Some days homeschooling middle school age children can seem about as fun as folding laundry. No, scrubbing toilets. All they seem to want to do is sleep (but not at night) and argue. And sometimes argue about sleep. When they were younger we spent our days doing things like writing Egyptian hieroglyphs on clay tablets, jumping our math facts, and mixing baking soda with vinegar. I have been nostalgic for the fun stuff so when I got it in my head that they needed a background knowledge on the physical geography of America I decided that I could appeal to their stomachs to get them interested in a fun hands on project.
Then we cut the outline of the United States. That is not my arm. Mine is not that hairy, and besides, unless we are working on something like the state of Colorado I’m going to mess it up.
We added chocolate chips for the mountain ranges.
A planning meeting was conducted while our United States baked in the oven. We ended up with crushed vanilla wafers to represent the dessert regions, blue icing for the major rivers and lakes, green sugar for the forested regions and gold sugar for the grasslands. We had a bit of an issue with Florida—the bottom end fell off the pan (Global Warming!!!!)
Someone with even basic skills at cake decorating could make this much prettier, but when I asked what state they wanted to eat one kid piped up with “California” and the other with “Texas” so I guess they know a bit about geography. And they like cookies. Obviously this could appeal to a much younger crowd, but it worked great to survive another day with two 13 year olds.