I wanted to touch on Antarctica again partly for ED since we've been going over the seven continents for her and partly because we're going to be learning a bit about the arctic next in her preschool trek through the various biomes this year. (We covered the ocean, desert, and deciduous forest earlier this year.) I really wanted to drive home the fact that there are no penguins in the Arctic and no polar bears in Antarctica.
Most of the time the kids are working on something else while I read aloud. One afternoon I brought out the pictures that Grandma and Grandpa took on their trip to Antarctica a few years ago. The slideshow played while I read a few chapters from the book. Here are a few of Grandpa's pictures:
|Magellanic Penguins (spelled incorrectly up above, but I'm too tired right now to re-edit the photo)|
|Sea lion and King Cormorant|
Last year we talked a lot about penguins. We revisited a lot of those same activities this past week -- here's last year's blog post.
The kids all loved playing the March of the Penguins game called Save the Egg at the National Geographic site. I can't say it's that 'educational' but they were thrilled when they managed to keep the egg from being knocked off their penguin's feet.
Encounters at the End of the World on Netflix.
The kids roared in laughter as the new arrivals at McMurdo stumbled around with buckets on their heads -- an exercise in dealing with the white out conditions that happen frequently in Antarctica. The team had to try to find a lost member while stumbling along nearly blind and hardly able to hear. The buckets had hilarious faces drawn on them which tickled the kids' funny bone! My brother-in-law's sister worked down there a number of years ago. I'll have to ask Uncle T if his sister had to do that same exercise!
The kids were also intrigued by the ocean research and were amazed that in that one dive three new species were discovered. There were some pretty cool looking ocean creatures featured. We sure liked the film (or the parts we saw) here.
> I did have to go through Snow School though. (C later explained to me -- "Snow school is a two-three day training school for using the survival equipment. We dug either holes in the snow or igloos in which to sleep. We learned how to use the stoves and military radio as well as set up the 4 season tents. The instructors slept in the tents, and we slept in the igloos/snow holes.")
P.S. We truly are in the final stages of moving to Parents! I've even seen the Homeschool Den over at the staging site. It won't be long until we go live, but as I've said we'll redirect you there from here once the process is complete.
You might be interested in our Whale Unit. We did a ton of fun hands-on activities:
Whale Unit (and Arctic) -- Icebergs, Blubber Experiment, Buoyancy and More!
Whale Unit: Migration, Echolocation and Baleen vs. Toothed Whales
Update: We have a new Winter Packet. It covers the Earth's axis and the seasons, the Arctic vs. Antarctica, polar animals, penguins and more. It is 75+ pages!