Weeks 1-2 Introduction

If you are using Exploring Countries and Cultures, please share your ideas with us.
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Unread post by lisa062797 » Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:42 pm

Wow, thank you for showing this map "thing" Crystal. LOL! We did this today and it made things clearer even for me! :-)
Lisa in MN
Wife to Nick
Mom to
Vincent (11) Completed MFWK, MFW1, ADV, ECC, CtoG, RtR, and currently in EX1850
Andrew (6) Completed MFWK, and currently in 1st
Isaac (4) Currently enjoying MFW preschool toys

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Satellite Image Website

Unread post by ShariD » Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:51 pm

I found a great website with live images of the earth from satellites. You pick the satellite from a list and then you can chose a variety of views (cloud cover, topography, visual image, etc.) It's at: www.fourmilab.ch/earthview/satellite.html

I look forward to sharing it with my children tomorrow!
Shari in Iowa
5th year with MFW (C2G)
teaching Miles (age 10) & Maria (age 7)

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Unread post by Littlelight » Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:55 pm

We started ECC this week, and after hearing how messy the orange was, we decided to use a child's ball.
It worked GREAT!


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Good read alouds

Unread post by mrsb » Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:22 am

We just happened to have started "Carry On, Mr. Bowditch" as a read aloud before we started this year, and it has worked wonderfully into the first few weeks of ECC. There is lots of discussion of navigation, latitude, longitude, etc., and I just love the main character's example, especially for boys. Lots of good character lessons (the kind that make me want to stop and say, "Did you catch that?" but I try to hold back).
Also, we've worked in "Sea Clocks, The Story of Longitude" by Lousie Borden, which tells the story of John Harrison.
Just thought I'd pass those ideas along...
God bless!

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Unread post by microcarter » Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:01 pm

In week 1 ECC we learned the continent song to the tune of Yankee Doodle. As we sang the song the kids used pointers to point to each continent. It was a huge hit with all my children - even my 3 year old. So last week we began to learn the names of the oceans and my children practically shouted, "What's the song!" Well, I told them we didn't have a song for this but we could make one up. My 9 year old dd promptly made up a song and now they all love to sing the "Ocean Song" too.

On the way to church on Sunday my 3 year old asked me to help him sing the "America Song" (which is what he calls the continent song since it starts with North America and then he wanted to sing the ocean song.

I never imagined my 3 year old would learn the names and locations of the continents and oceans when we began this homeschooling journey! On this stressful day for me, it is good to think of what we've accomplished in just 2 short weeks. God is good!

dh of 22 years Danny
dd Sage 11
ds Knox 7
ds Kase 4

Julie - Staff
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Need help flattening the orange

Unread post by Julie - Staff » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:41 am

TammyB wrote:I need a plan b for this activity (actually a plan c as I tried tracing paper as well). :) I drew the continents on the orange with a permanent sharpie marker as instructed. I cut the orange into four sections and peeled it. By the time, however, that we were attempting to flatten it out, all the juice from the orange was actually washing away the black ink.

Now to figure out what to do as they completely do not understand the why behind the distortion of maps versus globes.

I wonder if a plastic beach ball from the dollar store would work any better...perhaps one with pictures on it. I could inflate both, cut one open, attempt to flatten it, and compare. Any other ideas?
Posted Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:31 pm by HSmommi2mine
draw the map ahead of time so it has a chance to dry. Use a tangerine because the skin is thinner and is more flexible.

Posted Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:00 pm by meagabby
I used a fine point Sharpie and a tangerine.
Since it was smaller, I didn't attempt to recreate the whole globe, but it worked fine because upon flattening what we did get, it tore and distorted. I remember my kids saying "wow" and getting the light-bulb moment.

Posted Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:16 pm by Hmschooling
I ended up tracing over the running marker with a regular ink pen. It stayed on better. And we didn't use oranges or a tangerine...it was even smaller with a thinner, more flexible peel. I can't remember what it was right now though...lol.

Posted Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:18 pm by TriciaMR
This is what I did (and it worked)...

First, I barely cut through just the skin of my Navel orange with a knife, making the 4 sections (this is what I thought she meant in the manual) to make it easier to peel. I got a very firm Navel orange.

