Geography: Paper Mache’ Globe

Our students love art. So, as often as possible, I try to take a break from textbooks and worksheets and allow them to get their hands dirty. We made paper mache’ globes to reinforce our lessons on continents and oceans with a little bit of latitude and longitude sprinkled in. 

Supplies:

  • 10″ – 12″ balloon
  • Recycled newspaper
  • Liquid glue
  •  Water + flour paste (1 part paste to 2 parts water)
  • Paint brushes
  • Blue tempera paint
  • Continents cutouts  (from Lakeshore Learning)
  • Black yarn or ribbon.

 Step 1: Make a paste of flour and water. I use about 1 c. flour to 1/3 c. water. You can adjust to make your paste as thick or as thin as you want. Use a fork to smooth out the lumps.

Step 2: Blow up the balloon.

Step 3: Tear strips of newspaper and dip in flour paste.

Step 4: lay the newspaper strips on the balloon. I suggest three to four layers.

Step 5: Let it dry. I suggest 2-3 to dry thoroughly. Let it harden through and through. Otherwise, the damp spots could collasp when you begin to paint.

Paint the globe blue, since earth is the blue planet. Let dry 12 – 24 hours.

Color and cut each continent. If you are including the continent of Zealandia, here is a great pattern you can use.

Glue in place. Let dry.

Use the black yarn or ribbon to glue the Equator and the Prime Meridian.

Label the 5 Oceans (Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific and Southern), Equator, and Prime Meridian to mark the appropriate locations. 

A few days later, give your students this Continents and Oceans Quiz to test their knowledge.

 

It’s compost time!

Having a compost pile or bin is a great way to learn and work together as a team. At TAMS and ED Homeschool, all of us take our responsibility for taking care of the Earth very seriously.

Composting is a great way to reduce your waste and replenish the Earth and to be good stewards of the world we’ve been given.

As part of our classroom gardening project, we study the benefits of composting. Here’s a few key facts.

  • Composting creates a medium for plants that is filled with the nutrients they need to flourish.
  • Compost is made up of things you already have in your home like newspapers, coffee grounds, leaves, grass clippings, egg shells, and fruit & vegetable peels.
  • Composting helps the environment and reduces the trash we send to the landfills. That’s a good thing!

REMEMBER: Food and garden waste belongs in the compost pile, not in the garbage.

Cross Curriculum Ideas: Earth Day

Cleaning the beaches of Galveston
Cleaning the beaches of Galveston

In the State of Texas, home school parents and teachers are required to include citizenship in their curriculum. Citizenship includes; lessons about the three branches of government; individual responsibilities, such as voting; learning the Preamble to the Constitution, “We the people of the United States…”;  the Pledge of Allegiance; the Bill of Rights; and more. Another important element is teaching children to care for our beautiful Mother Earth. This year, the students and I grabbed trash bags and gloves and headed to the beach.

Students fulfilling their civic duty.
Students fulfilling their civic duty.

James and I used this opportunity to combine a super fun event with some serious learning. Weeks before our field trip, we created a recipe of cross curriculum that consisted of:

  • EARTH SCIENCE: the students studied renewable and non-renewable resources
  • GEOGRAPHY: the students studied land forms and water bodies and pinpointed the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Island.
  • LANGUAGE ARTS: Each student researched global warming and wrote a report on the importance of recycling.
  • SOCIAL studies and VISUAL ARTS: Students watched a film titled, The Art of Gaman, which details the Japanese internment camps of WWII, and the exquisite art that the Japanese interns and student artists created from scraps of wood, sand, and trash.
    Earth Day 2015
    Earth Day 2015
    20150422_132826
    James chillin’ and guarding our supplies

    After spending several hours picking up beer bottles, soda cans, dirty diapers, and other yuck, students enjoyed a picnic on the beach and “splash and play” time.

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    Play time: Earth Day 2015