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At-Home Activities: Conquering Mountains - Discover Natural Wonders

NOTE: This is our last week of classes for this school year, so this is the last week of at-home outlines! The outlines will start up again in the fall, but you can find them at next year. Get a free membership today!

May 17-21

Workshop Class Activities

  1. Craft – Pressed Flowers Bookmarks

  2. Key Points – Mountainous Wonders

  3. Collaborative – Find Your Way Map Activity

  4. Language Arts - Writing Cliffhangers

  5. Math/Logic – Highest Mountains of the World Graph

  6. Prepare for Adventure – Assisting the Elderly

  7. Big Activity – What Goes Up: Egg Drop Challenge

  8. Movement – Forest Consumers Game

At-Home Activities

See a suggested week schedule at


• journal

• paper and pencil

• 3x5 notecards

• 50-100 pennies or beans as counters

• white copy or drawing paper


  • Grand Canyon by Jason Chin - ages 7-12

  • The Seven Natural Wonders of the Earth by Anna Othitis - ages 6-10

  • Various fiction and non-fiction books that relate to natural wonders.

  • Cliffhanger books:

    • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume - ages 8-12

    • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry - ages 9-14



Copy the following quotes and write what you think they mean.

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” -Rachel Carson

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

-Albert Einstein

“If you have a good story, it doesn’t have to be overproduced. I want our stories to reveal the wonders of the human spirit and the richness of life in California, including its history, people, culture and natural wonders.”

-Huell Howser

Language arts lesson

In books, a cliffhanger is when a character in the story is left with a difficult situation. Authors use cliffhangers at the end of sections or chapters to get the reader excited about reading the next section or chapter. What if a chapter ended with a character being chased to the end of a cliff or trying to get out of a building before it explodes. Wouldn’t you want to read the next chapter to find out what happened?

Some authors will end a book with a cliffhanger. This entices the reader to read the next book in the series. Cliffhangers are also used in television dramas. Have you ever watched a television series where you couldn’t wait to see the next episode?

Writing Activity - Writing with Cliffhangers

Think of some possible cliffhanger situations that could happen to a character in a story you write. Then begin writing a short adventure story, placing one of your cliffhangers at the end of the first page. Read the first page to your family and I am certain they will want you to continue your story. Continue writing and adding cliffhangers at the end of each page until the adventure ends. Have fun!


Look at the quotes above and try to write your own quote about something you love in nature.

One natural wonder that I would love to visit is…. I would love to visit ____ because….


Math Concept - Comparing Numbers

When comparing numbers to determine which number is greater, follow

these steps:

  1. Write each number under the other/s.

  2. Compare the digits, beginning with the greatest place value position (hint: the number on the left)

  3. Underline or circle the first digit that is different .



Then, THINK - 9 tens is greater than 8 tens, so 3,491 is greater. You can also use these steps when comparing three or more numbers.

The sign or symbol for greater than is “>”, and less than is shown with this sign “<”.

3,491 > 3,487

Math Project - Comparing the Highest Mountain Peaks

Compare the heights of some of the highest mountain peaks in the world. Follow the steps above and show the two numbers using the “<” or “>” signs.

  • Vinson Massif at 16,050 ft and Carstensz Pyramid at 16,023 ft

  • Mont Blanc at 5,404 ft and Mount Kosciuszko at 7,310 ft

  • Mt. Everest at 29,029 ft and Aconcagua at 22,841 ft

  • Mount McKinley at 20,320 ft and Kilimanjaro at 19,334 ft

Challenge: Try writing all eight numbers one on top of the other, comparing them, and listing them from least to greatest.

Math Concept - Writing Numbers in Different Ways

There are different ways or forms to write numbers.

  • Standard form is the way we usually write numbers: 326.

  • Expanded form is breaking up the number by place value. In the number 326, you are showing hundreds, tens, and ones: 300+20+6.

  • Word form is when you write the number in words: three hundred twenty-six.

Math Project - Average Tree Heights

The average height for each of these four mountain trees is written in standard form. Take each number and write it in expanded and word form. Look at the example above.

  • Eastern White Pine - 114 ft

  • Balsam Fir - 75 ft

  • Mountain Pine - 21 ft

  • Blue Spruce - 62 ft

Challenge: Try writing the numbers in order from least to greatest.

Mental math

Use about 50 pennies or beans as counters. Place them between you and a partner. Each person grabs a handful of counters and places them in a pile in front of them. Look closely at both piles and make a prediction on which pile has more counters. Then count each pile to determine if you are correct. Continue playing and predicting.

Math games

For younger students: On notecards, write the numbers 1-30, each one on a different card. Shuffle the cards. Play with a partner. Deal 15 cards to each player, number side down. Each player takes the top card off their pile and places it number side up in the center. The player with the greatest number wins the hand. The winner is the one with the most cards at the end of the game.

For older students: On notecards, write 30 numbers between 1,000 and 2,000 (such as 1,052, 1,104, 1,135, etc.), each number on a separate card. Shuffle the cards. Play with a partner. Deal 15 cards to each player, number side down. Each player takes the top card from their pile and places it number side up in the center. The player with the greatest number wins the hand and the person with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner.


Research and Report

Research some natural wonders in the United States. Choose one and create a travel brochure with facts and illustrations. Include the best features about the location and write good descriptions that will entice people to visit.

Themed Fireworks Project

Draw a map of your neighborhood or community. Show streets and buildings. Create a legend (key) with symbols. The symbols could include a blue line for a river, triangles for mountains, and green circles for trees. Be as detailed as possible.

6-week project

  • Practice your oral report. There are various ways to present an oral report. You could:

    • Give your oral report from memory. The outline you created in week 3 can remind you what to say.

    • Read your written report.

    • Show and describe your display.

    • Demonstrate how to do something (i.e., make slime, play a sport, etc.).

  • Create an event around your presentation. Invite family and maybe even prepare some refreshments.

  • Give your oral report, show your display, and share your written report. Celebrate your accomplishment!


Visit the Grand Canyon or Yosemite National Park with your family this summer.

Other Ideas

  • Make some cards with encouraging, positive words for older patients who live in homes for the elderly. Have a parent drive you to one of the homes to drop off the cards for the residents.

  • Write some cliffhangers that you might want to use in a future story.

Go to to find out more about:

• field trips

• in-person classes

• online classes

• at-home materials


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