31 July, 2010

My summer

This summer, I have been thrilled to be part of a continent swap! What in the world is that, you ask?  Well, the brief explanation is that a group of women worked together, to create fun and educational materials.  Each one of us worked on one continent or part of one continent.  Then we made 10 copies of each file or material, and traded them to one another.  And voila!  Soon my classroom will have activities and files, for learning about places all over the world!  Pretty great, right?

I worked on activities and files for Western Europe.  Our family spent a semester in England a couple of years ago, and so I was lucky to be able to draw on that experience.  The first activity I created was a small model of Stonehenge.  I used polymer clay to create the "stones."

I wanted the children to be able to place the "stones," imagine what the circle would look like if it was complete, and perhaps even work with a flashlight in a darkened room, shining the lights through the "stones," from different angles.  

The base for this model was created using 2 diagrams I found online.  

Here is one:

from Solving Stonehenge (Thames and Hudson 2008), written by Anthony Johnson.

and the other:

used with the kind permission of The Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy.  

So, using these 2 diagrams together I created this:

Tah dah!  I laminated it, and let my "consumer product safety tester" try it out.  We haven't worked with a flashlight yet, but I have high hopes!  This is now one of the Europe activities available to my students.

I will post more about other completed Europe projects, in the days to come!