Sunday, January 25, 2009

Direction and the Compass Rose

Yesterday the kids and I had a great lesson. Very simple. But I realised I am terrible with directions. I can follow streets like nobodies business... but when it comes to "go north" or "turn west" I am completely lost! So I decided that we would start working on directions in Geography. I had bought some organic chocolate balls that were shaped like the world a while back and thought they were the perfect prize for this lesson.

First, I had Cyan make a compass rose. She started with north and then moved around in the the rose clockwise and added E, S, W. Alex said that the phrase "Never Eat Slimy Worms" helps him remember how the directions go... so she drew a worm and a bird eating it with a big slash through it in the center. lol...

Then I had them make signs for each of the walls and use a compass to find out which walls were which direction. I thought we had Southeastern windows in the great room, but I found out they actually face nearly strait East. When they had those up, I had them pick a spot in the center of the room. There was some debate on where the center was. Alex counted the tiles in from the kitchen, and then from the wall, found and marked a spot that was the 'exact' center of the tiles. Cyan decided to take steps from the wall and find the center by feel. So they started the game at two different points in the room. Then I called out directions and how many steps they needed to take. At certain points in the room I had them meet and shake hands, which they thought was hilarious. :) And then at the end of the game I had them come to me, and they got a chocolate ball... which was the best.

All in all, it was a good lesson.

This game above was modified from the Moving Beyond the Page directions sample page. I am LOVING this curriculum! I wish it had things that were more Alex's level, but it hasn't been too hard for me to adjust.

Basically, the entire curriculum is made up of unit studies. Each study has a one or two page spread of instructions and information for the parent that talks about what they should know by the end of this lesson, directions and materials that are needed, and a couple of activities that are optional, but lots of fun, so we usually do them. The lessons also break down the instructions for the kids over 8 so they have their own page of what they are supposed to accomplish in that unit and they are able to follow the instructions... or not. ;) The kids are having a blast with the curriculum and I have to admit school is easier for me as well.

The writers in MBTP also really care about literature. Which is nice, because I insist on my children reading 'real' books.

So far I am completely in love.

1 comment:

Sadie said...

Have you bought the MBTP curric?? I have gone back and forth on it ALL year. The thing is I think I would need to buy 2....esp since I think Cale needs something his own- he's in a major- NO I WON'T DO IT kick right now. I think it looks good....and a balance between activity and bookwork. And already planned which would be so nice...but the price is high....

When I was in school we learned...Never Eat Sour Watermelons for the directions...I still use it today :)