Bonjour! We are home after a fun road trip up to Charlotte, NC. Its a little challenging to prepare for a 10 day trip in the beginning of a new school year. I decided in the weeks beforehand to have the children work ahead on a few subjects: Math, L.Arts etc. so that once our trip began we could focus solely on science, geography and read alouds. This worked really well for us! We started LM Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables and visited so many great nature centers and had many outdoor adventures and came home with lots of additions to our Nature Journals.
It was so great to get up close and personal with many of the biome topics we had already studied. Especially in the forests! We really took advantage of our time in a different climate. What great hands on experience for the boys.
Once home we devoted the majority of our time to the study of Canada. Here are a few of our favorite resources:
We completed our Geography Study from Beautiful Feet Books last year and really loved the book “Paddle to the Sea” by Holling C Holling. I highly recommend tis beautiful book, in fact, all of Holling’s books are not to be missed.
There is a Canadian film version of “Paddle to the Sea” available on youtube. Find it here.
While reading through Anne of Green Gables or Paddle to the Sea, I left out some fun hands on activities for the boys to work with. Global Art assignments are wonderful during read aloud time. I also let the boys play with our arctic sensory bin, which is a plastic bin full of “snow” (conditioner and baking soda) and an Arctic safari toob.
We really enjoyed looking at Pioneer life in Canada. Amazon Prime has a great reality series available called Pioneer Quest in which two modern day couples are asked to homestead on the prairie as pioneers. They struggle to maintain authenticity and overcome horrendous weather, mosquitos, illness, etc. My boys were fascinated by their attempts. (Warning: This is a reality series with interviews and the topic of sex comes up two or three times in a nongraphic way)
We also rented a few DVDs in French from our local library and found a few French settings on our favorite scholastic story DVDs. We got a kick out of hearing very familiar stories read in French.
The inuit soap carving assignment from Global Art was met with mixed reviews on the first attempt. Yesterday we gave it another shot. First we read much more information on Inuits and watched pieces of different films explaining Inuit soapstone carving traditions and practices. Find them here and here. Here is the main site for Arctic Inuit information.
The boys mapped out their own food webs this week and studied various food chains. They have been recording 5-6 animals per biome that they find interesting. I am using this exercise as a chance to teach them how to conduct research and how to sift through information to find things of interest and value. It is sloooooww work but will come in handy in near future.
We also played the game “Into the Forest” several times. This is a game about Food Web relationships and includes cards on decomposers and scavengers. There are a variety of ways to play this game and we tried several different ones. The boys also enjoyed simply looking at the cards and ordering them into a web.
A few other books we loved for this unit:
The Kid’s Book of Canada by Barbara Greenwood
A Pioneer Sampler by Barbara Greenwood
Owls in the Family by Farley Mowatt
White Fang by Jack London
Dawn Watch by Jean Pendziwol
If you’re not from the Prairie by Dave Bouchard
Hey Canada by Vivien Bowers (a few comments on evolution)
If you have time for a longer read I recommend:
“The Story of Canada” by Janet Lunn (its 320 pages)
“With Wolfe in Canada” by GA Henty
We are starting our Brazil study with the commencement of the 2016 Rio Olympics. How exciting! I am busy prepping our tutor bins, art projects and science projects for our brand new Classical Conversations community. Its a lot of work but we are so excited for the new term to start later this month. I’ll be posting about how we blend all these styles together.