Our youngest son has a group presentation this afternoon with the Geography topic of Russia. Some may come with a mixture of information as it relates to the Olympic Games. It is our first group Geography presentation with our new homeschool group, many of the kids have never prepared one before. You’d think that my youngest was facing his first time as well.
I brought out all of my geography books, Galloping the Globe, Ultimate Timeline and Geography Guide, and our Memoria Press Geography I. Armed with Geography Questions, facts, interesting tid bits, links back to the Bible, fun activities – I was ready to start the day. We’d tried to introduce Russia several ways through back doors of documentaries and movies this week, but my little Grom just wasn’t interested.
Yesterday we went with the traditional style of just reading bits of information from the books above.
I could tell that this was one of those learning sessions where I’m the one doing the learning, and he’s waiting patiently for it to be over. Have you been there?
After a while Jon responds to a question with – “Well, are there waves in Russia?” “Is there Surf in Russia?” And we finally had the key to learning – an “I don’t know, let’s look it up.” question.
He started with a google images search of Surf Russia and found an image interesting that led to this page: Surfing the Artic Circle in Russia and Norway. That led us to this post – Surfing in Russia Hidden Sea and the Pyramid of Fire, Surfing in the Russian Federation, which led to this Very Cool Surf Trip Video – Kamchatka – Hidden Sea and the Pyramid of Fire which led us to this blog with some great photographs from the trip – especially the non surfing variety – A Restless Transplant.Com Breaking Glass.
These led us to Google Maps and a trip with our MapTrek software. Jon was getting pretty excited about Russia – even making the comment that it would be cool to live there and have all of his “Coast Vineyard Family” move there with us. (our church).
We created a little lapbook to share with the group to show them how to make one. It’s a bit elementary – the age group is k-4-5 for the kiddos.
Jon got a bit overwhelmed writing his speech/presentation. It was at this point that the ‘goal’ of today’s learning started to get off track. The Goal was to spend some time in Russia and identify with the people and the land and to be familiar with the coastline. That was achieved during the two hours of research. I had to refocus – I had to help Jon refocus. The Goal of the research was not to create the worlds best essay on Surf Travel to Russia. The goal was not even to give a speech about Surfing in Russia. The goal was Geography and Russia. This is key when taking really long loopy side bunny trails. Loop it back to the Goal for the day and enjoy everything gathered along the way.
Jon used his speech skills from IEW – SWIB for pulling out key words and then using them to string together his speech. He ended up using the key words, and writing out a short presentation (first page of the lapbook).
So yesterday I wrote about how we are going back to using curriculum – and then that curriculum brought us back to searching out our own questions that we couldn’t find in the book.
I hope you feel inspired to use Lapbooks for your presentations – even with your older kids!
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