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Last week we wrapped up our country study all about Peru. We weren’t able to do as much for this unit, since we spent almost all of the first week sick. However, while we were sick, we were able to read lots of books and watch YouTube videos on some topics.
If you are new around here check out all our other Around the World studies, linked at the end of this post. We spend 2 weeks on each country and complete many similar activities in our notebooks for each one.
We began our Peru unit by checking out the country in our Maps book and DK Countries of the World. There isn’t any children from Peru in the book Children Just Like Me, that we love to add, but there are some from neighboring countries of Colombia and Ecuador so we read those instead. We added the country to our notebooks and painted the flag of Peru. I finally made time to get all our flags hung up of all the countries we have studied this school year.
In addition to our spine curriculum, Around the World with Picture Books, I downloaded THIS free unit study on Peru from Little World Wanderers. I love her guides and they give me lots of great information and hands on project ideas. She has many other countries available too.
There were lots of great books on Peru, but my library did not have many this time. These are some of the books we enjoyed as well as La Princesa and the Pea by Susan Elya, Kusikiy a Child from Taquile, Peru by Mercedes Cecilia, and Up and Down the Andes by Laurie Krebs. Many of these we were able to listen to the read alouds on YouTube.
My kid’s favorite was Love and Roast Chicken: A Trickster Tale from the Andes Mountains by Barbara Knutson. It had them laughing out loud and asking to read it again.
While studying about Peru, we learned more about the Inca culture, Machu Picchu, and Nazca Lines.
I printed some of THESE mini book pages for the kids to color. They colored the one for Machu Picchu, then I had them each copy some of the information into their notebook. We watched lots of videos and virtual tours of Machu Picchu on YouTube.
We also learned about the Rainbow Mountain in Peru. You could do THIS watercolor tutorial all about it.
We learned about the famous and mysterious Nazca Lines in the Nazca Desert of Peru and made our own. Mix together some white glue with a little red-brown paint. Then stir in some dirt with a popsicle stick. (We just grabbed some from our back yard.) We tapped down some watercolor paper and painted on the dirt paint. It will be thick and needs a lot to cover the whole paper. Next, they used skewers to draw the shapes and figures into the dirt paint, similar to those in the Nazca Desert. *The open book with some examples is from the back of the teacher guide in Around the World with Picture Books, but you could look them up online too.
The main animal we focused on for Peru was the llama. We read lots of fun books as well as many of the Llama Llama series by Anna Dewdney. We learned all about them and added them to their notebooks, as well as some of the other animals mentioned in Around the World with Picture books. This llama was also from the mini book I shared earlier. They colored the animal while I read about it from the Encyclopedia or Animals, then they write one or 2 sentences on something they learned or found interesting.
Next, we did some artwork combining llamas and Peruvian textiles. There is a great weaving activity in the Peru unit study from Little World Wanderers too.
Llama Process Art:
- On watercolor paper, create many different patterns, horizontally, across the page with oil pastels or crayons. Press hard and use a different color for each pattern. *I made a quick one first with some pattern ideas to get the kids started and then they came up with more on their own.
- Use watercolors to paint thick stripes horizontally down the page. Use vibrant colors! The oil pastels will pop through the paint. Let dry.
- On regular white paper, draw a simple llama like ours. You can also find a tutorial on YouTube (check out Art for Kids Hub.)
- Color in the llama with oil pastels or crayons. Use a paper towel and smear it around to blend it in. Use black oil pastels to outline the top of the head, ears, nose/mouth, eyes, and chin. (Push down hard.) Rub and smear the pastel with a paper towel (in the same direction of the black lines) to get the shadows and blended look.
- Cut the llamas out and glue them to the background.
For movie night we watched The Emperor’s New Groove, since he is turned into a llama. You can also check out the show Llama Llama on Netflix.
The Amazon River and part of the Amazon Rainforest carry over into Peru, so for our biome study, we continued to learn all about the rainforest and some of its animals. You can read all about our rainforest biome study HERE.
I get asked often how many days we spend on each topic, and it really just depends on my kids interests. We typically spend just 1 or 2 days learning about something and completing a simple craft or artwork. We also spend our mornings completing our core curriculum (Language Arts, Math, etc.) and spend time doing our unit studies in the afternoon. Sometimes we even the weekends for something fun to do.
That was our Peru study! Quick and fairly simple, but we really enjoyed it!
Next, we are headed to Europe for the rest of the school year. We will be studying Spain, Sweeden, Great Britain, Holland, and Italy. Stay tuned for a blog post for each!
Thanks for being here!
Check out our other Around the World Units:
Our reference books can be found HERE.