Two blog posts in one day! Trying to catch up on sharing our Around the World Studies. We most recently finished up our studies in India and today I’m sharing all the books we read and fun activities we did together.
Before I begin, check out these other country study blog posts with a better explanation of how we are completing each country. (China was first.)
Around the World: China Unit Study
Around the World: Japan Unit Study
Around the World: Thailand Unit Study
We started our country study by looking at our favorite books: Maps, DK Countries of the World, and Children Just Like Me. They labeled the map of India in their notebooks and used our printables from Traveling the World to paint India’s flag. After we complete these two activities, we usually watch the YouTube playlist provided in Traveling the World.
There are lots of great picture books recommended for India from our Around the World with Picture Books curriculum. My kid’s favorites were One Grain of Rice by Demi, and The Story of Little Babaji by Helen Bannerman. They actually loved The Story of Little Babaji so much we read it a few times.
For India, we were still finishing our read alouds from Thailand. Check those out HERE. The books we read for Thailand and India work great for either country. We are just now beginning Magic Treehouse: Tigers at Twilight and are already enjoying it. It is a short book so we will be done with it quickly. We didn’t have time to get to Word Travelers and the Taj Mahal Mystery, but it looks very cute and seems like a great story for the whole family.
For my daughter’s independent reading, she is reading Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins and really enjoying it. It is a shorter chapter book (96 pages) with some illustrations, that would make a great read aloud for the family as well.
Holi, the Sari, and Ghandi
For each country, I typically choose three topics to really focus on. However, for India there were so many great things I wanted to cover, we just did a small portion for each by reading a few great books and only doing a few hands-on projects.
We first read about the holiday/festival of Holi and my kids thought this was amazing. If we did this country in the spring, I probably would have tried to find a way to do an actual celebration outside, throwing colored powders and such. I might have to come back and do it when it is warmer because I know that would be so memorable and fun for my kids. The books that are open in the photo above are Atlas of Adventures (left) and Children Just Like Me: Celebrations (right.)
We also read a few books on Gandhi and watched THIS video on YouTube.
We read a few books about the sari, the women’s garment that they wear in India. Some other great picture books for you to check out that aren’t pictured are: How to Wear a Sari by Darshana Khiani, A Sari for Ammi by Mamta Nainy, Where Three Oceans Meet by Rajani Larocca, and Amma’s Sari by Sandhya Parappukkaran. Some of these are newer books, so if you are unable to find them in your library, try to look up the read aloud on YouTube. THIS was also a great article from National Geographic that we read together on the history of the sari.
After reading, we all took turns using blankets around the house to create a sari for each of us. My daughter also grabbed some old fabric and made one for her American Girl doll.
Next, we learned about the Taj Mahal. The book Taj Mahal by Caroline Arnold is a beautiful story for kids about the history of why this amazing building was built. It is a little long, but a great story, where I even learned a lot! We have had a very busy schedule lately, so we didn’t get to do a lot of fun things I hoped, but I linked them below for you. One is a super cool 3D puzzle, and the other a fun art project (click on the photos below to find their direct links.) We did have time to watch a short virtual tour of the Taj Mahal (found on YouTube) and I “challenged” them to build it out of magnatiles.
Next, we learned about the Bengal Tiger. There are so many great books out there, but our favorites that we read were The Tale of the Tiger Slippers by Jan Brett and Tigress by Nick Dawson. Tigress was a great story and also full of lots of great information. The Las King of Angkor Wat is not about a tiger along, but many animals native to the area, and a great book about character traits.
We also used our Draw Write Now book to draw tigers and add some copy work to their notebooks.
After reading about the Bengal Tiger, we created this mixed media tiger art. I found the idea from THIS article on Pinterest, but there aren’t any instructions about the drawing portion. I just tried to teach the kids how to draw the head, part by part, like they do on Art for Kids Hub, and then they painted them with watercolors. When they were dry, they added cut out pieces of green crate paper (tissue paper would be great too) around the edges, going in toward the face of the tiger, so it looks like the tiger is peering out of the bushes. I love how these turned out!
For science this year we aren’t using a specific science curriculum but are learning about the different habitats and biomes of the countries we are learning about. You can read more detail about that HERE. While we were studying countries throughout Asia we learned about mountain ranges and the Himalayas. All the details of that study can be found HERE. As we are headed into Africa we are beginning to learn about the desert, specifically the Sahara Desert. As we finished India and began our desert study, we did this fun sand art kit (only $5 from Target!)
If you decide to do a sand art kit too (which my kids loved,) use the sand that it comes with beforehand to play with and create Rangoli designs that originated from India. There are also a ton of really cool videos to watch others make intricate rangoli patterns on YouTube. This activity also pairs nicely with the Rickshaw Girl.
I have gotten a lot of questions on when we actually read all of these books for each country. It varies day by day, but we usually have a designated reading time in the afternoons after all lessons are completed and my youngest is napping. We will all curl up on the couch and read 1-2 books a day on the topic we are focusing on. We also choose another 1-2 books to read right before bedtime together. I read our read aloud while my kids have their lunch each day. My daughter does her reading in the afternoon while everyone is resting and also before she goes to bed at night. I am always amazed at ALL the books we read within a 2-week unit but spread out a little each day definitely makes it manageable.
That is our complete study on India, and we had so much fun with this one! Next, we are doing a quick one-week study on Morocco and then headed to Egypt, which I am so excited for! I will definitely be posting all the fun things we do with those studies later, so make sure you are subscribed to my blog or email list to be notified when they are available.
Wishing you a great weekend!
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