Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New year, new study

As we shiver and bundle up, I decided to warm our thoughts with a little study on Hawaii. When we visited a couple months ago, we observed lots of unique plant and animal life, not to mention the island culture that varies so much from life on the mainland.

Many Hawaiian plants can be found few other places in the world, and some, like this silversword plant, are found nowhere else. Another example of Hawaiia's unique offerings is this type of partridge called a chukar:

And, since our president-elect spent a significant part of his life in Hawaii, it seems a fitting time to learn more about the 50th state of the union.

Here are some snippets and links to the material that I have compiled and pored over in preparation for our study:

Of course we'll be looking over lots of our own pictures, some of which I posted previously.

When renting our snorkel gear, they gave us some fish identification cards. A web address on the card links to a video that is free to educators. You do have to pay $5 shipping, so it is not quite free, but you can watch a web version of it on that page if you would prefer. This is an amazing video of baby Hawksbill turtles heading out to sea for the first time.

I hope to create a lapbook for this unit using the state lapbook resources at Homeschool Helper.

This book is currently on hold at the library:
The Island Below the Star

Author & Illustrator: James Rumford
Summary: Five brothers, each with a special skill, sail across the vast Pacific Ocean to the islands now known as Hawaii.
ISBN: 0395851599

And, while reading it we will also draw from the unit study at Homeschool Share, highlighting the parts on Hawaii. Much of Hawaiian culture is a blending of Pacific island culture, so I look forward to reading through this book with my kids.

Some topics we will hit in this study using the links throughout this post --

marine life

tropical fruit



Fun additions:
- Learning some Hawaiian words using an online dictionary. Or this site has a basic phonics lesson and a few words.
- Or you could just start with the state fish: humuhumunukunukuapua'a
(that's hoomoo-hoomoo-nookoo-nookoo-ahpoo-a-a) also known as the Picasso Triggerfish
- Lei making with paper, silk or real flowers

Some other sites for reference:

Facts and trivia on Hawaii, good overview.
Some downloadable activities on Hawaiian forests and wildlife
Links from the Hawaiian Department of Education.
Some historical resources (Pearl Harbor among others)
My son found this site with quick facts on all of the states.
Another unit study with a variety of resources at Homeschoolhelperonline.
A travel Hawaii site, but with many links.
Pictures of plants in Hawaii.
Hawaiian animal pictures
General pictures of Hawaii.

Always a good idea to check out websites for particular landmarks, parks, and islands:
Haleakala National Park
Diamond Head
Lava Tubes
Landmarks on Oahu
Landmarks on Maui
Memorial at the USS Arizona (Pearl Harbor)
Big Island (Hawaii)

Lots to learn about a land that is one of our states and yet is so different from where many of us live. I'm looking forward to reliving some great times and learning even more about these amazing islands.

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