Monday, August 8, 2022

Weekly Homeschool Activities & Lessons: The World Around Me

Recent learning activities focused on your child asking: “Where in the World Am I?” and “Who in the World Am I?” (See previous posts from August 1 and August 4.)

This week, have your child think about: “The World Around Me.”

Learning opportunities abound when thinking about the many things that are around us: Air, Water, Grass, Trees, Flowers, Plants, Animals, Birds, Insects, Sky, Clouds, Rivers, Oceans, Mountains, People, and much, much more! Just one of these topics could result in learning and lessons for days, weeks, months, or years! And they're interesting to kids of all ages!

The Troposphere -- or world around us -- is the layer of the Atmosphere that includes these many things that surround us. Find our Troposphere in this colorful chart of our Atmosphere: Atmosphere to View. Read more about the Troposphere and other layers of the Atmosphere at that website, too.

Art Project: Draw and color your own chart of the atmosphere, similar to the one you saw above. Or use different colors of construction paper to create the different levels of the atmosphere. Determine where the Earth and the troposphere is. Then cut out and color shapes to indicate the Earth, mountains, trees, sky, sun, clouds, birds, airplanes, meteors, stars, spaceships, etc. Then glue them in their proper layers of the atmosphere. Discuss the ones that you see most often and the ones you see only occasionally. Why is that?

Fun Science Project: Create your own 3-Dimensional World. Use cardboard and boxes, construction paper, tissue paper, etc., to replicate the views you see around you. Glue “grass” onto the cardboard. Create houses, trees, and animals (from boxes and construction paper), flowers and plants (from colorful tissue paper), sidewalks and creek banks (from small rocks and twigs). Use your imagination to create your own 3-dimensional world!

Math Skills: Determine distances and heights: How tall are the trees around you? How tall is your house? How long is your sidewalk and how long is your street? How long is the river that flows through your town? How high are the clouds? How high do the airplanes fly? How far away is the sun and the moon? How far away are the stars? Write these down in a Science Journal. Make a Chart, showing the “shortest/closest” items, all the way up to the “tallest/farthest away” places.

More Math Skills: More on distances and heights: How far does our troposphere extend (about 10 miles)? How far is 10 miles? How far is 1 mile? How far is 5,280 feet (1 mile)? How far is 10 miles (52,800 feet)? How far is 1 foot or 3 feet? How long is the room you are in? How long is your sidewalk or driveway? Measure these with rulers, yardsticks, tape measures. Walk or bike 1 mile with your parents (5,280 feet). Ride 10 miles in a car with your parents (52,800 feet). Think of how all these distances relate in the world around you and above you. Write about these distances in your Science Journal or Make Charts illustrating these distances.

Field Trips and Photographs: Take field trips through your neighborhood, towns, and cities. Take photos of scenes in your world, such as fields, woods, rivers, mountains, parks, birds, squirrels, deer, horses, buildings, barns, bridges, benches, people walking, people biking, kites flying, planes flying, clouds drifting. Take field trips often, and take photos often, too. Put the photos in a scrapbook or journal. Describe this world around you, and how it changes from time to time, or from season to season.

Draw or Paint Pictures inspired by your field trips and photos. Display your artwork or keep your drawings and paintings in an Art box, folder, or portfolio. Draw or paint your world often. Always keep your art projects to look back on.

Read Books on Troposphere and Atmosphere, such as Stickmen's Guide to Earth's Atmosphere in Layers; Our Amazing Sky; Atmosphere: Earth Science; and The Layers of Earth’s Atmosphere. What more did you learn in these books?

Read Books on the World Around Us, such as Explore My World series; Exploring Nature Activity Book; Secret World of Plants; One Million Insects; Fascinating Animal Book; The Skies Above My Eyes; Sky Gazing: Guide to the Moon, Sun, Planet, Stars; and books on Around Town; Country Life; Farm Life; City Life. Discuss how these books relate to your world around you.

Music on Troposphere and Atmosphere: The Atmosphere Song by Math Dad. Have fun with this one!

Lessons learned and skills sharpened: Earth science, Life science, the World, Math Skills, Measurements, Calculating Distances, Social Studies, Communities, Reading, Writing, Journaling, Science Projects, Research Skills, Critical Thinking, Spatial Thinking, Creative Thinking, Arts and Crafts, Music, Field Trips, Photography, Scrapbooking, Painting, Drawing, and more. Jot down these lessons and activities in your lesson logbook or on our log sheets (available here: Weekly Planner Log link.)

Happy Homeschooling!

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