School Projects

Fun Projects

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

School Project: US Map

Last week I was in such a slump.  The whole week went by and I didn't do much of anything.  Winter time "blues" have never been a real problem for me, but this seemingly endless wet and grey weather have sucked the energy right out of me.  As I look out the window right now and see more rain, it doesn't appear that this week will be much better.
On Thursday of last week I did manage to pull myself together for one project.  I had the twin motivations of highly excited participants and finishing off Ian's grade one Social Studies curriculum.  As you may have noticed, finishing something is almost irresistible to me.
This year in Social Studies Ian learned about each state in our country, region by region.  We used the Road Trip USA program.  (If you are interested, I posted one of the other projects here.)  For the final review, we had to make a salt dough map of the United States, add labels, and paint each region a different color.
Salt dough was a new experience for us, and the kids really enjoyed mixing up a batch by hand.
2 cups salt
2 cups water
4 cups flour
2 Tablespoons Cream of Tartar
Mix by hand until the dough is the consistency of play dough, adding more flour or water as necessary.

I drew an outline of the country on some posterboard and Ian pressed the dough into the proper shape.
Brynnie made her own Island-Country.
Major mountain ranges were added by pinching up the dough, regional flags were placed using toothpicks, and then we put the dough away overnight to dry.
The next day the kids painted their maps.  Can you believe I forgot smocks?
It was a fun way to end a long and dreary school week.  Hopefully the sun comes out soon, because I have a lot of garden projects I would really like to get started (and finished)!


~ Tandis ~ said...

Very cool project. M&M are impressed. Then they told me that Ian told them he used hot lava to make it. Haha.

Brynn's island is very cool.

Jessica said...

What fun. Great idea for this dreary weather.

Aaron said...

When I was a kid I absolutely loved making maps. I would open the World Book Encyclopedia and eye-trace the maps of countries, particularly Sweden. Why Sweden, you say? Well, have you ever seen it ona map? Nary a straight boundary to be seen, so it made little imperfections blend right in. Plus, when I was a kid I wanted to be Swedish. Don't ask me why I don't remember anymore. I do remember convincing (forgive the euphamism, it was lying) the class idiot that I had been born on a boat coming from Sweden. What a bad child I was. What was I commenting on, again?

Jamie said...

Dana, I genuinely enjoy the content of your blog - I really do, but I must admit I also look forward to seeing if Aaron has added his own comments yet :) Just an added perk of an already enjoyable blog!

Aaron said...

Well, thank you! Its nice to know someone besides myself is amused with my little wordbursts... However I know the
time will come, some day, when I feel I tell the story of my life, I'm deep, I'm funny, I'm moving, and inspirational! A story fit - for one of those prizes they give novelists - Pullitzer? Anyway I pour myself out for my captive audience- I shout, I choke, I cry, I laugh... and what do I get, on this fateful day yet to come? Crickets, that's what. After a long pause staring at the audience in disbelief, my grandson walks up, quietly asks for the mic and says "good story grandpa. But you were only supposed to read the selected passage." I shrug my shoulders. "Ah well," I say to my grandson. "Have it your way. It's your wedding afterall."

In the mean-time, however, I will bask (sp?) in the glow of knowing SOMEONE out there is listening... :)

Jessica said...

Aaron, you have your chance every Christmas season and you neglect your social obligation to amuse your friends and relatives. You could enjoy a lot more basking if you'd quit relegating your opportunity to amuse us all to your wife.