Saturday, 7 June 2014

The World Cup as a geography project: Part 1 Resources and Links

Not being a fan of football, I've resigned myself to the fact that for the next few weeks I will be bombarded by football-themed *everything*.

But...a nifty home educator would never let an educational opportunity slip past them.

Here are some educational links which we are planning to use to turn the World Cup into an educational geography project. (Thanks to Sarah from alittlebitofstructure for some of the links)

World Cup chart (free download) 
(There are lots of these on the internet to pick and choose from, but this one seemed fine.)

If you want the poster larger than A4, save the PDF file from the link (click on the little floppy disc icon in the bottom right hand corner). Reopen the file in Adobe from wherever you have saved it. Click on print and under the heading page sizing and handling you should have the option to print it as a poster. Click on the 'poster' option. You can fiddle with the settings, but basically you'll end up with four sheets, each with a part of the poster on that can then be stuck together.

World Cup Group bookmarks from Activity Village
We wont be using them as bookmarks, but they make great headings for displays. We'll most likely use them alongside a world map (see below)

Megamaps - world maps to print out - poster size if you want
If you don't have a world map, this is a great place to print out outline maps. There are lots of options for different sized maps - from a single A4 sheet to maps spread over 64 x A4 pages!

World Cup for Kids (Activity Village)
Lots of football and country-themed activities and printables. We wont be using the football ones, but there are plenty of different things to choose from.

Country Passport (Activity Village) and My country passport study printables
For writing basic info about the countries studied

Alternatively, to save time, you can download Activity Village's World Cup flags bundle for the small price of £3.95 here which has all the 390+ free PDF files in one zipped file.

Brazil-themed activities for World Cup
Click on the link on the page above and it will download a PDF with lesson plans. Links within the lesson plan take you to various resources, including a powerpoint presentation about Brazil.

Brazil- issues about homelessness
More geared towards classroom activities, but might have a few useful ideas for discussion.

Brazil in the school
Brazil resources, PDFs and photos.

World Cup Project book (choose World Cup Project Book from the page of downloads)
Word document to fill in for each country.

A big year for Brazil
Not listing this particularly for the memorisation of maps, but rather for the mini videos that are here and because (if you scroll down) there are some good starting points for discussion about advertising, moral issues around the World Cup etc.

I'll be adding to these if I find any more geography-related links that will be useful. If you have any other ideas, please post them in the comments.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Kids discover - Free 'infographics' educational posters


Have found some lovely mini-posters to download and print on kidsdiscover here

Topics include the water cycle, cells, the rock cycle, the heart etc.

Well worth a look.

(You might have to register/sign up to download the posters, but it's free)

Friday, 30 May 2014

The Rainforest, with links

A while back I was trying to tie in dd's desire to do more science, with ds2's ongoing geography learning. I came up with rainforest (and soils - see previous post) as suitable topics that I could engage them both in. Dd has more of an interest in animals than anything else. Below is her rainforest layers poster: 



The rainforest layers printable (top left of the top picture) was the nicest and simplest one I could find. It can be seen here.

I printed out Rainforest food chain items which we laminated and velcro'd onto our felt board. I think I got more satisfaction from laminating than the kids did from the 5 minutes they spent arranging the food web, but that's kinda how it goes sometimes :)


[For info: This is the link to the food chain printable, which I found via this resource here. The latter has other Rainforest printables, worksheets etc. that might be of use if you happen to be doing Rainforesty things.]



In addition to all the rainforest stuff, ds2 did a mini-poster on The Nile and the Aswaan Dam, which was a spin off from the geography book he is using. He will be starting IGCSE geography in September, so I'm trying desperately to do the more projecty stuff now before we get to the hoop jumping.


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Bees n beans project and soil experiments

Back in April we sent off for the Bees n Beans free kit as part of a research project by Sussex University. 
The kids dutifully planted their beans. 




It was a slow start, but the broad bean plants grew a little like children do some slow and squat, and some skinny and tall. Finally, after a few days of hot weather last week, the plants have suddenly burst into flower. Not all are fully blooming yet, so we wont be able to do the hand pollination bit until later in the week. Bad timing considering half of us will be in Spain, so poor dh will be left with 'pollination' instructions along with a long list of dd's busy social schedule :)

A while back, when I had a chance to think of things other than IGCSE exams and robotics championships, we did some hands-on things.

One of them was to do with soil samples. It was inspired by an experiment from this old book that we picked up from the swap shop, along with other old textbooks.







The kids collected soil samples from different areas of a local nature reserve/woodland and followed the above instructions




Watching soil settle is a bit like...er...watching soil settle.




Three days later...


 and we compared our bottles of the different soils





This is what they should have looked like:




Our results were, um, not quite so well defined...




We planned to do pH testing of the same samples, but the pH paper is still in its packet on the windowsill and the soil samples are bagged up and going slimy in the greenhouse. Perhaps that will be next month's project?

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Packing: Three days until C14 Robotics Team go to FLL European Championships!


You can build anything out of LEGO, right? (Toothbrush...passport...)



And they have the hats to go in style



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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Ellen McHenry Brain hats and St George's Day dragon puppets

Tomorrow I'll be running a session at our local home ed group on The Brain, so today we ran through a prototype 'brain hat', just to make sure everything will go as planned.









You can print the free brain hat templates here at Ellen McHenry's Basement website 

Meanwhile, I was trying to get around to doing something - *anything* -  for St George's Day. 

We're not great at doing anything for special days or festivals. I always have good intentions, but the date comes and goes and even though I know lots of great resources for all these excuses to do a themed something, somehow we never get around to it. 

Finally, today we had a brief stint on St George. Of course, being an independent-minded child, dd did it *her* way. She flatly refused to colour in the wonderful picture from Activity Village here and barely skimmed a read through the Scholastic St George's Day resources here . But she did get excited about making a dragon sock puppet here 








These were once my favourite pair of stripey socks, many years ago, and I can't think of a better way to reuse them :)

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