writing prompt

Ocean Unit Study Vocabulary, Writing, & Geography

  You're all set for the ocean unit study, but need to know the nitty gritty details. Here are the vocabulary, writing, and geography portions of this unit study. Learn an easy and fun way to do map work and vocabulary. Plus, writing prompts!

Here are the vocabulary, writing, and geography portions of the ocean unit study. Learn an easy and fun way to do map work and vocabulary. Plus, writing prompts!

Let's jump right to it.

Ocean Vocabulary

  • abyssal plain
  • algae
  • anemone
  • barnacle
  • basalt
  • buoyant
  • continental shelf
  • colony
  • continental crust
  • continental drift
  • continental slope
  • coral
  • coral reef
  • deep sea trench
  • dorsal fin
  • echolocation
  • estuary
  • faults
  • glacier
  • invertebrate
  • jelly fish
  • lagoon
  • mantle
  • mid-ocean ridge
  • migrate
  • ocean
  • oceanic crust
  • oceanography
  • octopus
  • pectoral fins
  • plankton
  • rift
  • school
  • sea
  • sea mountains (seamounts)
  • sea star
  • sediment
  • shark
  • shore
  • tide pool
  • waves
  • whale

Add words as you come upon them and you'd like to add them to your list. Also, remove words that you don't need or want to cover.

How to learn vocabulary

Our kids fill this Vocabulary Word Map  for each word. You can create a word search puzzle as well for a fun review and recognizing the new words. A fun addition to this puzzle would be to make the word clues the definitions of each vocabulary word.

For the ocean vocabulary, we didn't do the antonyms and synonyms in the word maps.

We're just covering a few terms a day, and some days more than others.

 

Writing assignments

Here's some prompts to get the brain juices flowing (gross).

  • Write a story about your new pet (you can see this in the Ocean Unit Study main post)
  • Write a letter to an organization that works with the ocean or sea life
  • Write a magazine article about an important issue with the ocean/sea life
  • Write a magazine article about your favorite marine animal
  • Write a research paper
  • Write a poem about the ocean
  • Write a story for a young sibling/child
  • Write an email to your grandparents about all you've learned
  • Write a newsletter to your family about all the things you've done and learned

Just so you know, we will NOT be doing all of these writing assignments. For now, we're doing the pet story, and the research paper. After that, I will let each child pick one more writing assignment. But really, that's only if we haven't petered out and decided we were done with the unit study.

Pick and choose, but make sure you do at least one writing assignment. Writing is such an important skill to learn and it's not too early to start.

If you think of a different writing assignment, go for it! These are just to get your brain thinking. I'm sure you can come up with even better ones. Please share them in the comments! For reals.

 

Geography/map work

Here are the oceans, seas, and major rivers we're learning

  • Atlantic
  • Pacific
  • Arctic
  • Indian
  • Southern
  • Caspian
  • Black
  • Red
  • Mediterranean
  • Arabian
  • Amazon
  • Nile
  • Congo
  • Yangtze
  • Hwang ho
  • Tigris
  • Euphrates
  • Indus
  • Volga
  • Danube
  • Rhine
  • Mississippi

How we study geography

Head over to our world map and identify the oceans. Then the seas. Then the rivers-- this is easier with a world atlas (which we are in great need of-- here we come Amazon).

We also look at these with our globe...  Or would have, if Teddy Bear (almost 2) hadn't decided to throw it down the stairs because he thought it was a ball. Now it's dead. But we do have an inflatable globe that works in a pinch.

Just keeping it real.

 

After that we use this technique that I learned from Jessica Hulcy a few years back.

Index card map work

1. Grab an index card for each continent and ocean.

2. Have the kids draw an outline of the continent on an index card. Then, write the name in the middle. Do this for all 7.

Here are the vocabulary, writing, and geography portions of the ocean unit study. Learn an easy and fun way to do map work and vocabulary. Plus, writing prompts!

