Tag Archive | Helen Frost

Australia… the Country/Island/Continent and Then Some

Our newest focus of interest for school is a new one… we have turned our learning to all things AUSTRALIAN! This was precipitated by having some wonderful penpals who live in Australia… add to that multiple facebook and egroup friends who ALSO come from this continent and we were ready to jump in with both feet.

I have to admit I came into this knowing a lot of the stereotypical things… Vegemite is a favourite food, Sydney has a wicked looking opera house, Aboriginal art is fantastic… But I have personally learned so much! Every day there is something new and the kids have been over the moon with their wish to share daily facts and nuggets of information.

I am going to share out resources a little differently with this one. We have our list of books which I will share, and some main websites… but a lot of our information came from friends and general web inquires. I don’t plan on sharing each and every site we used, but I will highlight some I found amazingly useful of course. I will also share out outline of topics covered. I tried to vary them as much as possible and give the kids a range of simple and complicated questions to answer with the intent that if they found something they loved learning about (ie. animals of Australia) we could always go a wee bit further with that.

Of course we had a laundry list of books and DVDs but I will try and share as many as I can… starting with books!

  • Ocean: A Visual Encyclopedia HERE
  • Countries of the World: Australia by Michael Dahl HERE
  • Life in the Australian Outback by Jann Einfeld HERE. This one was a great resource that we had to re-request, as apparently someone else figured that out as well!
  • You Wouldn’t Want to Be an 18th-Century British Convict! (A Trip to Australia You’d Rather Not Take) by Meredith Costain HERE. We love this series of books. A humorous and rather frank discussion about some sucky times in different places.
  • Australia and New Zealand (A True Book) by Elaine Landau HERE. I admit it, we got caught up in the joy that is learning about Australia and only gave New Zealand a nod. I think we will do a mini report on it in the summer.
  • Australia in Pictures by Ann Kerns HERE
  • Cultures of the World Australia by Vijeya Rajendra HERE
  • Ready to Dream by Donna Jo Napoli HERE, this is a book I would love to own myself. Gorgeous story about aboriginal art and how it is made in nature and often transient. LOVE THIS ONE, worth the read even if you are not doing an Austrlian focus.
  • It’s a Baby! – Koala and Tasmanian Devil. These are cute books, simple but a great resource. Both are by Katherine Hengel.
  • A Look at Australia by Helen Frost HERE
  • Countries of the World Australia by Kate Turner HERE this is a National Geographic publication.
  • The Koalas of Australia by Linda George HERE
  • Emu by Claire Saxby. It is both a story and an information book. Great illustrations HERE.
  • Sand Swimmers by Narelle Oliver. This covers life in “Australia’s Desert Wilderness” HERE.
  • Minmi and Other Dinosaurs of Australia by Dougal Dixon. This was our launching pad for our dinosaur research. Not an easy task since there are no full skeletons of dinosaurs from Australia! HERE.
  • Koala Hospital by . ADORABLE and so informative HERE.
  • Not-For-Parents Australia Everything You Ever Wanted to Know a wacky fact book HERE.
  • Australia by Ann Heinrichs (her name pops up in almost every country unit we do) HERE.
  • Australia by Katie Bagley HERE
  • Australia by Mary Berendes HERE
  • Sugar Gliders by Caroline Wightman HERE
  • Explore Australia and Oceania by Bobbie Kalman HERE
  • Early People by EyeWonder HERE
  • Bilby: Secrets of an Australian Marsupial by Edel Wignell HERE
  • Unusual Creatures by Michael Hearst HERE
  • Nocturne Creatures of the Night by Traer Scott HERE
  • Who Was Steve Irwin? by Dina Anastasio HERE
  • Great Barrier Reef by David Doubilet HERE

