Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Our World: South America

Before the holiday season and before we took a break from our regular life to focus on family, crafts for you, and of course Christmas Vacation, the boys and I were learning about where we live.

Actually, since we started our lessons back up when we moved to Colorado, I've been building on my lesson plans. I started with all about me, moved into a lesson about our family, and where we live. Once the boys understood the concept of the United States and how they related to it, I wanted to build on that idea and teach them about the world. At this age, I decided to stick with the continents and focus on a few things that stick out in each place. You can find our North America plans here.

And now that we're back in the swing of normal life, I've got about a million lessons to share with you!

When we looked at South America, and when we look at any part of a lesson, I focus on three main things: 1. What I think my boys will relate to. 2. What they already know and how I can build on that concept. 3. Can I throw in an interesting fact that they will find cool?

Based on what they already know about South America, I decided first to have them learn about the Amazon.

When we learn about a new place, I always teach my sons about the animals that live there, so we decided to make a collage of the Amazon River. Using foam stickers we already had, we were able to create some pretty creative pictures (yes, I know clown fish don't live in the Amazon) of the animals that live there.

For one of Henrik's birthdays, he was given this Melissa and Doug Sticker set. It has different scenes, dessert, rain forest, ocean, farm, etc and you can put removable stickers on these play mats. Henrik loved playing with the rain forest set and we had a pretty good time learning about the different types of habitats that exist in South America. 

Because my boys were really into animals, more than any other thing during this lesson, I decided to teach them about llamas. They thought it was really cool that llamas could pull heavy loads up and down the mountains, I don't think they ever thought that a llama could be so strong!

So, we made some!

After we made llamas we looked at pictures of Machu Picchu,  and tried to figure out what we'd have our llama take to the top if we were going on that journey. They came up with some pretty funny things, but I especially liked how they thought to bring food for the llama. 

Thanks to the Internet and youtube, we also looked at the different types of architecture they have in this part of the world and compared their houses to our houses, their landscapes to ours and their clothing to our clothing. One thing that found fascinating was that even llamas wore "blankets" that were full of color. They were a little confused as to why our dog didn't wear clothes like some of the llamas we saw pictures of.