Can You Name the Landforms?

18 05 2012

The continent of North America is a great place to discover all of the different geographical features that the world has to offer! Can you name all of the landforms in the map below?

  1. Archipelago: sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands.
  2. Bay: a large body of water connected to an ocean or sea formed by an inlet of land due to the surrounding land blocking some waves and often reducing winds.
  3. Gulf: A deep inlet of the sea almost surrounded by land, with a narrow mouth.
  4. Isthmus: A narrow strip of land with sea on either side, forming a link between two larger areas of land.
  5. Island: A piece of land surrounded by water.
  6. Lake: A large body of water surrounded by land.
  7. Peninsula: A piece of land almost surrounded by water or projecting out into a body of water.
  8. River: A large natural stream of water flowing in a channel to the sea, a lake, or another stream.
  9. Strait: A narrow passage of water connecting two seas or two large areas of water.

You can find other fun geography maps at Enchanted Learning!

Undersea Explorers

16 05 2012

Maybe it’s because summer is approaching, but we’ve got the ocean on our minds. Have you visited the ocean? Swam in the sea? We did some research to learn about some famous explorers and adventurers who focused on the ocean.

  • Robert Ballard– (June 30, 1942 – ) is an American undersea explorer, marine scientist, and US Naval officer who has been on over 65 underwater expeditions in submarines and deep diving submersibles. He found the Titanic and many other wrecks. Ballard has revolutionized undersea exploring by using remotely controlled submersible robotic devices (including Argo-Jason; Argo is a remotely controlled submersible vehicle with cameras, and Jason is carried in Argo and sent from it to collect samples and perform other functions).
  • William Beebe– (1877 – 1962) was an American naturalist and undersea explorer. In 1932, Beebe and Otis Barton descended 3,000 ft (914 m) in a bathysphere (a pressurized steel sphere invented by Beebe and Barton). They descended off the coast of Nonsuch Island, Bermuda, in the Atlantic Ocean. During the dive, they communicated with the surface via telephone.

  • Jacques Cousteau– (1910-1997) was a French undersea explorer, environmentalist, and innovator. In 1943, Cousteau and the French engineer Emile Gagnan invented the aqualung, a breathing apparatus that supplied oxygen to divers and allowed them to stay underwater for several hours. Cousteau traveled the world’s oceans in his research vessel “Calypso,” beginning in 1948. (Calypso was a converted 400-ton World War 2 minesweeper; it sank in 1996, after being hit by a barge in Singapore harbor).
  • Sylvia Earle-(August 30, 1935- ) is an undersea explorer, marine biologist (specializing in botany), and author. Earle has done pioneering work in studying ocean life, and she has helped develop the equipment necessary for underwater exploration. During 50 underwater expeditions and over 6,000 hours underwater, Earle has discovered many new marine species and set many diving records. In 1970, Earle led a team of five aquanauts (underwater explorers) who lived for 2 weeks (during which they experienced an underwater earthquake) in an underwater laboratory in a U.S. government project named “Tektite II.” She has discovered many underwater phemonena, including undersea dunes in the Atlantic Ocean off the Bahama Islands.
  • Jacques Piccard-(1922- ) is a Swiss ocean explorer and scientist who was the first person to go to the deepest parts of the Pacific Ocean. On January 23, 1960, he and U.S. Navy Lt. Don Walsh descended over 35,802 feet or 7 miles (10,912 m) in a pressured bathyscape, called Trieste. They went to the bottom of the Challenger Deep of the Marianas Trench (200 miles southwest of Guam), the deepest place on Earth. The trip took five hours. The bathyscape was built by Piccard and his father, Auguste Piccard (1884-1962), a notable Belgian physicist and inventor.
Make an Origami Whale!

Make a Mother’s Day Bouquet!

10 05 2012
Mother’s Day is this weekend, and we couldn’t be happier to celebrate moms and every thing they do! This year, we wanted to make a bright and happy bouquet that would last for a long time. Here’s how we did it:
  • Card stock (assorted colors)
  • Decorative Scissors
  • Glue
  • Stapler (optional)
  • Envelopes

To make this hand made flower bouquet, we need to start by creating a ‘vase’ for the flowers to stand in. To do this simply follow these steps:

– First cut a simple wave across the top of a sheet of card stock.

-Fold a small section of the cardstock in to create a tab.

-Fold the card stock into three sections and glue down using the tab.

Next we move on to creating the flowers!

For this you will use different colored card stock to make the flowers brights and colorful!

– Cut out circles of all colors and sizes.

– Cut petal designs to the edges of the larger circles

– Glue the smaller circle into the center of the larger circle.

– Grab some green card stock and cut out stem shapes for as many flowers as you want to make.

Finally, glue the stems of the flowers into the vase to be sure that they will not fall.

You can always add extra decoration to the outside of your vase. Try adding your own special, personalized message to your mother on her special day!

¡Cinco de Mayo!

4 05 2012

The 5th of May marks the victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Although the Mexican army was eventually defeated, the “Batalla de Puebla” represents a symbol of Mexican patriotism and unity.
Cinco de Mayo is celebrated all over the United States and in Mexico (mainly in Pueblo) and includes mariachi music, folklorico dancing, parades and other types of festive activities.

A fun and easy craft to do for the celebration is making Mexican tin cut-outs:

Here’s what you will need:

  • A disposable pie plate or roasting pan (cleaned)
  • A marker
  • Scissors
  • A large nail, hole punch, or pencil
  • String or yarn
  • Scrap cardboard or newspaper

You can create any shape you want, but here are some templates for a star or a crescent moon!