Then, using a sharpie, I drew what it said in the manual. Then, I very carefully peeled the 4 sections off the whole orange - using the Tupperware orange peeler. I did NOT cut the orange into quarters, just the peel. The peel didn't "break" when we tried to make the "flat map," but my dd tried putting the ends together, then the middles, to see the extra "space" you have to fill in to make a flat map.

Also, I got the National Geographic World Atlas for Young Explorers, and on page 10 it talks about this problem of trying to make the round earth flat on a map. One thing I noticed about the maps in this atlas, if it is a world map, then they curve the bottoms and tops so the land masses are more true to size.

Posted Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:06 pm by Julie in MN
Here's hoping those ideas work. A plan "E" for ya if they don't: Look at pictures here:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 073#p27912

Posted Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:27 pm by kellybell
For older kids, you can have a blast looking at dozens of very strange (and somewhat normal) map projections. Don't need to do the entire orange thing.

Have you tried a balloon. If you get the "helium quality" large round ones, you could try drawing a map on it and then popping it and trying to flatten the rubber along a table or board. I really don't like when people suggest things to boards that they haven't tried themselves (like I just did with the balloon -- I just dreamed it up on the spot).

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World Cake

Unread post by TriciaMR » Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:45 pm

We did the fondant for our continents last year. There's a picture at my blog...

We traced over the maps in the atlas with tracing paper, then laid them over our fondant to get our very "accurate" continents.

But, I'd rather have bright and artsy [like Edie] rather than dull and accurate. I think it would have been much faster just sketching out the continents and filling in with icing.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

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\Weeks 1-2 World Cake

Unread post by doubleportion » Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:11 pm

Okay, I have to admit that I was very tempted to skip this activity for week 2. :~ Seemed a little too much for me with the week I have had with my almost 3 yr old. Buuuut, I went ahead and did it. I had my daughter do most of it. We got a yellow cake mix and made a 9X13 cake. We made our own blue frosting and bought the green royal icing in a bag. DD iced the whole cake blue and I smoothed out the top and finished the edges. Then I took a toothpick and drew the outline of the continents looking at Intermediate World Atlas and ran the outlines over with green icing. DD then filled in continent outlines herself using the green bagged icing. (She did much better than I expected. Never under estimate what your kids CAN do if you let them.) PTL for bagged icing. It made the project so much easier! We enjoyed doing it so much, that we didn't wait to ice or eat the cake for Friday but enjoyed it after dinner last night. Dd even sang the continents and oceans song from the Geography Songs CD to Daddy while 2 yr old brother sang quietly along and chimed in at the end "don't forget the Southern!"
!? Thanks Marie and David for making such a great curriculum and including great projects that I would have never done otherwise!

!! BTW- Thanks, Crystal for the encouragement. Seeing that your gals can cook at such a young age encouraged me to get my almost 8 yr old more involved in the kitchen. She did amazing!

And we did forget to put in Antarctica. We put it in after we took the picture

world cake small.jpg
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Re: Weeks 1-2 Introduction

Unread post by pfamilygal » Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:53 pm

We added a verse to the Continent Song (tune of Yankee Doodle)

North America, South America
Europe, Africa, Asia
Kangaroos hop in Australia
And penguins swim in Antarctica (my girls like miming swimming better than waddling)

These are all the continents
See how God has made them
Tell the people of His love
So they can serve and praise Him.

I bought a World Map rug http://www.csnrugs.com/asp/show_detail. ... viewHeader for the school room (with a good coupon, of course) and they've already memorized the continents by hopping around singing.

mamaofredheads wrote:We're starting ECC in a few weeks. Love the chorus. Can I copy? :-)
And the rug is too cute. Think I'll add it to my decorating wish list! Where did you find the good coupon?
There was a banner ad that said FREEDOM30 and gave you 30% off and free shipping. I ordered on Thursday and got it Tuesday. Really nice - it will be our "reading rug". Keep your eye out, that site runs specials a lot.

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Idea for ECC-John 3:16 poster

Unread post by Samantha » Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:18 am

Hi. This is my first post to the MFW Forum but I have spent many hours reading here. Everyone has such great input and advice.

