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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Where Is Your Next Adventure?

I'm gearing up for Geography Awareness Week 2011 with an emphasis on the theme: Explore the Adventure in Your Community. The folks over at The Geography Collective have created cool MISSIONS to get you out and about...exploring your community.  Also, Daniel Raven-Ellison, one of their geographers, is stopping by the NCGE Webinar program to show off what they're up to!


If you want to get outside and discover something new, try these GPS-enabled activities with your students, family and friends!




If you'd like lesson plans, check out Going Places with GPS by Roger & Anita Palmer.


Bottom line, get out in the fresh air and explore your world!



Monday, October 24, 2011

The Great Pumpkin Harvest


It just wouldn’t be fall without pumpkins and great stories.  One of my favorite stories is the one made famous by Charles Schultz.  Linus van Pelt tries to convince his friends that The Great Pumpkin “rises out of the pumpkin patch that is the most sincere.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiSIQzwIPzQ Another website with good information about the story is http://peanuts.wikia.com/wiki/It's_the_Great_Pumpkin,_Charlie_Brown.  


I believe this is an opportunity to talk about vocabulary, science, storytelling and just have some fun!
What is a "sincere" pumpkin patch? Where might that pumpkin patch be?  




View Larger Map


Lesson idea: Have your students explore the data, then add points to the map to predict The Great Pumpkin's journey to the most "sincere" pumpkin patches.  Older students may be interested in exploring the data behind the map and the math involved in the statistics.


Where do those pumpkins come from anyway?  If you eat the seeds will they grow in your belly?  Great agricultural lesson for elementary students illustrating stages of the pumpkin: http://aitc.oregonstate.edu/resources/pdf/activity/great_pumpkin.pdf

And finally, a pumpkin post wouldn't be complete without my favorite pumpkin pie recipe:
Step 1: Buy a can of Libby’s Pumpkin. You can’t buy any other kind or you can’t do Step 2! 
Step 2: Follow the recipe on the back or use the online version. http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/18470/LIBBYS-Famous-Pumpkin-Pie/detail.aspx
My secret: Add Vanilla extract and nutmeg to the mix (at least a teaspoon of each).
My favorite pie crust recipe from Anne Thornton: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/anne-thornton/mama-thorntons-peach-pie-recipe/index.html (or get those ready made ones from the store).