Back when I was in school and a class did well on a test, we’d be rewarded with an extra recess or perhaps a popcorn party.
Times have changed.
So has “the school”.
Case in point: Our recent “unit” on Alabama.
The US is a fascinating place, and there are so many questions about that gi-normous map we have on the wall. We thought this year we’d do an exploration of the US, and since we have that Alphabetical States and Capitals cd in the car (...the one that goes on and on and I try to drown it out with the many babbling voices in my head, but still I can hear the kids say “Play it again! Play it again!"...), I figure why not start with good ol’ Alabama.
So we dove into Alabama for awhile. Learned things like the average snowfalls and when the hunting seasons open and close and when Alabama entered the union and what the capital is. We talked about the Civil War and the north and south. We talked about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. We talked about a statue to a boll weevil and a cemetery for coon dogs and George Washington Carver and peanuts. We talked about the mail route delivered by way of water and the first 911 call and so many other things. And of course, we cranked Sweet Home Alabama (the ORIGINAL one) quite a few times.
So much information. Did they remember any of it?We decided to have a chat about Alabama with each of the boys (separately) to see if they’d picked up any of the information we’d traipsed across over the past couple weeks.
And guess what? They had.
We figured it was as close to a test as we’re ever going to get at this point, and decided a unit well done deserved something rewarding and creative. For all people involved.
That is why, my dear blogosphere friends, we decided to go hunting in Alabama.
(Ok, not really hunting in Alabama. But close enough for a really frugal family of four. And this will be far more entertaining if you imagine me with a southern accent.)
So here’s how ya do it. Hubster prints some targets off the internet and staples them to pieces of cardboard. But these aren't just targets of any animals, they are only of animals you would hunt in Alabama. Hubster goes out into the backwoods and sets them up in different places. You then go out as a family, one child with a BB gun, and look for Alabama Animals. When the young'in sees one, they get three shots per target, and then they move on.
Don't shoot the ones that aren't from Alabama, though, or you lose points!!
When you've found all five Alabama animals, take your targets down, and go sit on the bridge so Hubster can reset new targets. Then the other young'in has a go at it.
When everyone has done their Virtual Alabama Hunting, we figure out what targets you got a clean shot at, and you claim those as your prize.
This, my friends, is the stuff memories are made of.
(You can stop imagining me with a southern accent, now.)