Story Books… or at least ones that are a large part story or fable or something…

  • Stories From the Billabong by James Vance Marshall. I should say RETOLD by… excellent collection of Aboriginal Dreamtime stories. HERE
  • Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures #8 – The Australian Boomerang Bonanza by Jeff Brown HERE
  • How to Scratch a Wombat by Jackie French (a famous Australian author) HERE. Gavin used this one on his mini wombat report and enjoyed it greatly.
  • Fimding Serendipity. While not a book about Australia it is written by Angelica Banks – two Tasmanian authors. AMAZING book. Trinity and I read it chapter by chapter. HERE
  • Over in Australia: Amazing Animals Down Under by Marianne Berkes HERE
  • Dial-a-Croc by Mike Dumbleton HERE. This one made us all laugh. It is all about a girl making a deal with a crocodile to make money.
  • The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths. This one made us all giggle… lots of fun pictures and crazy antics HERE.
  • My Uncle the Werewolf by Jackie French… we absolutely loved EVERYTHING we read by her! HERE
  • And then there were the Jackie French wombat books – Diary of a Wombat HERE, Christmas Wombat HERE, and Diary of a Baby Wombat HERE.

DVD’s

  • Rescuers Down Under (More for fun than anything else but the kids really enjoyed this classic) HERE
  • Kangaroo Mob HERE, a 2012 PBS video about the issue with encroaching kangaroo and city living.
  • Great Barrier Reef by BBC Earth HERE.
  • Destination Travel Guide Australia, this one was amazing one second and then… well I would suggest pre watching or at least watching with your kids. The woman sees AMAZING portions of Australia we did not see on other shows, books etc… BUT she also stops into a lingerie bar and talks to a madam at a brothel… yup mom is quick on the fast forward. We watched the first area on the DVD so I cannot vouch for the rest, but some of the locations she saw were BREATH TAKING and the opal mine with its underground living amazing as well. HERE

I do like to, even when we are not actually creating a lapbook per say, use the resources. I glue them onto flat pages and we still use the flapbooks etc for a bit of a change up from the written and typed reports. Homeschool Share has one HERE. The same group has a Coral Reef lapbook we found useful HERE. Not all helpful resources are free ones, though I did not spend much on this unit out of necessity. We paid 1.50 US for a Great Barrier Reef lapbook by Only Passionate Curiosity HERE. Iman’s Home-School has a helpful page with links that we used HERE, again lapbook. DIY Homeschooler has a unit study set up with links  to different resources HERE. Homeschool Creations has their own study set out HERE. Those are basically the links for the pages that could let you run an independent unit of varying sizes. We took bits and pieces out of all of these.

Of course we also enjoy art and crafts. Our book was Super Simple Australian Art by Alex Kuskowski. It is a great reference and most of the projects used things around the house. For more ideas we had some websites to check out… A sugar glider brown paperbag puppet HERE thanks to Beatrice the Biologist… Activity Village has a whole series of Australian Animal crafts HERE… The Craft Train had a fun frilled lizard out of toilet paper rolls we didn’t quite get right but enjoyed trying out HERE, there are 9 crafts to choose from on Suzie’s Home Education Ideas page

Of course we covered dinosaurs… Emanuel would not let that pass us by. I won’t hunt them all down for  you but the book I listed in the book list (Minmi) is our basis and we used these two links for report pages… one by Sammy Ironleggs HERE which is free and the other by Kelly Lynch also free HERE. Dinosaur Zoo Live has a great resource with a list of Australian dinosaurs and print outs. I picked and chose out of this one HERE. It is a download and save right off the bat. I did find the information at Walking With Dinosaurs HERE interesting though.

One of our best resources was For Teachers For Students HERE. It is a resource site for Australian education and educators. Look up the specific states and territories and each has a great series of fact sheets.

Ok now for topics… we did a rather broad overview but here is a list of some we touched on and loved.

  • Government
  • Food
  • Schooling
  • Outback
  • First Peoples/famous people/demographics
  • New Zealand and Tasmania
  • ANIMALS
  • Dinosaurs
  • Inventions
  • Tourist locations/locations of interest
  • Great Barrier Reef – we actually made ourselves a reef in our window. We drew our sourced out images that would work, coloured and cut them out and BAM hung in the window.20160729_143056
  • Mapping/natural resources
  • History
  • Culture/Art/Crafts
  • … the list goes on!

