We started our study of United States Geography by making a paper mache globe.
To make the globe we had to gather our supplies:
glue: made of flour, water, and salt
a large balloon
First we made the glue and used it to glue the newspaper strips to the balloon and to the other strips. Then we let it dry and painted the whole thing with blue spray paint, adding continents after the "oceans" dried. We marked longitude and latitude lines on our globe and learned about how time changes are based on longitude. The hour changes for every 15 degrees of longitude.
Once our globe was painted we wanted to see how the shapes of landforms look different when you try to flatten out a sphere to make a map. We did this by peeling an orange and doing our best to keep it in tact, then we drew an "equator" on it and tried to flatten it out.
We continued to learn about how the US fits into the world as a whole by learning about the early belief in the United States that the country was destined to stretch from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the Pacific (Manifest Destiny). Settlers who traveled west encountered many challenges including Native Americans, mountains, rivers and diseases such as yellow fever. Some of the challenges may have been easier if they had just tried to talk it out with the native people and come up with a solution that was good for everyone. We looked at the resources in our country and tried to guess where the most people might live. Our guesses are on the left picture, and a picture of a 2010 population map is on the right, I think we guessed pretty well!