This curriculum uses living books and maps to read your way through different countries, cultures, history, and animals around the world for grades K-4th.
You do have the option to purchase the bundle that has all the picture books you need, however I chose to just get the teachers guide and check out all the books from our local library as we need them. You do need to have the book Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska as it refers to it for many of the lessons.
Since we are combining Part I & Part II we will not be doing every country/lesson provided. I went through both guides and decided we will be learning 1 new country every 2 weeks. I have noticed in the past my children get bored after learning about the same topic more than 2 weeks, so I think this will be just enough time to complete what we want to for each country. If they are interested in learning more, plans can always change. By the end of the school year we will hopefully have learned about 16 different countries!
- August: China, Japan
- September: Japan, Thailand
- October: India, Morocco
- November: Egypt, Kenya
- December: Kenya
- January: Antarctica, Australia
- February: Spain
- March: Holland, Italy
- April: Sweden, Great Britain
- May: Brazil, Peru
Geography: Here are some additional reference books, that we love, that we will be adding to learn more about each country. (I have included a photo of the inside of each book to give you an example. I love to see the inside before purchasing or adding to my wish list 😉)
History: Many of the picture books in the guide are about the history, significant people, and culture of each country. We will choose one topic to learn more about and will also look through the Usborne Encyclopedia of World History for certain countries to learn more about their origin.
Science: This year we are not using a specific science curriculum, but will be letting our interests lead the way. We will be studying the different ecosystems, biomes, and animals for each country.
I am using the Usborne Living Encyclopedia as my main guide for biomes and ecosystems as well as many of Gail Gibbons amazing books. We will be learning about the desert, mountain ranges, grasslands, coral reef, polar regions, and rainforest. I tried to combine countries that are close so we can study each biome for a month at a time. We will read about the geography, the habitats, watch videos, and create a diorama or artwork to complete each unit. Sarah over at withhisgrace.com inspired me to have the kids work on a fun diorama together for each unit. We won’t do a diorama for every biome, but for as many as we have time for.
Tentative Schedule for our science biomes:
- China, Japan, Thailand: Mountains
- India, Morocco: Deciduous Forests, Mediterranean
- Egypt, Kenya: Desert, Grasslands
- Antarctica, Australia: Polar regions, Coral Reef
- Holland: Bulb fields
- Sweden: Boreal Forest
- Brazil, Peru: Rainforest
We will be using The Animal Atlas to look at all the animals that are native to each country. I will then let my children pick which animal they are most interested in learning about. We will read about them, watch videos, craft, and watercolor or draw in our notebooks.
Within the Around the World with Picture Book teacher guides, they have a section that directs you on nature studies and notebooking, which we will be doing a lot of. For our notebooks, I bought Canson Mixed Media Notebooks (size 7 x 11) that we will use for notebooking, drawing, and writing facts. *I found a photo of the front of a passport on Google photos, printed it, and glued it to the top of our notebooks. Provided in the back of the teachers guide are also drawings of animals, flags, and maps to color and add into your notebook.
Reading: For my daughters independent reading, she will be reading a chapter book for each country we are learning about. For our read alouds, with all my children, we will be reading a Magic Treehouse book for each country and doing fun activities from Passports to Adventures. I’ll be sharing all the chapter books will be reading for the first few countries next week.
Give Your Child the World by Jamie C. Martin is an amazing book to have! It is basically a giant booklist of books for many different countries broken down by age range. It shares books for ages 4-12 with a short synopsis of each book. This is where I found suggestions for a lot of the books we will be reading.
Schoolroom: For our schoolroom I purchased THIS poster of the world map. I will print and cut out a picture of an airplane and my kids will take turns finding and placing it on the country we are studying. I also hope to have them take turns painting the flag of each country we visit and hang them as we go through the school year.
You do not need to have all of these books to complete the curriculum and learn so much. Having these books will just help us enhance our studies and make it easy to look up anything we are curious about.
Out of all the books I shared, if I HAD to choose my favorites to use with this curriculum I would definitely recommend the DK Countries of the World, and the Where on Earth Atlas? first. They are full of information and wonderful photographs for each country. I definitely recommend the Encyclopedia of Animals to always have on your homeschool shelf, it is a favorite that we pull out often.
We are so excited to explore different countries around the world and to let our interests lead us this coming school year!