3. Write the name of each ocean on an index card. You may need two for a few of the oceans (i.e. the Pacific).

4. Place the index cards on a table, or floor. Arrange them to show where they are in relation to one another.

 

Here are the vocabulary, writing, and geography portions of the ocean unit study. Learn an easy and fun way to do map work and vocabulary. Plus, writing prompts!

 

5. Pick them up and place them down again, talking through it. Scramble them up, do it a few more times.

6. Have your children take turns doing it on their own, prompting ONLY when they get stuck. Encourage them to place them as best they can before asking for help.

When they get it wrong I pull the index cards that are placed incorrectly and have them work through it. If a ton are wrong, I'll scramble them all up and go through it again with them.

7. Do this until you feel they've got a handle on it.

 

You will also do the same thing for the various seas. Add the seas in AFTER they have the oceans and continents mastered. You may want to cut each index card in half to show the size.

Here are the vocabulary, writing, and geography portions of the ocean unit study. Learn an easy and fun way to do map work and vocabulary. Plus, writing prompts!

 

Now, pick up all the index cards, arrange the continents, the oceans, and then the seas.

Follow the same procedure done for the oceans.

 

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqNXLnIVYBk[/embedyt]

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Here's Animal, 6 (on the left), Little Miss, 8 (middle), and Captain, 9 (on the right). As you can see Animal is super excited, Little Miss has watched her fair share of YouTube tutorial videos. I could barely keep the laughter in, so please forgive any shaking of the camera. :)

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For the rivers you can draw them on the index cards where they are on each continent.

OR

Draw the river on blue construction paper, label it, and then place them on the continent index card. This way, you can also remember the shape and location. If you draw them on, it may not be remembered as well.

 

This is seriously the best way to remember the locations and relationships between locations.

We did this when we learned the 13 colonies and when we studied explorers. My kids learned it so fast. On top of that, I learned them and where they all are in relation to each other. I think that's my favorite part-- not just knowing what the state or country looks like, but where it is in relation to other locations.

Updates

We're going to re-do our index card mapping later this week, or next. We're going to put our continents on a bigger piece of paper and trace the continent from a printed map.

Why not just print them out? Well, it helps the kids learn the shape of the continent better and understand where things are in relation to each bump and point on the outline.

Then we'll cut out the seas into smaller pieces so they're easier to fit in where they belong. We haven't done the rivers yet, but now they'll fit even better on our bigger continent pieces.

When we get the new set done, I'll update this post.


More ocean unit study goodness to come

Now you're ready to go with your vocabulary, geography, and writing portions of the ocean unit study. Stay tuned for the next sections!

We've got ASL, art, science, math, and a final project still to go.

Mwah

 

 

 

What ASL Can Teach Us About Writing

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ASL can teach me about writing?

 

No, I have not been sniffing glue.

 

American Sign Language is a vibrant and engaging language. There is such freedom in the way you use the language to communicate and express yourself.  If you know the rules you can shape the things you say to your liking.

 

I'll show ya.

 

You want to say you're confused. You could:

  • sign the word confuse
  • sign a question mark
  • sign it's over your head
  • sign a question mark at your forehead and look really confused (take your index finger and hook it like a question mark right at the front of your forehead)
  • If you're really really confused you can take all 5 fingers of one hand and sign questions marks with all 5 at your forehead.  Mega confusion!  You add in some crazy facial expressions and they know that you're crazy confused.
  • sign you don't understand and some combination of the signs if you feel so inclined.

 

[video width="640" height="480" wmv="http://rochellebarlow.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Video_00006.wmv"][/video]

 I threw this video together so you could see what I was talking about.  My toddler was desperate to get on camera so I had to rush it and couldn't redo it.  

When you sign something is large you not only show that with your signs and classifiers you show it with your face.  You puff out your cheeks, you open your mouth to make the CHA sound. You frequently will hear people signing as much as you see them.  When you sign something is tiny you can kind of fold your body in, squint your eyes, pinch your mouth together and get really close to your hands.  Ya know, get small.

 

[video width="640" height="480" wmv="http://rochellebarlow.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Video_00008.wmv"][/video]

 

When I interpret I often wind up making sound effects.  I'll say it's like you know, CHA, and making explosion sounds, or making my voice baby tiny squeaky.  It makes it more fun that way, right?!

