Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Geography/History Islands


I actually got this idea from Selena’s science book.  It called for the following experiment, but I thought we would expand on the lesson and talk about Islands, what makes a piece of ground an Island, and then take a virtual trip of some of the Islands on the Internet.

We first talked about what makes an Island.

island After Selena got the idea that an Island is a piece of land surrounded on all sides of water, we then discussed modes of transportation used to get on and off the Islands. She quickly informed me that she would just be stuck on an Island with no way off.

320px-WF_-Wallis I pointed out in the top picture that there was an image of an airplane, so she decided that yes she could fly off the Island, across the Ocean or water to home. We then talked about traveling by boat to get off an Island, but she wasn’t sure about that one. She did decided cars couldn’t drive to or from an Island, but I quickly pointed out that an Island could have roads for cars to drive on them.

Now for our fun!

100_3547 We used a clear plastic dish, water, and rice. The first thing we did was pour just water into our dish so that Selena could see how the water took no specific form as it filled the bottom of the dish. We discussed how this water represents any body of water, and that without land or something to stop it or contain it the water would take over the entire world. She had fun swishing the water around, and making mini waves telling me it reminded her of the ocean and rivers we have seen this summer. We then emptied that water out of the dish.

100_3548 Selena began to build her Island by pouring a cup of rice into the middle of the dish. We had to push the rice to the middle of the dish and make sure it was piled up. We could have probably used a little less rice, but to Selena the more the better. The only problem I found with the rice, if you don’t get it firmly packed some pieces will float in the water. We did one just before this one shown in the pictures where Selena allowed me to pack it hard but before I could get my camera for pictures, Selena picked up the dish and swoosh, there went our experiment.

100_3550 We then poured water back into the dish, so that Selena could see how the water flowed all the way around the pile of rice. We talked about how plants could grow on this land, how animals could live here as well as people. At this point Selena informed me that she was stuck on the Island again. Selena thought it was pretty neat the way the water now flowed around the pile of rice taking it’s rightful place around her little, well big Island.

We then went to our map and looked up the Hawaiian Islands and the Bahamas. Selena was real quick at pointing them out and recognizing the fact that they were surrounded by water. We had looked these Islands up on the Internet as well and had found some great areal shots of the Islands.

Now it is your turn to share with us what you are learning in Geography and History by linking up below.

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  1. What a neat idea. I'm hoping to start more geography activities with my kids this fall.

  2. What fun!It is so important to understand those geography terms before they can fully understand places. I need to do more of this. You have inspired me.

  3. I love this idea. I did a lesson on islands as well, but didn't think to actually build our own island! Great way to really illustrate the concept.

  4. I like that you built an island together - it's a neat way to represent the concept. Anna was very fascinated when we sailed around the small island in SF Bay in the summer - I think that's when the idea of land surrounded by water sank in for her.

  5. What a fun way to teach that! I bet she had a lot of fun with it.

  6. This is great. I'll have to remember this one.