Happy 2011 Football Season!!!!
Football's kind of a big deal in this house. In case you didn't know. To get the kids in on the fun this year, I've started weekly geography lessons based on whatever team OUR team is playing each week. I wanted to do Football Fridays to lead into the weekend, but Fridays are kind of crazy here, and we just won't get to it. So, since the first game is on a Thursday anyway (GO SAINTS!!!!), I figured we'd do these on Thursdays. We follow the NFL, but if you're college football fanatics, you could follow your alma mater around the country. Not a football fan? Baseball works, or wait for basketball season. You could probably even follow your favorite golfer around the world. Whatever floats your boat.
Some of you might be wondering how we do this, or what we're using for lesson plans. Honestly? I'm winging it here. Not just because I'm lazy/tired/stressed/overworked. I want this to be fun, so it's not something I want to stress about or overplan. We just want to learn a little bit about the team we're playing and where they come from. Here's what we did today:
First, we pulled out the state card for the team we're playing. Tonight, it's Green Bay, so Ella found the card for Wisconsin in her U.S. states learning cards we found in the dollar bins at Target. I ask her a few questions, then tells me a couple of interesting facts about the state. All from the card.
Next, using the map on the other side of the state card as a guide, we fill in a few major landmarks on the state map from about.com, making sure to include the city for the team of the week, in this case, Green Bay. You could go into more detail than we did, but really I just want her to have a basic understanding of the states. We can always do more in the future. About.com also has worksheets and word searches for each state, but I'm only going to do those for our state for now. Like I said, plenty of time to get to this in future years.
Now comes the fun part. I printed two copies of the U.S. postal codes map from The Five Js free ebook. One map will be for NFC teams, and the other map will be for AFC teams. We're color coding and writing a list of each division (N, S, E, & W) in each conference. So, since Green Bay is in the NFC North, Ella picked green for that division and colored Wisconsin green. Then she colored Louisiana red, and she'll use red for the rest of the NFC South teams.
For fun, I printed two coloring sheets (one for Ella and one for Harper) for Wisconsin, also from the about.com geography page.
Finally, we're making computer time count today, too. Spelling City has a special back-to-football list up this week. I'm not testing her on this, but she can play a few of the games. Also, Learning Games for Kids has a bunch of games for all 50 states.
Now, time to check on my chili (a regular batch and a vegetarian batch for Ella) made with fresh garden chilis (not my garden, unfortunately), chill some Abita Ambers (no, not gluten free, and I will certainly pay for having one of them), and wait quite impatiently for this day to end.
Ahhh . . . football and a cool front . . . I can smell fall in the air!