Sunday, March 24, 2013

Swiss Family Robinson with Total Language Plus

Just finished up Swiss Family Robinson with my youngest daughter and her co-op class.  For me this was the second time on this study guide from Total Language Plus.  First time I remember my boys noticed that they seemed to shoot everything they came in contact with.  This time with only one boy in the co-op class that was not noticed so much! 
Lexie's map of New Switzerland

It's such a classic story which also lends itself to some really fun projects.  It would probably end up towards the top of my list of favorites.  When I chose ones to do with a co-op class I often like to make sure we have some choices for projects and writing assignments that fit well and make my planning easier as the teacher of the class.  The Swiss Family study guide from Total Language Plus works very well in this case.

We of course did the paragraph writing from the personal thinking question, class discussion and some spelling and vocabulary games but we added some fun projects too.

Each week we chose to do the recommendation of maintaining a plant and animal encyclopedia of New Switzerland (what they name their Island.)   I required the students to come to each class with 4 new enteries complete with pictures.  On the last day of class we created covers and "bound" their enteries into their own encyclopedia book.  My parents visited this weekend and it was nice to see my daughter be able to show them her completed "book."

A couple other ideas we took from the project section of the guide were to create a map and a travel brochure.  All the students created maps of the Island Settlement that of course included the location of the tree house but also places like the cave, ship wreak site, whale island, the farm house and more.  Some of the students created "tri-fold" travel brochures and some chose to do travel posters enticing people to come visit the Island.  We had nights lodging ranging from $50 a night to $1500 for the week.  

Learning can be fun if we stop and take the time to let it be!  Sometimes we get so caught up in the more perhaps "academic" things like spelling tests, reports writing etc... that we forget to take time for some of the more creative and yes, even fun, school projects. 

So what "fun" things are you doing this week? 

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