Tag Archive | geography

Discovering Mexico…

So with our in depth examination of China the kids requested another country… Being all democratic (first mistake) I let them choose… even after extorting the amazing qualities of some European countries (ok so Mommy has some interests not yet tapped) I was out voted and we chose a month+ long focus of MEXICO!!!

This is another first for us. I the topics I thought would be interesting and made up pages for the twins (and the littles to a more limited extent) to chose from. Topics like Sports, Inventions, Capital City, the list goes on and on… so we shall see how giving some more independence and choices works with the kids… FINGERS CROSSED!

However I am still verifying all websites before they settle on them so I had some major work ahead of me. And of course I have some to share as well!! I will post them according to topic, the only order is the one chosen by the boys to cover!

GEOGRAPHY

  • What hemispere is Mexico in? Ask.com has the answer HERE

SPORTS

  • donQuijote.org has a short article HERE.
  • we checked out further information on Lucha Libre thanks to Wiki HERE.
  • VisitMexico.com has an interesting piece on Charreria HERE.

CAPITAL CITY – Mexico City

  • Angel of Independence thanks to Mexico City – Guide HERE.
  • CNN has 10 interesting facts about the city HERE.
  • Discovering Ice… a travel blog has tons to share including personal experiences HERE.
  • MexicoCity.com has a page HERE

DINOSAURS… yup we went there… Emanuel and Trinity and I!

  • Our dinosaur list was found on EnchantedLearning HERE
  • Gorgosaurus: a wonderful picture on deviantArt thanks to SommoDracorex HERE. Dino Hunt Canada with their “breathing” image HERE. EnchantedLearning facts HERE. Raresource HERE.
  • Labocania: not a common dinosaur AT ALL… so this is the best I could do! Dinosaurs.about.com HERE, CoolDinoFacts Wikia HERE, RareSource.com HERE. BUT an amazing picture to colour thanks to deviantArt and hyphenatedsuperhero HERE.
  • For Hypacrosaurus we used one site as our launching pad and clicked their links. VERY helpful. You can find our link HERE thanks to Dinosaur of the Week.
  • Pterosaur: not so much a specific animal but a grouping of apparently NOT dinosaurs, so fun for the kids being as these were FLYING critters. EnchantedLearning HERE. SomeInterestingFacts.net HERE. And our colouring page on SuperColoring.com HERE.
  • Lambeosaurus: A duck-billed dinosaur we had a few good resources we used – KidsDinos.com HERE, EnchantedLearning HERE, and our colouring page was from IAmFritz.com HERE.
  • Apatosaurus: Our last dinosaur chosen to research… Science Kids HERE, Kids Dig Dinos HERE, EnchantedLearning HERE and our colouring page from Ducksters HERE.

PLANTS AND ANIMALS

  • The National animal/bird is the GOLDEN EAGLE… and the plant the PRICKLY PEAR CACTUS. We found that out using Wiki HERE. Learn more about the Golden Eagle thanks to Sandiego Zoo HERE. And all about the Prickly Pear Cactus thanks to DesertUSA HERE.
  • Endangered animal list thanks to Mexidata HERE.
  • Of our list Zander chose TWO animals to research (online)… Axolotl was the first with three links: A-Z Animals HERE and National Geographic Kids HERE and Mother Nature Network HERE. It is crazy cool! The second was the Tigrillo or the Margay. We found various pages once we realized the secondary name so here is a quick list – Encyclopaedia Britannia HERE, SoftSchools.com HERE, PoC HERE, The Animal Files HERE.

TRADITIONAL CLOTHING

  • Education.com worksheet for traditional clothing for both genders HERE.
  • Facts about traditional clothing thanks to FactsAboutMexico.com HERE.
  • Sombreros facts HERE thanks to ehow.

WEATHER STUDY

  • Discuss the seasons on an informational site HERE.
  • Learn about the rainy season on Mexperience HERE.
  • Does it snow in Mexico? Find the answer from people who live there thanks to Yahoo Answers HERE.
  • General climate information on Mexperience HERE.

ART, CRAFTS and ARTISTS

  • Gavin did the research and write ups for this one. First Frida Kahlo, mainly from our book list but also from Wiki HERE.
  • And her husband Diego Rivera, again mainly from our library finds and Wiki HERE. Our colouring page of one of his murals can be found HERE thanks to Scribble Blog.

LANGUAGE and PEOPLE

  • Learn Spanish at Duolingo.com (app available too) HERE.
  • Famous people born in Mexico list with links onward thanks to Biography.com HERE.

NATURAL DISASTERS

  • An article of interest on the examination of an area in Mexico that experienced a massive drought for about 650 years thanks to NBC HERE.

AGRICULTURE

  • Livestock numbers (from 2008) thanks to Answers.com HERE. We used this as an example of the types of common animals raised for food and other reasons.
  • Learn about the Cacao plant and chocolate thanks to Wilderness Classroom HERE.
  • A list of common plants to Mexico (short) thanks to ehow HERE.
  • Plants of Mexico list (long) thanks to Backyard Nature HERE.
  • Agriculture in Mexico thanks to Wiki HERE.

