Monday, June 15, 2015

Weekly Wrap-up: Trip to Utah, Native Americans, Colonial Period, and Deserts

Well, this will be more of a monthly wrap-up, rather than a weekly wrap-up, as it's been some time since I've posted. In that time, we covered Native Americans, desert animals, the Jamestown settlement, the arrival of the Pilgrims, and the starts of the Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Maryland colonies, as well as taking a trip to Utah to explore some of the National Parks in the area.

We had planned the trip months ago as purely a vacation to hike and see the beautiful landscapes there, before we had even planned to homeschool Bunny and did not have a plan for science or history for the upcoming months. But turns out, our new history and science curricula had us studying Native Americans and desert animals RIGHT before our trip!

So while we were at Arches National Park, we saw a dessert cottontail rabbit, plenty of lizards, and flowering cacti.

Dessert cottontail rabbit

We also saw some Native American petryglyphs carved into the cliffs at Capitol Reef National Park. The tribes mentioned were familiar to the kids, because we had studied some of the different Southwest Native American cultures.

And of course, we learned about the formation of arches, spires and fins through erosion, and we learned about geological rock layers and forces that produced suck amazing views.

Before our trip, we did some fun Native American projects(we focused on the pre-colonial period): 

Various art projects

Pizza map of Native American cultural regions

Sampling of Native American food (various regions)

Attempting to build a home out of sticks

After we got back, we started learning about the colonial period and the first European settlers. No great activities or projects though, just some standard mapwork and timelines and lots of reading from our America the Beautiful textbook, Story of the World, the Light and the Glory for Children (tells the early history of America from a Christian perspective), and a few books from the library. We watched Disney's Pocahontas and picked apart the historical inaccuracies and read a few chapter books to get to know the era better:

However, we hope to visit Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown, VA this summer!