Sunday, October 10, 2010

Balloon Globes for Columbus Day

We've been watching the Columbus Day, video clips, on the History Channel's site, and reading all the Columbus Day books we can get our hands on, this weekend. Our favorite, so far, has been Elaine Landau's Columbus Day, Celebrating a Famous Explorer.


It's part of the Finding Out About Holidays series. I like it, because it doesn't present Columbus as either a villain, or a hero, and because it has a short chapter on how Columbus Day is celebrated today. At the back of book are Internet links, for further study, and a glossary of "words to know".

There is also a craft suggestion - the usual walnut shell boats, which we decided to skip this year. Instead, I wanted a craft to help explain Columbus' journey, to the younger children, who were finding the flat maps confusing.

So, we started by blowing up two, blue, balloons, one larger than the other. Part of what we've learned about Columbus is that he thought the world was smaller than it really is.

I printed two world map coloring sheets from Printable Coloring Pages, and the older girls cut out the two groupings of continents.


On the smaller balloon we glued only the the European/Asian grouping - the world as Columbus knew it. But, on the larger balloon, we also glued on North, and South America - the world as it is (almost).


Then, the little ones took turns holding a popsicle stick, with the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria glued to it, printed from here. The older girls turned the balloons, showing the journey Columbus planned to make - starting in Spain...


...across the ocean...


...to Asia...


...and the journey he actually made, bumping into South America (or there abouts).


It's great to be a homeschooler.

10 comments:

Joyful Learner said...

Fabulous demonstration with the balloons! We'll be using this idea when we get back except we'll use a ball because I'm deathly afraid of balloons!

Debbie said...

What a great hands on way of teaching them about Columbus, and the difference of how he knew the world, and how it really was.

Fairion said...

Oh this looks so fun and so easy. I am going to do it as well. Thanks for sharing

Phyllis said...

Very cool!

Christy said...

Love this. I will be doing it today!!! Thanks!

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

They turned out great!! Quick and easy too! :-)

Marcee said...

AH HAH!!!! Love it, next week our co-op is starting a geography unit. I'm going to use the balloon and have the kids draw longitude and latitude lines, tropic of cancer, capricorn, greenwich meridian, and so on!!! Thanks for sparking my brain Leah!!!

Ticia said...

I love the way you did this. I bet the kids did too.

I agree Columbus was neither a hero or a villain. Was he brave? yes, but he wasn't trying to be a hero.

MeeGenius said...

This is so clever! Can't wait to share this idea!

Raising a Happy Child said...

I love the idea of using a balloon for this - I wish I read it earlier. I only have long balloons in the house at the moment :)