Geography Quest: Mountain Edition

Blog, She Wrote: Mountain Edition

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Is it warm yet where you live? We are still camped out in the 40s and 50s most days, but the milder weather is inevitable even in upstate NY. Time to get out and explore, hike, and enjoy the outdoors. How about some motivation? This week our focus is on the mountain ranges of the world in Geography Quest: Mountain Edition.

Identify the World’s Mountain Ranges

Can you name all the mountain ranges in the world? We can start big and go small.

  • List the mountain ranges you can think of by continent– go back and see if you missed any.
  • Name countries which have major mountain ranges.
  • Name the mountain ranges– can you make a list before you look them up?
  • List the mountains you’ve visited.
  • Tell which mountains you have hiked and/or summitted.

Map the World’s Mountain Ranges

You can choose the map you’d like for this activity. I might choose several map so you can see the results well.

  • Use a world map to show where mountains ranges are located.
  • Using your continent list, print a map of each continent and label the mountains with a triangle symbol.
  • Label the mountains on country maps using your list of countries as a resource. (after you check accuracy- of course!)
  • Look at where the mountain ranges are located. Is there relationship between where you find mountains and the earth’s geology? Can you explain it?

Fast Facts on Mountains

Now it’s time to see if you can locate these mountain facts. Ready?

  • Identify the tallest mountain range in the world. Any guesses?
  • What is the longest range of mountains?
  • What is the mountain/range with the lowest elevation?
  • Which mountains are the shortest- as in the size of the mountain “chain”?
  • Identify famous “through hikes” of mountain ranges. The east coast of the US has one. Are there others?
  • How are mountains made?
  • What is the ring of fire? Are there mountains nearby?
  • Which mountain is the most active volcano?
  • Find the mountains that separate Spain and France.
  • Can you find any mountains in the news right now?

What else would like to find out about mountains? Try making your own fast fact questions to ask your family.

Topographical Maps

Blog, She Wrote: Mountain Edition

Does your family enjoy hiking? Have you ever used a topographic map? Now is a great time to try one out. You can find one of your local area through the USGS website.

  • Locate a topographical map (topo map) of your area using the USGS site.
  • Interpret the symbols on the map. What do the concentric lines mean?
  • What does it mean when the lines are close together? Further apart?
  • Take a walk with your topo map- this might reveal what the lines mean as well!
  • Make your own topo map of your yard. If your yard doesn’t offer much variety in elevation, then try a nearby park or another familiar spot.
  • Use the topo map to mark places on your trail. We have a map of a few local trails which we use to make waypoints for navigating our way.

Mountains provide much beauty and reveal the fierceness our planet can experience both in form and function (ie the weather!). Take on this week’s Geography Quest and enjoy a mountain adventure!

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Homeschooling Middle & High School History

Blog, She Wrote: Homeschooling Middle & High School History

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It’s day 4 of iHomeschool Network’s Winter Hopscotch and today’s focus is on homeschooling middle & high school history. I’ll be sharing strategies and curriculum.

Strategies for Homeschooling Middle & High School History

As you might imagine after yesterday’s science post, we do a lot of unit study work for history. Here a few of the ways we’ve incorporated history into our homeschool at the middle and high school level.

  • Unit Studies– On a specific time period in history. Currently, my middle schoolers have started a unit on the Middle Ages. My 8th grader is just finishing a unit on Jules Verne and Steampunk.
  • Project Based Homeschooling– My students have engaged in many projects over the years which have been thought up and finished by them as the student with me as a mentor in the process. My 6th grader is an expert on all things flight and rocketry.
  • Biographies– Whenever we are studying an era in history, my kids will be reading biographies. This is a non-negotiable. It’s gold.
  • Audios– From Little House books to Jim Weisse audios, there is a lot out there in the way of stories and history to listen to as part of a history study.
  • Projects– These work best when my kids choose what they will work on and the drive the project. When my 10th grader was in 8th grade, he made a wonderful game about the Early Church which is one of his favorite time periods. It’s called Conversion and took a blue at the NY State Fair!
  • Custom Coursework– I will often put together my own curriculum for my kids not just a unit study but an entire course. For 9th grade, my oldest had a course I named Foundations of American Democracy for his US Government class. This year he is taking Ancient Studies (with our own scope and sequence based on resources we own) and his project is a blog which is the whole package- content relating to his studies along with appearance and site design. He’s just getting it going, but today he posted an interview he conducted with a graduate student in archeology.

