Friday, 19 August 2011

Geography lesson on Brazil

I purchased Little Passports this summer for the kids and I to do a bit more geography around the world. Up to now we have really only concentrated on Europe and our travels. I thought it was time to get a bit more structured. Little Passports gave me the structure I needed to at least do 12 countries this school session. We have to option of adding an additional 12 more countries in the future should we chose to continue with this program.

First up was the country Brazil. With all the traveling I have done I have never been to South America! My husband has been but not I so we will have to find a way to go there together one day:) Little Passports provides you with a world map and a passport and a letter from two travelers (Sam and Sofia) and a small item from that country to get you started. There is also a puzzle sheet and a few simple computer games to get you get you excited about the country you are going to be studying. We have spent several weeks working on learning all we can about Brazil, the people and the culture. I know I did a fairly good job when my youngest announced he wants to go live there next:)

From there I, as I always do, decided to take it a bit further. I found tons of books at the library to enhance our study of the country. Books about Pele, the landscape, and family life in the Amazon to give us a better understanding of the lives there. We watched several You Tube videos that also reinforced what we read. Seeing Pele doing that backward kick is pretty amazing. Although I do recommend screening anything relating to Mardi Gras parade; I didn't think that one through clearly enough:)!! This oversight might have something to do with my son wanting to go live there next LOL:) I also found a great DVD in the library called Atlas which had a one hour show on the country Brazil (and several countries are featured) which reinforced all the reading we had done in the last several weeks. The kids also did a few notebook pages on Brazil. I found some great printables from Home school creations on Brazil which the children completed. We are working on putting together a geography portfolio this year.

For activities, we planned a traditional Brazilian meal which the children helped to cook. We made Brazilian stew Feijoada. You can find many varying recipes on the web. The children also made Brigadeiros truffles, I got this idea from Chestnut Grove Academy who got it from someone else (just how far back are you suppose to credit ideas from other bloggers--is there a rule of thumb that I should know). These are very, very sweet. The stew is often served with kale and orange slices.

Stew can be put beside the rice or on top of the rice. My husband and I thought it was pretty good. Even my children ate it :)

Chocolate Brigadeiros

For our art project I really wanted to make a diorama of the rain forest with shoe boxes that I have seen on Confessions of a Homeschooler. But my children had other plans. They wanted to create a large wall mural. Which I think turned out fantastic and is now hanging in our stairwell. Over the last 3 years my children have created 4 of these huge murals and we are running out of wall space to hang them:)
First we created a Amazon forest complete with river and the 4 layers of the jungle; the forest floor, understory, canopy and emergent layer.

We did not have animal pictures to scale nor to accurate colors and in some cases the animals are in the wrong level of the jungle as I allowed the children to have control over the project with a bit of input from me:)!

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  1. thanks for sharing!

    I am following from Sail Along

  2. Hi Anna-Marie,
    Such an awesome and fun unit! The food and murals look wonderful! The dishes look delicious and I love the vibrant colors of the rain forest mural. I'm glad everyone is having fun learning about Brazil! Clicked a vote for you! :)

  3. Thanks for joining the hop! That looks like a fun way to make Brazil real for them.

  4. I had never heard of little passports! That seems like so much fun, it's almost like you were there!


  5. love the mural, it turned out fantastic! Thanks for linking up!!

  6. That passport idea looks great, I want to try that with my kids some day! Found you through the TOS Sail Away Hop, following! :)

  7. Your kids are SO lucky! Do you want to adopt me?

  8. What a fun curriculum! you did a fantastic job with it, too.
    I'm stopping by with a hello and a GFC follow from the TOS blog hop. thanks for linking up!

  9. How fun!!! We loved doing weekly international meals last year. I am still going to sneak in some world geography this year (maybe) We visited each continent at least. So maybe USA this year and then back to world.

    The mural is beautiful!!!

  10. That rain forest is AH-mazing!


    Raising Little Rhodies

  11. Waving hi from the TOS Crew blog hop. What a fun idea! My children would love it!

  12. Wow. The mural is fantastic. I always try to let Sprite take the reigns with deciding on the details of an activity even if I had my heart set on another. Good choice! It came out really gorgeous.

  13. Looks like a super fun unit! I think the mural turned out fabulously! Definitely needs to be on the wall. :)

    Following from the TOS hop.

  14. This looks like such a fun (and yummy :) thing to do!

  15. Popped over from the TOS Blog Cruise hop. Love this post! My boys creativity is limited to drawing pictures or making weapons.

    Laura O in AK

  16. Stopping by to follow you from the crew blog hop! Looks like you are having fun!

  17. Stopping by from the TOS Blog Cruise hop. Getting in the kitchen and trying out recipes always goes over really well with my kids. Thanks for sharing!