Sunday, March 7, 2010

Africa Week

Thing One and I made a list of topics he wants to study more so I could put together some unit studies. One of the things he chose at random was "South Africa." I broadened this to include all of Africa and it ended up being a really fun weekly theme!

We studied African animals, focusing on elephants, lions, and giraffes. We talked a bit about primates, too. Movies we watched were The Lion King and Elephant Tales. We made some foam animals from a kit I had (elephant and lion). We learned "elephant breath" and a "lion stretch" during yoga time. Our yoga pretzels deck was helpful with this. My kids aren't too interested in the kids' yoga videos we have, but they adore these cards!

We listened to a ton of African music cds from the library. We also listened to Uncle Remus (Brer Rabbit) stories. We discussed what makes a folk tale special, and we read a bunch of African folk tales. The Anansi tales were the favorites.

We discussed basic African geography, and talked about the seven continents. We considered how different parts of Africa are from each other. We revisisted the savannah, desert and forest habitats. We read a book about students in different parts of Africa, and how they are similar to us in some ways and different in others.

We looked at some African art and some masks. We practiced drawing faces and masks. We made a mancala game with an egg carton and some beads.

We ate chicken peanut stew, and couscous with almonds and currants (both big hits).

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