Friday, October 18, 2013

Week 8: Canada | Building an Igloo


Bonjour et bienvenu! (Hello & welcome!) We continued learning about Canada this week. Some of our highlights for week 8 are below.

Celery Experiment

In order to see how xylem tubes carry water up to the leaves of a plant we did an experiment. 

Using two stalks of celery, we removed the xylem tubes from one stalk of celery and placed the stalks in water to observe the results. We added blue food coloring to the water. It was a little tricky to remove all the xylem. After a little while in the colored water it was easier to see the xylem we had missed, so we removed the rest.

After a couple days the stalk with the xylem intact was still straight and crisp, but the stalk with the xylem removed had wilted. This experiment worked well for us.


To help us learn the provinces of Canada, I printed flash cards from Discovering the Continents: Animals Of North America by Koumi Books that I found at CurrClick just as I did when we studied the US states and we played our guessing game. You can read about the game in my week 4 post here.

We also used online games from Sheppard Software to help us learn Canadian geography -

 Visitor Guides

We learned more about Canada and what it would be like to visit there by looking at visitor guides - - We especially liked the ones for Inuvik and Iqaluit, they have some great images and include info on the Inuit. We also looked photos and video of Quebec at and learned more about Prince Edward Island at 


Lindsey is continuing to learn French using Duolingo (and I'm brushing up on mine). She is doing quite well with it. I think studying a French speaking country has encouraged her too. I will note that when learning the phrases for food, beer and wine are included. I didn't think it was a big deal considering she already knows the words in English. One of the practice phrases asks something like "Would you like some wine?" - after translating it my daughter answered the computer with "Non, merci." Good practice should we ever visit our dream destination of France. This was also a good moment to reinforce what we have taught her about the dangers of alcohol and how to say no even if pressured by her peers. Now she can say no in two languages ;)

 Canadian Dinner

For our Canadian dinner, Lindsey made chocolate chip pancakes and of coarse we ate them with butter and real maple syrup. Yum! (I forgot to take a picture) Then for dessert we had vanilla ice cream with maple syrup on it. We didn't make the blueberry dessert in A Trip Around The World, but might try it another day.


Imagine sleeping in the ice and snow! We learned about igloos and they are not always made of ice. Then we looked at Hotel de Glace (Quebec's Ice Hotel) - - and watched some videos about the hotel on YouTube. Virtual Tours are available on their website under images. This video below includes the building of the ice hotel which is seasonal (Jan - Mar) and rebuilt new each year. There are several videos showing the ice hotel in different years, you may want to preview them before showing them.

This is another video we watched that gives a tour of the hotel. The details are amazing!
(There is a toast in the bar at the end.)

Igloo Building

After learning about these wonderful ice structures, it was our turn to try building a simple model of one. Our Trip Around The World book suggests building an igloo from sugar cubes, but that's not something I keep on hand... Lindsey decided to build one using marshmallows and toothpicks instead, and another one using Legos.

It's harder than it looks to build with marshmallow, but also lots of fun! When building the initial arch, she built up each side evenly and I held them in place as she added marshmallows across the top. We built it on a paper plate to help us get a round shape. Once it was completed I was able to carefully move it off of the plate. I think it would be fun to include one on top of a winter themed cake ;) If you don't have toothpicks, you can use dry spaghetti noodles instead (just break them to the lengths you need). If you try building with marshmallows, let us know how it turns out.


tmrsil said...

looks great! Thanks for sharing

Post a Comment