So all in all give Australia a good look. We enjoyed it extensively thanks to all of our Australian friends. Sorry this took so long to get up! I hope the resources are helpful!20170107_203827

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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!

Egypt, a Resource Entry

We have enrolled Emanuel in the Little Passports series and one of our monthly mailings was EGYPT. We couldn’t just look at what came in the mail so it morphed into time to make a poster about this rather intriguing country! I hope our resources and findings are helpful!

BOOKS:

  • Ten Little Mummies by Philip Yates HERE
  • Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble by Judy Schachner HERE
  • A Look at Egypt by Helen Frost HERE
  • How the Sphinx Got to the Museum by Jessie Hartland HERE
  • Egypt ABCs by Sarah Heiman HERE
  • You Wouldn’t Want to be Tutankhamen! by David Stewart HERE
  • Ancient Egypt by Cynthia Klingel and Robert B. Noyed HERE
  • Eyewitness Pyramid by James Putnam HERE
  • Everything Ancient Egypt by Crispin Boyer HERE
  • Eyewitness Ancient Egypt by George Hart HERE
  • Ancient Egypt Beyond the Pyramids by Kathleen W. Deady HERE
  • Egypt in Pictures by Jeffrey Zuehlke HERE
  • Miriam and Her Brother Moses by Jean Marzollo HERE
  • Ms. Frizzle’s Adventures Ancient Egypt by Joanna Cole HERE
  • Who Built the Pyramid? by Meredith Hooper HERE
  • Mummies in the Morning – a Magic TreeHouse mystery by Mary Pope Osborne HERE

HELPFUL WEBSITES:

  • Virtual Reality 3D Tomb Tours HERE though we could not get it to run on our laptop. If someone could figure it out I would love a head up on how they did it!!!
  • A series of the Eye of Ra images. I needed them for my part on one of mini books HERE thanks to Waktattoos.com
  • Ducksters’ Egypt Map HERE, Odyssey’s map HERE

PRINTABLES

  • A mini book with the current Egyptian flag from Activity Village HERE.
  • Ancient Egypt wordsearch HERE (Activity Village)
  • Ancient Egypt map colouring page HERE (Activity Village)
  • Current flag colouring page HERE (Activity Village)
  • Sphinx colouring page HERE (Activity Village)
  • Pyramids colouring page HERE (Activity Village)
  • Ancient Egyptian children colouring page HERE (Activity Village)
  • Egypt colouring page on Education.com HERE
  • List of Ancient Egypt worksheets on Education.com HERE

CRAFTS

  • Egyptian Pyramid model papercraft with Education.com HERE
  • Make a Mummy papercraft HERE (Education.com)

ANSWERING QUESTIONS

  • Ancient Egyptian beards… why? With Musiem HERE
  • All about Egyptian gold… Live Science’s article on clues to the origins of it HERE. A comparison between Egyptian and Roman gold HERE. The Gold of the Pharaohs by Softpedia HERE.
  • All about the Sphinx… why is it a half person half lion? Mentormob’s article HERE.
  • Toothbrushing in Ancient Egypt! Including the use of cosmetics on The Alchemy Web Site HERE. Wiki Answers’ take HERE.
  • What do Egyptians do for fun? Ask.com’s answer HERE. ThinkQuest’s answer HERE

VIDEOS
First off, CrashCourse’s Ancient Egypt: Crash Course World History #4

The History of Ancient Egypt in 2 Minutes! Vsion 1.0 by Scott Powell, the History Guy

Ancient Egypt – The Mystery of the Sphinx by Plancheman100

Mystery of the Sphinx (this is part 1 you can find the rest by the same poster) by Pharaoh3000

  SUGGESTED CRAFTS (we didn’t make it to doing these as light caught up with us)

  • Salt Dough Plaque (Activity Village) HERE
  • Pharaoh’s Headdress (Activity Village) HERE
  • Flail Craft (Activity Village) HERE
  • Ankh Fuse Bead design (Activity Village) HERE101_4880