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. 


  • 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.


Who Was George Washington Carver?

George Washington Carver was a world-famous chemist who made important agricultural discoveries and inventions. His research on peanuts, sweet potatoes, and other products helped poor southern farmers vary their crops and improve their diets. A monument showing Carver as a boy was the first national memorial erected in honor of an African American.

George W Carver laboratory

Here is a free resource! based on the book Who Was George Washington Carver, by Jim Gigliotti. You can use this as a Study Guide designed to help students gain deeper knowledge or as a Quiz to test their knowledge after they read this book.

Vocabulary: Write the definition for each of the following words.

orphan: _____________________________________________________

immigrant: ______________________________________________________________________________

bushwhacker: ____________________________________________________________________________

Amendment: _____________________________________________________________________________

nursery: __________________________________________________________________________________

horticulture: _____________________________________________________________________________

chemist: _________________________________________________________________________________

botany: ___________________________________________________________________________________

nutrients: _________________________________________________________________________________

legacy: ____________________________________________________________________________________

Questions: Please answer the following questions in this format:

statue of Carver as a boy
The boy Carver statue is a nine-foot high bronze statue by Robert Amendola. It depicts George Washington Carver as a boy and is mounted on a large limestone rock. The boy Carver statue was dedicated at the George Washington Carver National Monument of July 17, 1960. 
The George Washington Carver National Monument near Diamond, Missouri, was approved by Congress in 1943. It was the first national memorial to an African American. The chief sponsor of the legislation to create the monument was Missouri native Harry S. Truman. He was a senator from Missouri at the time. A dedication ceremony of the monument was held on July 13, 1953. 
[SHS 007935; Massie-Missouri Resources Commission photo]
  • Write complete sentences in your own words. Do not copy straight from the book. 
  • Restate the question. For example, to answer Question #1, you might write, George got the nickname “the Plant Doctor” after he… . 
  • Begin each sentence with a capital letter.
  • End each sentence with punctuation. 


  1. How did George get the nickname, “the Plant Doctor?”
  2. Who are Moses and Susan?
  3. Who are Mary and Jim?
  4. Describe Missouri’s role in the Civil War.
  5. What is the importance of the 13th Amendment? 
  6. Re-read pages 14-15. Write a paragraph and summarize (briefly re-tell) what those two pages are talking about.
  7. What significant (important) event happened to George when he was 8 years old?
  8. Why did George refer to God as “Creator”?
  9. Describe Mariah Watkins.
  10. Why didn’t Mariah Watkins like it when George said, “I’m Carver’s George”?
  11. Why did George move to Neosho?
  12. Compare Neosho to Diamond Grove.
  13. What was the name of George’s school in Neosho?
  14. Re-read page 41. Write a paragraph that describes Jim Crow Laws. **Remember: a paragraph is not one long sentence strung together with the word “and.” Write 3-4 complete sentences. 
  15. Read pages 46-47. Describe the house that George built.
  16. What was the Homestead Act of 1862? Who signed it into law?
  17. Describe George’s experience at Simpson College. Why did he leave? 
  18. What was the “Atlanta Compromise”? Who wrote it? How did black people feel about it?
  19. Read page 61. Write a short paragraph about Booker T. Washington.
  20. Why did Booker T. Washington want George to attend Tuskegee?
  21. Describe the booklets that George wrote for slaves.
  22. What was the Jesup Wagon?
  23. What did George say after Booker T. Washington died?
  24. Why did George want farmers to rotate their crops?
  25. Describe George’s famous peanut booklet. Why did the Royal Society of Arts in London honor him for this booklet?
  26. What was George’s goal when he started the George Washington Carver Foundation at Tuskegee? 

Internet activity: use the Internet to learn more about whooping cough. Describe what it is. 

On your own: 

  1. Write a 2-page essay titled The Legacy of Dr. George Washington Carver. Describe his legacy in 3-5 paragraphs. Support your essay with plenty of details and description of his great work. 
  2. Create a “How to” brochure

George Washington Carver created a booklet called How to Grow the Peanut, and 105 Ways of Preparing it for Human Consumption.

Create a tri-fold “how to” brochure about something that you love. 

  1. The cover should be a photo of you involved with the topic. For example, if you are writing a “How to” about playing the piano, you will be in a photo playing the piano. If you are writing about how to bake a cake, your photo might include you in the kitchen baking a cake. 
  2. The inside pages should include the following: 1) an introduction and something interesting about the topic; 2) “How to” details about the topic; 3) other suggestions on how to use the product.
  3. The back page should include Acknowledgements that thank people, such as Mom and Dad, who helped you complete the brochure. This page should also and References, such as books or Internet sources that you used. Books and Internet sources should be in MLA format. 

Thank you for visiting our blog, TAMS and ED Home schoolers. Feel free to copy and paste this lesson and use it as a supplement to your Reading, Writing, or Social Studies lessons.

