We are using some of the wonderful Montessori materials from Waseca Biomes, which specializes in Geography materials.
I am particularly thinking about their Biomes of the World Map (which is canvas and rolls up and stores in a bag) and the Biome Continent Cards. You can use these three part cards in so many ways, but one of the things I’ve always wanted to do but never done is to pull the cards for one biome across all continents and lay them out and compare them side by side. Their cards are great for research and feature animals (one invertebrate, one fish, one amphibian, one reptile, one bird, one mammal) and one plant from every biome on every continent PLUS how the indigenous peoples of that biome met their fundamental needs (food, shelter, clothing, transportation, etc.)
So in this camp we will do a combination of things. We will read books and we will do a MLB of our favorite kinds of shelters around the world. We will make models of different kinds of houses and gradually create a museum. We will also examine the Shelter cards one biome at a time and lay them out and display them on the correct continents on the Biomes of the World Map as one of our exhibits at the Expo / Museum Walk. What a wonderful visual!
The biomes list simply takes us through the set of 8 in order. (I would also like to make biome maps of the different continents using the Map Legend Stamp and the new Continent Stencils from Waseca Biomes!) The book list follows the biomes list by going further into a few key examples of housebuilding in each biome (as well as covering a variety of other houses each time), and also sparks the projects which go along with each biome.
I’d love other suggestions so if you think of something, let me know! All of my Linear Measurement & Housebuilding notes are organized on my website.
Monday - desert, grasslands
Tuesday - temperate forest, tropical forest
Wednesday - wetland, mountains
Thursday - polar regions, ocean
Friday - final project day, field trip, Expo / Museum Walk
Monday AM - Rain School by James Rumford
project - build with cob
Monday PM - Wonderful Houses Around the World by
project - model yurt with flat wet felting in bubble wrap
Tuesday PM - A Ride on Mother's Back: A Day of Baby Carrying Around the World by Emery and Durga Bernhard
Wednesday AM - How Do People Live? by Philip Steele
project - model stilt house
Thursday AM - Building an Igloo by Ulli Stelzer
project - build with sugar cubes
Thursday PM - House: Showing How People Have Lived Throughout History With Examples Drawn from the Lives of Legendary Men and Women by Albert Lorenz
project - model raft (Kon-Tiki)
Friday AM - field trip to Buckminster Fuller’s home
project - build geodesic dome with extra long straws
Friday PM - finish building projects as needed
Expo / Museum Walk
This variety of books gives us so many examples of illustration styles. It would be great if we could add illustrations to the MLB that were in the style of the book that inspired them! It would so fun to take a black & white photo of our attempts at a sugar cube igloo (which is hard because the blocks are the wrong shape... important for kids to learn) and we would have time to develop it and put it in the book before Friday afternoon when kids go home.
Note: There are lots of other field trip possibilities for a topic like this and originally I was thinking about a morning field trip each day (yurt, tiny house, straw bale house, etc.) but I think spending our time in model making and creating a museum will be more fun. I can always recommend several field trips to families as a great way to follow up on camp!
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