Thursday, October 28, 2010

Geography/History Lessons

We started our social studies lessons this year by using a combination of Galloping the Globe, Abeka kindergarten Children of the World, and many other random books and activities - trying to piece together an experience that will benefit the range of ages 10, 5, and 3.

I wanted to preface our multicultural studies with a basic map overview so we have been looking at a lot of maps. We also read this book, Follow That Map! A First Book of Mapping Skills, which they enjoyed. It has information about direction, map keys/legends, topographical maps, scales, etc.

We've also been looking at the globe.
They will look at it for the longest time and ask a lot of questions.

Their placemats also always generate a lot of geography discussion at mealtimes.

We don't want to study about countries just because it's part of school curriculum or because I love traveling so much (although those are reasons, as well). We hope that each study will go back to the idea of Matthew 28:19 (Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations...). I plan for us to pray for the people in each of the countries...maybe even send a love offering to someone in need in each of these places...if anyone has any ideas on that one, I'd love to hear them.

I wanted to introduce the idea of "Explorers," since that's sort of what we were becoming as we learn about the world. We read What is Columbus Day? by Margot Parker and A Picture Book of Christopher Columbus by David A. Adler.

We made boats, using this idea as a reference. We cut out bottoms from an egg carton. They each made three boats to represent the Pinta, Nina, and Santa Maria.

Just stick toothpicks into squares of paper, then stick that in the modeling clay pressed into the bottom of the "boat."

Sissy took a little longer to finish her boats because, all on her own, she began pressing a craft stick onto purple stamp ink, then using that to decorate her sail and the clay.

We used our boats to sail the path that Columbus and his crew took.
We used our large board book, My Big Book of our Amazing World.

Then, they wanted to continue playing "ships" for awhile.

I told them that now we knew about a famous explorer, we needed to get ready for our own explorations. We read Dora's World Adventure (gotta pull the 3 year old in somehow). Dora visits France, Tanzania, Russia, and China. (It also tells you how to say hello in each of these countries.)

I also got Ryan's and my passports out for them to see.

Then we made our own (above). I love how they turned out. I just googled passport images and found this one to print on cardstock (with a white cardstock back cover). I cut out many pages of printer paper to match the size. I bound the pages and cover with glue (would be much easier to staple it, of course, but I just like how it looks this way).

On the inside cover we pasted little photocopied pictures, then added their names, birthdates, gender, place of birth, and their signatures. (We used our real passports as a guide.)

This is our first passport page (on the right). (To the left: one page from my passport, just in case anyone who hasn't been out of the country is curious what it might look like.) Our first country "visit" was China. I had 2 pages of country stickers from some Highlights "Top Secret Adventures" packs (activities to learn about other countries, geared toward ages 7-12). I photocopied a page so that I would have enough for all 3 of the kids (and will just cut and paste those).

The kids will get to stamp (We used that fancy circle stamp I had this time.) something on their page for each country, including the date, then stick on their country sticker.

Next week, I'll post about all of the fun we had in China!


For more story + art ideas, visit A Mommy's Adventures, for Kids' Craft ideas head over to Red Ted Art, and for other Geography & History lesson ideas, visit Children Grow, Children Learn, Children Explore.


Annette W. said...

WOW! Very cool, Jenny!

Ticia said...

I love the boats.

I've heard Voice of the Martyrs has a cool outreach oriented geography study.

That and look at Confessions of a Homeschooler, I think after she studies each country they pray for it.

RedTedArt said...

Oh, i LOVE the boats, they are so cute. A great way to bring some diversity into a geography/ history lesson. What fun!

Thank you so much for linking up to Kids Get Crafty! Much appreciate you joining in!


Debbie said...

Oh I love everything you are doing. Those boats are so cool. Where did you find those place mats? Thank you for linking up and we look forward to seeing more of what you are learning.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

The boats are so cute. I love they learn from their placemats. I will have to keep my eyes out for some for my son.

Please stop by and link this post to Read.Explore.Learn.

Charlene said...

I love the passport idea! That's awesome!

FairyLover said...

I love this idea. We are making a notebook from the geography class we are taking. We have a page on each country.


Dorie said...

Great lessons and accompanying activities! Love the passport idea.