Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up.....The Middle East

Our study of the Middle East was interrupted by multiple trips to the dentist, and two afternoons at church building a giant Cranium Board. Giant being 16 sweet feet on a side.

I, being the awesome free-spirited teacher that I am, tried to tell Sweetling and Toa that building a Giant Cranium Board was applied geometry. 

(It was, I swear it was. We found the perimeter of our board, figured out how many rolls of black sheeting we would need to make the complete area, figured out how many rolls of each color duck tape we would need for the path, figured out the spacing of the path, did a ton of measuring and marking. And when I say "we" I mostly mean the kids. Standing in the hardware section of wal-mart, I couldn't think through any of this math to save me, so I'd ask the kids and they'd figured it out for me.)

Sweetling, however, wasn't buying my justification of the use of school time to build the Cranium board for the game night for our church youth group. In fact, she said, and I do quote, "This isn't school. This is pretty much just taping crap to other crap."

In fact, our study was so interrupted, that on the last Friday of this unit, as we were driving across town to have lunch with Smurf and head to the Krohn Conservatory, I felt guilty enough to check to see what they actually had learned. I asked them to each name five things they knew about the Middle East.

Toa went first. Here's what he said:
  1. Iran had a war with Iraq.
  2. Turkey is the most populated country.
  3. Saudi Arabia is the largest country.
  4. Israel is the smallest country. (This wasn't true, so we corrected it to: Israel is a small country.)
  5. Many dessert animals are nocturnal.
Sweetling's list was:
  1. Much of the Bible took place in the Middle East. 
  2. Islam is one of the main religions of the Middle East.
  3. Many people of Iran like Americans.
  4. Mesopotamia was located in what is now Iraq.
  5. The city of Jerusalem is a holy city for three religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
So, overall, not too bad. We did our usual mapping, and our usual reading from Window on the World and assorted world atlases. Additionally, we watched the series Walking the Bible, because I thought it would really help their understanding of the region to see places that were associated with something they already knew. We also watched a one-hour Rick Steve's special on Iran.

We were planning on, and hope to still manage, a trip to the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati. We have very good friends who said they will take us on a private tour. But, so far, our Friday evenings have been booked up, so this is something we will do in the future.


Kelly said...

Your old co op just took a tour of the Islamic Center. It was Tuesday afternoon, but it was fascinating.

Mrs Random said...

Sure, sure, taunt me. ;)