For more lessons that emphasize African Americans and their great contributions to education, follow my blog. Also, like us on Facebook, TAMS and ED Homeschool. Visit our website at 

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.

Right NOW! Earth Science: FLOODS IN THE SOUTH

Parents and teachers: Here are a few rainy-day science lessons that your students can do, especially if they are stuck indoors during these record floods in the southern states.


Texas has been hit hard with near-record rainfall and record flooding. In addition, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Louisiana have been soaked by as much as 20 inches (500 millimeters) of rainfall during April and May. Sadly, people have died, others are missing, and homes have been destroyed. Schools across the state, including our TAMS and ED Home-school, were closed for a few days. I used our unexpected day off as an opportunity to develop what I refer to as a “Right NOW!”  lesson. In other words, when my students returned to class the next day, I guided them through discussions about their personal experiences during the storm and reinforced relevant scientific events as they occur right NOW! 

A great science site to follow is NASA Earth Observatory. I copied two weather articles from this site and gave them to each of my students to read and study. Both articles, written by NASA scientists who conduct satellite imaging, contained a rich body of relevant science lessons that our students used to better understand what was happening around them right NOW! These articles, titled, Drenching the South and Plains and Flooding on the Arkansas Riverbecame the basis for several great cross-curricular lessons in the days to follow the deadly floods of 2015.


  • climatologist:  a person who studies and tracks weather conditions averaged over a period of time.
  • crest:  noun: the top of something, especially a mountain or hill. verb: reach the top of (something such as a hill or wave).
  • drought: a prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall; a shortage of water resulting from this.
  • El Niño and La Niña: complex weather patterns resulting from variations in ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific.
  • evacuation: the action of evacuating a person or a place; many people must evacuate certain areas where fire or weather threaten their safety.
  • hydrologic cycle: the sequence of conditions through which water passes from vapor in the atmosphere through precipitation upon land or water surfaces and ultimately back into the atmosphere as a result of evaporation and transpiration
  • jet stream: a narrow, variable band of very strong, predominantly westerly air currents encircling the globe several miles above the earth. There are typically two or three jet streams in each of the northern and southern hemispheres.
  • meteorologist: an expert in or student of meteorology; a weather forecaster.
  • plains: a large area of flat land with few trees.
  • precipitation
            1.   the action or process of precipitating a substance from a solution.
             2.   rain, snow, sleet, or hail that falls to the ground.
  • swath:
    1.  a row or line of grass, grain, or other crop as it lies when mown or reaped.

      2.  a broad strip or area of something.

      Arkansas River is a tributary of the Mississippi.
  • tributary: a river or stream flowing into a larger river or lake. The Arkansas River, is a tributary of the Mississippi.
  • turbulence: violent or unsteady movement of air or water, or of some other fluid
  • water cycle: cycle of processes by which water circulates between the earth’s oceans, atmosphere, and land, involving precipitation as rain and snow, drainage in streams and rivers, and return to the atmosphere by evaporation and transpiration.
  • watershed: an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas.


MATH: Create a bar graph with the following satellite-based measurements of rainfall over the continental United States from April 20 to May 19, 2015, as compiled by NASA.

  • Fort Smith, Arkansas:13.85 inches (351.79 mm)
  • Oklahoma City, with 13.90 inches (353.06 mm)Wichita Falls
  • Texas, recorded 12.49 inches (317.25 mm)

FACTS: The Arkansas River is the second-longest tributary of the Mississippi River, flowing from Colorado down through Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas (see image).  On May 26, the river reached 33.39 feet (10.18 meters) at the Van Buren gauge near Fort Smith. Flood stage at that area is 22 feet; above 31 feet is considered a major flood. Waters appeared to crest in the evening on May 26 and began to subside, but more rain was predicted for the watershed in the final days of May.

COMPARE THE FOLLOWING FLOOD TERMS: (Source: National Weather Service)

  • Flash Flood Warning: A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.
  • Flood Warning: A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.
  • Flood Watch: A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.
  • Flood Advisory: A Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

TECHNOLOGY: Build a model GPM 

The data come from the Integrated Multi-Satellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG), a product of the new Global Precipitation Measurement mission. IMERG pulls together precipitation estimates from passive microwave and infrared sensors on several satellites, as well as monthly surface precipitation gauge data, to provide precipitation estimates between 60 degrees North and South latitude. The GPM satellite is the core of the rainfall observatory that includes measurements from NASA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and five other national and international partners.

Stay in touch!  TAMS and ED stands for Technology, Language Arts, Math, Science, and Education. We provide a tough yet achievable home school for students who need personal attention in a safe home environment. We utilize a number of cross-curricular teaching tools including standard textbooks, computers and technology, academic excursions, and hands-n learning. Our qualified board of directors consist of certified educators, parents, and administrators who are passionate about challenging every child to reach for the academic stars.  Visit our website.

We promote diversity and tolerance in a safe learning environment. For TAMS and ED students, the world is their classroom. Come and join us!

Felicia Moon-Thomas, Director