Geography Quest: Operation Christmas Child Edition

Blog, She Wrote: Geography Quest- Operation Christmas Child Edition

It’s that time of year when Samartin’s Purse is gearing up for Operation Christmas Child collections. Does your family participate? We have for years and with the addition of some simple tracking options, I thought Operation Christmas Child would make a fun Geography Quest.

Map the Locations in the World Where OCC Boxes Are Sent

Pack an OCC Box & Pray over It and the Child Who Will Receive It.

  • Enjoy some Veggie Tales themed OCC materials- fun printouts for the kids and you can find the box labels here.
  • You can print coloring pages to send with your box. Our kids love to put their biographical information and address in hopes that maybe they’ll hear back from the child who receives the box. It hasn’t happened yet, but we keep trying!
  • How about some instructions on what goes into a box and how to pack it and make sure it gets shipped?
  • We pack a box for each of our children in the same age and gender categories as our children.
  • Pray over your boxes and the children who will receive them.

Other Ways to Be Involved

Map the Journey Your Box Took Once You Receive Notification

  • For a few years now, OCC has given everyone the option of paying online and printing labels which have a barcode on them. When those codes are scanned, OCC will track the box for you and you’ll receive an email after delivery on where your boxes were sent.
  • Map a possible journey your box took from your home to the country of destination.

Join me in sending a box of Hope to a child around the world and learn a little culture and geography at the same time. We still have time to fill boxes and make the collection week in mid-November. It’s easy to find a collection point near you. Thanks for another fun Hopscotch series!


Geography Quest: Forest Edition

Blog, She Wrote: Geography Quest- Forest Edition

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I adore a good walk in the woods and feel so privileged to live on the edge of parkland so we can enjoy walks in the woods any season just by walking about the door. There are so many things to discover in a forest. I thought it would be an enjoyable quest to learn about “the forest”. There are so many, join me to find out more.

Identify & Map the Types of Forest Around the United States

Do you know how much of the U.S. is forested? What kind of forests are located in the U.S.?

  • This map from the USDA Forestry Service, details the types of trees in the various regions oft the United States along with the history and conversation of forests.
  • Check out this map list which shows where specific species of trees are located.
  • Temperate Deciduous Forests & Temperate Coniferous Forests are the two main categories of forest in the continental US.
  • Identify, using the online maps linked above, the various forests around the United States and make a forest map. Don’t forget to make a key so you know which forest is where.

Map Forest Types Around the World

Information on forest types is available with a simple web search. In addition, you may find that information in a world atlas.

  • Make a color and keyed map displaying the location and type of forests around the world.
  • You might like focusing on forests by continent rather than using a world map so that you can get the details on the map more easily.
  • Note the climate of a region and how it relates to the forests. Does climate affect the types of trees which grow? Are there places without trees?

Resources for Exploring Forests

Thank you for joining me these last ten days for the Autumn 2013 Hopscotch from iHN. I still have one more post in the series on the way. Stay tuned!


Geography Quest: Bird Migration Editon

Blog, She Wrote: Geography Quest- Bird Migration Edition

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Today’s Geography Quest is all about bird migration. Choose a well known migrating bird or several species and track their movement south for the winter.

What is Bird Migration?

Most of us are familiar with birds coming and going for the winter. Do you know the specifics? Take some time to learn about which birds migrate and where they go.

  • Why do birds migrate?
  • Which birds migrate? Use your field guide to learn which birds migrate.
  • Where do the birds go?
  • What signals do birds follow that tell them when it’s time to leave and when to return?

Blog, She Wrote: Geography Quest- Bird Migration

Map Bird Migration

  • Choose a favorite bird species to follow and find out their migration path.
  • Research typical migration paths for birds.
  • Compare the migration of several species. Make maps for each one and see what is similar and what is different.
  • Calculate the distance that bird species will travel to make sure they have resources.

Blog, She Wrote: Geography Quest- Bird Migration Edition

What Are Some Obstacles to Bird Migration?

  • Light pollution- the lights from cities can confuse birds because they rely on natural signals to find their way.
  • Power lines
  • Buildings- particularly tall windowed structures in cities
  • Predators
  • Wind Mills - the large ones made for making electricity

Blog, She Wrote: Geography Quest- Bird Migration Edition

Observe Bird Migration

  • Do you keep a list of the birds you see? During the migration times, see if you find new birds at your feeder or in your yard.
  • Notice the behavior of Canada Geese. They stop pairing off when they fly and fly in large groups. At the close of summer, once this starts happening, you know that they are leaving town.
  • Take notice of the birds which hang out once you notice the songbirds are gone- when the migrators are in town, we see less of our winter birds though there are always some around. I always know that common summer birds are on the move when I start seeing our winter friends more often.
  • Research locations where you can observe large scale migration. Here in NY, there is a spot north of here where raptors are known to gather as they migrate. We hope to catch that one year.

