Archive for the ‘Geography’ Category

LEGO Topography

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

lego-topography

You can teach your kids about geography, topography, and landscaping through making topography scenes. You can choose a real location and re-create it in LEGOs, or you can create your own scene. This is a great activity for learning about geographic terms such as waterfall, fjord, peninsula, cave, volcano, archipelago, delta, glacier, island, mesa, etc.

A topographic map uses contour lines to represent three-dimensional features such as mountains. You can teach kids how to read contour maps and have them build the topographic map with LEGOs. You want to start with a green LEGO base representing the lowest area of the map. Build up from there, adding hills, valleys, mountains, volcanoes, etc.

simple-lego-topography

Younger kids can create simpler topographic maps with LEGOs. A river with trees and hills is a perfect starting place. Blue represents water on maps, and green usually represents land that gets plenty of rainfall. Yellow could represent deserts.

lego-cave

We created a scene with a mountain and a waterfall. On the back of the mountain my son created a cave. Trees were added to embellish the lushness of the scene.

If you enjoyed this hands-on geography activity, you will love the Geography section of the Unit Study Treasure Vault!

Italy Cake

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Italy-cake

When you are studying Ancient Rome, why not make an Italy cake? Kids always enjoy eating their homework, and what better way to learn geography than to have your cake and eat it, too?

Bake a chocolate cake in a rectangular pan according to the directions on the package. Let the cake cool by placing it into the refrigerator. Cakes are easier to cut when they are cold. Cut the shape of Italy out of a rectangular cake pan. You will need to look at a map of Italy to make sure you get the shape right.

chocolate-italy-cake

Next you will want to get a cookie sheet. Place two pieces of light blue construction paper on the bottom of the cookie sheet to represent the water of the Mediterranean Sea. Put cling wrap over top of the blue construction paper so that the cake doesn’t soak through the paper.

cookie-sheet

Pick up the cake with a couple of spatulas (or with your bare hands) and place it on the cookie sheet. If you want, you can leave it like this. Otherwise you can frost the cake with green frosting. (Tint white frosting green with food coloring.) You can add other embelishments like mountain ranges with chocolate chips, rivers with blue frosting, etc.

italy-cake-2

Now you can enjoy eating your Italy cake!

To see more hands-on activities for Ancient Egypt, join the Unit Study Treasure Vault!

LEGO States

Monday, May 4th, 2015

LEGO-statesIf you are studying the geography of the United States, why not make some LEGO states? All you need is a couple of green bases and a bucket of red LEGO’s.

Look at the shape of each state before you begin outlining the state. You can use an atlas, a map online, or a puzzle piece. We have a wooden puzzle of the United States, and my son used the shape of the puzzle piece to create the outline for the state.

Once you have outlined the state with red LEGO’s on the green bases, you will want to fill in the rest of the state. This part is super easy and can even be done by preschoolers who want to help. Make sure you have added any details.

Here is a LEGO model of Connecticut:

LEGO-connecticutHere is a LEGO model of Oklahoma:

lego-oklahoma

You can also add mountain ranges for the states by using a second row of red LEGO’s outlining the mountain ranges. You can even get creative and add other sightseeing places with other colors of LEGO’s to add interest!

If you enjoyed this post on LEGO states, you will love the workshop: Living Geography: Travel the World from your Living Room.

 

World Cake

Monday, April 6th, 2015

world-cakeIf you’ve ever wanted to excite your children about geography, why not make a world cake? It’s super easy!

Just bake a round cake in any flavor (I prefer chocolate). Get some white frosting. You will want to get two containers so that you don’t have to scrimp.

You will be frosting the entire cake with blue frosting, so one whole frosting container should be tinted blue with cake icing tint, which you can get at party stores and even some craft stores. Frost the cake.

Now open the second icing container and tint it green. Looking at a globe or a world map, grab a table knife and outline the shape of the continents on the blue icing, making a ridge. Now fill in the ridge with green icing.

It’s easier if you put the green icing into a ziplock bag (not a cheap bag that will pop and leave your hands green for a week). Snip a small hole in one corner of the bag, and outline the continents before filling them in. Depending on the look you want, you can use a table knofe to smooth the green continents.

Now your world cake is complete. This is a perfect cake for a themed party about geography, world travel, missions, or airplanes.

If you enjoyed making this world cake, you will love Living Geography: Travel the World from your Living Room.

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