Thursday, April 10, 2014

5 Days of ... Making Geography Fun- Day 4: Country Study for Younger Elementary Children

Welcome to the 4th day of our Making Geography Fun posts. If you have missed my previous posts I invite you to check them out at the following links:

Day 3: On the Road

Last month I let myself get roped into teaching a "Global Art" class in our homeschool co-op for the K-3rd graders. Our lovely leader had asked for a teacher for a History Craft Class. While I wasn't sure exactly what she was looking for, I did tell her I had a book called Global Art by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Jean Potter that I had used during the summer with the children. She liked the sound of the book and the fact that she would be getting me out of my comfort zone to teach an older class. 

At first I had wanted to organize the lessons the same way I had when I was doing the review of Global Art for the TOS Review Crew. Last summer we picked a continent to focus on, found different crafts to make for some of the countries on said continent, plus read books and made a recipe. We also included map skills by coloring in the countries on our map. We had done Africa and Asia, so I thought it might be nice to pick a different continent for our co-op class, perhaps the one where one of our co-op families was going to be going on a missions trip to. The plan was to find some crafts for Central America, check out some library books and perhaps make a snack.

Unfortunately, there weren't really enough doable crafts for our co-op situation that focused on Central America and Guatemala. I was at a loss until the librarian found a book for me called, Geography For Fun: People and Places by Pam Robson.

This book was actually one she found for me when I was searching for books for my Poppins Book Nook lessons for March. While I didn't really use it for Where in the World?, I found a great idea for a Country Profile poster that I thought would be perfect for co-op. We worked on different aspects each week, including one craft from the Global Art book.

Here is my finished Guatemala Poster.

We started out by labeling a world map with all the continents. Then we found Central America on an Outline Map of North America.

We then learned the countries of Central America. I only had the children label Guatemala though. We also discussed what bordered it.

After that short map-skills lesson I read them a bit about the Sawdust Carpets that are mentioned in the Global Art book. I had typed out some information about them, leaving blanks for them to fill in. They could choose to write the correct answers in or cut and paste. Then we followed the directions to make the replica sawdust carpets. We added powdered tempera paint to sawdust and used it like glitter to create a colorful picture.

The next week we made Guatemalan flags. I also printed out some information explaining the symbolism on the flags. This time I didn't have them fill anything in. I knew we would need the majority of our time to attach what we had made so far to the posters. Any information that was on computer paper was first mounted on construction paper to help it stand out.

We also learned that Guatemala means "Land of Trees."

The paper on the bottom left was actually added on the third and final week. This was a fill-in-the-blank paper for our last craft, belt weaving, an idea I found in another book.

Here they are working on their weaving:

After they completed their posters on the third week they were able to take them home.

Tabitha's Guatemala Poster

Amelia's Guatemala Poster

It really was a fun way to learn about a country. 

As I mentioned, there are many more insightful posts to be found. Here is the link to the main post on the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog where you can find a list of everyone who is sharing. To get you started, I invite you to stop by these blogs:

Dawn @ Guiding Light Homeschool ~ Homeschooling with Excessive Energy
Lexi @ Lextin Academy ~ The Homeschool Dad, CEO
Lynn @ Ladybug Chronicles ~ Organizing Your Home and School
Cristi @ Through the Calm and Through the Storm ~ Homeschooling Thankfulness
Melissa@ Mom's Plans ~ Historical Field Trips
Adena @ AdenaF ~ Mnemonics
Amy @ Homeschool Encouragement ~ Lego Learning
Erin @ For Him and My Family ~ Record Keeping

April Blog Hop


  1. That's awesome you've come up with so many creative ways to learn geography. I've really enjoyed reading your posts this week..

  2. Those look like fun! My kids have never done a poster to display what they've learned. I might need to remedy that!


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