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Big Learning News 7-6-05

Big Learning News
Karen Cole's Guide to Real-World Learning with Kids
Issue 3:20 July 6, 2005

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Table of Contents

Math Moment: A REALLY big fish
Create with Magic Nuudles
Book Review: Children of the Wild West
Web Site : E-how how-to's

Math Moment

A really big fish


Here's a fun news story about the capture of a 646-pound, 9-foot long catfish in Thailand. There's even a photo of the fish. Get out the tape measure and stretch it out 9 feet to get a sense of how big the fish would be compared to the room you are standing in. If you live in a metric country, convert the fish statistics to meters and kilograms - see http://convert.french-property.co.uk/ for an online conversion tool that also includes precise multiplier tables.


More math resources and our Math Moments archives on our Fun Math for Kids page on BigLearning.org - http://www.biglearning.org/big-learning-math-activities.htm

Activity: Create with Magic Nuudles

Ages 3 and up


The kids and I were prowling the craft store, researching an article I was writing about offbeat art supplies, when we came upon Magic Nuudles. They look like colorful Styrofoam packing noodles, but they're completely biodegradable and non-toxic, being made from corn starch. Roll them on a wet sponge and they stick together quite durably, and they can also be shaped when damp (but don't dip them in water - they turn to mush and fall apart). The web site has building techniques, project ideas, lesson plans for teachers, and more.


Book Review

Children of the Wild West by Russell Freedman (Clarion Books, 1990)

Ages 9-12

Freedman combines a great eye for documentary photos with a gift for story telling. This book tells about everyday life for children of the wild west in the mid-1800s, a time which conveniently coincided with the development of photography. The book is filled with photos of wild west children, families, schools, and more and many of the photographs are amazing. The ample text showcases Freedman's ability to choose interesting facts and make them meaningful. The book includes material on Native American children, tribal life, and boarding schools, as well as on settler's lives. What will amaze and inspire kids is the competence and independence that even young children had - the eight-year old hunters and the six-year old seamstresses. With 95 big pages, this book is packed with history kids will be able to relate to their own lives.

Buying Information

More history books for kids on BigLearning.org!


Web Site: E-how how-to's


What would you or your kids like to learn how to do? Build a teepee? Tune a guitar? Dry flowers? It's all on e-how. E-how has thousands of quick how-to articles. They're all text only - too bad, because diagrams and photos can be so helpful in how-to articles. Still, the articles are mostly simple, straightforward and clear.

Some good family pages are:

Crafts: list_1043.html
The Natural World: http://www.ehow.com/list_1045.html
Games (including kid games): http://www.ehow.com/list_1044.html
Outdoor recreation: http://www.ehow.com/list_1076.html

What do you already know how to do? It turns anyone at all can write an e-how article. E-how is a wiki site. On a wiki site, people submit articles and others make additions or corrections. So try writing an article with your kids about something your family knows how to do. The information and submission form pages are:





Workshop Fun for July

Coming Soon...

Making Toys!

A New Big Learning Workshop for Families

More details soon...

Contact me about doing a workshop in your area.

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