Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Week 21 - Five Great Circles

Today for Wonderful Wednesday's we tackled the Five Great Circles and we celebrated Canadian style with Canadian Bacon and Pancakes with Syrup!  Coming up with a project for the Five Great Circles challenged me and it took a little while for me to wrap my mind around how to do this one.  I wanted to take a concept that is quite difficult to understand and has many different aspects to it, understandable to kids 6-9 yr. old children!  So I first began trying to identify larger concepts that would be somewhat easy to understand - sort of generalizing some of the information for our purposes.  I tried first to do that with animals but that became convoluted, then I tried doing it based on biomes and that became convoluted too.  I finally landed on climate to break the Great Circles down in a way that made sense and gave them at least one concept to hang their understanding on per circle.    This isn't perfect either, but it works for our purposes for this age range.  So it's broken down as follows:

Link for above project sheets

Arctic Circle:  Polar climate - very cold - has several countries within it's circle (represented by puff paint (2 parts shaving cream, 1 part white glue, mixed well)

Tropic of Cancer:  Temperate climate - majority of land mass is characterized by deserts and grassland/trees (represented by green moss from dollar store and sand paper)

Equator:  Tropical - characterized by hot and rainy seasons - rain forests (represented by sun and rain clouds they colored)

Tropic of Capricorn - Temperate climate - majority of this runs over ocean and little land mass (represented by ocean with dollar store 3D stickers of ocean animals)

Antarctic Circle - Polar climate - extreme cold - only Antarctica within it's borders - uninhabited by humans (represented by thicker puff paint with added texture - we used a can of "snow" from World Trade store to add to the puff paint to thicken and give added texture)

While this isn't perfect - it definitely gives them some points of reference to jump off from when they get older and can take on more details and deeper explanation.

The top colored map has a good breakdown of the climate breaks.  The information underneath explains the common uses of the great circles.  The colored print out with the sun in the center explains how the great circles are used to calculate the seasons.  We tied in our experiment from CC with the tennis ball and pencil and discussed the axis tilt and the Northern and Southern hemispheres - which we tied into the difference in coldness between the Arctic region verses the Antarctic region.  The black and white map is for them to go ahead at home and color the different climates between circles as they review the information again with Mom/Dad.  The small colored map gives the climate breakdowns and the information beneath it explains about latitude.  There were additional sheets that were given to the kids.  Three sheets were search and find of Desert Animals, Jungle Animals and Arctic Animals - tying in our previous weeks of vertebrates/invertebrates, ocean zones etc.  There was also a deeper explanation for "Tropics" that we went over and discussed together at the end.

Love the sensory activities for this age!  Who doesn't like to get messy when they're this age?

Review games - made "candy land" style games and had the kids split into to teams to play.  :)  They spin the spinner and whatever subject it lands on then they have to answer a memory question in that subject.  If they get it right, they move their dice to that colored space next in the path to progress to the finish line.  First team to get all the way to the end wins.

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