from Japan, Japanese writing and signs; it was great! 

    One of our homeschooling families just went to Cape Verde, Africa and so three of the children reported on Cape Verde.    One of the girls focused on the aspects of the trip that meant the most to her--- her family and friends. She made pudding de bolacha de Maria  (took this right from her mom's Facebook post since I don't think I would have a clue how to spell it!) and brought a craft where kids made paper loggerhead turtles since Loggerhead sea turtles lay their eggs there every year. 

   One of the boys project focused on the geography and government of Cape Verde and the history of Brava. He made pastel de atun (a pastry filled with a mixture of tuna, tomato, onion, garlic).  He had a fun craft for the kids-- the got to make paper finger puppets of soccer players and got a bouncy ball to use as soccer ball.  All the kids were warned to keep the balls on the floor or the tables-- no bouncing inside. 

     The oldest boys did a power point photograph report on Mt. Fogo and made a replica of the volcano which he "erupted" for all the kids a few times.  He also made gufunghiu.  It was super yummy and all three of my boys tried it!


         The boys had fun walking around, looking at all the reports, trying the different foods and testing out a few of the hands- on papers/ projects.  Alec collected one from every table to do at home after the fair.  We sat down together and he filled out most of the Percy Jackson crossword puzzle.  Not having read the series there were some questions we just couldn't answer but he wants to hold onto it and finish the paper when we do get around to reading/ listening to the series.  He kept telling me that he spent most of his time at that table.  I wasn't surprised in the least.  He is very interested in mythology and has been for quite some time. 
    The boys spent the afternoon playing with the Kindle using the chess app and 2048.  They also took turns playing Harry Potter on the Wii.  Alec has learned a lot of new words and names and I'm hopeful that he'll want to read the Harry Potter series now!  The younger boys are definitely loving it; we went to my mother in laws for the night to help her pack up her house and the boys were chasing each other around outside and in.  They were pretending that they were Scabbers and Crookshanks.  They pretended they were Harry Potter, Hermione and just about all the other characters they could remember.  I think I'll have to pull out the book for tomorrow!

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