Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Survival School Lesson Plans

While I am busy this week hanging out with some lady friends (you can not possibly overestimate my excitement for this, by the way), Daddy will be taking up the role of teacher and launching a new little unit I whipped up for my guys. It is mostly aimed at the middle two boys who are twelve and ten, but I think the younger two, eight and six, will enjoy following along and chiming in.

School designed with these guys in mind

It's sometimes hard in my all boy environment for my girl brain to drag itself away from the cutesy and the clever and really dig into the things that they enjoy and that grab their attention. But there is no doubt these boys love them some survival shows. Our Netflix Recently Watched Queue adequately tells the tale: Survivor Man, Man Vs. Wild, Man Woman Wild, Dual Survivor, and the list goes on.

I decided to take advantage of that and the fact that we live in close proximity to pure jungle/cloud forest environment, and sketch up a lesson plan based on these types of shows. Added bonus: Daddy gets to play teacher!

I think this guys is better suited for the job than me anyway, don't you?

We are starting with the jungle since that is right here in our backyard, but the same plans will then be applied to the following environments: desert, arctic, tropical island, swamp, and savanna. I tried to write plans that allowed for some rabbit trail room as well as some fun extensions into areas like music and art. But I am not going to push those. If the boys buck them, I'm just going to let it slide or guide them through it myself. However, I think the geography, writing, nature study, logical reasoning, and science parts of the plans will be well-received and I think we are all going to have lots of fun with this.

Now that's a well-created classroom environment right there!

So without further ado, here are the Survival School Plans for the week:

Survival Plan: Jungle
Day 1:
·         Watch an episode of a survival show set in this environment.
·         Write down the name of the place where they are. Locate it on the world map. Print the continent map out and color the country where they are.
·         Take notes on how they address the following needs:
Mental Attitude
Protection from the elements
·         What are the main dangers in this environment?
·         What assets does this environment have for survival?

Day 2:
·         Research and find another national park not featured in the show you watched with these environmental conditions. Map it on the world and continent map. Check out the web site and learn a bit about the park.
·         You will pretend to be a survivor in this environment this week. Write the story of how you ended up lost there.
·         Write a list of ten items you would take from your pack or try to scavenge from where you got lost to have with you as try to survive here. Write a one sentence explanation of why you chose each.
·         Compare your list with your partners. Work together to create a group list of only six items. You MUST decide together what to bring and what to leave behind from each or your individual lists.
Day 3: Choosing Priorities
·         What would you do immediately before you start moving to address each of these needs?
·         Food, water, warmth, shelter, protection from the elements
·         What would be your exit /rescue strategy?

Today’s needs: Fire and Water
·         What are some options you could use to get a fire going in this environment? Write written and illustrated instructions for one method.
·         Identify the easiest place to locate drinkable water in this environment. How would you purify the water to make sure it was safe to drink? Write out your instructions.

Day 4:
Today’s needs:  Food and Protection
·         Research five edible plants in this environment and how to identify them. Sketch them and write their names.
·         What animals/fish could you hunt/trap in this area? What would your hunting/trapping/fishing strategy be? Write instructions for constructing one way to catch food with the items you chose for your pack and things you could find in your environment.
·         What is the most important thing to protect yourself from in this environment? What tools, natural and man made, could help you? How would you use them?
Art Extension:
·         Google famous works of art of this environment. Choose one that appeals to you. Find out the artists’ name, where he/she was from, when the artist lived and a bit about the painting.
·         Write three sentences describing the painting.

Day 5:
Today’s Needs: Shelter and Rescue
·         How would you create shelter in this environment? Where might you find natural shelter? What man made items would keep a look out for? What items from your pack list would come in handy?
·         Research one way to create shelter out of plants and leaves found in this environment and illustrate a set of instructions.
·         Write the story of your rescue.
Music Extension:
·         Find a piece of classical music that reflects how you would feel when you are rescued.
·         Write its name and the composer down here.
·          Find a piece of music from the place you were stranded that tells the story of your time in the jungle. Play it for us.

I'd love to know if any of you decide to take on Survival School at your house! You can download the plans in .pdf if you like. 

I think I'll just chill while Daddy takes over this school thing for a while.

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