Saturday, August 1, 2009

CSSS*: Week 6—Geography Week

* Camp Stimey Saturday Summary!

I think my biggest mistake with Geography Week was making it too much like school. There was not a lot of excited camper participation this week. I had intended to teach my guys a little bit about the layout of the United States and then have them mark our vacation route on a map. I was hoping that remembering the map marking would distract them from the fact that they were buckled down in a minivan for 12 hours today.

But my fatal error? Starting Geography Week with the west coast. Unfortunately we never made it far enough east to get anywhere near our vacation route.

I started with a map of the United States that I printed out, taped together, and then cut apart.

My plan was to teach them all a few facts about several states each day. Please note in the photo below how Sam looks super excited. Or not.

After we learned about our daily states, we drew something unique to each state on the cut outs. See Sam working industriously at the task at hand? See Jack working industriously at...Lego building? See Quinn...nowhere to be found?

After Sam and I drew our pictures, we taped the states to the wall with the intent of having the entire United States up there by week's end.

Cute idea, huh? Sam drew his aunts and cousins in New Mexico, where they live; and himself in California, where he was born. I drew Hoover Dam in Nevada; a gold miner in Montana; and myself in Utah, where I was born. And so on.

The next day we added six more states. I'm particularly proud of my Mount Rushmore. And I love Sam's Texas roadrunner.

And that's as far as we got. Evidently our United States consists entirely of the West. Oh well. It's better than nothing, right?

Fortunately our Little Passports came in the mail this week, so we expanded Geography Week to include the rest of the world. Or at least Brazil.

We also got our awesome package from Whirlwind. So Thursday we put our own package together to send back to her place.

Sam even drew an entirely not geography-related picture.

Rainbows are his specialty.

Oh well. Fortunately we have a couple weeks of vacation to take a breather from camp. I'm going to have to step up my game for our next go-round.


  1. That is the BEST half a map I have ever seen. You look particularly beautiful in Utah.

  2. I particular enjoy the pile of poo in North Dakota. That's sort of how I remember the state from back when I lived at Minot Air Base.

    I'm a little hurt you didn't draw me in Minnesota. Or even finish Minnesota.

    Oh, and on another note? That little piece of info I gave you in my last email? It may have been wrong. In fact, I'm pretty positive it was.

  3. Next time you're at the library, get them THE SCRAMBLED STATES OF AMERICA (and the equally silly sequel). Not the most academic of tomes, but one of my younger sons all-time faves.

    Have fun on vacation!

  4. I love ... LOVE that map! Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. It's too bad your boys weren't so into your map. I absolutely love it. What a great idea!

  6. I also love the map activity - truly!

    (also, who knew that the badlands were so... bad, and that George Washington had an ipod.) that's kidding, sort of.

  7. Geography, not something I even remember learning about in school, although I'm sure I must have. So I really like your state cut-outs and drawing special stuff on each one. Maybe I would have remembered it if we did stuff like that.

  8. Ah well, you were on quite a roll with Camp Stimey running splendidly! Guess the campers ran out of steam but I do love your map idea!

    Your kids might like Rocknoceros' song, The United States of America, that you can listen to for free on their website: It's a huge hit in our house! :)

    Safe travels!

  9. What a fun activity! I like the idea of highlighting each state and pieceing it back together. Have a great vacation!

  10. We got the box today - thanks!

    The girls (Meenie and Moe) promptly grabbed a strawberry shortcake doll and asked that we watch the accompanying DVD. I hid the pens (mine!) and then they decided to try and poke each other's eye out with the ribbon wands. The flash cards are great and the straws are already horded!

    Have a great vacation. I have to go illustrate a book (that is so cool - where did you find that?).

  11. You gotta admit, thats a lot of states to do in just a week! You need, like, a whole geography MONTH! But it is a very cool map!

  12. I LOVE the map idea...even if your campers weren't quite as thrilled. Have a fabulous vacation!

  13. I have no idea what you wrote because I noticed we have the same table cloth, when I tried to remember where I had purchased the table cloth I became hopelessly distracted with figuring out if it was at Steinmart or Tuesday Morning.

    I have the matching napkins BTW.


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