Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Final Leg of M. Arronax's Journey

The final chapters of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea provides much fodder for the curious mind. If you're just now joining us on the out of book journey check here and here for the other installments.

  • Different varieties of whales make their appearance in this last section. Visit the American Cetacean Society to satiate your need to know. They have fact sheets, resource lists, and curriculum. You have to give your email address to access some sections, but the information is good enough to risk getting a little junk mail. I particularly like the Cetacean Breath Chart and the breath holding activity that goes along with it.
  • Atlantis - Interesting passage in the book and there are many books if you want to add information. Atlantis: The Legend of a Lost City by Christina Belit is one that we were able to get from our library.
  • Volcanoes - Interestingly enough we started studying volcanoes and volcanic rocks about the time we got to this section of the book. I'll do a separate post since it is part of our planned science study this year.
  • Honeybees - We didn't do much here because the children have been helping with the beekeeping duties since they were three. But possibilities exist since bees are such interesting insects, not to mention productive.
  • Penguins - If you haven't seen it already, be sure to watch March of the Penguins. Though the movie only tracks emperor penguins, the Antarctic is shown in its bitter cold, unforgiving beauty. Did I mention how much I like Morgan Freeman's voice? Watch Happy Feet, too. It makes me smile.
  • While you're still shivering, snuggled in front of the television, watch Eight Below for a view of scientists working in Antarctica. Then talk about the South Pole and how you know when you make it there. Nemo used chronometers, barometer, and lenticular glass.
  • Icebergs - Here is a wonderful lesson (much more than one lesson) combining icebergs, Antarctica, and penguins. The resources are fabulous!! My children are fascinated by icebergs.
  • The Giant Polyps - K is obsessed with this. Unfortunately, the creatures in the book don't have a scientific basis. We did look. We found these giant squid pictures and information.
If I had not been enjoying this book along with my children and reacting to their curiosity, planning a more cohesive study using the book as a Charlotte Mason living book spine would have been possible. Reading a book without prior knowledge has its benefits too, because you can truly let your children lead. Sure, I had the bright idea to plot the journey, but we studied freely roaming in and out of the science of the fiction, never overwhelming either child with schoolish study, but providing enough library books, or web resources to answer those questions so freely asked.

As with all good books they lead to other good books. We are now reading The Mysterious Island because inquiring minds want to know, "What happened to Captain Nemo?" In fact, K has all of Jules Verne's books on his to be read list.