Saturday, October 5, 2013

Week 5: Mexico, Central America, & the Caribbean

Lindsey got her passport and we traveled South of the Border to Mexico this week!
Okay, I confess. We really only drove to South of the Border in Dillon, South Carolina - but we are pretending we are in Mexico :)

Middle Beginnings Week 5: Mexico

We had fun visiting all the brightly colored, giant concrete statues, and posing for photos with them at South of the Border.

There were tall Pedros, a small Pedro, turtles, jackal-ope, horses, coyote, cactus, a dinosaur wearing a sombrero, a wiener dog, alligator, flamingo, and many more!

We rode up 300 feet in the elevator to the top of the giant sombrero tower & enjoyed the view.

Then we played a few games in the arcade. We played both 18 hole mini-golf coarses, rode the bumper cars, the carousel, and drove antique cars around the track.

We went shopping and bought sombreros. We also bought a Mexican flag, a tote bag, a kaleidoscope, a rubber duck wearing a sombrero, a South of the Border wooden ruler, and a serape and mini maracas for Felicity (Lindsey's American Girl doll). We wore our sombreros to lunch at The Sombrero Restaurant where we ordered chips & salsa, and quesadillas.

We were the only ones on the mini golf coarse and rides. The stores and restaurant weren't very busy either. I remember stopping here with my family on our summer vacation to Florida when I was a kid and I remember it being crowded in the shops. Maybe it was slow because we were there on a Friday in September instead of during vacation season, but I was surprised to see it so empty. We enjoyed our visit.


We gave Wee Sing Around The World another try and listened to the songs for both weeks 5 & 6. Happy that we did, it went much better. We had fun with them & played them several times throughout the week as we danced around the living room wearing our sombreros. Tingalayo is still stuck in my head.


In our zoology study we wrapped up canidae (canines) with the sight vs. smell experiment. It uses lemon jello with food color added to half. Subjects smell the jello and guess the flavor, then taste it and guess the flavor. With only 3 people in our family (2 of us knew about the experiment) I'm not sure how accurate it was. I played along and guessed that one was berry. I think the overall concept was still learned. Plus Lindsey got to use her South of the Border ruler to draw columns for her data chart :)

Tip: Use liquid food color. I used gel because it's what I had on hand, but it didn't dissolve well. Our colored jello didn't end up very red.

We decided to use the animal tracking stickers in the back of the zoology notebook on the maps in the Flags of the World book. We are also adding the small flags to countries as we study them. These pages are ideal for stickers & we will be able to add them to the notebook when they are complete.

We were planning to study reptiles next since we are learning about desserts in ecosystems. I had already told Lindsey we would be skipping the pet lizard.
So we are on our nature walk Thursday afternoon...

We found a baby turtle on the path near the lake. We rescued it, afraid someone might run over it on their bike. Lindsey says, "Mom, turtles are reptiles! He's not a lizard, can we keep him? Please!!" I really like turtles, so I relented and said we could keep it for a week to observe it and then we had to return it to it's home.

She named the turtle Speedster and looked up what type he was and how to care for it online. I discovered turtles are covered in Lesson 11 and keeping a pet turtle is in the book. We are covering the turtle and tortoise part of the chapter, but will come back to the crocodilians and amphibians later.

We believe Speedster is a slider. Lindsey found a rock and a stick and created a habitat for the tiny baby turtle. We bought some food pellets for baby turtles and also gave it some lettuce. Speedster is smaller than a quarter and likes to swim.


We started playing the geography game this week and it was a hit. I'm wishing I had a laminator though, adding it to my wishlist. I'm thinking once Lindsey learns all the countries for North America, I may add some flag cards to the game to challenge her a bit more.

She is making good progress on the Exploring World Geography worksheets. We are actually ahead of schedule on these.


Lindsey decided on a sombrero pinata and we started on it this week. Since we worked on it at the kitchen table, we ate dinner on the back porch. We used school glue thinned with water in a plastic shoe box to run our newspaper strips through. We layered the balloon (leaving an opening to fill it with candy) and let it dry overnight. Then we did a second layer and let it dry overnight again. After it was well covered and dry we popped the balloon and filled it with candy. Next we covered up the hole. Next week we will decorate it. 


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