Guest Author - Alissa Moy
The Webkinz craze is one you don't want to miss! Children and parents alike love these furry friends. With an educational website chock full of games that review basic skills, this website is the perfect segway to a Webkinz themed unit study. Below you will find some ideas on how you can teach a lesson and tie it into your child's beloved and fuzzy friend.
Math- When working on addition and subtraction skills utilize the "Get Eleven" and "Booger Gets An A". Both of these games are geared for a second grade level at first, but the speed of the games definately pick up. The gameplay and problems also become increasingly difficult, so even adults find it challenging after several levels.
Another great Math theme you can take from Webkinz is probability. Using "The Wheel of Wow" and "Jumbleberry Fields" teach your homeschooler about chance and likelihood. "Operation Gumball" is another wonderful, but more difficult, game choice to reinforce this idea.
Budgeting and money management is also a good option for Math themed lessons. Discuss the concept of "needs and wants" with your child, and how to decide what to buy for their pet. Keep a running log of the Kinzcash your child earns and spends for a greater understanding of this financia concept. Using the games as post-lesson activities are potential incentives for mastery of Math.
Science- Thinking outside of the box is the way to go when incorporating Science into Webkinz. Begin with Geology, using Arte's Curio Shop as a starting point. Learn about the three types of rocks, gems and minerals, the Periodic Table of Elements and mine formations. Have your homeschooler research the gems that Arte sells and decide if any of them are real. If you have a cave nearby plan a visit to see the famous stalagmites and stalagtites.
Another idea is to explore animal and creature habitats, based on the habitat of your child's Webkinz. Some items are only offered to aquatic based pets, or treetop creatures. Have your child research these animals actual habitats, and compare them to the Webkinz version. Assign an animal report based on your child's Webkinz, or have your child create a shoebox habitat for their cuddly pal.
The "Magical Forest" is a nice segway to an Ecology, or Environmental Studies lesson. Learn about trees and their life cycle, types of forests, and caring for our environment. Children will enjoy learning about how they can make the Earth a greener place alongside their Webkinz friend.
Language Arts and Reading- Games like "Eager Beaver Adventure Park" and "Quizzy's Word Challenge" offer fantastic word building practice. Individualize your child's game assignments by having them write down any verbs, nouns, etc. that they used. Your child can also earn "Kinzcash" to but not only items for their pets room, etc., but also to play with and read. Have your homeschooler read a book they buy to their pet, and aloud to you, too!
"Quizzy's Corner" encompasses all subjects through a challenging trivia game. Each set has 50 questions, and correct answers can make quite a bit of Kinzcash. The age categories are ages 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-2, 13 and up, and everyone. The categories include The Arts, Social Studies, Health, Math, Language, and Science. There is also a "Calendar Trivia" offered daily, with a varied mix of questions.
There is much more to the Webkinz site, and your creative juices will start flowing once you check it out! Have fun learning with your homeschooler!