It started with Stories.  Stories that were the wrap-up of our last project.

The kids were so excited to continue to make books.  They wanted to make up all kinds of stories.  We’ve been talking about all the parts of story: set-up, setting, characters, conflict, resolution, conclusion.  We also almost always web our projects and the stories we read, so we can think about how we learn.  The kids love to do this.  So much that they ask to do it.  Nora asked if we could map our own stories, so of course, we did.

Adah, Lucas, Izzy and Jake web “My Father’s Shop”.

Jake created a web of his own story, “Peter and the Dragon”.

The stories continued.  The end of the football season was the topic of conversation and we have a couple of families following the play-offs.  Two kids were super-excited to write about football.  Lucas and Chase would sit in front of the U.S. Map and talk about teams and what state they were in and who was flying were to play whom and on…  This became their stories.

“Football Teams for the NFL”, Illustrated by Lucas (and written)

In Lucas’ book, he wrote all the teams that were playing, who they were playing and their scores.  While we were looking through his book together, we both noticed that there really wasn’t a character, so he incorporated “a boy” who then flew to all the different states and watched the different games play.

“The United States of America” by Nora & Jake.

This of course created a map craze in the classroom.  Everyone was talking about states and capitals.  Lucas really took the lead on this project and even began to memorize the dates of when the different states entered the union.  The kids already had a good grasp on the U.S.’s geography from our project last year about weather, tornadoes, hurricanes and where these storms take place in our country.

From here we began to talk a bit more in depth about our state, Washington.

“Washington State” by the kindergarten group.

“The Pacific Northwest” by Adah.

Jake had just written a play, “The Mountain Holders and the Dragon” and it was set in the Olympic Mountains.

This became our next study.  We learned all about the Olympic Mountains, the Olympic Peninsula, the Native Peoples of that area, the ocean, the rain forest.  Mount Olympus became the topic of conversation and we learned about glaciers, especially Blue Glacier.

“The Glaciers of Mt. Olympus” by Nora

We then moved on to the Himalayas and Mt. Everest.

“The Himalayas by Lucas, Chase & Adah.

Of course you cannot study mountains without studying geology.  We have been rock collecting, identifying, cracking them open, drilling into them.

We took a walking rock tour of the neighborhood and collected specimens.

We took a field trip to “Path Park”, so the kids mapped the park.

“A map of Path Park” by Izzy.

We got into a bit of Latitude & Longitude with the 1st Grade group, which also led into rounding up and down to the nearest 10.  This was hard but everyone got it and many parents told me the kids were teaching them at home.

So many places we’ve traveled inside these pages.

The more we learn, the more we love our earth.  It’s magic.