Within their unit studies and projects, I love for my students to study people. Biographies are such a great way to learn about a time and place. It touches all disciplines.

 “Let him, on the contrary, linger pleasantly over the history of a single man, a short period, until he thinks the thoughts of that man, is at home in the ways of that period. Though he is reading and thinking of the lifetime of a single man, he is really getting intimately acquainted with the history of a whole nation for a whole age.” – Charlotte Mason

Blog, She Wrote: Homeschooling Middle & High School History

Our Favorite Middle & High School Homeschool History Curriculum

We have a wonderful collection of resources and curriculum we have used for history. I also put together our own studies because I rarely like all of any curriculum.

Blog, She Wrote: Homeschooling Middle & High School History

  • Beyond Five in a Row– Literature based unit studies with choices from various periods in history. Betsy Ross, Marie Curie, and Thomas Edison are among our favorite studies.
  • Above & Beyond Five in a Row– Just one unit in this series and it’s written to the student to study Hitty The First Hundred Years
  • WinterPromise– We have only done The Quest for the Middle Ages, but this a great transition between all unit studies and more traditional teaching patterns.
  • Mystery of History– I love the Biblical history intertwined with the secular history. Puts all our Bible stories into a context with the other pieces of history we’ve learned. MOH is a great resource for history studies even for older students.
  • Story of the World– I really love the activity books as a starting place for projects for older kids.
  • Time Travelers Series– from Homeschool in the Woods. If you like to do projects with your kids these are a fun tool to have on hand. Our sixth grader especially loves them.
  • Amanda Bennett Unit Studies– Something for everyone here, but we have enjoyed her four week studies in middle and high school.
  • Unit Studies Made Easy– I love this book to talk about what elements are necessary for a unit study and how to keep them simple. Ms. Bendt encourages you in how to go about making a study for all ages and abilities.

Blog, She Wrote: Homeschooling Middle & High School History

Join other bloggers from the iHN as they write about how they teach history in their homeschools.


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Geography Quest: November Treasure Hunt Edition

Blog, She Wrote: November Treasure Hunt Edition

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Time for another treasure hunt version of the Geography Quest– this week’s quest will take us on a continental journey. Here we go!

Continental Treasure Hunt Clues

  1. Begin on the continent with the world’s longest river. Can you name the river & the name of the country?
  2. Next stop is the continent with the world’s largest single rock. Hint: this continent also has the world’s largest coral reef. What is the name of the rock? (It’s had two.)
  3. This continent has the tallest mountain in the Western Hemisphere. Name the mountain and where it is located.
  4. Next name the continent with the world’s deepest fresh water lake. Can you name the lake? How deep is it?
  5. The next clue is the continent with fierce wind patterns called katabatic winds– with wind speeds up to 200mph.
  6. Find the continent which includes the world’s largest island. Hint: This continent is also home to the world’s largest fresh water lake. What is the name of the island and the lake?
  7. Our final destination- the continent with the city set on seven hills. Can you name the city?

This continent is also home to an island nation which will be the starting place for next week’s Geography Quest. Name our starting point.

Black Friday Sale at Bright Ideas Press

What would the day after Thanksgiving be without good sales on products you’ve been waiting to buy?  If you’ve been waiting for WonderMaps to go on sale, now is the time! The sale begins at 12:01 EST on Black Friday and ends at 11:59pm EST on Cyber Monday. The sale is on everything but bundles at BIP. Pretty exciting, right?

We’ve been embarking on Geography Quests at least once a week since August 1, 2013. I would love for you all to have a chance at WonderMaps on sale!

Enjoy the treasure hunt edition and stay tuned for a Thanksgiving themed Quest for next week!

WonderMaps Sale 20% off

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