Friday, April 29, 2011

Hallo -- Our stay in Greenland and Iceland

We did a combination this week for our Geography Study.  We looked at Iceland and Greenland.  We learned that the majority of both countries rests above the Arctic Circle, and even though Greenland is the largest island country in the world, that it is not heavily populated.  It also has the Capital that is the farthest north in the world.

For our Global Art project, we adapted Scrimshaw.  Fishing is a major industry for Greenland and in the past whaling held great importance.  Whalers developed scrimshaw, or scratching and engraving lines into ivory whale bones and teeth.  Ink was rubbed into the scratches, producing a picture.  Scrimshaw was used for the whalers to record observations and stories they wanted to tell and remember.  The art project said to use plastic dishwashing bottles cut into shapes and nails for the designs.  I thought way too much for our crew, so we used homemade salt dough and chopsticks.

 Our finished Scrimshaw projects.

Our cultural meal from Iceland was

Ástarpungar - Round doughnuts or "Love Balls".


Facts we learned:
  • All towns and settlements of Greenland are situated along the ice-free coast, with the population being concentrated along the west coast. The northeastern part of Greenland is not part of any municipality, but is the site of the world's largest national park, Northeast Greenland National Park.
  • If the Greenland ice sheet were to melt away completely, the world's sea level would rise by more than 7 m (23 ft).
  • Seal and reindeer is a staple meat in the diet.
  • Iceland is the home to many active volcanoes. 
  • Iceland is very proud of their Viking heritage.
  • Freak winter storms can strike at anytime.
  • Domestic dogs are not allowed north of the Arctic Circle for fear of weakening the breeding of the strong sled dogs.

 We learned about the Animals of Greenland and Iceland.  The polar bear, walrus, reindeer, musk ox (named for their smell), blue whale, Icelandic horse, Icelandic cow, Icelandic sheep, Icelandic dog. 

While coloring our flags we watched another wonderful Globe Trekker dvd on Greenland and Iceland

We get these from Netflix...and I highly recommend them!!!

The boys got mad the last time I didn't print flags for them to color, so I didn't make that mistake again. 

Some really interesting areas we learned about:

Iceland Blue Lagoon--Geothermal Spa--
Due to the special geological location of Iceland, the high concentration of volcanoes in the area is often an advantage in the generation of geothermal energy, the heating and production of electricity. During winter, pavements near these areas (such as Reykjavík and Akureyri) are heated up.

Neil Armstrong and crew trained for the moon landing in the rough sections From Lake Mývatn in the north of Iceland, the Askja Lunar Tour journeys through the surreal lunar landscapes and areas of unique geological formations, which now form part of Vatnajökull National Park, Europe’s largest protected wilderness.  It is believed that Armstrong called the moon a letdown to drive on after being in Iceland..but that was all speculation.

Next week we will be visiting Ireland.  


  1. This was interesting to me as my husband and I will be going to Iceland the beginning of June i can't wait. I will be looking for those Ástarpungar balls they look good:)

  2. Thank you for visiting my blog! I am following you back! I am a previous homeschooler! {until we opened a family restaurant...then we were put in public school!}