 

You can change the pace: zip through them or slo-o-o-o-w down. You can change the meaning of a sign or emphasize a sign. You can get really big and all up in their grill or small to create mood, show emotion, and convey attitude.

 

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Now how does all this help with writing?

 

[Tweet "Can ASL really help with writing?"]

 

Word choice.

 

There's so many ways to say one thing.  You can take the language we have and shape it to communicate our message.  You can say confused, but there's innumerable ways to say or show confusion.  It's that whole show versus tell thing again.

 

Can you manipulate your words to convey what you want to say in a unique and fun way?  I'm sure you can think of amazing writers that have this gift to bend words into beautiful profound prose.  It doesn't have to be beautiful. You want just enough to blow people's undies off.  In a good way.  Not a creepy-sick way.

 

Sound effects are really effective as well.

 

I like to think of that scene with Mrs White in Clue.  Yes, the flames on the side of her face, but also that part where she says Pfft.  She does a reverse raspberry (I prefer the term zerbert, but I'll conform just for you).  It stands out in the audience's mind and adds an element that otherwise wouldn't have been there.

 

Facial expressions are vital.

 

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You can show confusion with a raised eyebrow, a blank stare, an open mouth, or some kind of combination of all three.  In conversation it is important to have expressions to follow along with.

 

When you are in a conversation with someone what things indicate they are listening to you?  Understanding you?  Interested? Bored? Doubtful?

 

You use these subtle (sometimes not so subtle) cues to guide your conversation.  If they seem like they're not paying attention you start talking crazy:  "I just killed 20 people and ate my own boogers."  They're still not listening?  Kick it up a notch or find someone else to talk to.

 

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They're distracted by someone behind you?  You'll probably turn around to see what it is.  They look doubtful you'll probably start defending yourself or over-explaining.

 

In a story these cues are just as vital to the reader.

 

 

 

Add on to facial expressions with body language.

 

We all use body language to tell our true meaning.  You've heard those studies. We communicate 55% with our bod,y 38% with our tone (or in ASL, your face and hands), and 7% with our words.  Are you keeping true to this in your story?

 

Body language is another engaging way to pull the reader in and to connect with your characters and set the mood.

 

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You can show confidence, irritation, anger, excitement, nervousness, and worry with the body.

 

With ASL you really learn to key in to other people's movements and face even when they're not signing at all.  In writing I think it's important for it to be natural and subtle. Then at other times to be in your reader's face with emotion and attitude.

 

Character Development

 

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Does your character have a tic unique to them?  For instance, when my husband is nervous about something he touches his earlobe.  I have no idea why he does it and he doesn't even know he does it.  {Sorry babe}

 

Does your character show his emotions in a certain way.  I may show nervousness one way, but Johnny shows it differently.  Maybe I'm obvious: shaking voice, wringing and shaking my hands, pacing, and sweaty.  Johnny is more subtle: eyes dart around and he cracks his knuckles.

 

Maybe your character has a weird quirk.  Since I outed my husband it's only fair that I share something embarrassing as well.

 

Whenever I feel any intense emotion: nervous, anger, excitement, sad, or any extreme temperature I get so sweaty.  Just my underarms.  No other place.  It doesn't matter how much deodorant I used.  It doesn't matter if I just got out of the shower (I can sweat in the shower), it doesn't matter that I use prescription deo. I will sweat. It won't be pretty.  I think I can even sweat when I feel extreme boredom.  Thank goodness I'm rarely bored.

 

That was more than you wanted to know about me.  Sorry.

 

Can you still look me in the eyes?  Why did I confess this ridiculous physical issue?  So you'll be my friend out of pity!? Yes! I mean, no. I did it so you can see that these things are important for your characters to be real people.

 

Your other characters will notice these things about each other.  If there's pit stains on a shirt it'll show up.

 

Your character will base their choices around these things.  Do I wear gray shirts?  Not frequently.  If I am going to be in a situation where I know I'll be hot/cold/full of emotion I will make sure my shirt won't show sweat puddles (loose and gauzy).

