A friend and I didn't quite finish our history curriculum this year, so we are doing "catch up" classes over the summer. We are doing many of the fun activities that SOTW provides. We're meeting two afternoons each week--last week we had so much fun!
We made Columbus hats to wear throughout our 2 hours together. I used extra large pieces of construction paper. I folded them in half and then cut out the shape that I had lightly sketched on. I didn't have a template for these as it doesn't have to be perfect. Each child needs two of these. I then cut out rounded red crosses. The kids glued them on and then we simply stapled the two blue hat pieces together and fit them to size.
I found this map idea on Pinterest. We tweaked it a bit with supplies we had on hand. I used brown paper grocery bags. I had the kids draw the old world and the new world with the route that Columbus took highlighted. They traced everything they drew with Sharpie. They even included a few sea monsters that the men of that day thought existed. Then we painted it with tempra paints (we started with watercolor and found these didn't show up well on the brown paper bag). Rather than paint the boats on, I found this clip art and copied and pasted it into a Word document. I then shrunk it to the size I wanted and printed it on cardstock. I tore the edges of the map for a rustic look.
SOTW tells you how to make a vinegar/baking soda powered ship with a soda bottle. We didn't have any soda bottles on hand, so I tried a water bottle. It did not work--the plastic is too thin on water bottles. I had this small vinegar bottle on hand with thick plastic. My husband drilled a hole in the bottom and inserted the straw as you see (I trimmed it a bit). He then put caulking around the straw. The book says to use white glue, but I found that it got soft and leaked when we got it wet. The caulking worked great!
Fill your bottle half way full with vinegar or until the straw is well covered. Using a funnel, pour at least 1 Tbls. of baking soda into the funnel. Have someone else assist you. You'll need to screw the lid on as fast as you possibly can and then put your boat in the water. We tried this in our small water table and it went WAY too fast for the small amount of space. I suggest a bathtub or a kiddie pool for this experiment--it really works well! The kids loved it!
Here is a close up. The "ship" is not pretty, but do kids really care about pretty? Mine were all about the speed!
When we learned about the explorer, Cortes, I had them search for gold. Rather than make a map with an "X" marks the spot, I did it scavenger hunt style with some riddles based on the things in our back yard. It was a sneaking way of getting in some extra reading and thinking skills. At the end they found a plastic container filled with gold coins--gold CHOCOLATE coins! I didn't get a picture of these--they were gone too fast!