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Inner Earth and Plate Tectonics...

During Asia Part 2, we travel to the Ring of Fire and Mount Merapi in Indonesia. Before we can understand how volcanoes erupt, we need to understand how they are formed. To understand how they are created you need to look inside the earth...Thus, I made a model of what scientists believe the inner earth looks like ...the inner core is solid nickel/iron with other elements- represented by the glitter rubberball, and the outer core is liquid nickel/iron- represented by soap and glitter in a plastic bag (which you can squish!!!), then the mantle is partially solid rock and lastly is the crust (where we live with land and ocean) which is solid rock. I discuss plate tectonics and how volcanoes fo

Ocean Acidification and the Food Web...

We had such a blast tonight! Delta (my 6 year old daughter) didn't want to stop playing Whale Jenga. This is like regular Jenga but has cards in which human activities affect the phytoplankton, zooplankton, krill and fish reproduction which affects the survival of the whale at the top (i.e. " layer of smog reduces sun reaching ocean...remove 1 green block = phytoplankton which need sun to live). This gives a kinesthetic and visual representation for the kids to see how human activity affects the oceanic food chain. We do this during Australia day and the Great Barrier Reef along with Ocean Acidification and how we can make a difference.

La Tomatina..Red Nose Day

During Spain we touch on their silly festival of La Tomatina, in which 20,000 participants throw over ripe tomatoes at each other! I had been trying to figure out what to use for " tomatoes" for our Tomatina Dodge ball game and with Red Nose Day around the corner...the answer became obvious. So I went to Walgreen's tonight and got 30 red noses for camp and supported child poverty across the globe....LOVE life's perfect synchronicity! :)

Europe Part One...

During the first day of Europe, we will visit Italy for the Italian Renaissance and especially Leonardo Da Vinci. We look at a few of his inventions but with a focus on the catapult. We discuss simple levers and the kids design their own simple catapults (with popsicle sticks, rubberbands, pencils and spoons) for a mini mudball battle. The picture shows a model of Da Vinci's catapult at the bottom which I will use to explain a combination of the wheel and axle and the lever. In his design, the fulcrum of the lever is a wheel and axle, with the effort being applied to the axle and the lever extending from the wheel. Later that day we talk about wind power (Spain is the 5th largest producer i

Gratitude Circle every morning...

Every morning, before starting our adventures, we will sit in a circle and say what we are grateful for...it can be anything...even the fruit loops I ate that morning. The idea is the more we practice gratitude the more we focus on thankfulness and are aware of how wonderful our lives truly are. Then we talk about the continent we will explore that day and find it on this inflatable globe (as it's passed around the circle). The continents are outlined in different color sharpies to help us see where one ends and the other begins. We also do a "favorite part of the day" at the end of each day and draw or write our favorite part on paper then fold it and put it in a different globe with a slot

Hydropower @ 3 Gorges Dam (pros and cons)...

During Asia Part One, we will explore the Three Gorges Dam and the Pros and Cons of Hydropower (view chart for specifics) and test out our own hydropower model at the creek. This should help illustrate the engineering/mechanical basics of hydropwer. It is hard to see in the pic, but the LED lights up red when powered. I also will include how whole villages of people where forced to move in order to build the dam....just another con. It's better than burning fossil fuels...but is it the best we can do? I bet ya kids can think up even better ideas for energy.

Cherokee Hunting Ritual...

As we visit the United States of America, we will talk about the Cherokee Indians. They lived near north Georgia and north of where we are in Oconee County. We will learn about their hunting rituals (cleaning their body in the river, putting ashes of ceremonial food on body before hunting and praying to the wind, rivers and mountains for success. After killing an animal, Cherokee hunters would ask forgiveness for taking the animal's life). We will also practice bow and arrow shooting. Older kids can build their own while youngins will have pre-built ones. I built the bow and arrow in this video from a tree in our yard. Here is a video of Delta Jean explaining how to shoot the arrow and the

Aboriginal Art...

Today was rainy so Delta and I did a lot of activities....including some Aboriginal art for Australia Day. The Aboriginals would create pictures on cave walls or bark...ours will be on wood. We discuss and examine Aboriginal art and then do our own, Step 1) Pick an animal stencil Step 2) outline in sharpie onto wood Step3) sponge mud over stencil to outline animal silhouette Step 4) fill in with chalk and charcoal details. The Aboriginals used charcoal from fire pits, ochre and other soft stones that were like drawing with chalk. Interesting to note the pictures they drew seem to include some of the internal organs of the creature.Here is the one DJ and I made. ....

Ocean Acidification Demonstration...

During our visit to Australia we discuss the causes and results of Ocean Acidification. This will be demonstrated by visual images and a chemistry lesson related to the ph chart (the colors corresponding to acid, neutral or base) and observing the reaction as carbon dioxide from my breath changes the ph of water from green (neutral) to yellow (acidic). This is exactly what is occurring in our oceans. As more CO2 is absorbed by the ocean and plankton it becomes more acidic and effects the ocean food chain and coral reef survival. Below is pics of me testing out the demonstration. The green water is just water and ph solution and then I blow into the straw to add CO2 which turns the water yell

Finger Knitting in Australia...

Australia has more sheep than people! In honor of this odd fact we will be using wool yarn (after a brief explanation of the process of sheep wool into yarn) for finger knitting. Below is a pic of Delta Jean (my 6 yr old daughter's) first attempt.... And here is a link to give you an idea of the process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVA9QzDuCH0

The Greenhouse Effect...

On the first day of camp (Antarctica), we will discuss the natural greenhouse effect which helps make our planet livable. The model I've built will show Antarctica (the big ice chunk...dyed blue to see easier) and a nearby village of monopoly houses. Antarctica naturally melts during the summer and re-freezes during winter with the natural greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere (represented by the plastic tub with holes; which allow some of the sun's radiation/heat to return to space). However, as we add more greenhouse gases (which we will talk about each cause represented by a photo and which gases are emitted as a result) they act like a blanket (hence the safety pinning of pictures o

African Dancing on the clock...

I was a student at Joann Mann Dancers in Watkinsville, Georgia for 11 years. I love dance styles of all types. During Africa day we will be doing this....which not only teaches some traditional African dance moves but telling time too! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ewqq-3xJFdI

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