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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Where's Peara? Sources of Energy Lesson Plan on Windmills

It's sorta like Flat Stanley, only Peara is our plush pear that travels with us.  It started years ago when my sister-in-law was clearing out her kids' closets.  We didn't even have kids yet, but thought the pear was too cute to toss out.  As the years went on, we started just having some fun with the pear, we named Peara.

Now, she travels with us wherever we go for the fun of the family.  This year, we introduced Peara to the world, so you can enjoy fun with geography the goofy way.

So, where's Peara today?

Peara starts off on the dashboard of the van waiting for adventure.  Today, we discovered different sources of energy.

She finds some adventure as we enter the Springfield, Illinois area where there are smoke stacks pouring out powerful amounts of smoke into the air.  I don't know who the specific manufacturer is whom these smokestacks belong to, but they make interesting pictures.

As we drive past Blomington, Illinois and closer to Wisconsin, we discover rows of windmills on windmill farms.

Most people have heard about windmills, but it makes a really fun lesson plan.  Start by visiting these sites:

This site, Kids & Energy describes how windmills work.
This site, Making Windmills for Kids explains how to make your own in the form of a craft.
Alliant Energy Kids describes windmills as well.
Here's the Children's Encyclopedia definition of a wind mill.

Use the encyclopedia link to make your own handwriting exercises on vocabulary.

Learn how to say wind mill in other languages:

French - Moulin a vent
German - Windmuhle
Spanish - Molino de Viento

PE - Make big windmill motions with your arms as a warm up exercise.
Play windmill chase - It's like freeze tag, only once tagged you have to stand in one place making windmill motions with your arms.

Science - Use the links above to learn the science behind windmills.  The basic idea is to harvest energy from the wind.

History - Learn about the history of windmills from eHow.

Peara enjoys a snack of cheesepuffs.  It's a staple in the Scott household.  While I was hesitant to give our children any form of candy or snack foods, my husband caved and began his patented "parenting with cheesepuff" method.  It worked, and we stuck with it.

But, if you're not in a van traveling, you can make a snack that looks like a windmill using any number of healthy fruits and veggies, like carrot sticks for the blades, and a strawberry for the center.  Use a wooden skewer or toothpicks to actually make it spin, or just lay it out on a plate.

Here's some ideas on Pinterest if you're wanting some help getting started!

Entering a tollway in Illinois.

In Wisconsin, at last!  Culver's thanks farmers for their help in supplying energy in the form of hamburgers and cheese.

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