Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fifth Grade....Geography

We are now fully immersed in our second block, Geography. I had a difficult time planning this block; there are so many approaches, even in the Waldorf circles. I knew I didn't want to do the states/capitals thing, at least not as a focus. I am  also aware that the Boy still has difficulty differentiating continents from countries, especially North America vs. The United States. 

After reading through Marsha Johnson's files and through the Waldorf Journey curriculum, I mapped out the approach I thought was best for the Boy. That is one of the reasons we homeschool, right? To meet the needs of our children.

Here is my plan:
  • We started with a review of last year's geography unit. We read through his main lesson book from last year, reviewed the terms, and talked about the four directions.
  • We then looked at a globe and an atlas and talked about and named the continents.
  • We discussed the geographic features on the map, and how those features made natural boundaries between continents and countries.  And how those features may have influenced the culture of that particular area.
  • I gave him a blank map to label the continents
  • We did gesture style drawings of each continent. With gesture drawing, you're quickly sketching the object, to get the basic feel
Going forward we will:
  • Draw our own map of the world
  • Observe divisions of countries and boundaries more closely
  • Get an understanding for various regions. For example, what is the Middle East? What does 'Europe' encompass? This is not to memorize, just familiarize
  • Focus on North America: The US and her neighbors
  • Identify regions of North America and its major geographic features: the Rockies, Mississippi, etc.
  • Discuss climate across the continent
  • Paint a map depicting climate: cool blues, hot reds, etc.
  • Begin studying each region of North America and more specifically the US