Friday, August 3, 2007

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

I know it's summer, but the learning opportunities are so fantastic with this book that I haven't been able to resist throwing in a few tidbits of more structured learning. K chose 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea last time we went to a bookstore and since I had never read it, we decided to do the book as a family read aloud so I could hear it too.

We read Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days a couple of years ago and had a lovely terrestrial trip. Now we get to see the aquatic world.

This book has many somewhat technical passages that can be difficult for the younger members of the family, but there are so many opportunities to add information and resources that even the youngest child can have fun.

First you need a refresher course on latitude and longitude. Here is a lesson plan that has great information. When you are done you will be able to plot your underwater course on a map. We are doing this now and I must say it is great fun. We are using our globe and some map dots. Here is Jules Verne's map in the event you want to check to see if your course is the same.

So far the Nautilus has remained in some well know currents. Since we are traveling with the currents, it doesn't hurt to take a side trip to learn more about them.

Of course you will want to look at the flora and fauna under the sea, especially the creeps of the deep. Check the websites on this page and here are a few of the books we have checked out from our library.
  • Ocean by Robert Dinwedle and Fabian Cousteau
  • Exploring the Deep Dark Sea by Gail Gibbons
  • The World Beneath the Sea by Susan Harris
  • Kingfisher Voyages: Oceans by Stephen Savage
My son is super interested in submarines. Take a look here and here to satiate that natural curiosity. How Things Work also has good information, too.

Since we like to do a bit of art with everything, I also checked out Ralph Masiello's Ocean Drawing Book.

We have only gotten half way through the book. Think of all the trails we can follow by the time we get to the end. The possibilities are as truly endless as the ocean.

If your crew is not ready for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, try the books and resources at this website which is designed for the younger life learner.


Angela, MotherCrone said...

This is terrific! We loved this book a few years back. I am not sure of the specifics,but Scouts troop did an overnight on a real WWII sub in Baltimore Harbor. I know they run things like this for families as well. Maybe there is something similar at one of the naval bases near you.

Anonymous said...

This sounds great. And if you are feeling bad about "doing school" in the summer, you are not alone. Just remember in October, or March or whenever when you don't do anything for a week or two, you can say you did that week's work in August.

Melora said...

You've got great stuff here! Somehow, I've missed your homeschooling entries before, but now I can catch up. Those pictures your kids did in the art entry are fantastic!

Wisteria said...

Thanks! I'll move the other entries over here soon.

A great looking project is easy to accomplish with Meet the Masters.

Kate in NJ said...

I can't wait to check out all your links! P is very into the "under sea world" right now.