Sunday, April 2, 2017

U.S. Geography: Great Plains and the Southwest

It's a little hard to believe but we only have seven weeks left of school!

One more week of U.S. Geography... then three weeks of Old Testament Stories (the final block of three)... then three weeks of Chemistry and Nutrition. 35 days to go.

As the weather warms I'm trying to incorporate more field trips. Not for variety but mainly so my middle schoolers can practice going out in the community and socializing appropriately with adults and other children who they've never met before. Like discovering the Lego Challenge at the library!

There's also the free basketball game today -- and the Puppet Making Workshop which was yesterday to get ready for the All-Species Earth Day Parade later this month -- and this is one of the problems with homeschooling. What is the perfect plan book? I have used two very happily (this one for early childhood and this one for the grades) but neither of them had space for homeschool activities on Saturday and Sunday. Which makes me think that maybe an appointment book would actually be better??? I do like that they make them with multiple columns for multiple people... Maybe something to try for next year to compare.

Early Childhood

Music & Movement, Art, Nature, Cooking,
Play, Handwork, Helping, and Stories

Grades 1 - 8

Circle Time, Hands, Heart, Head
Appointments, Homework, Read Aloud

next year?

We are getting busier than ever too because Zac is more and more on the move. He's learning how to jump his crib across the floor, which means we will shortly be getting his bedroom set up without a crib (twin sized mattress on the floor) and that means a whole new round of child proofing his room! And the house! I can't believe he will be two years old next month.

I wanted to share that I've stopped having us learn a new poem each week because I recently re-read the introduction to The Waldorf Book of Poetry and he talks about staying with a poem for a month (in our case, since I compress my main lesson blocks into three weeks, that would be one per MLB). That makes so much more sense to me!

The Waldorf Book of Poetry: Discover the Power of Imagination

I was looking for poetry to accompany this U.S. Geography block -- and I've made plenty of notes, which I'll share below -- and there is so much lovely Native American poetry in my collection of poetry anthologies! But the one I chose for us to memorize is "Buffalo Dusk" by Carl Sandburg.

Here are the notes I've collected of resources for the Great Plains and the Southwest.

    Story #5 - Houses of Hide and Earth (392 or 970)

    Plains Indians

    Story #6 - Midwest Region
    10 states (MN, IA, MO, KS, NE, SD, ND, MT, WY, ID)

      outline map of the Midwest on plate 20
      except Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois
      plus Montana, Wyoming (plate 22)

      States & Capitals List
      Minnesota - St. Paul - plates 9, 25
      Iowa - Des Moines - plates 9, 26
      Missouri - Jefferson City - plates 9, 26
      Kansas - Topeka - plates 7, 25
      Nebraska - Lincoln - plates 6, 24
      South Dakota - Pierre - plates 6, 25
      North Dakota - Bismarck - plates 6, 25
      Montana - Helena - plates 3, 24
      Wyoming - Cheyenne - plates 3, 24
      Idaho - Boise - plates 1, 23

      review yesterday's story: Houses of Hide and Earth
      add Story #5 summary and illustration to MLB

      trace and add biome map of region to next page of MLB; add biome map key

      review names of states and capitals and postal abbreviations - students take notes

      The Buffalo Nickel by Taylor Morrison

    Story #7 - Houses of Adobe (392 or 970)

    The Southwest

      add political map for Midwest Region to MLB opposite biome map

      hear Story #7

      sample chalkboard drawing for an adobe house

      "Prayer to the Mountain Spirit" - Navajo prayer on page 47
      and Navajo verse on page 33 of In Every Tiny Grain of Sand ed. by Reeve Lindbergh

      "Adobe Village" project from Learning about the World through Modeling by Arthur Auer, pp.69-71 (available free at the link above)

      I had my students each make individual adobe houses on 16 inch square ceramic tiles (these were about $1.20 each) but he suggests a group project on a 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 foot piece of half inch plywood. Drape with a damp towel to keep moist overnight. We started with 5 lbs of self-hardening clay per person.

      also, Auer's "Simple Pottery Project" after reading When Clay Sings by Byrd Baylor

    Story #8 - Southwest Region
    7 states (TX, OK, CO, NM, AZ, UT, NV)

      portion of the outline map of the West on plate 22

      States & Capitals List
      Texas - Austin - plates 8, 25
      Oklahoma - Oklahoma City - plates 7, 25
      Colorado - Denver - plates 5, 24
      New Mexico - Santa Fe - plates 5, 24
      Arizona - Phoenix - plates 4, 23
      Utah - Salt Lake City - plates 4, 24
      Nevada - Carson City - plates 2, 23

      review yesterday's story: Houses of Adobe
      add Story #7 summary and illustration to MLB

      trace and add biome map of region to next page of MLB; add biome map key

      review names of states and capitals and postal abbreviations - students take notes

My students REALLY enjoyed working on the adobe houses project last week by Arthur Auer (and his book is GREAT; I love that you can can download it for free now at the Online Waldorf Library, too)!

Here are some recent pictures:

visiting the baby chicks at Rural King

cleaning the window so we can put up the Window Nest Box

setting out scraps of yarn for nest-building material

my Wigwam chalkboard drawing

aligning our Prismacolor colored pencils with the biome map key

map of the region of the Mound Builders

16 inch square ceramic tile - about $1.20

laying down a foundation of clay and leaving a small border

Houses of Adobe from Bonnie Shemie's Native Dwellings series

continuing to add on lower level rooms -- remember that openings here must lead to other rooms as there were no exterior doors on the lowest level

warm soapy water nearby and plenty of towels for handwashing and drying

This post contains affiliate links to the materials I actually use for homeschooling. I hope you find them helpful. Thank you for your support!

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