 

Your character will be aware or even paranoid.  I've had to sign and had sweat issues going on.  I'm going to be moving my arms around all sorts!  What am I going to do?  Go to the bathroom and put squares of paper towels in my underarms to try and soak up sweat and prevent more sweat.   Gross!  Now you really can't look me in the eye.  Don't judge.  Desperate times people, desperate times.

 

ASL can teach us something about writing.  We may have already known these things and that's okay.  ASL has taught us its true importance to include these various elements in our stories and in our characters for a rich story.  Bonus: you learned some weird things about me and some fun things about ASL.

 

P.S. I have a character that is Deaf in my novel. When I have her in dialogue I do not write it out in gloss -- meaning written ASL. Example: I STORE GO I   Yes, it's in all caps.  I do not write it out like I store go I either.  I don't put it in italics as I have seen one author do.  It's not a thought, it's dialogue.  I write it like so, "I'm going to the store." she signed.  If it's a conversation I don't add the dialogue tag she/he signed each time, just as you wouldn't with he/she said.

 

If it's ever good for the story I will show a sign.

 

Writing Prompt

 

Pick one of the pictures in this post and write a scene about it.  Use the above techniques and the other ones you keep in your tool belt.

 

[Tweet " ASL really can teach me how to write richer scenes and characters."]

If you enjoyed the post, please consider sharing it with your writer friends!

 

Question for ya:

Caption one of the photos for fun! Put your awesome caption in the comments below!

 

Did I miss anything?  What element listed here do you think you could implement  in your writing?

 

 

Featured Image Photo Source: Luca Cerabona

Stage Makeup 101

Ever watched a play or movie and thought, I want to know how they make them look like that (and not with CG)?  Want to know how you can rock the best Halloween makeup ever?  

Why do I need stage makeup?

  • Great Halloween costumes
  • Dress-up for kids
  • Pranks! (think wounds and scary stuff)
  • New hobby
  • Become your favorite movie/book/show character for fun
  • Get involved in local community theatre
  • New profession

 

Let's get started already!

 

To Read and Watch

 

stage makeup book

 

Supplies Needed

 

Ben Nye bruise wheel

 

Makeup

There is creme and cake makeup.

 

Creme you apply directly to the face via fingers, sponge, or brush.  You can mix shades on the back of your hand (a great place!) or in a palette to get the right shade.  You then set lightly with powder.

 

Cake makeup you dampen the sponge. Too little and the color won't come off the sponge onto your surface.  Too damp and it'll run.  You may need to experiment with it.

 

Eye shadow, blush, bronzers, mascara, and lipstick - enough said.

 

Concealers and tattoo covers.  These are heavy duty.  They'll cover up birth marks, 5 o'clock shadows, blemishes, and tattoos.  If you used them in daily life though you'd look funny.  But on stage or in a movie, you're gold.

 

Appliance Makeup

These are used over prosthetics using liquid latex, derma wax, nose putty, and gelatin.  You use a red rubber sponge to stipple or press the paint on, never rub.  It goes on smooth, keeps its color, and doesn't absorb onto the surface.

 

Airbrush paints

They can be used to cover up imperfections, used as body makeup, make thin hair look thick, make tattoos, cover up latex and prosthetic.  I won't be going into airbrushing techniques because, well, I don't have the tools for it.  Sorry!

 

You can use creme and cake together but you have to be careful.  You can do cake then add creme parts on top. Or use creme and then use cake to tone it down.  Or creme highlights and cake shadows.  If you want it really intense, use cake and then cover it all up with creme.

[Tweet "Getting into character is easy and fun."]

 

Get Into Character

 

Disclaimer: #1 The woman in the picture isn't me, #2 This isn't about ugly v beautiful, this is about altering our face to be someone else for fun!

 

face divided

 

 

The face is divided into 3 parts:

  1. from hairline to eye brows
  2. from eyebrows to the bottom of the nose
  3. from the bottom of the nose to the bottom of the chin

 

Highlight and Shading Rule: Light colors reflect light and attract the eye and dark colors absorb light and attract less attention.

