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Activities for learning about our world and time!

AROUND THE GLOBE

Our planet is a beautiful sphere traveling through space on its yearlong journey around the sun.  We have 5 oceans, 7 seas, 7 continents, and 196 countries, all vibrant with life.  Over 7 billion people, speaking more than 6,500 different languages inhabit this world.  We live in different time zones, with different climates, in different kinds of houses.  We eat different meals and practice different traditions.  We celebrate our differences, as one family, sharing one home…Earth.

Traveling the world and learning about other cultures

  1. Each country and its people have made wondrous contributions to the quality of life on this planet.  Exploring other cultures helps our children understand the importance of our differences as well as  the value of our universal similarities.
  2. Using a globe or a map, find your own home first.  Then mark off the places visited in this book.  After learning about your community, travel along with the book, discovering all you can about each location and the remarkable and unique qualities they all have to offer.  Compare each country’s way of life to life in your hometown.  Spend some time at your local library or online, gathering information before you move on through the pages.  And, of course, feel free to make other stops all around the world.

AROUND THE CLOCK

For thousands of years, human beings have been keeping track of time.  It was important to know how many hours of daylight they had to hunt and gather food.  Back in 1500 B.C., the first clocks were not run by batteries or electricity.  Time was calculated by watching the movement of shadows created by the sun.  The sundial is so accurate a tool that it was exclusively used until 1400 A.D.  While they are rarely seen today, they are the model for our modern clocks.

Making a Sundial (with directions from the National Wildlife Federation)

  1. Poke a hole through the center of a paper plate.  Write the number 12 on the edge of the plate.  Using a ruler, draw a straight line from the number 12 to the hole.
  2.  Poke a straw through the hole and carefully slant it toward the line.
  3. At noon on a sunny day, take the plate outside.  On the ground, turn the plate so that the shadow of the straw falls along the line to the number 12.  Fasten the plate to the ground so that it does not move.
  4. One hour later, check the position of the shadow along the edge of the plate and write the number 1 on that spot.  Continue each hour, predicting the position while checking and marking the actual position.

This activity will help with observation, communication, and prediction skills while having fun learning to tell time the way our earliest ancestors.

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