"Euston, We Have a Problem..."
© Beverley Paine, August 2007
Before the activity locate and print half a dozen satellite images of the Earth from space. Black and white images, if they are sharp, should suffice for this activity. You will also need a good atlas or world globe.
The best time to do this activity is in response to a news item about a pending launch or return of the space shuttle or the space station. If you have any toy space shuttles or rockets, or if the children enjoy playing with space LEGO or other similar toys, you could weave that into the narrative.
You may suggest they are astronauts stranded in space with an instrument black out - only the radio link to Mission Control is working. They children have to look down at the Earth (the image you give them) and try to identify where they are so that a rescue mission can find them. Alternatively, they might decide to be aliens looking for somewhere to invade...
When your children are trying to identify the geographic locations of their images, ask them what identifying clues do they see? What is happening in the pictures to make these places look the way they do? Be sure to model geographic thinking and terminology.
For a more challenging activity try using Satellite images at Night.
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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