Scholastic Dollar Deals are back! I noticed that they have their $1 sale on ebooks until May 19th, 2013. I have bought dozens of books over the past couple of years. Just thought I’d mention it for anyone who might be interested –
Here are some of the things we’ve bought ($1) and used:
Instant Habitat Dioramas
Banish Boring Words
Various Writing Prompt Books
While my older kids were learning a lot about the location of the specific countries of Africa, my preschooler was working on world geography again. I thought I’d share some of the activities ED has been doing the past week or two.
As always, we started out by singing the continent song. It’s to the tune of Frère Jacques:
While we sing the song, the kids always point to the continents on a Montessori world map. (What makes it Montessori is the specific colors used for each continent.)
Then, they place the continent label onto the correct spots on the world map. If the child needs it, there’s a control map so she can compare the labels with the words on the map.
I made this pin map years ago and we have used it so, so much. But when I went to link to the website where I got our map, the link no longer worked. So… it’s not perfect, but I made a Montessori world map that you can download for free.
There are two to choose from… one has country borders, the other doesn’t. Also I included the continent song so you can print it out if you want it.
Click here to download the free Montessori World Pin Map Packet:
Early next week, I’ll share a couple more of her geography activities and another set of free Montessori printables.
One day, DD announced, “I want to learn to weave.” I realized that I was a terrible mother… my kids have never even learned the basics of paper weaving! It was time to bring out the construction paper and teach that all-important skill… repeating the over-under-over-under pattern!
Then I used hard pieces of cardboard and made simple little yarn looms for them. Even my youngest quickly got the hang of it!
Their (almost) finished products weren’t terribly big…
But ED quickly found a use for hers!
Then looking at Pinterest… I can see tons of new projects in our future!
We have been playing a couple of wonderful geography games in our homeschool. We have the Africa version, but you can also buy these same games in a version of Europe, Asia, or the Americas.
The first is a card game called WorldWise Geography (Africa) I got for just a couple of dollars (it’s a different version that the one I linked to. It looks like the game has been updated a bit.) We didn’t play it quite like the rules indicate, but the kids loved it so much they asked to start school with it (and the other geography game) each day last week!
Each card has a country on one side and the neighboring countries or bodies of water that surround it on the other. We played with the map side face up and each person looked to see if they had one of the neighboring cards to place on top. If not they could place a wild card or super wild card or would draw from the pile.
The first couple of times, we played with are cards face up so we could all help one-another (to make it less competitive). This game was great for my kids (ages 7 and 9), but it is much too complicated at this point for my 5 year old.
The other game we played is a wonderful board game called 10 Days in Africa. In this board game, each player is give 10 cards. Each person has to take a trip across Africa by going from country to a bordering country. If you have a jeep, you can travel to any other country. And, if you get an airplane (let’s say a green plane), you can travel from one green country to another green country by plane. You cannot end your trip with a jeep or a plane ride.
There are three draw piles and three face up cards to choose from when it’s your turn. You can discard onto any pile. Each play should always have exactly 10 cards (you just can’t see all the cards in the picture below because we were trying to figure out how to make the trip work!)
Here is a winning trip:
I can’t recommend this game enough for your homeschool or for a family game night. It’s really fun and educational!
We also have this same game for Europe — 10 Days in Europe… and there is also 10 Days in Asia, 10 Days in the Americas, 10 Days in the USA. Just choose the geography you’re interested in learning and you’ll be building your dream trip too!
We are winding down our school year and will be bringing our Africa unit to a close in the next week or so. The past couple of weeks we’ve been reading about East Africa. We’ve read about a number of countries and then learned a bit about the Maasai people. The Maasai are semi-nomadic people who live in Kenya and northern Tanzania. They have quite distinctive customs and dress and live quite close to the game parks. Here are a couple photos from wikimedia of a woman and children with beaded necklaces around their necks:
We read about the Maasai warriors and learned about the rite of passage boys undertake to become a warrior. The Maasai warrior’s shield is on the flag of Kenya:
Many years ago, my Mom went to a conference in Nairobi. While she was there she went on a safari and bought a Maasai beaded necklace. After my Mom has passed away my Dad gave the necklace to me. I took the necklace down from the wall and let the kids all try it on:
After spending quite a bit of time examining our necklace and the ones in the books we had on hand, the kids set about making their own… while I read aloud:
The kids have also worked quite a bit on the geography of East Africa with our pin map.
We used the flags of Africa from Montessori Materials to create country pins for our pin map (African Flags-page 1; African Flags-page 2). You can print out a map of Africa from our Africa Learning Packet:
I have a couple of wonderful geography games we’ve been playing, but I’ll save that post until tomorrow.