We are going to make a missions bank and contribute to it all year. At the end of the year, we will donate it to missions work. I got a small canister of oatmeal. It's probably 32 oz, made of cardboard. I took out the oatmeal (saved it in a ziplock for later use) and peeled off the label. Instead of the John 3:16 poster, we will cover the canister in white paper. Then, decorate the canister with the cutouts from the magazines like is suggested and write on the scripture. We'll cut a hole in the plastic lid for the money slot.

So, there's my idea. We are so looking forward to ECC this year. Blessings.

Emma (8), Jesse (6), Lucinda (3)

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Strrretchiinnngg the globe

Unread post by RBS in OH » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:11 pm

Just wanted to share an activity that really added to our understanding of maps. I saw that someone already posted the idea in "ECC Ideas" without actually trying it, but I thought I'd post this to let everyone know that it really works well:

In ECC, week 1, day 2- We blew up a cheap balloon, drew the equator and continents on it (like for the orange experiment), then cut a small hole in it to deflate it and made a vertical cut from pole to pole. Then we st-r-r-e-t-ch-ed it out and held it in place with pushpins on a cutting board (corkboard would probably be easier).

This was such a good visual for my dc to understand map distortion and how you put a round globe into a flat book!. We did the orange activity too. That helped us to see that maps drawn like that (all of those curved sections) are more acurate in appearance-or truer to scale. The lightbulbs were just turning on in my dc heads! :) :-) Now I'm looking forward to explaining lattitude and longitude next week...

ds(14) 8) and dd(14) ;)
We've enjoyed ADV, ECC (2 times), CTG, RTR, EX-1850, 1850-MOD--and now AHL this year!

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Re: Weeks 1-2 Using a ball for the orange project

Unread post by mamatormsl » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:05 pm

Here's our mandarin orange project, we used a $1 ball from Wal-Mart.

Mom to to 4 great kids (3 girls, 1 boy)
2010/2011 - CtG
2009/2010 -ECC

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Re: Weeks 1-2 Latitude and Longitude

Unread post by mamatormsl » Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:19 am

Latitude and Longitude

Thanks Crystal for the idea with the strings on the map! Our map is on the table under a clear table cloth (I bought the plastic from Wal-Mart fabric deparment). I realized that we can use dry erase markers on it instead of a string. We can mark the map up as much as we want and just erase it. I marked N, S, E, & W until they learned it and then erased to quiz, marked the equator and Prime for latitude/longitude practice and then erased to quiz, etc. We were even working math problems on it. Just keep a bottle of dry erase cleaner handy.
Mom to to 4 great kids (3 girls, 1 boy)
2010/2011 - CtG
2009/2010 -ECC

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ECC Continent Song

Unread post by KellyinPA » Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:07 am

A funny: We have been singing the continent song this week, supposedly to the tune of Yankee Doodle. Only ours keeps sounding like "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee". Go ahead, try it! :-)
MFW K, 1st, ADV
ECC 2009/2010


Re: ECC Continent Song

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:56 am

I like that. :)

hmmm.... I just sang it out loud..stopped after penguins waddle in Antarctica and then my brain picked up so I went on with...the the lyrics from Joyful Joyful starting at

Field and forest
vale and mountains
flowery meadow
flashing sea
chanting bird and flowing fountain
cause us to rejoice in Thee

hmmm..... biomes, habitats, geography terms......... hmmm..

Last edited by cbollin on Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ECC World Cake w/pic

Unread post by Cravensheep » Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:18 pm

I thought I'd take a moment to post a photo of the world cake we made today. I found it very helpful to see the photos others have posted (visual learner here :-)) Ours was a bit more messy than some. I am reminded again how the activities we are tempted to skip often turn out to be the ones that stick the most!


