Friday, November 15, 2013

Story of the World Map Work

I feel like we have to listen to each chapter of Story of the World a few times before everyone has really mastered all of the information. One of the many nice things about our audio version of Story of the World is that this repetition is painless--simply find some busywork, press play, and have a seat! Usually the busywork consists of coloring pages related to the chapter; these have the added benefit of encouraging even more content mastery later, since the girls usually show Matt their pictures later, and he'll ask them questions about it. For instance, this morning we got to tell him the story of Set and Osiris and the coffin, as he admired a picture that Syd had colored of a scene from that story.

So usually each Story of the World chapter goes like this:
  • WEEK ONE: Listen to the chapter (and a couple of later ones) as the girls color, then introduce the quiz questions. I copy these onto index cards and they become part of our history memory work forever.
  • WEEK TWO: Listen to the chapter as the girls color, then do the chapter's map work.
  • WEEK THREE: Listen to the chapter as the girls color, then add in the new timeline cards. These timeline card are switched off and on with the quiz questions for history memory work.
  • WEEKS FOUR UNTIL WE MOVE ON: Watch a documentary or read a non-fiction or living history book, then do a hands-on enrichment activity centered on the chapter's content.
This past week, it was map work day for our chapter, so the girls colored, and then we got out the Prismacolors, photocopied the map, pulled up Google Earth on the computer, found the globe, and got to work!

I like to arrange Google Earth so that what you see on the screen is almost exactly what the paper map shows, and then when we discuss the placement of various items on the paper map, I can zoom Google Earth in to look at the real item, such as the Sphinx or the Nile Delta or the mountains of Upper Egypt, close-up.

I also like context, and a lot of it, so much of our conversation goes like, "The geographic area of Sumer is called Iraq now. Iraq was who the US fought against in the Persian Gulf War. Right, there's the Persian Gulf! Your Uncle Dickie fought in that war. He worked with these crazy-looking planes called AWACs. Want to see what they looked like?" etc., etc.

Also good for context? A great big globe!

There are some more involved map projects that we also like, and that we've done already for Egypt--the salt dough maps of Egypt turned out great, but NOTHING beats a cookie map!

I might actually consider doing that cookie map again, because we last did it a while ago, but yesterday we JUST made cake clocks.

There's only so much deliciousness that one school week can handle!


Tina said...

I love the layout of how to go through the Story of the World lessons. So you have the CD's and not the Mp3 version? I think we are going to get this after the New Year. I've wanted it long enough.

julie said...

Thanks, Tina! Our public library has all the CDs, and I ripped them all to mp3 probably five years ago. It was actually kind of a crazy involved project, since I gave each track a unique numerical ID number based on volume and chapter so that the tracks would always organize themselves into correct order in the playlist if I sorted them by title. I did the same thing with Magic Tree House, and I'm slowly doing it with Harry Potter, Syd's latest obsession.

Tina said...

I tried to do that with our Magic Tree House, but I couldn't figure it out. So frustrating.

Our library back in IA had the CD's, I should have copied them then. Oh well. Maybe Santa Gramma will bring them for us :0)


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