1. First, print out your design or draw on the pie plate.

2. Cut out the design

3. Lay down a piece of cardboard or newspaper to protect the surface of the table and then use a large nail (hole punch) to poke holes at the top, where the string will go through.

4. Using a nail or a pencil, make indentations all over the piece to decorate.

5. Attach a string to the top & hang anywhere!

Celebrate Mother Earth!

22 04 2012

On April 22nd, The United States, as well as 175 other countries will be celebrated Earth Day! This day is celebrated every year to increase awareness and appreciation for our beautiful planet.

Did you know there was an anthem for Earth Day?
Joyful joyful we adore our Earth in all its wonderment
Simple gifts of nature that all join into a paradise
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love through out all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love through out all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world

Here in the Guide to Being Green you do fun activities and learn ways to take care of Mother Earth!

Another great idea for Earth Day is to make a reminded to turn off your lights! This saves electricity and energy!

Here’s what you will need:

  • Scissors
  • Scrap cardboard (like a cereal box)
  • Glue
  • Marker
  • Ribbon or String

1. Cut a light bulb shape (about 3 1/2 inches wide and 6 inches tall) out of the cardboard. Then use the cardboard to trace over construction paper. Cut out light bulb and glue on top of cardboard.

2. For the base of the bulb, cut out a strip of construction paper (about 1 1/2 inches wide and 3 inches long), wrap it around the neck of the bulb, and glue it in place.

3. After it dries, use a marker to draw threads on the bulb base and to print your conservation message. For a hanger, tape a loop of ribbon to the back of the bulb.

4. Hang it on a doorknob for a daily reminder!

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Awesome Works of Art Influenced by Children’s Toys!

15 04 2012

The imaginations of today’s contemporary artists seem to have no limits. Artists are able explore the wonderful world of children’s toys by creating gigantic masterpieces that are very fun to look at! Some incorporate discarded toys, and others create large-scale balloon dogs or Lego’s. Here are some of our favorite artworks that share a wonderful child-like imagination:

1. Jeff Koons, “Balloon Dog” and “Puppy” (1994-2000): Created out of stainless steel with a mirror finish, Koon’s balloon animals range from 43 feet to 10 feet tall. In 1992, he was commissioned to create “Puppy”, a sculpture of a white terrier puppy covered in a variety of flowers.

2. Peng Hung Chih, “Little Danny” (2001): Little Danny was created with 660 wind-up dogs that start yapping and moving when you enter the room. Chih was interested in presenting the world from a dog’s perspective to visitors that enter.

3. Hans Hemmert, “German Panther” (2007): Standing at an amazing 31 feet tall, “German Panther” was created entirely out of balloons. At the end of the exhibition, the balloons were popped!

4. Florentijn Hofman, 42-foot tall toy rabbit (2011): This giant yellow bunny was created using local materials and craftsmen in Sweden. Located near St. Nicolai Church in the city center, people can walk up to the sculpture and admire its enormous size.

5. Robert Bardford, “Fairy Too”: The sculpture is created using his own children’s old toys, all coming together to make a masterpiece of unique materials.

6. Joe Black, “Made in China” (2011): Created from more than 5,500 toy
soldiers, Black’s portrait is of a Chinese soldier (taken from a photograph by
Robert Capa). All of the toy soldiers were created in China, hence the title.
When the viewer stands back, they see just a portrait. However, if you move
closer, you can see the incredible detail of different color toy soldiers!

7. Ego Leonard’s “Lego’s” (2007-2011): This wonderful, weird mystery Lego seemed to appear out of no where on a Florida beach one day. Standing at 8 feet tall, weighing 100 pounds, the Lego adds a playful and magical moment to a beach visit.

Do you have a favorite work of art? Leave us a comment and share your pick!

Spring has Sprung!

8 04 2012

Texas is a fantastic state to see wildflowers during the season of Spring! All along most highways and roads tiny little flowers begin to blossom into fields of color.

Did you know the Bluebonnet is the State Flower of Texas?
However, most people do not know the long battle behind the Bluebonnet being named the State Flower over 100 years ago.

Male lawmakers and women of the National Society of Dames of America argued between having a strong, prickly cactus as the symbol or the bluebonnet to represent Texas.

Finally in March 1901, the Bluebonnet became one of the first state symbols, representing a robust and full flower that “exemplified the spirit of Texas and its people” according to Flo Oxley, the program coordinator at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

There are now 5 known species:   L. texensis, which is scattered along state byways, the Big Bend/Chisos bluebonnet (L. Harvardii); annual lupine (L. concinnus) and perennial bluebonnet (L. plattensis).

Flower Sightings:

  • St. Edward’s University Campus (there is a large field of bluebonnets beside the baseball field)
  • Highway 290 & 183- stretching into the Hill Country
  • Loop 360 near the Pennybacker Bridge
  • Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
  • Zilker Botanical Garden

Fun Facts about Bluebonnets:

  • Typically blue, the wildflower also can come in shades of pink, maroon, and white
  • Legend holds that the only place pink bluebonnets grow is south of downtown San Antonio– They took on the pink hue when the river turned red after battle for the Alamo
  • Blooming period is between March-May
  • As they age, the top petals turn purple-red
  • April 24th is Texas State Wildflower Day!
  • Despite common misconceptions, Bluebonnets are not illegal to pick, just be careful pulling over along roadways!


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