Gina (married to Lee for 13 yrs., Lizzie 8 yrs, Ian 4 yrs.) MFW all the way!
Wife to Lee, 13 yrs
Mom to Lizzie, 8 yrs, Ian, 4 yrs

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Re: ECC World Cake w/pic

Unread post by KellyinPA » Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:54 pm

That looks great!! I only made the outline ( to the best of my ability) of each continent on our cake. Then I made the boys point and name each continent for their Dad and sister before we could eat it :) I hope this is a fun memory maker for them.
MFW K, 1st, ADV
ECC 2009/2010

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Weeks 1-2 Globe cake

Unread post by amelasky » Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:26 pm

Here was our attempt at making the Globe cake! Wow, our hands were cramping from making all of the "stars" to fill in the continents and oceans. My daughter loved it. She held the platter up and sang, "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands"....of course she changed all the "he's to she's" It was super cute. Then we cut the world into four sections and ate it. Very fun, but we made it a little harder than it had to be by making it a sphere.
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Married to my best friend and high school sweetheart for 18years. Blessed momma to my princess (14) and little warrior (10).
Exploration to 1850

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ECC - Global art project for week 2

Unread post by amelasky » Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:36 pm

My daughter loved making the "Hands Across America Paper Dolls" as suggested in week 2 of ECC. After she finished making it, my sister saw it and said that it would be really cute to turn it into a mobile and hang it in the schoolroom. So we did! It now hangs over the school desk. SUPER cute!
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Married to my best friend and high school sweetheart for 18years. Blessed momma to my princess (14) and little warrior (10).
Exploration to 1850

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Re: ECC - Global art project for week 2

Unread post by niki » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:23 pm

We used ours as a border around our world map...we made so many! It was a blast! That was 2 years ago, I cannot believe it's been that long! Have fun!

Strong Tower Academy
DD 6th DS 5th DD 3rd

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I promise I'm not eurocentric....

Unread post by pfamilygal » Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:03 pm

I promise I'm not eurocentric....
But apparently I needed to plan better. Asia got squished since I started with N America.

http://pfamilygal.blogspot.com/2009/09/ ... world.html

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Re: ECC World Cake w/pic

Unread post by doubleportion » Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:24 pm

Wow!! that looks really good! You even put some of the island and smaller land forms. Impressive!


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Re: Weeks 1-2 Continent song

Unread post by lauramb » Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:30 am

pfamilygal wrote:We added a verse to the Continent Song (tune of Yankee Doodle)

North America, South America
Europe, Africa, Asia
Kangaroos hop in Australia
And penguins swim in Antarctica (my girls like miming swimming better than waddling)

These are all the continents
See how God has made them
Tell the people of His love
So they can serve and praise Him.
We really liked the refrain given here. And then we felt that we needed one for the oceans, too! So this is what we came up with. You have to sing some single syllables on several notes, but it works out.

Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean
Indian Ocean, too.
Southern Ocean, Arctic Ocean
All a deep, deep blue.

These are all the oceans
See how God has made them
Sing about God's mighty power
And let us serve and praise Him.

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Pictures of our backyarn habitat

Unread post by paliz » Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:57 pm

So yesterday we did our backyard habitat (ECC week 1, Wednesday, POE, p. 9). I have the pictures posted on my blog: http://handsdelight.wordpress.com/2009/ ... d-habitat/

Julie - Staff
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ECC - Pretest Scoring

Unread post by Julie - Staff » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:58 pm

kerby wrote:I am finally getting around to scoring ds's pretest. My question is on the NA one, are Alaska and Greenland counted as correct answers even though they aren't countries? Because they aren't physically connected to their country, it's harder to know how to count them.

So, is it counted or not? Or, is it whatever I choose to do as long as I do the same on the posttest?

Postby Cyndi (AZ) » Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:58 pm

I'll be interested in what other people say, too. Funny thing is, my dd came up with Alaska and Greenland, too! :) I just disregarded "Alaska" as neither correct or incorrect because she labeled "United States" on the contiguous states, and I counted "Greenland" as correct. I think we're good as long as we use the same standard for the post-test.

Anybody else???

Postby Julie in MN » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:21 pm
I gave two scores -- countries & "anything else" from rivers to oceans, as long as it was geographic,
e.g. "5 countries + 2 extras"

Postby TriciaMR » Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:36 pm
I counted anything "correct" as a point. Then, at the end I did the same. Alaska is big enough to be a country by itself - 'til it melts ;) :-) :-)

But, do whatever you want.

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