INVENTIONS

  • We used this list on Wiki as a launching pad for researching 3 of them. Nothing fancy just a list of interest really HERE.
  • A second list thanks to the site Latina HERE.

MEXICO INDEPENDENCE DAY

  • SoftSchools.com has a wonderful page about the history of Mexico’s movement to independence HERE.
  • KidzWorld.com has some information HERE.
  • Globe In has 10 interesting facts about Independence Day HERE.

GENERAL FACTS

  • A to Z Kids Stuff HERE.
  • Duckster with some Mexico Geography HERE.
  • Octavio Paz (famous individual) thanks to Wiki HERE.
  • Chichen Itza thanks to SoftSchools HERE

RELIGION

  • Mexconnect covers the history of Catholicism in Mexico HERE.

MUSIC AND DANCE

Tlacololeros a traditional Mexican dance… watch it below:

Mexican Hat Dance… check it out below:

CURRENCY

  • A great image of the currency and explanation of how it works thanks to Focus on Mexico HERE.

COUNTRY STUDY… a great all over overview from Activity Village we are now using for any country we cover as more than a micro unit HERE.

MEXICO printable booklet, for purchase on TeachersPayTeachers HERE. Great for grades 1-3.

COLOURING PAGES and WORKSHEETS

  • Mexican Revolution HERE thanks to Oncoloring.
  • Know Your Neighbour HERE thanks to jumpstart.com.
  • Spanish word book and more HERE thanks to Homeschool Share.
  • Clothing colouring page HERE thanks to Coloring Book 4 Kids

BOOKS… boy did we have books!! I may have cleaned out 2 or three local library branches!! So enjoy the fruit of my requesting! I will try and point out the super useful or fun books with a bit of further information. After all, this is useful for me too when we chose to revisit a topic for the littles to learn more about!

  • Cactus Soup by Eric A. Kimmel. This is a take on the stone soup idea set in Mexico during the Mexican Revolution (1910-1922). The kids picked up right away that it was a great lesson about sharing. Though the girls were VERY put out about the people lying about having things at first… not cool! Great book HERE.
  • Little Egret and Toro by Robert Vavra. This is not a MEXICAN story but we chose to read this book because it was set in Spain and about a fighting bull. The whole concept of bull fighting and the ending of the fight in the death of the bull is visited. It does have a happy ending though! HERE
  • Mexico by Gina DeAngelis (a common name for a lot of the books we borrowed but I will link each one if I can!): Many Cultures, One World. HERE
  • Christmas Around the World by Emily Kelley HERE.
  • P is for Pinata by Tony Johnston HERE
  • Ancient Mexico by Kelly Campbell Hinshaw HERE
  • A Look at Mexico by Helen Frost HERE
  • Mexico by Sarah Tieck HERE
  • Cultural Traditions in Mexico by Lynn Peppas HERE
  • Mexico by Christine Juarez HERE
  • Mexico by Deborah Kent HERE
  • Mexico by R. Conrad Stein HERE
  • The Boy Who Wouldn’t Obey: A Mayan Legend by Anne Rockwell HERE
  • Food and Festivals Mexico by Linda Illsley HERE
  • Mexico City by R. Conrad Stein HERE
  • Countries of the World Mexico by Beth Gruber HERE
  • Mexico in Pictures by Janice Hamilton HERE
  • The Cooking of Mexico by Matthew Locricchio HERE
  • Mexico! 40 Activities to Experience Mexico Past & Present by Susan Milord HERE
  • Traditional Crafts from Mexico and Central America by Florence Temko HERE

AZTECS AND MAYANS – we only did a cursory discussion on these two groups but had a lovely stack of books for reading and enjoyment and of course the fact finding.

  • Aztecs by David and Patricia Armentrout HERE
  • Ancient Aztecs by Tim Cooke HERE
  • Life Among the Aztecs by Eleanor J. Hall HERE
  • Lost Temple of the Aztecs by Shelley Tanaka HERE
  • The Aztecs by Tim Wood HERE
  • The Maya HERE
  • Houses & Homes by Tim Wood HERE
  • Ancient Mayan Civilization by Nancy Day HERE
  • Crafts From the Past – The Aztecs by Gillian Chapman HERE

MOVIES/DOCUMENTARIES

  • Families of Mexico (Families of the World) HERE
  • More Families of Mexico (Families of the World) HERE
  • Travel With Kids Mexico HERE
  • Ancient Aztec The Fall of the Empire (Ancient Civilizations for Children) HERE

I really enjoyed this unit and the kids seemed to learn and enjoy a lot too… Please enjoy the images from some of our finished work!IMAG0622

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Our craft... This was traditionally started when the child was born and each colour added for each year. Birth Charms.. though the kids and Ken made theirs up in one day.

Our craft… This was traditionally started when the child was born and each colour added for each year. Birth Charms.. though the kids and Ken made theirs up in one day.

