Saturday, 14 June 2014

Science Videos & Schedule for A Child's Geography: Explore His Earth by Ann Voscamp

I've just finished reading this book to my 9 year old. The book is pitched to the younger child in the way the author writes (Ambleside Online has it listed as a Geography option for Year 3) but my son read it when he was about 11 years old and enjoyed it and I learnt quite a bit myself when I read it to Moozle as it goes into quite some depth in places. See here for an excerpt.

There are 11 chapters and I spaced each chapter over two weeks, occasionally three (chapters 8-10 were quite detailed), reading a few sections per week and she narrated after each section.
We skipped the writing suggestions (Postcards Home) and most of the activities except for those Moozle decided were interesting enough to warrant an effort and I added in some videos.
This is an outline of what we did.

Chapter 1

Short & easily done in a week.
Pg 9-11; 12-13
Countries & coastlines (but sadly no Australia!) 

Earth from space:

Chapter 2

Pg.19-20; 21-22; 23-25

Meteors & shooting stars at the Science Channel - quite a good video but there are links to other videos & an ad beforehand as well so preview first.

Atmosphere song:

Chapter 3

Pg. 31-33; 33-35; 35-37

Auroras seen from the north of Scotland. This is spectacular:

A very good explanation of what causes the above, especially for an older child:

Chapter 4

Pg.43-45; 45-46; 47- 49; 49-50; 51-52

Sheppard Software have some free online map activities which are great for all ages. Some of them are quite difficult but with a bit of practice you'll know all the Chinese provinces and other random information that might just be useful one day...

Chapter 5

Pg.57-59; 60-62; 63-64; 65-66
Activity pg. 71-72


Learn about rip currents, how to identify them, avoid them or how to escape if caught in one. We had a holiday last year and swam at an isolated beach which had some strong rips and we spent some time looking for the safest places to swim. I never knew how to identify rips and I was caught in one when I was in my teens - very frightening, not to mention highly dangerous. If I'd had this information at the time I would have known what to do.

The moon & tides:

The Gulf Stream - a bit of history here. Benjamin Franklin was the first person to map the Gulf Stream:

Ocean currents & Salinity - simple visual explanation:

Chapter 6

Pg.73-76; 77-78; 79-80; 80-81

An explanation of the seasons:

Chapter 7

Pg. 91-93; 94-96; 97-99; 100-101

This video on earthquakes is very good but I only let my daughter watch it up until 2:10 as it has footage of a little girl crying as an earthquake occurs and people being swept away by tsunamis later on. It has a great view of the San Andreas fault line and it would probably be fine for an older student but preview first.

Chapter 8

105-107; 108-109; 109-110; 111-113
Activity pg 116-117 & 118

Good explanation of plate tectonics for children:

Chapter 9

Pg.119-122; 123-125; 126-128; 128-129

Volcano Adventure is a great book I'd recommend while we're on the topic of volcanoes.
Activity pg 133-134 - the results weren't spectacular. Last time one of the boys made a volcano in the sandpit and it was impressive.

Cinder, composite and shield volcanoes & how they are formed:

Geysers - what they are and how they erupt:

Rotorua Geysers, New Zealand. Rotorua has been called The Sulphur City and the geothermal activity permeates the area with a distinctive odour. The colours of the rocks, terraces and water (a beautiful intense aqua in places), around the area are stunning.

Chapter 10

Pg.135-137; 138-140; 140-141; 142-144

Globe Unwrapped shows how a globe becomes a map (the website is slow to load).

Chapter 11

Pg.149-151; 152-153; 153-155; 156-159

Concise & clear explanation of the Prime Meridian:

We were trying to work out time differences when my husband was overseas for work.
How come where Dad is it's Wednesday and he's just about to go to bed and it's Thursday lunchtime here??
These videos were helpful:

The concept of different times in different places takes some mind bending so this video might go over the heads of younger children and would be better for an older student:



  1. Carol, thanks for posting all the videos to go with the book! I'll have to bookmark your post so I can come back to it when my daughter does Year 3. :)

  2. Thank you for sharing this. :) We are planning to use this book for Year 3 next year - I will be bookmarking this to come back to.

  3. Thanks for including this GREAT post in today's Charlotte Mason blog carnival, Carol. Very useful. I love Ann Voskamp! She came to our church and spoke a year or so ago.

  4. We are just about to start this book. This post will be very helpful :)

  5. We have one of these books on the shelf, but have never really used it! I sorta forgot about it =) You've written a great breakdown of the chapters and it makes me want to go pull out my book again! Thanks! And thanks for linking up to Trivium Tuesdays!

  6. Hello. I've never posted before, but have read and enjoyed. Thank you so much for posting this. I know how much time it takes and what a precious commodity our time is. =) I was on the fence about whether to do this or not since it is an optional resource. But this post helped me tremendously! And I am so enjoying reading through the archives of your blog. Got some great ideas for Cmas poetry from a few of your other posts. Yay!