Friday, April 1, 2011

Our Week: Columbus, Pluto, and Traveling

We've spent a lot of time on the road this week. My husband had a meeting in Kentucky so we tagged along. We drove most of the day on Wednesday. Then we met my cousin and her family for dinner. Thursday, Chad had his meetings and the kids and I stayed at the hotel, where I made them do school.

Thursday evening we met some good friends for dinner. The girls had such a good time giggling with their friends they hadn't seen in a long time.
Today (Friday) will be spent driving home.


We finally made it to Pluto. The kids have been waiting for this because they really wanted to discuss why it isn't a planet anymore. We looked at the arguments for and against Pluto being a planet. The arguments against weren't able to change any of their minds though. In addition to that, we read about Pluto's rotation and revolution, size, moons, how it sometimes moves closer to the sun than Neptune, and the New Horizons spacecraft that is on its way toward Pluto.
We also read some books about the Hubble Space Telescope.
Since it's so cold on Pluto, we made ice cream for this week's project in our new ice cream maker.


This week was all about explorers. Our main focus was Christopher Columbus. We read a few books about his life and the voyage to the new world. We read books about and discussed whether the kids believed Columbus actually discovered America. We used the In the Hands of a Child Christopher Columbus lapbook for our notebooks. Using Draw Write Now, the kids drew Columbus' ships. We also made a paper mache earth, ships in bottles, and jello boats. I only have a picture of the jello boat with me, but I'll be adding others to a separate post with more details about our study of Columbus after we get home.

Other explorers we learned about were Vasco de Gama, who sailed around Africa to reach India, Amerigo Vespucci, who realized that Columbus had actually found a new continent, and Ferdinand Magellen, who thought he could sail west and go south around South America to reach India faster than going around Africa.

Everything Else

Colin had Robotics Club. He had two ice hockey games. He played goalie in one of them, but was a player in the other one for the first time.


Phyllis said...

Sounds like an awesome week. They look so studious at the hotel!

Laurie said...

An ice cream machine??? How much fun is that!!! We used to travel with DH on occasion - so much fun :-)

wdworkman said...

Sounds like a great week. It's always fun to do school somewhere else once in a while.
Janet W

Karen said...

Terrific week.

Our Country Road said...

Kansas isnt the most exciting state, but traveling and staying in a hotel is always fun in my book. Love the jello boat! And your ice cream maker looks awesome!!