Here is a quick peek at our finished notebook/binder… sorry about the quality and the babbling!

Chinese New Year, Year of the Goat/Sheep

 We really do enjoy celebrating Chinese New Year and this year was no exception. This is our first big unit in months as our work on Thanksgiving and Christmas was much more worksheets and stories than actual research. This is also our first unit trying a more Notebooking sort of theme. Though after working with the twins I definitely want to try and put more lapbook aspects into our notebooks – the folded little booklets and the like – to add to the look and the ease of use.

So in 2015 I am trying to over view a month which was working with the blog when I got behind instead of daily reflection. But with big units I still want to make these individual blog entries to share our resources and the like. Bear with me we LOVE covering China and Chinese New Year so there is a lot to share!!!IMAG1500

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IMAG1508Links of Specific Interest:

  • We had Zander choose two famous Chinese people and write a few sentences… he used a general list HERE thanks to Buzzle, and then to further our knowledge about the more contemporary individual used Wiki to learn more about basketball player Yao Ming HERE.
  • 10 Good Luck Foods thanks to Chow HERE. I admit it, we did do some Wiki peeking when we found things we were not totally familiar with but I am sure you can figure that out!IMAG1510
  • Something on the more traditional side I was assured by my experts… The Kitchen God HERE thanks to about.com. For a picture to include in our notebook we used Activity Village’s picture HERE.
  • Learn more about the Lion Dance (sometimes mistakenly… ok OFTEN… called the dragon dance) with HelloKids.com HERE, and on Wiki HERE.
  • We learned all about the meaning and history of the Chinese flag on the site A China Family Adventure HERE. With a little additional information HERE thanks to Facts.co.
  • We get TONS of information from Activity Village. Their printables are amazing… HERE.
  • For interesting landmarks we used the top 10 attractions listed on ChinaHighlights.com HERE.
  • China’s phyisical geography thanks to About.com HERE.
  • General country facts on Science Kids HERE.
  • An excellent map on iLibrarion HERE.
  • When you think of animals you inevitably come to the Giant Panda. Science Kids has a fact page HERE.
  • We discussed tea and China… totally Gavin’s idea on that one! You can find 10 interesting facts about tea at the Food Network HERE. For its history and cultural connotations in regards to China you can read China Highlights HERE.
  • Zander researched the couplets you put around doors during Chinese New Year. There is a great example (that we copied into our notebook) HERE thanks to China Page. And a bit more of a description and a way to purchase some for yourself HERE thanks to China Sprout.
  • Of course we did a page on goats… I basically looked up goat facts and let the twins at it. You can read up on what we found HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE. Thanks to Lively Run Goat Dairy, Edelweiss Acres, One Kind and Animals by Pawnation.
  • Of course we had to cover some animals found in China. Each child chose an animal and wrote a few facts for us to include along with an illustration. Trinity chose the Chinese Pink Dolphin. We used the WWF page HERE for hers. Gavin chose the Golden Monkey (Golden Snub-Nosed  Monkey) and while he just sort of wandered the zoo and such sites this is the one I found that I liked thanks to Konica Minolta HERE.
  • While watching Wild China I heard mention of an amazing bridge… so of course I had to find the way to spell it and look up some OTHER bridges. Check out 4 HERE on Vision Times.
  • Introduction to Buddhism for kids thanks to World Religions HERE.
  • A good topography map thanks to Ilibrarian.net HERE.

Craft Ideas:

  • Dragon Parade Puppet thanks to Crayola HERE.
  • New Year’s Dragon paperbag puppet thanks to TeacherVision HERE.

Resources to Purchase:

  • Teachers Pay Teachers has a great mini unit for K-3 gr. You can find that HERE. Super thanks to creator Emily Nutt Bynum for an amazing file that both Trinity and Emanuel enjoyed and learned from.

Books:

Animal Books (We did not use many and was mostly online with our looking but here are the ones we used):

We covered Origami this year. While commonly known as a Japanese art, it originated in China! You can check out our informational links HERE and HERE thanks to Origami with Rachel Katz and About.com and also check out the books we got to play around with:

Movies and TV Shows:

  • Celebrate with Kai-Lan! a Nickelodeon Show
  • Wild China Mini Series. We watched this series on Netflix. There are listings where you can purchase it. Though not new it is AMAZING in images and cultural history. A must watch if not for anything but the imagery.

Not so much because the kids needed it, but I decided to make dividers for each of the sections of sheets we had to go with our notebook project. I have confirmed these are the correct words… enjoy

  • China HERE thanks to NamesOnline.org
  • Book HERE thanks to a dictionary site
  • Schoolwork HERE thanks to the same dictionary site
  • Drawing or picture HERE thanks to above dictionary site

IMAG1512IMAG1514Hopefully I have included most of the resources we used. It was a lot of fun to take our usual China and Chinese New Year study a little further than we have in the past! Here are some pictures of our Notebook! Enjoy!

 

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