Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Our World: Europe

I have to admit, this lesson wasn't as good as I could have made it. But, again, a lot of what I decided to do was based on the interests of my boys. I wanted to do more, but with the Olympics growing near, I knew I needed to wrap up these lessons quickly.

While Theo was asleep, we decided to make a bus to celebrate the unique vehicles in London. Hank is obsessed with these buses. Not sure why, but we have to talk about double decker buses all the time. So, we decided to make one.

I just took a box from the recycling bin, some construction paper, plain white paper and some glue and we had everything we needed to create the perfect bus. He was so proud of his creation he vowed to take it to school to show all of his friends. 

We watched "Dragons", or as most people call it, "How To Train Your Dragon" and learned a bit about the boys viking heritage. Then we talked about Castles, Kings, Queens, Knights, villages, kingdoms, etc. They even got a little history lesson when I told them about how the United States was formed. They found it really interesting when they heard there were boats and ships and horses involved :) What a totally different world than what they know. While they took a nap, I made a shield and swords for them out of cardboard, they had to make their crowns when they woke up.

It was a huge hit. These boys loved being the protectors, they weren't so much into the King business, but they wanted to help save their babies from the pumas and cobras....

And yes, they do have cat faces on, in their super hero capes.

I am a huge fan of Legos, you really can do anything with them and of course we had to build a castle! It quickly became quite the kingdom too. Henrik and I looked at pictures of different famous castles across Europe. We talked about different features, what they were made of, why they had towers, what kind of rooms were in castles, what a kingdom was, who lived/worked in a castle and so on. We had a lot of fun putting our own castle together as we looked at all of the different styles. 

Before we ended our lesson on Europe, I showed the boys different iconic structures in Europe. We talked about their location, their importance and who created/built them. And then, we got to the two easiest ones that we could make out of marshmallows: The Eiffel Tower, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. 

To make the Eiffel Tower, I printed out a picture of what it looked like. Henrik was sort of left to build his own tower, however, I helped with the base, it was tricky for him to get started. But while we built it, we talked about the different shapes the tower was made of, how many triangles, squares, circles, etc. we could see in the structure. He really enjoyed this project. He loves to construct so this was perfect for him! And it didn't hurt he could eat a few marshmallows as we did it.

We followed the same format with this tower too. Henrik was able to do this one all on his own, as it required no toothpicks. While we built this one we talked about what it was made out of, and we spent a lot of time counting our marshmallows to see how high we could actually make our tower!

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