 

Forehead

 

You want to make the forehead look lower?  Use a foundation color that is 2-3 shades darker than the face.  Blend it downwards into the face from the hairline so that you can't see where it ends and the normal color begins.

 

Want a higher forehead?  Do the opposite.  Use a lighter color and blend upwards into the hairline.

 

A narrow forehead is made by shadowing the temples and blending it into the forehead.  A wider forehead by highlighting the temples into the hairline.

 

If the forehead is too prominent put shadow of them and then highlight the depressed areas.  No more neanderthal head!

 

 

Left it darker so you can see where it should be placed

 

Nose Goes

 

You want it shorter, shade under the tip and bring it over the tip. You can add a highlight at the top of the nose as well.

 

For a longer nose take the highlight from the top of the nose all the way down and under the tip.  Same principles from above apply.

 

Narrow nose, shade the sides.  Wider nose, highlight the sides.  If it's crooked, do a narrow highlight down the nose and shadow on the crooked looking parts.

 

Remember, in real life you blend!

 

Chin and Jaw

Do the same ideas with this area.  Shade what you don't want people to notice and highlight what you want people to notice more.  Double chin?  Shadow!

 

Wrinkles

Wrinkles can't be hidden completely.  Sorry.  You can highlight the natural shadows and shadow the highlight.  Same idea for bags under the eyes.

 

wrinkles

 

Eye-Spy

 

Want them closer together?  Shade the place where the eye socket and nose meet.  Pencil in the start of the eyebrow more, extend it further into the nose area.  Line the top lid, the inner corner and just a portion of the lower lid, at the corner.

 

Further apart? Pencil in the brow, a bit more at the tip.  Line the top lid and extend it out beyond the lash line.  line the lower lid, outside portion of the lid.

 

To turn the eye up shade up from the outer corner, same with eyeshadow in the crease.  To turn the lid down extend the line down and same with the eyeshadow.   Highlighting around the eye make it smaller.  Shading the eye and darkening it, and extending the brow make it larger.

 

wider set eyes

 

 Cheeks

Want thinner cheeks? The part that is too round should be shaded.  Want round cheeks? Highlight them.   Place blush on the cheekbone.  You can also place it in various locations for additional shaping.  Under cheekbones to hallow them.  Nearer the ears (and away from nose) to widen the face, nearer the nose (and away from ears) to narrow the face.

 

full cheeks

 

Lips

For women you can change lip shape by over-painting.  That means you take your lip pencil and draw the shape and size you want.  Then fill it in.  Only do this to men if it will look natural!  To define your upper lip add a thin highlight above the lip line.

 

Thinner?  Cover with foundation. then use lip color (not deep colors) inside the lip and fade out into foundation.

 

Narrower?  Place lip color in the center of your lips and use foundation on the outer corners.

 

Wider?  This is hard to remedy naturally.  Extend the lip color to the extremes of the lips, especially the upper lip.  Don't turn it into a cartoon (unless that's what you're gong for).

 

 

full lips

 

Put it Into Practice

 

Now we have the foundations down.  You can add these all together to create a different face shape for yourself or for your character.  If you don't have professional makeup, you can still use regular makeup, just make sure you get a good shadow and highlight color.  You don't want shimmery stuff, just a nice matte or regular sheen to it.  Good coverage = no tinted moisturizer!

 

whole face

 

Try These Combos

  • High, wide forehead. Pinched chin. Thin lips, wide eye set eyes. Short thin nose.   Thin cheeks
  • Low, wide forehead. Rounded jawline, cleft chin. Full lower lip, thin upper lip.  Small eyes, large nose.
  • Narrow, medium height forehead.  Square jawline, pointed chin - heart shaped. Full upper lip, normal lower lip.  Large eyes, close together.  Full cheeks. Narrow nose.

 

Did you have fun?

 

 

before and after 2

 

Next week we'll do something fun!  Maybe scabs and wounds, or what we look like old.  If you're already old I didn't just say that.  If you want one over the other, please comment below.  Stay tuned to see which one is picked!