Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Planet Earth Look What Came from England
We had a great time with our geography topic of England. It was the first country Anna specifically requested. As always, we read different books, but focused around something that Anna could connect to. In case of England it was castles and tea parties. By the way, Look What Came from England book disappointed me, since it mentioned neither.
Incidentally our Target had foam swords in their $1 bins, and I couldn’t resist. Daughter really enjoyed the whole castle unit, and we read The Knight at Dawn from Magic Tree House. I was skeptical throughout the whole book about Anna’s ability to actually comprehend the story, and I am pretty sure that she didn’t grasp it fully. In fact, we read every castle chapter twice because it was clear to me from simple comprehension questions that she couldn’t absorb the vocabulary and the story line in one pass. But still the book kept her interest and now she also knows that there are more books available. She already begs to start reading the next one. I think a return visit to Egypt is in the cards :)
I wanted to make something British with Anna, and on Sunday we made a proper British tea party with freshly baked scones. Somehow I always have the same experience with baking to the new recipe – the dough is a lot stickier than I expect it to be, and I end up adding a lot more flour than recipe asks for. I am curious if experienced bakers have any remedy for it? Anna was very good helping May16_TeaParty me with flour – even though we don’t do a lot of Montessori activities, she gets better and better with scooping and pouring. While we were busy with scones, papa prepared a proper tea, and Anna got the “real tea cup” from our tea set for the first time. She was beyond pleased, and the whole tea party was a true “create a memory” experience, because it just doesn’t happen often enough in our house.
For more history and geography, visit History/Geography Exchange at Children Grow Children Explore Children Learn.


Christy said...

This is great! I have never made scones, but I love them. I hope someone has advice. OH, do you read The Artful Parent? She just did a huge post on scones maybe a week or two ago. She had a bunch of recipes. I bet she can help.

I LOVE your tea party. We are hoping to have a real tea party soon because we have been reading Fancy Nancy's Tea Parties book. Reagan loves to drink from tea cups!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Sometimes the stickiness just means the dough needs to be worked a little more. Flouring your hands, and the work surface, will keep it from sticking to everything while you work with it, and if it does stick to you, you need to wash the dough off your hands, and then flour them again.

I love your tea party picture, but you definitely need some hats, and boas! :)

Debbie said...

Great unit! I'm an American living in England, so I'm glad you enjoyed studying it. I'm sorry the book Look What Came From England disappointed you. Though England is full of castles and pretty much everyone drinks tea a LOT, the book focuses on what CAME from England, and neither of those things did. I did an England study with my 3rd-grade son at the beginning of the year, complete with tea (with milk of course) and scones. I'm afraid he was disappointed with the tea, however, and I can't get him to try it again! If you're interested in anymore England ideas, check out my blog posts on the UK--though you'd have to pick what's age appropriate for Anna. DLTK has cool England crafts, and we love Beatrix Potter's books!

Ticia said...

I'll echo Unschooling with flouring the surface a lot, and your hands. I just tend to flour my hands and the surface heavily and have that compensate, but I do sometimes just add extra flour.
Tea parties are a regular staple in our house, and they're always wildly popular.
And my kids have been begging me to get those swords from Target, but I've been holding firm because we have about 10 of those at our house, and the axes we got earlier were destroyed very quickly.

Debbie said...

I was going to give the same advice as the others did about the flour.

Great study of England and to top it off with a tea party!

Thank you for linking up this week.

MaryAnne said...

I think most doughs that are meant to be kneaded call for less flour than is actually needed, because they are compensating for flour on the counter and on hands. I don't like kneading sticky dough, so I just add it in the bowl and knead it there.

I'm very surprised that your book failed to mention castles and tea parties - how can you leave out such essential aspects of British culture?!

Aging Mommy said...

A lesson on England - I love it! If you are going to make scones then you have to have jam and cream with them, preferably clotted cream from Devon but that might be hard to find here and is a heart attack in the making!

Scones are really easy - I will send you the recipe I use and see if you like it!

Joyful Learner said...

Lovely tea party! I'm wondering where tea and castles originated?!

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

Oh my goodness, I have that same issue with scones! What is up with that?? Looks like such a great time! And I'm a HUGE fan of tea. How delightful! :-)

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