If you are paying attention, very often you will see birds while they are on the migration as they are passing through. Do you see birds you don’t normally see? Once spring is on the way, be on the alert for signs that the birds are returning.

Resources for Tracking Birds

  • Field Guides- so you can identify birds that you see. I like Birds of New York and the accompanying CD. The same author has prepared books for other states. See if there is one for your state.
  • Bird Call CDs- great for road trips and calls are a great way to identify birds nearby.
  • iBird Pro- an app for both iPhones/iPads and Android devices. This is a paid app, but I bought it on sale and it’s really comprehensive. Just be careful not to use the call too often outsides as it will distract birds from the business of survival when they respond to your fake call.
  • Winged Migration- a book and program all about birds on the move. They have a junior edition as well with a call CD. I checked one out from the library last night.
  • Planet Earth- a DVD series from the BBC which has information on biomes around the world often referring to large bird migrations. Those of you with Amazon Prime can watch instantly. Nice. We own this one and it’s been a great resource.

Pay attention to the habits of birds which stay year-round as well. Once the migrators leave, they move around. I normally don’t see cedar waxwings during the summer, but once the leaves are all gone, they will swoop down on some berry bushes next to our house. Then they are off…probably stopping by on their way to their winter territory.


Geography Quest: Europe Edition

Blog, She Wrote: Geography Quest- Europe Edition

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Today we are making a stop on the continent of Europe. What a rich gathering of cultures we can find here! Enjoy time spent discovering the countries from the “old world”.

Take a Tour of Europe

  • Using Time for Kids Around the World you can visit this continent and see pictures along with common foods, products, and famous places. Check out some destinations from this site in the next several links.
  • England- You can find basic stats along with pictures, history, and maps.
  • France- if you click on the cities within this sightseeing map, you’ll see a picture of an attraction there.
  • Italy- on this page you can take a quiz after you’ve been through the rest of the site on the country.
  • Greece- here you can find a day in the life of a child in the country.
  • Iceland- native lingo allows you to hear the language spoken by a native of the country. What a find!
  • Map Your Favorite Destinations- in and around Europe. If you took the website tour, you will have plenty of thoughts on which ones you liked best. Save it for the future and you’ll know all the places you want to visit given the chance.
  • Map Famous European Landmarks- you might even find pictures of the iconic structures to place them on your map.

There are more European countries left to explore on the Time for Kids website, but those links will show you the various parts of the website available for each country.

Blog, She Wrote: Geography Quest- Europe Edition

Play Games to Learn European Geography

  • Ticket to Ride Europe- pictured above and mentioned in the game post, you can never go wrong pulling this one out. We like to play with the 1912 Expansion set because it has longer route tickets and there are number of ways you can play to enjoy the game.
  • 10 Days in Europe- another in the 10 Days series of games, Europe offers travelers the chance to move by foot, air, and ship as they try to set up a sequential itinerary before the other players.

Blog, She Wrote: Geography Quest- Europe Edition

Resources to Enjoy European Geography

A rather random list of books both fiction and non-fiction that take place in Europe.

  • DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Great Britain- fabulous photographs in this look at England and the British Isles. I love to have this one out on a table top and open whenever we are studying this country. You can’t help but to be drawn in.
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth- Begins in Iceland to go under the ground and what the explorers discover there. The Kindle edition is free. Enjoy this title today!
  • Inkheart- and the sequels. This story takes place in Europe, mainly Italy. It’s sort of in this world with characters from books entering our world and in the sequels the characters here end up in the other world.
  • Swallows & Amazons- the series. Takes place in the Lake District of England and beyond.


Geography Quest: Daniel Boone Edition

Blog, She Wrote: Geography Quest- Daniel Boone Edition

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Welcome to the second week of the Autumn, 2013 iHN Hopscotch. We’ll be continuing with another five days of Geography Quests. Join us today for a little Quest involving one of our favorite American Heroes, Daniel Boone.

Learn about The Pennsylvania Wilderness with Daniel Boone

  • Identify the Pennsylvania wilderness at the time of Daniel Boone.
  • Name the places where Daniel Boone regularly visited in PA.
  • Read about how Daniel Boone became an excellent tracker.
  • How did Daniel Boone make a living? How did that foreshadow his future endeavors?

Follow the Wilderness Trail with Daniel Boone

  • Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail- The Association has a website you can explore to find out the route of the trail which connected the land along the east and west of the Appalachian Mountains.
  • Map of the Wilderness Trail- an interactive map along with a tour of the historical sites along the way
  • Map and Mark the Wilderness Trail on state maps and/or regional US maps- for a detailed map it would be fun to print the states that trail goes through and tape them together so you can mark the trail with detail and hang it up.

Enjoy a “History Bill” video about Daniel Boone and how he helped settlers move through the wilderness.

Resources to Learn More about Daniel Boone

Thank you for stopping by. Join us tomorrow for another Geography Quest. Be sure to subscribe via email to get all the Quests in your inbox!