My theme for teaching PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY was all about field trips and short-to-the-point pieces from Hands of a Child through the vendor CurrClick.com. Truly, my focus was on ecosystems, but so much from my teaching assistant position in the Geography/Geology University Department came through these discussions of ecosystems into landforms and weathering factors.
Over the past six years we've covered ocean, desert, polar, forest, mountain, rainforest and grassland. We began with the Apologia book about oceans and swimming things. I enjoyed it, but the book tended to drag on and on even though I brought in the compelling H.C. Holling book, Seabird to read. So, we moved on to polar topics with a lapbook product that coincided with the winter Olympics in Canada. Desert ecosystems were next when we got to visit the high desert in Utah several times. Then the mountain topic because, while in the high desert, there was skiing down a mountain, and it all related so well together. Deciduous and evergreen forests were discussed while we enjoyed H.C. Holling's book called, Paddle-to-the-Sea. We studied the rainforest after visiting Hawaii. I really LOVE field trips! Lastly, we are now finishing the grassland materials. Truthfully, I never considered the various grassland habitats on each continent and how those differ.
We don't do these products as lapbooks anymore. Even though I have one tactile learner, the others get so bogged down by cutting and coloring, and that wasn't why I wanted this study in the first place. These studies allowed my 3Gs to read, think and write about each bit of information presented by the HOAC authors as well as other story book materials. Nature studies were best organized through these topics for us over this period. Now that we're concluding these habitat studies, Nature Study will take a different direction. (Including a hummingbird moth in front yard.)
ABOVE: G2 USED THE ED EMBERLING THUMBPRINT ART BOOK TO SET THE WETLAND SCENE. G1 ALSO PERFECTED HIS SPELLING OF HABITAT AFTER THE FRENCH VERB LESSON WHICH MADE HIM CONJUGATE "TO LIVE" VERB.